Job Hunting Mistakes I REALLY Hope You Don’t Make

The following is a guest post by Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff.  Her blog covers living expenses, saving for your future, and the fun stuff in between.

Sometimes I come across articles that just are too funny to be true.  The Wall Street Journal post, Big Blunders Job Hunters Make, will hopefully astound you too.  If it doesn’t, we need to have a private chat about your job hunting strategies.

Here’s their list of mistakes, my choice of funniest examples, and my immediate reactions to them:

1. Entitlement syndrome.

…human-resources executive Pamela J. Sampel says she received an unsolicited résumé full of grammatical and spelling errors with a note asking her to have someone on the company’s staff correct them. “I’m sure you have people there that could fix them before they put it into your online database on my behalf,” the applicant wrote, according to Ms. Sampel.

SERIOUSLY?!  People like this make me feel like a genius…

2.  Behaving rudely.

…a recent candidate for an entry-level outsourcing job at Accenture Ltd. unwrapped a sandwich during an interview and asked the hiring manager if he could eat it since it was lunchtime.

HAHAHA.  I wish I had thought to bring a sandwich for my 5 houring hiring process…if I has just been warned, lol.

3.  Acting arrogantly.

Recruiter Peter Polachi recently met with a candidate for an executive-level marketing job at a midsize technology firm. In the middle of the meeting, Mr. Polachi says he suddenly heard Madonna singing—it was the ring tone for the candidate’s cell phone and the person took the call, which lasted about a minute.

Here’s what I think…uh, hold on…my phone’s ringing…I’ll get back to you.  🙂

4.  Lies, lies, lies.

Six months ago, a candidate for an editing position at Factory VFX Inc. told hiring producer Liz Crawford that he came recommended by an artist on staff at the Santa Rosa, Calif., visual-effects company. After the interview, Ms. Crawford says she called the artist so the applicant could say hello to his supposed associate. That’s when it became crystal clear that the two men didn’t know each other. “He admitted he had fibbed and walked out of the room,” says Ms. Crawford.

When I got hired, I had to sign a paper stating that I don’t smoke or partake of any tobacco in any way.  My employer recently announced that we were going to start being tested for nicotine as well as illegal drugs in our random drug screening since we are supposedly a nicotine-free company.  A good third of my coworkers are having a cow because this means they have to give up their weekend cigars or actual long-term smoking habits.  What?!  Did they not have to sign the same dang paper I did?  If they wanted to smoke, they could just work for the 99% of the companies in Houston that don’t care…

5.  Dressing down.

Last summer, Amy Demas says she was uncomfortable and distracted while interviewing a copywriter candidate for…Standard Time LLC. “She was wearing a t-shirt three sizes too small with bright red letters across her chest,” recalls Ms. Demas. “I couldn’t help but pay more attention to her breasts than her résumé.”

That’s like Interview 101 right?  No boobs on display.

6.  Oversharing.

Other things employers say that job hunters reveal—but shouldn’t —include comments about their health problems, details about their love lives and tales of their financial hardships.

I might have overshared in my interview with my current supervisors about my husband-to-be since I was getting married the following week.  Luckily, they thought I was a keeper anyway.  I would suggest that when it comes to personal details in an interview, less is more.

7.  Saying thanks with gifts.

…hiring managers say they’ve received everything from pricey tickets to sporting events to bottles of alcohol—all big no-no’s.

Nothing says, “I’m the man for the job” like a bottle of booze.  🙂

8.  Sporting a mom-and-dad complex.

Hiring managers say they’ve also seen moms and dads accompany their offspring to job interviews and try to intervene in salary negotiations.

I would love to see the meeting where my mom decides to give her two cents to my company’s President…that would be priceless if I was in the postion to retire already.

Do you have any funny stories along these lines?  Which was your absolute favorite in the list?  🙂

19 thoughts on “Job Hunting Mistakes I REALLY Hope You Don’t Make

  1. Wow, the interview got all the way to salary negotiation with the parent there? I would have said “thank you, no.” as soon as they walked in with their parent!! Numbers 1 and 2 are also hilariously funny! I bet #1’s parents did their homework for them ALL THE WAY through school.

  2. I can’t believe you get urine tested??? what a disgusting invation of privacy what you do on your own time is your own business and has NOTHING to do with you employer. Personally if i was asked to take a urine test I’d refuse, do you want to read my thoughts as well? Perhaps you want to screen all my cell phone calls on the weekend to make sure i don’t say anything negative about the company.

    • It was urine tests until this year, now it’s a mouth swab. No. I am not kidding. I get mouth swabbed and make a whopping $35,000 a year. My mom is justifiably NOT impressed with my choice of job…

      I do love blogging, so tell anybody who may agree that my job sucks to visit more and maybe I’ll be able to afford to quit in a few years. I do take pity readers too, lol. 🙂

      • My first reaction – smoking is gross, but certainly not illegal!

        Then I thought of all the legal things that I am not allowed to do at work – swear, yell at customers, drink alcohol during work hours, talk about my boss.

        • The smoking thing for my company is due to our insurance rates. The company has completely paid for our insurance up until 2011 (100%) and now we’ll be supplementing it a little bit since rates have gone up. We get better rates if we are a tobacco-free company.

          If swearing was allowed, I’d be way happier. 🙂

  3. I have to admit, I’m guilty of #7.

    I hit it off with a hiring manager for a 1st round of interviews. On my way out, he offered me coffee to go which I accepted. When we got to the kitchen, he was out of to-go cups but insisted I take one of their community mugs for the road. I felt kind of dumb just sending back an empty cup with my thank you note, so I put hershey’s kisses in it. I did make it to the second round of interviews, so I guess I didn’t totally blow it.

  4. I think #4 is ridiculous and a total infringement on individual rights. Sure,have a ‘smoke-free’ workplace where no smoking is allowed on the premises. But to say that someone can’t smoke after work, in their own home, on their own time? Unbelievable.

    • I wish it seemed as crazy to me, but after working in this company for 5 years, I’ve become a little deadened to my individual rights being tread upon…

      My coworkers are pretty ticked off about the new testing, but no one seemed to think it was weird that the policy existed to start with. There are several businesses in Houston that have a no-tobacco policy, so I guess it’s not as nutty sounding here…

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