Ten Ways to Make Sure You WON’T Get the Job

by O'Donnell, J.T. Wednesday, December 16, 2009
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The following are 10 true stories.

These have all happened to me or my colleagues over the years as hiring managers. I know the job search process can be hard to maneuver. Add to that the fact there’s a whole set of ‘new rules’ you need to follow to get employers to even want to hire you and a job seeker can feel pretty overwhelmed.

But that being said...Some things are just common sense. For example, I wouldn’t suggest doing any of these:

1) UNDER-DRESSED: Candidate came to the interview for a professional job in a suit and dress shoes – but with no shoelaces or socks. AND THEN, proceeded to sit with his leg across his knee, tapping his foot, drawing attention to his lack of proper attire.

2) OVERLY-HONEST: When asked what the person’s greatest weakness was, she replied, “I hate getting up early and tend to be late to work a lot.”

3) GREEDY: When I asked if the candidate had any questions, he said, “Ya. How long will it take until I get a raise?”

4) TEAMWORK CHALLENGED: When I asked for references, the candidate said, “You can’t call anyone from my old company because I hate them all and they probably wouldn’t say nice things about me.”

5) IGNORANT OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL PERSONA: When I called to schedule an interview, the recorded message was playing ‘Funky Cold Medina’ and had people making noises in the background. (Do I need to explain more?)

6) UNMOTIVATED: When I e-mailed the candidate about scheduling an interview, she e-mailed back, “Now’s not a good time for me, can I call you in 2 weeks?”

7) IMPATIENT: After the interview, the candidate called and left me 5 voice mail messages and sent me an e-mail everyday saying he was just ‘checking in’ to see if I’d made a decision. He did this in spite of the fact that I told him, “don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

8) INSINCERE: After the interview, I contacted a person in our company who the candidate said would be a reference for her. The employee said, “I should tell you she doesn’t really want the job and is planning to quit if she gets accepted to grad school.”

9) UNPREPARED: When I asked the candidate what he liked studying the most as a Finance major he said, “I liked the financial stuff.”

10) DESPERATE: When I asked why she wanted the job, she said, “Because nobody else will hire me.”