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I was having a quiet morning minding my own business when I stumbled across the SHRM Facebook page and saw the following question:
“HR Pros: What’s the one thing a job applicant should NOT to do in a job interview? We will share your best answers in the SHRM Blog!”
After reading many of the comments, it was embarrassing to be included in a profession that had the word “HUMAN” in it. While we all know that personal biases exist, isn’t it one of the primary roles of HR professionals to put aside biases and interview someone to determine their ability to do the job?
If HR is the first point of contact for job seekers, the poor schmucks interviewing with some of these folks don’t have a chance of ever seeing a hiring manager.
Here are some of the things these HR professionals listed that candidates should NOT do on an interview.
- don’t mention interviewing at other places.
Why not? You might have a stellar candidate on your hands.
- sit up straight.
- never ask about the salary.
No it’s much better to waste everyone’s time instead.
- don’t yawn.
Maybe you’re boring.
- don’t ask how long the interview will take.
Forget the fact that maybe the candidate has to catch a train or bus to get home.
- don’t be tense.
Tell that to the job seeker who’s been out of work for months.
- don’t roll your eyes at the interviewer’s questions.
Right because you wouldn’t dream of asking uninteresting, canned questions.
- don’t provide short answers.
There’s this new thing out now — it’s called “follow up questions.”
- don’t show up on time because being early is “on time” and being on time is “late”.
I can’t say what I really want to say about this here.
- don’t reschedule the interview for another time.
Sorry that your kid was puking all night or you woke up to a flat tire — you are OUT!
- don’t touch your face.
Just wiggle your nose if you have an itch, that’ll be less distracting.
- don’t invade my personal space.
And that is where?
- don’t talk negatively about a prior employer under any circumstances.
Bad stuff happens and there is a difference between an emotional rant and providing honest facts about a prior negative experience. It happens everyday and interviewers know that.
The list went on and on. If these people were ruling out candidates because of these reasons, it’s no wonder career advisors always urge job seekers to bypass HR. This is also a good example of why recruiters aren’t crazy about working with HR.
On the flip side, there were some excellent comments that job seekers should pay attention to. Some were pretty funny so I included them too.
- don’t answer or look at your cell phone.
It’s rude. Don’t put it on vibrate, turn if off.
- don’t bring your mother.
- don’t bring your children.
Same as above. If you’re stuck for child care, reschedule.
- don’t answer the questions with a bag of puppets.
While I find it creative and funny, I don’t think it will score points unless you’re interviewing for a puppeteer gig.
- don’t wear flip flops.
Well, unless you’re told to.
- don’t list God as a reference.
- don’t drop the F-bomb.
Do that after you’re hired.
- don’t wear fragrance.
It’s distracting from the conversation.
Job seekers are people — human beings — not robots. Good and bad life events happen around us every day. Recognize that.
If you work in HR, please — I beg you — learn about empathy. It just might be you sitting in that candidate seat one day.