Gut Rumbles

January 17, 2006

i never understood it, either

As part of my duties in the chemical plant, back in my long-ago working days, I was responsible for interviewing potential new employees. Yes, as terrible as the idea may seem, Acidman had the power to decide whether you got a job or not. I often walked away from those interviews shaking my head and wondering WTF were those people thinking?

I read this post and had a terrible flashback to those times. Man, do I have some stories that'll curl your teeth! I also have some advice for job-seekers who want to get off on the right foot in an employment interview.

1) I cannot emphasize this strongly enough: FILL OUT YOUR APPLICATION PROPERLY. If you can't fill out a simple form that my twelve year-old son could handle easily without misspelling words, putting information in the wrong place and writing illegibly, how can I expect you to do a decent job for me? I didn't choose who to interview--- the gurus in Human Resources performed that task--- but when I saw a fucked up application, the interview was a waste of time. I already had decided NOT to hire that person.

2) DRESS APPROPIATELY. A coat and tie is NOT necessary when applying for a production job in a chemical plant, especially a job that entails getting VERY dirty. The spiffed-up dandy look may be appropriate if you're wanting to sell insurance, but it just ain't right when the job you seek involves a lot of manual labor. By the same token, don't appear to be on your way home from the beach, either. Flip flops, cutoff jeans and a dirty tee shirt with "I brake for TITS" on the front isn't a good outfit for a job interview. Try to hit somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.

3) DO NOT BE LATE FOR YOUR INTERVIEW! Bejus! If you can't be on time for a scheduled job interview, how can I expect you to show up at work on time? I can't and I won't hire you.

4) ACT LIKE YOU WANT THE FUCKING JOB. Sit straight in your chair, make eye contact with me and don't put your feet up on the table. Speak clearly, in more than monosyllabic mumble. If you don't appear to care whether you get the job or not, I don't care to hire you.

5) ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT THE JOB. Surely, you must want to know SOMETHING about what you're getting into if you're hired. What kind of work is it? How much does it pay? Is there opportunity for advancement? Stuff like that. I always figured that anyone who wasn't curious about the job might be in for a very unpleasant surprise if he got it, especially the dude or dudette dressed for Easter services in church. Just DO NOT start out by asking, "How many sick days do I get?" I might conclude that you're planning to lay out on me before you even get the job.

If this stuff sounds simple, that's because it is. But you'd be surprised at the number of people who just don't get it.

They never got a job from me, either.


Anticipate the questions.

My son, Scott, is out doing interviews and just got hit with this question:

"What is the most important thing in your life?"

His older sister warned him about the possible question and gave him the great answer (to make company interviewers happy).................MY HEALTH.

Indicates a person who takes care of himself!

Posted by: Maggie on January 17, 2006 03:45 PM

This applies to college/grad school interviews too. You wouldn't believe what some people wear....

Posted by: caltechgirl on January 17, 2006 04:13 PM

Bring a pen. You're applying for a job. You KNOW you're going to fill out a form. You KNOW you're going to have to sign stuff. If you don't bring a pen, it tells me that you are oblivious to the world around you.


Posted by: Lamont Cranston on January 17, 2006 04:56 PM

Perhaps the most annoying I've delt with: Turn your bloody cell phone off, and should you forget to, don't sit there yacking for five minutes and expect to get a job.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on January 17, 2006 06:38 PM

AMEN, Mr. Lion!

Posted by: Acidman on January 17, 2006 07:48 PM

We had an applicant apply for a sys admin job and during the interview his pager went off. He asked us to leave the interview room so he could respond to the page. He let us back in 15 minutes later. He didn't get the job.

Posted by: TC on January 17, 2006 08:50 PM

If you're applying for a job and you're over 60, when the (looks like a) teen-aged hiring manager reads from his standard list of questions for the applicant "Where do you want to be ten years from now?", try to keep a straight face when you answer "Still alive".

Posted by: homebru on January 17, 2006 09:54 PM

Have references ready. And if you don't have them ready, don't take two weeks to get them to your prospective employer. They might think all your friends are drug dealers.

As an aside, I knew that I was really an adult when I was able to give my own friends as references instead of my parents' friends.

Posted by: Juliette on January 17, 2006 09:58 PM

One more thing: a job interview is about the only time I will be caught dead wearing a (skirt) suit, pantyhose and heels. I don't even wear such an ensemble to church (unless all my jeans are dirty). The only jewelry I will wear are earrings (one small piece in ears only, not that I have any other piercings) and a watch. I normally wear huge earrings.

You won't believe how many interviewers (for office positions) have thanked me for dressing appropriately.

Posted by: Juliette on January 17, 2006 10:06 PM

What homebreu said,
And to a "T" too.....

Posted by: Horrabin on January 17, 2006 10:23 PM

I pretty much concur, except for the "eye contact" condition in #4. It has nothing to do with doing the job, or even getting along with people, really. The monkey people seem to think it's important, though, even for jobs where you won't see another human for the whole shift.

Posted by: Justthisguy on January 17, 2006 11:27 PM

I once lost out on an tech support job in part because I showed up in a shirt and tie to be interviewed by two kids in striped tee-shirts. I don't feel that I made a mistake based on the job description.

OTOH, I've seen worse than "I brake for TITS". Like the kid who showed up wearing a "Chronic the Hemphog" shirt, or the woman wearing a vest (which I covet, but not for interviews) assembled from Crown Royal bags.

One nice thing about all the wild piercings these days; my one stainless wire hoop which hasn't been out of my earlobe for 20 years looks respectable.

Posted by: triticale on January 18, 2006 12:40 AM

After the interview, assuming you want the job, ask for it. Maybe not outright, but let it be known that you are interested. I use that opportunity to give my list of references.

Bring an extra copy of your resume.

Now this will depend on the company, but 48h after the interview make a follow up call.

Posted by: mt on January 18, 2006 01:06 AM

Every time I have been called for jury duty, I have worn a suit and tie, and every time I am challenged and excused, either by the defendant or his lawyer.

Does that say something about suit wearing?

My advice for male job applicants, have a shave that morning,get a haircut and pull out any visible face piercing metal "art".

Posted by: Henry Blowfly on January 18, 2006 03:21 AM

I once interviewed a guy wearing a t-shirt that proclaimed "Sorry I'm late, I got drunk last night!".

Posted by: stratguy1961 on January 18, 2006 08:26 AM

I'm interviewing Monday for a suit and tie job. 3 CFOs will be staring me down. Oh crap.

Thanks for the tips anyway.

Posted by: Scott on January 18, 2006 08:46 AM

When I was younger I screwed up more job interviews than I can remember. Once I was asked "what do you think would be a fair salary for the position I just described? and I said, " You couldn't possibly afford it. Ha-ha." Ha-ha indeed.

Another time back in ther go-go nineties I was getting four or five calls from headhunters a week and one in particular would call and read off a list of positions he had open every Monday morning. One Monday I was in a rotten mood and when he called I said "must be nice to get paid for reading the Classifieds." He never called again and two weeks later I found out I had three months left until they closed my office.

I hope to god i've learned my lesson.

Posted by: Terry on January 18, 2006 11:36 AM
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