Tag Archive | "interview tips"

The Black Cloud

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We all know someone who claims to have been born under a black cloud.  Bemoaning a universe out to get him, he yammers on about misfortunes great and small, including his aching back and the hair he was served along with his dinner.  What he fails to mention — indeed, what he fails to see — is that he’d lifted a fifty-pound carton in a manner designed to put him in traction, and chose to chow down in a notorious greasy spoon.  Such individuals are not cursed by unseen forces. They are self-destructive; they set themselves up for failure.  They do it in every aspect of their lives, including interviews.

Here are some of the behaviors they exhibit that give employers reasons not to hire them:

 1.     Lighting up cigarettes.

2.     Displaying tattoos or body piercing, even those that are allegedly “discreet.”

 3.     Reeking of last’s night garlic-laden dinner.

 4.     Cracking chewing gum; blowing bubbles.

 5.     Biting their nails or engaging in other disgusting behaviors.

 6.     Peering at their cell phones to read incoming text messages.

 7.     Dressing inappropriately and/or sporting unsuitable hairstyles.

 8.     Asking, “Waz up?” instead of politely saying, “Thank you for seeing me today” at the onset of the interview.

 9.     Failing to shake hands with the employer.  Crushing the employer’s hand in a death grip.

10.    Failing to articulate their skills and accomplishments properly in response to direct questions.

11.    Focusing on salary, benefits, and paid holidays instead of the attributes the employee requires.

12.    Saying, “This places reminds me of the dump I just left,” and/or other rude comments, including those painting former employers as the Devil’s spawn.

13.    Failing to arrive on time (too early or too late) and being cavalier about it, as if the employer’s time is worthless.

14.    Calling the interviewer “Honey” or “Sweetie.”

15.    Having typos on their resumes.

16.    Saying, “I don’t know what that means on my resume; my friend wrote it for me.”

17.    Forgetting to bring multiple copies of their resumes, in the event that more than one manager conducts the interview.

18.    Failing to familiarize themselves with the company’s mission and product/service line.

19.    Inserting religion, politics, American Idol, or any other unrelated topic into a discussion that should revolve solely around the company’s needs, the demands of the position, and the assets the job candidate can bring to the table.

20.    Interrupting the interviewer.

21.    Failing to maintain eye contact.

If any or all of these gaffes sound like scenes from a situation comedy, let us assure you that they are real.  The “Waz up?” line, for instance, was pulled recently on the owner of a local restaurant that I patronize regularly (and it’s not a fast food franchise).  Seeking to hire an assistant manager, the owner had advertised the job opening. After suffering through a number of wisecracking, lackadaisical candidates, he hired an older woman with a slight disability.  The lady was not only experienced, she’d arrived neatly dressed, well prepared, and with a demeanor that was professional and enthusiastic.

Professional, prepared, and enthusiastic are the characteristics of candidates that secure jobs, not discourtesy, sloppiness, or ignorance. 

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