Magazine article USA TODAY

Blunders Aplenty during Interviews

Magazine article USA TODAY

Blunders Aplenty during Interviews

Article excerpt

Job seekers typically research what they should do during an interview. However, knowing what not to do is an equally valuable lesson. Executives were asked by OfficeTeam, Menlo Park, Calif., a staffing service specializing in highly skilled administrative professionals, to name the strangest things they have ever heard of happening in a job interview, and the results show that many job seekers could benefit from a refresher course in interview basics.

While it's helpful to have the support of loved ones during a job hunt, many executives surveyed gave examples of applicants who went to extremes:

* "After answering the first few questions, the candidate picked up his cell phone and called his parents to let them know the interview was going well."

* "At the end of the interview, the candidate expressed her interest in getting the position, but only if her boyfriend liked the company and the hiring manager. She then said, `He's waiting outside. Can I bring him in to say hello?'"

* "The person got up to leave just a few minutes after the interview had begun, saying he left his dog in the car and needed to check on him."

"In today's job market, there is growing competition for each opening, making it even more critical for applicants to put their best foot forward," indicates Liz Hughes, OfficeTeam's executive director. "Employers are trying to decide whether or not to hire you, and the interview is their primary tool for making this assessment." Preparation is essential to making the best impression during the interview, and that includes getting organized. These next job seekers definitely weren't ready for their big meeting:

* "The candidate entered the lobby and identified herself to the receptionist. She then pulled two pairs of shoes from her bag and said, `Before the interviewer comes out, tell me which pair you think I should wear with this suit.'"

* "When asked why he wanted to work for the company, the applicant responded, `That's a good question. I really haven't given it much thought.'"

* "When asked how the candidate would improve sales if hired for the position, he replied, `I'll have to think about that and get back to you.' He then stood up, walked out, and never came back. …

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