Thoughts & Observations

Advice for the Interview Challenged

In the last week, we’ve received over 1,000 resumes for 26 open positions. In the last three days, I’ve interviewed over 60 candidates.

Impressive people? Some.

But mostly, I’m appalled.

Not so much by the candidates’ lack of skills, but by many candidates’ lack of any sense of job hunting and interviewing protocol. None. Zero. Zip. Nada.

I’m so appalled in fact that I feel compelled to write a little “how to” for the job hunt/application/interview challenged:

  1. If you don’t have the basic qualifications for a position, please don’t apply. You may have a fantasy about wowing us so much with your fantastic personality that we’ll forget about the fact that you don’t have basic skills, like using a computer. Not so much.
  2. Only apply for positions that have job duties that you are actually willing to do. Don’t apply to be a receptionist if you only like working by yourself and don’t like interacting with others (true story).
  3. If you’re going to provide us with your e-mail address, make sure it’s appropriate. “Sassygirl41” doesn’t really scream “professional” to me (or at least not the kind of professional we’re hiring). Maybe try something simple…like your first initial…last name…maybe a couple of numbers if you have to. Totally novel concept, I know.
  4. If you’re e-mailing me your resume, don’t call it “good resume” or “updated resume” or “resume number 1” or “document 1 “.  Give the document a reasonable name like “lastname_resume”. Again, a totally novel concept.
  5. Another issue with e-mail…don’t use an e-mail address registered in your husband or wife’s name. Whether you realize it or not, when you send a “thanks for the interview” e-mail from their account, it shows up as if it’s coming from them. Pretty confusing when I interviewed Sue Smith, and now I’m getting a thank you e-mail that looks like it’s from Peter Smith. E-mail is free. Set up your own account. Register it under your name.
  6. Unless your interviewing for a job as a stripper (and we’re not hiring any strippers), then I don’t need to see your belly button or excessive amounts of cleavage.
  7. If you’re going to an interview, wear a suit. It’s that simple. You don’t have to look like you’re going to a funeral – but at least wear some kind of suit-like well-put together, properly fitting, clean, ironed outfit.
  8. In a panel interview, don’t be a lemming. If the first person misunderstands the question and answers the question wrong, don’t follow in the same pattern of answering it wrong just avoid rocking the boat. If you think you heard the question differently, ask for clarification. I don’t like hearing the same wrong answer repeated five times.
  9. Smile. At least act excited to be in the interview, even if you’re not.

That’s it.

For now anyway.