The company under observation in this career fair assignment is Kraft Food Inc. Kraft Food Inc. is an American multinational company operating in the retail industry. It markets different brands of food and beverages in 170 countries of the world. Kraft is listed in NYSE and is a member of Dow Jones Industrial Average. Its average annual revenue is around US$49 billion while its average operating income is US$5 billion. In the year 2010, the company’s profit was US$ 4.139 billion.
In this career fair assignment, the number of recruiters under observation is three: two men and one woman. All the men are dressed in formal suits and are wearing black leather shoes. The woman recruiter is dressed in a formal skirt suit and a pair of high heel shoes. All the three recruiters have nametags, which bear the name of each one of them, the company’s name, and the designation of each one of them.
There are three native speaker applicants in this career fair assignment: two ladies and one gentleman. They are all dressed in formal suits. Each one of them has a nametag, which bears the holder’s name and major. The two female applicants are wearing high heel shoes and they both have brown hair. The male applicant is wearing black leather shoes and has short blonde hair.
During the interview, both the recruiters and the applicants maintain eye contact when addressing each other. The position of the applicants’ hands during the interview is: the left hand holds the right hand at the wrist, and both hands rest on the stomach. They maintain this position both while seated and while standing. For the recruiters, they sometimes place their hands on top of the table and occasionally move their hands while talking to the applicants.
The recruiters ask formal questions to the applicants and they are open-ended. They largely ask them about their education backgrounds, job experiences, and career objectives. They also ask the applicants questions concerning the company. The applicants answer the questions asked in a formal manner. They give compliments to the company and rarely engage in small talk. However, the recruiters occasionally engage in small talk, directed to the applicants. The purpose of small talk in such cases is to gauge the intuition levels of the applicants as well as help in reducing any tension that might exist between the applicants and the recruiters. This small talk exchanges do not last for long and the topics range from company issues to current affairs. The recruiters are very polite while addressing the applicants. They use words such as ‘would’, ‘what’, and ‘could’ while asking questions to the applicants.
Observations made about the characters in this career fair assignment are very different than those made in the movie “Bowfinger.” For example, the male applicant in the movie wears casual clothes, such as short sleeve shirt and blue jeans, while the male applicant in this career fair is wearing a formal suit and official black leather shoes. In addition, the male character in the movie laughs while answering the question to the recruiter while in the career fair, the person remains serious throughout the interview. The only similarity is that the male applicants both in the movie and in the career fair have short hair.
The similarity in how native speaker students act in class with what has been observed in the career fair assignment is maintenance of formal dress code in formal occasions as well as keeping short hair among male characters. Native speaker students use formal language when addressing their teachers. This is also present among the native speaker applicants observed in the career fair: they use formal language when addressing the recruiters. The reason why classrooms and career fair interactions are similar is because Americans have a culture of maintaining formality during formal interactions. Teacher-student interactions as well as recruiter-applicant interactions are deemed formal, and thus formal method of interaction is utilized.
This career fair assignment provides evidence that the appropriate formal behavior in American culture is a combination of formal dress code and formal conversation. Men dress in dark colored suits and black leather shoes while women dress in women’s suits and high heel shoes. When interacting with each other during formal occasions, Americans like maintaining formal method of conversation where they focus on the topic of discussion, engage in less small talk, utilize less body language, and use polite language when addressing each other without paying attention to one’s designation, age, gender, or socio-economic status.