So, when exactly does common sense in interview etiquette take a holiday? Is it when you bring your child to the interview? Is it not only wearing flip flops to the meeting but having trouble keeping them on? Is it pulling out your breakfast and having a desk picnic?
If your jaw dropped and you snorted laughter, be warned. These things, and worse, really happened. Before I founded Virtuoso Resumes, I was a manager in a large social service organization. I’ve sat through hundreds of interviews not including my time as a resume writer. Did I see shocking behavior? Absolutely! Did I want to break out into hysterical laughter and ask the applicant, “What on earth are you thinking?!” Yup.
You may be thinking how could anybody do that? Obviously though, there is a percentage of the population that doesn’t bat an eye when leaving their iPod headphones in. Or checking Facebook when a recruiter is asking them what they want to be when they grow up.
Maybe they just really wanted to update that status. Perhaps the company should be flattered that they were part of that applicant’s social media strategy.
And speaking of technology, it seems that it hasn’t helped the situation. Gone are the days when a “bad interview” consisted of an applicant showing up late or treating the receptionist badly. These days you can expect texting, gaming, and emailing.
Then again, what if there’s a lack of technology? Case in point is the boomer applicant who insisted on filling out all his employment application forms by hand rather than submitting them online. He may be fully computer literate, but the hiring manager will still wonder about his computer skills. Ageism is alive and well, and for you boomers out there, it’s a good idea to avoid scenarios that call your technology skills into question.
The behavior just gets weirder and weirder. The applicant who acted out a scene from Star Trek, one who chose to display their teeth OUTSIDE their mouth when discussing dental benefits, another applicant chewing gum just as violently as Willy Wonka’s Violet Beauregarde, and one romeo who wanted the receptionist’s number because he liked her.
I could go on and on, and in fact, Careerbuilder did a survey on this very topic. If you are brave enough I invite you to check it out and see the rest of the madness for yourself. Employers Share Most Memorable Interview Blunders
You may be feeling pretty good about yourself. Maybe you haven’t done any of these things and are confident that you won’t in the future.
I have one simple piece of advice for you, the jobseeker…
If you don’t want the job, don’t apply for it. Don’t waste your time, the recruiter’s time and don’t be that person that lands in an article like this one. Keep your shoes on, your teeth inside your mouth and for goodness sakes, STAY OFF YOUR PHONE.