I love being connected; perhaps a bit too much because getting away becomes more and more difficult the more technology I add to my life. However, there are times when it is completely inappropriate to take advantage of that which instant connectivity has to offer. Specifically I’m referring to answering your cell in the middle of an interview.
I have been working on a position in the treasury group of my company and called a very promising looking candidate today. When I asked if it was a good time to discuss his resume he politely declined citing that he was in the midst of an interview but would be available in approximately 30 minutes.
Pardon me for being harsh, but I didn't call back.
After I got over the initial shock of a candidate answering the phone mid-interview I started thinking about other faux pas one can engage in during the interview process. While some offenses are worse than others, there are some relatively universal guidelines one can follow.
-When putting on jewelry, don't go for the Mr. T look
-Cologne/perfume application should be very light if done at all
-Deodorant, however, is still a must
-Oral hygiene should not be ignored if there is any chance of a face-to-face interaction
-A suit is still considered professional interview attire
-Avoid verbally bashing your previous/current employer
-Avoid verbally bashing the company that you are interviewing with (or their affiliate)
-Posture is important and reclining with hands behind head definitely sends the wrong message
-Try to avoid any displays of gastronomic discomfort
-Regardless of level of interest, a thank-you is always appropriate
Although some of these items may seem silly, I had at least one candidate break each and every one of these cardinal rules of interviewing. Whether the candidate gets the job or not, as long as I book several professionally appropriate interviews in a row I begin thinking that people intrinsically know how to act during said meeting. This had just begun to happen when the gentleman answered his cell phone mid-interview.
Perhaps I should send him a thank-you note for reminding me to continue coaching each candidate I schedule an interview for.