There are just some things you don’t do in front of prospective or current employers… like pick your nose, pull out a wedgie, or show up with a huge hickey on your neck.
These moves will definitely make an interview panel watch you with a confused look, and say, “What yuh smoking?” Then there is a whole other category of things that simply make them say, “WTF!”
With the number of career advice articles dominating the Internet, you’d think, by now, everyone would know what to do, from what not to do. They don’t, and since January to March is a period when many employers are sourcing new talent, I figured I’d share a few definite no-nos for the sake of the (very) misguided people out there who may unwittingly decrease their chances. I’ve also got some tips for the already ably employed.
Answering your phone in an interview
Yes people do that crap. Take this guy, for example. He attended an interview, at an old workplace of mine, well attired, but completely unschooled in interview etiquette.
Now, if you’re going to an interview, you know you have to turn off your phone or put it on silent (and be damn sure that it’s on silent, if you choose that option). So why did he have his phone on, and why, when his phone rang, did he choose to answer it, and calmly talk to his friend for a few seconds. Word was, he actually said something like, “Boy I in an interview right now so I hadda talk to you later”, along with some other small talk. He then apologised to the interview panel, with a chuckle, and acted as if what he did was perfectly acceptable.
No honey. Wheel, and come again.
Applications that sound like MSN chat
writing in all lowercase, and writing things like “gr8” or “u” in a cover letter will not impress anyone. not even the hr manager who wears bifocals, and may mistake a common ‘c’ for a capital ‘C’. when employers receive correspondence that shows you’re incapable of switching between informal and formal communication, they’re going to move you down a notch on the list of candidates, or completely off the list. yes… some employers are hardcore like that. no… it really isn’t cool when you write ‘ftw’, ‘dwl’, or ‘omg’ in a letter either (I don’t know if people really do that, but hey… you never know).
Your Facebook profile
How is this even relevant? Well… see… there are employers who scope you out on FB. We keep hearing that, but you never really pay it much mind unless you hear a story like the one I’m about to give you.
Here’s how it goes. There’s this small company in Port of Spain that takes macoing prospective to new heights. You apply for a job. The person who handles hiring looks at your CV and says, “Ok, qualifications and experience looks good”. Then, he (or she) scopes you out on Facebook, and if your profile is open, looks at your wall posts, photos and other interests. He (or she) sees you drunk fuh so, is appalled at your behaviour, especially if he seems your comment on an Outlish article, saying your fetish is grannies in bingo bags, prints out all of your FB info, and then attaches them to your file. Unless he likes grannies in bingo bags too, you don’t get called for an interview.
True story. Ok, except for the bingo bags. But seriously, if he (or she) doesn’t like your behaviour on FB, you don’t get invited for an interview.
So the tip of the day is… always apply some privacy settings for your Facebook profile. If you’re already employed, don’t add your boss unless alyuh ‘real tight’ and you feel absolutely certain they won’t use your personal information against you. Hold that thought. You know what, don’t add them until you leave the company. Human nature is fickle. You never know when they’ll turn on you and give the CEO photos of you wining on all fours in “Beach House”, when you were supposed to be sick that day.
You’d think CEOs and managers (especially the older ones) would be more peeved about missing “The Young and the Restless” and “Bold and Beautiful”, because of their oh so stressful workdays. However, there’s nothing like an office romance to make them go ballistic (and secretly enjoy such ‘ballisticism’. Ridge and Brooke want nothing with real-life soap operas.
See, having to discipline employees who got caught in toilet doing naughty things after work hours is as much a pleasure, as it is a pain. It’s kind of how you sometimes find yourself stopping to watch Jerry Springer or Maury reruns. You know the girl who’s taking the midget and the freak from her neighbourhood for a paternity test is a hot mess, but you can’t help but derive some sort of sick pleasure from watching it, even though you’re there exclaiming, “What garbage is this!” – with remote in hand.
Flashy attire and short skirts
Ok. Most old school employers hate bright nail polish, mohawks, and ridiculously red weaves – basically anything most fashion-adventurous youngsters do. Some of them also complain about young ladies who wear miniskirts to work – although I’m guessing that the male bosses who get a mini-stroke over miniskirts do so for reasons other than just disagreeing with young ladies’ attire. A friend once told me about a manager that broke his nose walking into a cupboard because he was gaping in the office. (Men!)
Now, this list isn’t exhaustive in the least, and to really dig deeper, I’d need more words. However, these are some of the cocksure things to make prospective employers steups or be honestly confused. I guess we could add CXC/ CAPE certificates with the candidate’s name written on whiteout (liquid paper), or meltdowns that include tirades about how much you hated your last job to the list of interview no-nos, but they don’t happen all that often. Right?
Check out the rest of this week’s issue (24/01/11; Issue 42):
- Blast from the past: Old ads that make you say “wheey”
- How to get a commitment phobic man to commit
- Can You Read This? Illiteracy in T&T
- How it Go Look: Trinis and Taboos
Look out for a new issue of Outlish.com every Monday.