Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Big Blunders Job Hunters Make
Wall Street Journal ^ | 6-27-10 | SARAH E. NEEDLEMAN

Posted on 06/27/2010 5:46:22 AM PDT by STONEWALLS

Daphne Batts sometimes wonders if practical jokers with hidden cameras are spying on her as she interviews people for jobs at Bankrate Inc., an online publisher of financial information in North Palm Beach, Fla.

That's because job candidates—including experienced professionals—behave so inappropriately that Ms. Batts, vice president of human resources, suspects she's the target of a prank.

"I find myself peering out my blinds to see if Ashton Kutcher is on my office balcony with a camera crew," she says, referring to the host of the former MTV show "Punk'd," which featured pranks being played on celebrities.

Of course, there's nothing funny about a bad job interview, especially for the long-term unemployed. Yet hiring managers say many job hunters don't take their search efforts seriously enough and make the kind of mistakes that they should know better to avoid. In fact, many say they are frequently amazed by some of the colossal blunders they witness at a time when there are five job seekers for every job opening, according to the Labor Department.

Here's a look at eight bone-headed moves job hunters commonly make.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: employment; helpwanted; humanresources; job; jobinterview; jobs; jobsearch; resume; unemployment; work
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-70 next last
...some kids act this way in college, so it's no wonder they act this way on job interviews...wearing flip flops, taking cell phone calls, calling Mommy when they get a bad grade ect...they have no clue about what the workplace world requires.
1 posted on 06/27/2010 5:46:23 AM PDT by STONEWALLS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS

I applied for a position a few weeks ago where all of the candidates showed up wearing suits and had briefcases, myself included. The HR lady even commented about it. I thought a suit and tie was standard..


2 posted on 06/27/2010 5:58:03 AM PDT by cardinal4 (Barack Obama- 21st Century Edsel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS

I applied for a position a few weeks ago where all of the candidates showed up wearing suits and had briefcases, myself included. The HR lady even commented about it. I thought a suit and tie was standard..


3 posted on 06/27/2010 5:58:15 AM PDT by cardinal4 (Barack Obama- 21st Century Edsel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS

But most don’t. There are many fine young folks out there ready to fill our shoes.


4 posted on 06/27/2010 5:58:43 AM PDT by Jedidah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS
When my son started looking for part time, after school type jobs I gave him one piece of advice (that he says he now tells friends about because it helped him out). That advice was regardless of they type of job you are applying for, when you walk into a business to ask for an application, be nicely dressed.

It doesn't matter if you think you will just be asking the floor clerk for an app, or if you think you are meeting the President of the company, go in the door the FIRST time expecting that they just lost an employee five minutes ago, and are desperate for a new worker. Even if it only happens 1% of the time, you never know when a manager might be the one handing out the applications, and he may have 10 minutes to interview on the spot. That is not the time you want to be dressed in your favorite rock group T shirt, or you faded, ripped jeans, with flip flops on. And above all, take a shower before asking for that application!

5 posted on 06/27/2010 6:01:33 AM PDT by codercpc
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS
I've been a hiring manager for years and have interviewed hundreds of candidates. Nearly every interview, the candidate was on time, acted professionally and dressed appropriately. Sure, I've seen some blunders and I've made a few myself (such as asking a candidate a personal question) but nothing on the scale of what is contained in this article.

I've never had a candidate show up in flip-flops and T-shirt, had a kid in tow, or took a cell phone call in the middle of the interview. This kind of stuff just doesn't happen to me. 99% of interviews are hum-drum affairs where the candidate always plays it safe. The most exciting interview I had was when a candidate vowed that I'd be a fool not to hire him and that his goal upon being hired would be to "get me promoted so he could take my job." That kind of confidence was refreshing - he never did take my job (and get me promoted) but he did end up being one of my better hires.

I can't help but think this article is a total fabrication, concocted by a bored journalist who couldn't find a real story to write about.

6 posted on 06/27/2010 6:05:06 AM PDT by SamAdams76 (I am 56 days away from outliving Francis Gary Powers)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS

I’m not sure what I’m most shocked by... the behavior of the idiots these companies selected to interview, or the fact that there were that many job opportunities to mention for the article.


7 posted on 06/27/2010 6:05:49 AM PDT by Common Sense 101
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS
when there are five job seekers for every job opening,

I think that number is a litte low - more like 500 job seekers for every opening - it maybe narrowed down to five for the initial interview but there are a lot more than five for for every job opening.

8 posted on 06/27/2010 6:07:55 AM PDT by rockabyebaby (We are sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo screwed!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jedidah

It really depends on the college. Some colleges are churning out highly entitled young people. At least they *think* they are entitled.


9 posted on 06/27/2010 6:08:07 AM PDT by ladyjane
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76

Its just a collection of worse case stories, one out of 10,000 kinda sampling...


10 posted on 06/27/2010 6:10:13 AM PDT by The Magical Mischief Tour
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS

Does this briefcase make my hips look big?
11 posted on 06/27/2010 6:12:34 AM PDT by MaxMax (Conservatism isn't a party)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS

I am guilty of being rude at the interview, but I was not being unintentionally rude. The interview was going very well and we were discussing compensation. The position was advertised as having “good wages.” When I discovered that his idea of good wages was two bits over minimum wage and about two thirds of the prevailing wage for that job in that area at the time I was more than a little incensed. I snatched my application right out of his hand, opened the door so the people filling out apps could hear and loudly told him pretty much how I felt about his false advertising and wasting my time. “Pretty much” because I left out all obscenity and profanity. After that I stormed out of the office, with two or three other applicants behind me.


12 posted on 06/27/2010 6:15:48 AM PDT by magslinger (If recycling makes cents as well as sense, I am all for it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: codercpc

Good advice!

I saw that EXACT scenario one time, too!


13 posted on 06/27/2010 6:16:01 AM PDT by Daisyjane69 (Michael Reagan: "Welcome back, Dad, even if you're wearing a dress and bearing children this time)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS
According to Texas Aggie etiquette, you should never bring a six pack of beer to a job interview.
14 posted on 06/27/2010 6:17:23 AM PDT by Zakeet (The Big Wee Wee -- rapidly moving America from WTF to SNAFU to FUBAR)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS

And from personal experience from a candidate I once interviewed, remove any body piercings on the your face before the interview.


15 posted on 06/27/2010 6:17:32 AM PDT by dfwgator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76

Most folks I’ve interviewed have presented themselves appropriately, but I have seen highly inappropriate attire. Unfortunately for that woman, half of the interview panel was female. And the males wouldn’t even look at her - didn’t want an EEO complaint.


16 posted on 06/27/2010 6:26:23 AM PDT by PAR35
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76
Sure, I've seen some blunders and I've made a few myself...

That is very refreshing. Most HR types I have met have never made a mistake. Ever. Just ask them.

I am sure your attitude allowed you to hire some very qualified applicants who might have otherwise declined the position.

17 posted on 06/27/2010 6:26:43 AM PDT by magslinger (If recycling makes cents as well as sense, I am all for it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS
I am not in HR but have interviewed many candidates to assess their technical capability. I've seen it all. It is amazing what people will say in an interview. “Badmouthing” former employers and employees. Questioning me about my motivation for the questions I was asking, etc.

The weirdest one, was a young candidate that told me that if he did not get the job his Dad was going to call me. It was like a threat. He did not get the job, and his Dad did call.

About 1 minute into an interview, a college candidate took a 2 minute cell call. I thanked him for coming in and returned him to HR. Interview over.

Best interview was a lady who just had the best, “never say die” attitude, I have ever seen. She was Hispanic and was the first in her family to go to college. She said "I can do this." and I believed her. Didn't have the best grades in college but we hired her and she was great.

18 posted on 06/27/2010 6:28:46 AM PDT by super7man
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Zakeet

No Beer? Not even Shiner???


19 posted on 06/27/2010 6:28:55 AM PDT by unbiasedtruth
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: cardinal4

Odd, I NEVER carry a briefcase to an interview. I use a zipped leather portfolio: extra resumes, business cards, and a handy pad for taking notes.

But then, I’m a techie, not a management or sales type. . .


20 posted on 06/27/2010 6:29:00 AM PDT by Salgak (Acme Lasers presents: The Energizer Border: I dare you to try and cross it. . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Zakeet
According to Texas Aggie etiquette, you should never bring a six pack of beer to a job interview.

Because the interviewer might expect you to share? :)

21 posted on 06/27/2010 6:29:44 AM PDT by magslinger (If recycling makes cents as well as sense, I am all for it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: unbiasedtruth

Especially not Shiner. See my post #21.


22 posted on 06/27/2010 6:32:22 AM PDT by magslinger (If recycling makes cents as well as sense, I am all for it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator

My Wife used to manage a pizza place, and one of the guys who worked there had more metal in his face than the terminator.

The odd thing was, he was the best employee they ever had - always courteous and a very hard worker. I just can’t figure out why anyone would want visually mangle themselves like that.


23 posted on 06/27/2010 6:33:49 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Never trust anyone who points their rear end at God while praying.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: magslinger

Well, if I really wanted the job, I might be willing to give up one bottle out of my six pack....oh, you’re right. I ain’t sharing my Shiner!


24 posted on 06/27/2010 6:34:41 AM PDT by unbiasedtruth
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76

“The most exciting interview I had was when a candidate vowed that I’d be a fool not to hire him and that his goal upon being hired would be to “get me promoted so he could take my job.””

Not very original, a movie cliche.


25 posted on 06/27/2010 6:43:48 AM PDT by BilLies
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76

I reread your post and I may have caught the disconnect. You state that you are a hiring manager. Can I assume that there is a HR department that sends you the cream of the total applicants? That would be why you never see some of the horror stories. They are told that they will be called and never are.


26 posted on 06/27/2010 6:45:44 AM PDT by magslinger (If recycling makes cents as well as sense, I am all for it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Salgak

That is actually what I meant-a portfolio type thing with my creds, resumes, etc.


27 posted on 06/27/2010 6:56:11 AM PDT by cardinal4 (Barack Obama- 21st Century Edsel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76

I believe the story.
I’ve interviewed people for a professional job who have:

___ Shown up wearing flip flops (with dirty feet even)
___ Had multiple piercings
___ Have told me intimate details about their life
___ Have told me if I didn’t hire them they *could* file a discrimination lawsuit.
___ Have told me they will not work for a female boss.
___ Have reeked of cigarette smoke.
___ Have taken cell phone calls during the interview.
___ Have brought a young kid (and had it wait in the reception area where she asked the receptionist to watch him)
___ Have lied about having a degree.
___ The usual mispellings on resumes.

In addition, I know another person who took an interviewie to lunch who brought his own chopsticks to eat with (the person wasn’t Asian and it wasn’t an asian restuarant).


28 posted on 06/27/2010 6:56:25 AM PDT by Lorianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS

I read them. How can people be that silly and unprofessional? They’re trying to make a joke out of the whole process. No one is that dumb.


29 posted on 06/27/2010 7:08:31 AM PDT by Saundra Duffy (For victory & freedom!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76

I was the headhunter for faculty for a major university for many years. I interviewed daily.....all professionals with Masters degrees or doctorates. I never had 1 interview even close to any of these stories.
I tend to agree with you.


30 posted on 06/27/2010 7:34:59 AM PDT by sheana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS

I always HEAR about such cases, but I have never heard of these things actually happening. Urban legends..


31 posted on 06/27/2010 7:48:32 AM PDT by Paradox (Socialism - trickle up poverty.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Paradox

This isn’t an urban legend - a man came in to my office with his 3 year old who’s legal name was Bronco Billy. Let’s just say, the name fit because he did nothing but bounce off the walls the entire time.


32 posted on 06/27/2010 7:52:50 AM PDT by bgill (how could a young man born here in Kenya, who is not even a native American, become the POTUS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS
I was interviewing a girl from India for a biotech position. Strangely, her resume listed as a skill, "SEM", which stands for "Scanning Electron Microscope".

That's not a really common microscope to use --usually that's for something to do with physics, academic research, or making a type of advanced silicon chip.

I beamed and exclaimed, "You can use an SEM, wow..!"

She said, "I just used my friend's resume..."

This answer completely astonished me --embellishing sure, but simply using the resume of ANOTHER PERSON...?

Like something out of the Twilight Zone, my colleagues continued interviewing her and even expressed annoyance that this would give me pause.

33 posted on 06/27/2010 7:56:20 AM PDT by TokuMei
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: codercpc

Funny. I went on a job interview a while back dressed in a jacket and tie. The guy that interviewed kept referencing how I was over dressed for the type of job (industrial maintenance) we were discussing. I didn’t like the guy so I didn’t pursue it. I’m guessing he had a buddy he wanted to take the job so he did his best to make me feel unwanted.


34 posted on 06/27/2010 7:57:06 AM PDT by raybbr (Someone who invades another country is NOT an immigrant - illegal or otherwise.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS

How about vacant, 24 year old female HR clowns who say things like, “I don’t know about that stuff, I don’t work on the shop floor.”


35 posted on 06/27/2010 8:04:16 AM PDT by primeval patriot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS
While it might be acceptable to skip a suit and tie in some office environments, it's never appropriate to wear jeans, cleavage-revealing tops, flip-flops or skin-tight pants—all interview fashion don'ts hiring managers say they've seen.

"You should also take out all your funky piercings and hide your tattoos," says career coach Cynthia Shapiro, who is also a former human-resources executive. "Even if you wear a business suit, if you have a piercing through your lip" it doesn't look good.

That fact that this even needs to be said is very discouraging...

36 posted on 06/27/2010 8:04:23 AM PDT by Allegra (Topop!!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: reagan_fanatic

“I just can’t figure out why anyone would want visually mangle themselves like that.”

Honestly, I think it’s a manifestation of mental illness.


37 posted on 06/27/2010 8:07:55 AM PDT by Persevero (The Second American Revolution, “THE GREAT FLUSH”, starts Nov. 2, 2010)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS

For entry-level jobs, most people need an attitude adjustment. All through their schooling, everything has been about them—their development, their needs, their interests . . . Now it is about the company’s needs. Read up on the company and figure out how you would fit in.

Older applicants can use that too: don’t mention any of your own reasons for wanting the job; just focus on how you can help them out. This may seem so basic that it’s not worth even mentioning.


38 posted on 06/27/2010 8:10:51 AM PDT by firebrand
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lorianne
Best one I ever had was for a technical writing position. One lady in her resume said she was a “World class poof reader!”
39 posted on 06/27/2010 8:11:33 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Sometimes you have to go to dark places to get to the light....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Saundra Duffy

It does happen- I worked with a person who was going
to interview for a railraoad engineer job-
kept telling me he had an inside track to be
hired (had friends AND family members working for
the R-R)- he showed up at 8AM still hungover- slurring
his speech- and when they said they could SMELL alcohol
on him - he admitted he was out ALL night- but did not
currently have a Job so did not think it was a big
deal!- LOL- I was laughing so hard ..tears were coming
to my eyes- .. he felt insulted by me for laughing!!
can you say clueless?


40 posted on 06/27/2010 8:15:15 AM PDT by mj1234
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS

Dressing right is crucial. Get someone to advise you if you think you might need help. I looked for a job for months, traveling from NJ to NY in a black dress, which is what I thought NY women wore to work. One day the black dresses were in the cleaners and I wore my old cotton paisley suit. I got the job.


41 posted on 06/27/2010 8:19:39 AM PDT by firebrand
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lorianne

I used to be in sales, so thankfully I know how to interview.

The best one was where I mentioned I had forgotten something, pulled out the cell phone, and turned it off. The interviewer mentioned the previous person they interviewed not only had the phone go off, they also took the call in the middle of the interview.

I got the job.


42 posted on 06/27/2010 8:26:34 AM PDT by Brellium ("Thou shalt not shilly shally!" Aron Nimzowitsch)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: bgill

“This isn’t an urban legend - a man came in to my office with his 3 year old who’s legal name was Bronco Billy. Let’s just say, the name fit because he did nothing but bounce off the walls the entire time.”

...Good One Bgill!....your post cracked me up.


43 posted on 06/27/2010 8:29:45 AM PDT by STONEWALLS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS

A woman applied for a job at my brother’s CPA firm. The interview was going well until she dropped a bomb, “I need Tuesday mornings off for my tennis lesson.” She did not get the job.


44 posted on 06/27/2010 8:34:33 AM PDT by choirboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Zakeet
According to Texas Aggie etiquette, you should never bring a six pack of beer to a job interview.

Right. Bring two, so you can give one to the interviewer.

Cheers!

45 posted on 06/27/2010 8:47:58 AM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: TokuMei
She said, "I just used my friend's resume..."

My previous employer was one with a large footprint in India. When I began to conduct technical screenings of candidates for our Indian operations, I was warned of "CV inflation". Candidates would learn what skills got interviews and would list them on their CV.

Most of the time, they were honest in interviews and admitted they knew nothing about the skillset

46 posted on 06/27/2010 8:54:15 AM PDT by BoringGuy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76
I can't help but think this article is a total fabrication, concocted by a bored journalist who couldn't find a real story to write about. For the most part, I agree. I doubt these kinds of people didn't really want the job, but were required to apply by the employment bureau. They would lose unemployment benefits if they didn't 'try' to get hired.
47 posted on 06/27/2010 9:02:05 AM PDT by Jaidyn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Zakeet
According to Texas Aggie etiquette, you should never bring a six pack of beer to a job interview.

No joke, when I was involved in the hiring process at a call center I used to help supervise we had people on a few occasions show up to the interview hung over and smelling of alcohol. We had one candidate show up so drunk we called him a cab.

No, they didn't get hired.

48 posted on 06/27/2010 9:04:52 AM PDT by Drew68
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: STONEWALLS

The last job interview I went on was in 1966 (obviously, I was hired) and I did’t need any of the advice proffered here. I knew then—from common sense—that one went into the interview dressed in a neat, well-fitted suit, cleanly shaven, and on one’s best manners. The shenanigans outlined here would have been unthinkable to me.


49 posted on 06/27/2010 9:11:32 AM PDT by OldPossum
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: codercpc
A motto for success:

"You have exactly ONE chance to make a good FIRST impression."

FReegards!


50 posted on 06/27/2010 9:26:26 AM PDT by Agamemnon (Intelligent Design is to evolution what the Swift Boat Vets were to the Kerry campaign)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-70 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson