Seeing as how I run my own company now and do things like hire and fire staff, I’ve learned a little bit about what works and what doesn’t work when applying for a job. Sure, there are tons of books out there on the subject, but this is what the books don’t tell you. (Maybe because it’s considered general knowledge?)
So, should you find yourself in that stressful position of seeking employment, here are my pointers – just from my experience over the last week:
- Any time you’re on the phone – either with a person from the company or just leaving a voice mail – speak clearly. It’s important that they at least understand your name and phone number.
- Remove that loud rap song from your answering machine message and actually say something (again, clearly), just in case they do call you back.
- Leave 2 messages at most. And certainly not more than 6.
- When you leave messages, consider not swearing, cursing, or calling the company or its representatives words that most sailors would by too shy to use.
- When granted an interview with said company, show up. It seems self-explanatory, but apparently it needs to be said.
- Dress appropriately. A swim suit is generally not considered interview attire.
- Don’t threaten the interviewer.
- Try not to walk in with a ring of cigarette smoke still hovering around you.
- Think about smiling.
- Don’t bring your kids. If you do bring them, don’t ask them to help you answer interview questions. Especially if they’re under the age of 3.
- Flat-out lying generally disqualifies you for most jobs.
- Don’t answer your cell phone in the middle of an interview.
- Don’t volunteer information about how often you’ve been fired from jobs. Yes, it’s helpful to the employer, but perhaps doesn’t show off your best traits.
- A “Mwa-ha-ha-ha-hah” laugh can be entertaining, but there’s a time and place for everything, and an interview isn’t quite the place for it.
I thought all these things were common sense, but apparently I was mistaken. So, tell your friends. Help spread the word.
(Oh, and Kathy dear, don’t cut your finger tips off… There’s grace for that, but it does keep you out of commission for a while. Sure, there’s plenty of sympathy for you, but wouldn’t a paycheck be more helpful?) 😉