My Take on MSN Money’s 12 Interview Mistakes.

My Take on MSN Money’s 12 Interview Mistakes.

MSN Money - 12 Interview Mistakes
12 Interview Mistakes – Zogby Analytics

Here’s another post on interviews. I do write on that subject a lot because it’s so important. This post is referencing a slide show type post done by MSN Money.  The title of the post is 12 things recruiters say drive them crazy in job interviews.  The article is set up from the least offensive actions to the most offensive actions.  I’m going to stay with the same scale.

12.  Failing to Wear enough Make-Up.  1% would immediately disqualify the candidate. I have never heard this said regarding an applicant.  But I have heard it said within the regular work environment.  This is a foolish thing to be concerned about in a regular business office environment.  Leave it for the businesses that are trying to attract customers based on the good looking employees rather than the product or service they offer.

11.  Dressing Unfashionably.  4% would immediately disqualify the candidate.  There is a difference between unfashionable and inappropriate.  MSN went a little overboard with the picture they selected. However, will wearing the too wide tie that was fashionable in the 70s be a negative for you?  Probably not.

10.  Wearing too Much Make-Up.  5% would immediately disqualify the candidate.  Again I question their choice of picture.  That’s not too much make-up.  If it was eye shadow it would be a normal amount.  This is more a fashion statement.  Yes, wearing too much make-up or inappropriate make-up can hurt your chances but the risk is low.

9.  Having a Terrible Handshake.  6% would immediately disqualify the candidate.  Wow, and I thought I was strict.  Handshakes do say a lot about a person.  However, I’ve only had one person, a male, squeeze my hand so hard my bones were grinding together.  I firmly believe he knew what he was doing but what was his motivation?  Was it a display of dominance or was he unable to gauge appropriate pressure?  The determination is left for the recipient to make and could be a negative for you.  Other things like a weak grip don’t matter.  Sweaty hands are understandable, it’s a nerve-racking situation for the applicant.

8.  Bringing a Drink to the Interview.  14% would immediately disqualify the candidate.  Well I would be in this 14% but then our interviews are relatively short, 15 – 20 minutes.  High level positions may involve interviews that take quite a bit longer.  This website is not for those individuals but just to give you the answer I would expect that type of interview to have a pitcher of water and glasses available.  If you do see that then asking if you may have some water is acceptable.  Try to take your sip when people aren’t speaking, including yourself.  Preferably when they are writing any notes down.

7.  Dressing too Casually.  24% would immediately disqualify the candidate.  Yes.  This is definitely a problem.  You want to come across as a professional.  The article reminds us of the saying, dress for the job you want not the job you have.  That’s excellent advice.

6.  Bringing Food to the Interview.  38% would immediately disqualify the candidate.  All I can say here is that I’m surprised the percentage who find this unacceptable is so low.  This is beyond ignorant.  DON’T take food to an interview.

5.  Interrupting the Interviewer.  39% would immediately disqualify the candidate.  In general this is a negative thing to do but there are some cases where it can be acceptable.  If an interviewer is mentioning some of your qualifications and he gets one of them wrong it’s alright to offer a correction.  Say the interviewer mentions you have a Bachelor’s degree among a list of other things he is saying.  You can interject that you are working on your Bachelor’s degree but have not finished.  This shows honesty and can be a plus for you.

4.  Having Bad Hygiene.  52% would immediately disqualify the candidate.  Although a few of my posts have briefly mentioned hygiene I haven’t written specifically on it.  Still, it is a major concern.  One of the most uncomfortable talks with an employee I ever had to have was in telling the person that there was an odor issue that she needed to address.  There is no way to say it without making the person feel self-conscious, upset and embarrassed.

3.  Coming in Late.  58% would immediately disqualify the candidate.  This is a topic I’ve written on in my post, Another Interview Mistake – It was My GPS’s Fault.  I fall in the 58% who think this is a major issue.  As far as I’m concerned you have to be REALLY good to overcome your tardiness.

2.  Checking Your Phone During the Interview.  71% would immediately disqualify the candidate.  I’ve never written about this mostly because I’ve never seen it happen but thinking about it, with our current attachment to our cell phones, I’m kind of surprised it hasn’t happened.  I am in total agreement with the majority.  That would be an automatic disqualifier for me.  If you have that little interest in the job then I have no interest in you.

And the NUMBER ONE thing that would cause interviewers to immediately disqualify the candidate according to the survey Jobvite commissioned from Zogby Analytics and that MSN based its article on.

1. Being Rude to the Receptionist and Support Staff.  86% would immediately disqualify the candidate.  And here is another topic I haven’t written on, again, because we haven’t had it happen and again one in which I am in complete agreement with the majority.  Being rude to the workers before you even make it to the interview is a non-starter.  You are telling me you will be a disruptive element.  There is no way I’ll bring you into my environment.

MSN had their own narratives for these topics.  I recommend you take a look at them.  Get as much information as you can from multiple sources.  You will find all kinds of gems of wisdom to help you in your career.