I mean, look, it's nerve wracking. But do you want to know how to make it through the hiring process without embarrassing yourself? It's totally possible. These people were willing to share some of their criteria. One Reddit user wanted to know:
If someone shows up late for an interview with no excuse and no effort made to let me know they were running behind I tell them I am no longer interested in interviewing them.
Same thing for being interviewed. I've withdrawn applications and left appointments after being kept waiting with no good reason or apology.
I interviewed a girl a while back for a part time position and she raised pretty much every red flag.
Dressed like she just came out of a crack den.
She wanted a new job because she was having issues with management at her current job
Pulled her phone out during the interview
Complained that the interview was taking too long
At that point, I told her I still had a few questions I wanted answers to but that I had enough to make an informed decision.
Inability to follow. f*cking. directions.
I left my first job out of college a few months ago and was asked to hire my replacement before I left (I gave them over a month's notice, had/still have a great relationship with them). I put ads on all the main job posting sites and the last line said, "Please attach your resume and cover letter as a PDF."
I got hundreds of applications - turns out entry level marketing jobs in a major city are pretty popular. Wanna know how many people included both a resume and cover letter as a PDF? About 20. It really made me wonder why the hell it took me so long to find a job after college.
Not an employer but I went in to McDonald's to get coffee and this guy was applying for a job and he looks at me and said "do they really need to know all this sh_t?" while holding an application. I told him "well if they are asking for it they probably need it" so he looks at me disappointed and says "man, why can't they just give me a f_cking spatula and pay me. This is sh_t right? They don't actually need to know this sh_t..." then he proceeds to complain that getting a job is too hard. All of this was while he was standing in front of the employee who gave him the application...
I can't imagine that application went further than the nearest trash can.
I interviewed one guy and I swear all of his answers somehow involved defying authority.
"Will you tell me about a time you had too much work to do and how did you handle it?"
"Well one time my boss told me to stop helping out other departments before I got all my work done and I told him that I would help out people as I saw fit and if he didn't like it... "
Hoo boy. I'm frantically typing up your offer letter right this second, guy.
When I started being the interviewer rather than being interviewed it was an eye opener for me. There are several things that standout.
Don't say you have excellent communication skills and have spelling and grammar errors and then in the interview give brief non-responsive answers, or just go on and on. It is really surprising how the honest small mistake that we can ignore stands out from lack of effort or attention to detail. Without having seen it myself I would've never understood and when you're culling from stacks of applicants it's the little things that make the difference.
Attitude is huge. You need to create a positive experience for the interviewers, trying too hard is fine, being nervous is fine, you need to give the impression you want to be there. This is fairly easy to achieve - be attentive, don't bluff get clarification, pause to think, start over if you stuff up or lose your train of thought. We are there to find the best applicant not the most talky talk. Be friendly. And the thing that stands out the most is preparation - nothing trumps preparation. It is so obvious if an applicant has done it.
We've offered positions to less well qualified or experienced people who had done a lot of prep over lazy well credentialed people. This goes for both applications and interviews.
I've also had someone respond I'm sorry I simply cannot answer that question and would simply be making something up. We assign graded scores for our questions - they got the pass because they were honest. Another applicant who didn't know but tried to bluff got a zero for that question.
Preparation and attitude
When mom comes to ask for the job for her son. Honey, if your son isn't going to bring his lazy ass down here and ask for a job, he doesn't want it and I don't want him.
Edit: I feel I need to clarify. A teen looking for their first job, I have no problem with mom or dad helping along with the hiring process. Teach them how to build a resume, practice interviewing. We all have to learn somehow. When I got my first job, I walked up to the manager and asked if he was hiring. I took the initiative.
The employee I'm referring to was perfectly capable of picking up an application, talking to me about what positions were available. He didn't want the job, and it was clear. How do I know? I told his mom he needed to come down to the facility to fill out an application. Not only did she drop off the application that she had clearly filled out for him, it wasn't until after her 4th visit that she finally dragged him down to meet me. In this case, the "child" was in his 30's, maybe even 40's and had no interest in working at my company. His mom just wanted a behind the scenes view of what we were doing.
It comes down to how much initiative you take in the hiring process. If mom or dad is doing all the legwork, you're probably going to be a sh*tty and unreliable employee. If you can't be bothered to do the work to get the job, how can I trust you to do the job?
Years ago me and my coworker at a past job had to do some interviews. Another coworker had had his friend apply and he came in for an interview.
Him wearing jeans and a t-shirt was a bit unprofessional even for a retail job position. But the real red flag was his email address... DANKWAGON420. We were laughing so hard when we looked over the application and came across that. Needless to say he didn't get hired.
Applying for a management position with a recent felony...Guy interviewed well, had great experience, good references, and a recent burglary of a habitation charge. I asked him why he didn't mention that when we asked him about criminal history. His answer? "Well, I was just with them and I didn't actually break into the place so I wasn't the criminal. I thought that's what you were asking."
Acting like you're a perfect person who never has problems with anything. If I ask you how you would solve a problem and you tell me that you've never had an issue with that and never will, I'm going to think you're a b*llsh*t liar.
I kept pressing one girl, who said she never had issues communicating. I even asked how she would hypothetically deal with communication issues, and all she would say is, "Oh, I've always been able to understand people perfectly. I've never had issues being misunderstood." B*llsh*t. I guarantee you did not make it into adulthood without a _single _misunderstanding in your entire life.
If I'm asking about it, that's because it's a problem you'll likely face on the job. Don't just act like you'll never face this problem, because you will. Give me some meaningful info to go on, otherwise I'll assume you have no idea how to handle basic problems (like miscommunication).
When they try to twist the "What is your biggest weakness?" question into another opportunity to praise themselves by giving b*llsh*t answers like, "I'm a perfectionist." or "I care too much about my work."
Oh f*ck you.
I don't f_cking care about what the reply is, you can even say, "I'm lazy as f_ck."
The point is to see if you're self-aware enough to see where you're weakness is, and open to changing. I don't want to hire someone who's not able to take any criticism and need their feelings coddled.
Dressing too casually was a big red flag. It may be a little old fashioned, but when I had 10 equally qualified candidates for one job, anyone who showed up wearing sandals would end up in the"no" pile.
The people who take the time and make the effort to clean themselves up for the interview are more likely to be more professional and make an effort to do a good job.
When I have to coach someone through an interview. I did many interviews for retail entry level jobs. You wouldn't believe how many people can't answer basic interview questions and need to be coached through an interview. Not only does this make for a painful interview, but it tells me you can't think on your feet, make executive decisions,and will likely need a lot of training. It's retail though so probably hired.
Lies. Had a guy come in and used a current employee on his resume as a reference. Even said they told him that he would be perfect for the position during interview. After interview went to speak to employee. They know him from High school, haven't seen him in a decade. Couple weeks ago he reached out on Facebook for job hookup and was politely referred to website. Remembered he was kinda shady. Did not recommend hiring.
Seriously, if you use someone as a reference at least check that they will give you a decent one.
Reeking of cigarettes. I was on a panel that interviewed a person who would be sharing a small office with me and being there during the interview was like inhaling an ashtray. Hmmm, do I want to spend 8 hours a day for the next 10 years feeling sick to my stomach and having headaches? NEEEXXXXXT.
Drama-filled backstories. If the answer to why you want this job is a sob story about the 20 ways your ex-husband was abusive and then he left you and now your are trying to pay your bills but also your car is broke down ... that all may be true and tragic, but save it for your therapist. If you can't pull it together to be professional at the job interview, I know you we're going to be spending our days being your drama sponsor once you are hired.