Finalists for Government Jobs

What is a Finalist for a Government Job?

woman in job interview
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A finalist is an individual involved in a hiring process who is among the final few candidates competing for the job.

Finalists have survived the stages of the hiring process during which other candidates were eliminated. Finalists are identified before interviews begin. If there is more than one interview a candidate must sit for, the finalists are identified before the final interview at the latest.

Finalists for Rank-and-File Government Jobs:

Finalists for ordinary government jobs are typically notified by phone. Usually hiring managers like to set up interviews when they call to notify finalists of their selection. This way hiring managers can move onto another candidate if the finalists decides to withdraw from the hiring process.

A hiring manager may contact a finalist’s current manager for a reference. A finalist should have a clear understanding of if and when his or her supervisor will be contacted. The finalist can then alert the supervisor that the hiring manager will be making contact.

Finalists for Chief Executive Jobs in Local Government:

When there is a vacancy for a chief executive job in local government, the hiring process plays out in front of the media. Veteran school superintendents and city managers know this and take precautions appropriately.

The names of applicants for these positions are subject to open records, but members of the media do not care about the whole applicant pool.

They do care about the finalists. The names and other information about the finalists will be written about in print and online and will be broadcast over the radio.

Superintendents and city managers do not want their current school board and city council members to find out that their current executive is a finalist for a position in another school district or city.

This news needs to be delivered over the phone or in person. Most school districts and cities will allow finalists a day or two to tell their current bosses before they release the finalists’ information to the media.

Executives want to wait until their chances for being offered the new job are as certain as possible before telling anyone. They do not want to be perceived as unhappy with their current employers or as people willing to leave for a little more money or prestige.