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How Not to Get a Job


This weeks article is dedicated to a special friend of mine—well, not really. I am being sarcastic. Lets call this friend Gordon. Gordon went on a job interview very recently and managed to commit a variety of job interview crimes that I would not wish on anyone.

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RESUME MAVEN                                                                                      1. 800.973.1177

How Not to Get a Job
[By Mary Waldron]
This week’s article is dedicated to a special friend of mine-well, not really. I’m being sarcastic. Let’s call this “friend” Gordon. Gordon went on a job
interview very recently and managed to commit a variety of job interview crimes that I would not wish on anyone. Save yourself the time, energy, and
humiliation by reading on to learn why Gordon will not be getting the job this time. By the way, this is a completely true story.

Gordon is a recent graduate from a                 of enthusiasm for the job and his attitude          after leaving the office and proceeded to
distinguished university in the western            showed that he was obviously out of touch           the parking lot where his car was parked.
United States. He has never interned               with reality and how professionals conduct          It never occurred to him that the company
anywhere; nor does he have any job                 themselves.                                         might own the building across the street,
experience relevant to what he’d like to do.                                                           too. He probably should have been more
Nonetheless, he is a good writer and has           Crime Number Three: Tell the Employer               observant as to his surroundings during the
submitted some quality writing samples. The        That You Have Other Interviews Lined Up for         interview, as well, because the company’s
point is he’s not anything to rave about, but      Jobs That Pay More.                                 CEO, who was walking down the street next
he can write, and he lives close to company                                                            to the other building, remembered him and
headquarters. Even though this kid is fresh        When an employer asks when you are                  his unacceptable interview attire. As the
out of college and not extremely qualified for     available to start, there’s no better way to        unsuspecting Gordon gabbed on his phone,
the job, the employer gave him a chance.           turn him or her off than by emphasizing             saying, “Yeah, the company sucks, but it’s
                                                   that you have other interviews for jobs that        a job,” the company’s CEO was listening
Crime Number One: Dress Like a Slob.               pay more, so you’re not sure about your             intently. Need I say more? Classic.
                                                   availability yet. Don’t misunderstand me;
On the day of his interview, Gordon arrived        you can tell the employer you have other            Crime Number Five: Send Your Follow-Up
dressed in old black jeans, a wrinkly white        interviews. But never, ever intentionally rub       Material Late, and Make Excuses.
dress shirt, and a black tie. Might I add          it in the interviewer’s face by highlighting the
that the shirt was not even tucked in, which       fact that the other jobs for which you plan to      I really should have ended with the fourth
showed deliberate carelessness. It was not         interview pay more. I can see why someone           crime, but this one is the sugar on top. After
as if this ensemble was all he could pull          might say this, hoping to spark some                his less-than-impressive interview, Gordon
together and he was desperately trying to          competitive-pay opportunities, but don’t do         was given a sample writing assignment to
appear professional.                               it. You’ll sound rude.                              prove that he could live up to the company’s
                                                                                                       expectations. Rather than turning it in with
Crime Number Two: Act Like a Pompous,              Crime Number Four: Insult the Company in            a thank-you email on the date it was due,
Unenthusiastic Jerk.                               Front of the CEO.                                   Gordon sent it late with an excuse explaining
                                                                                                       why it was late.
No one should have the holier-than-thou            This is the grand slam of them all-one of
attitude that this guy exuded throughout           those stories you hear about but rarely get         Needless to say, our friend Gordon did not
his interview-especially not a green college       the pleasure of seeing. Poor Gordon still           get the job. He’s probably out on other job
graduate. He leaned back in his chair and          does not even know that he committed this           interviews committing more job-interview
talked like he was a seasoned pro. Don’t           crime. As he was walking to his car, Gordon         crimes as we speak. Shame, shame, shame.
get me wrong. It’s very important to be            made the mistake of calling a buddy on              Take a few tips from Gordon, and add them to
confident in job interviews, but poor Gordon       his cell phone to gab about his interview.          your interview repertoire today!
just didn’t get it. Instead of eagerly engaging    Never assume no one is listening, and
in a conversation with the employer, he            never assume someone from the company
thoughtlessly lounged in his chair and             could not be lurking. Thinking he was in
frequently avoided eye contact. His lack           the “safe zone,” Gordon crossed the street


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