Commentary on attached article:
This article means to be humorous. But remember it appeared
in the Business section of the Sunday NY Times, whose
audience is people in business. They may see humor in the mistakes
of applicants being interviewed -- a highly stressful event and perhaps
the first such for some of the individuals.
So you should read it not so much for the humor as for the mind set
of interviewers. Since they are central to the hiring process, their
opinions -- regardless of what you make think about them -- matter.
Next Time, Eat the Pizza After the Interview
Clean your fingernails. Make sure no food is stuck between your teeth.
Polish your shoes. And your resume.
For years, self-help books have been preaching these basic rules for job
interviews. Getting in the door is a good start, of course. It's your
chance to separate yourself from that stack of applications, to impress
the boss with all your personal charm. The goal isn't just getting in
the door, though. It's leaving with a job.
But some sad sacks never get the word. A survey of personnel executives
at 200 of the Fortune 1000 companies turned up a wide range of strange
and self-defeating behavior by some applicants about a year ago. The
results are a primer on what not to do on a job interview.
The survey was conducted for Commemorative Brands, a manufacturer of
high school and college class rings, by the New York research firm
Schulman, Ronca and Bucuvalas. here is a sampling of comments from the
- "The reason the candidate was taking so long to respond to a
question became apparent when he began to snore."
- "During the entire interview, the applicant wore a baseball cap... A
few days later, another college graduate showed up for a management
trainee position wearing overalls and sandals."
- "When I asked the candidate to give a good example of the
organizational skills she was boasting about, she said she was proud of
her ability to pack her suitcase `real neat' for her vacations."
- "Wanted to know if employee perks included a swimming pool, paid
lunches at the company cafeteria or a free computer to use at home."
- "Why did he go to college? His ill-conceived answer: `To party and
- "He couldn't answer any of my questions because he had just had
major dental work."
- "When I gave him my business card at the beginning of the interview,
he immediately crumpled it and tossed it in the wastebasket."
- "I received a resume and a note that said the recent high school
graduate wanted to ear $25 an hour--`and not a nickel less.'"
- "He had arranged for a pizza to be delivered to my office during a
lunch-hour interview. I asked him not to eat it until later."
- "Said she had just graduated cum laude, but had no idea what cum
laude meant. However, she was proud of her grade point average. It was
- "Insisted on telling me that he wasn't afraid of hard work. But
insisted on adding that he was afraid of horses and didn't like jazz,
modern art, or seafood."
- "The candidate never looked directly at me once during the entire
interview. Just stared at the floor."
- "An otherwise qualified candidate took herself out of the running
when she opened her mouth. She had her tongue pierced."
- "She actually showed up for an interview during the summer wearing a
bathing suit. Said she didn't think I'd mind."
- "He sat down opposite me, made himself comfortable, and proceeded to
put his foot up on my desk."
- "The interview had gone well, until he told he that he and his
friends wore my company's clothing whenever they could. At which point,
I had to tell him that we manufactured office products, not sportswear."
- "Applied for a customer service position although, as he confided,
he really wasn't a people person."
- "When I mentioned that we had gone to the same college, he stood up
and began to belt out the school football fight song."
- "Without asking if I minded, he casually lit a cigar and then tossed
the match onto my carpet--and couldn't understand why I was upset."
- "On the phone I had asked the candidate to bring his resume and a
couple of references. He arrived with the resume--and two people."
by Tom Kuntz..The New York Times, Sunday January 24, 1999