Andrew’s recent post (“12 Things to Bring to an Interview”), which contained very useful suggestions, made me think about the opposite - how far interviewing protocol has strayed in the last few years from the “normal” format and dynamic.
Of course there are also the wardrobe malfunctions and stupid responses. A colleague once had a candidate arrive in flip-flops and shorts. When asked about time management skills, she shared, “Wow, I’m not so good in that area – I sometimes play games for 6-10 hours a day!” Nice.
Dress code aside, in case you aren’t sure, here are some items to NOT bring with you on an interview:
1. Your mother – Even if she is an ace at the collective bargaining table, bringing Mom along in case you have to negotiate salary is not cool.
2. Food – Even if you offer to share with the interviewer, don’t even bring a “light snack.” Unless it’s Jarlsberg dip and I’m interviewing you.
3. Your “accessory” pet – Don’t get me started on what a horrible disservice idiot celebrities have done to Chihuahuas and other tiny dogs. Carrying a companion animal around like a fashion accessory should have a jail sentence attached.
4. Any mobile device that’s turned on – Really? Is there a text, email or V.M. that’s more important than your interviewer’s time? (“The Worst Interview Blunders” illustrates this beautifully.)
5. Personal information – Just as there are labor laws prohibiting interviewers from asking certain personal questions in an interview, there should be a law prohibiting oversharing from the interviewee. If you're truly confused about inappropriate topics, here’s a cheat sheet:
Sex, drugs and rock and roll
Invasive medical procedures
Your KKK membership
6. Your collection of Star Wars figurines – They should NEVER leave your home.
7. Your invisible friend – He should NEVER leave your home.
8. Your Bud Light – That isn’t even good beer.
9. Gum – When I last interviewed someone, I was rather astounded that he was not only chewing gum, but that it was bubble gum.
10. Concealed weapon – Yeah, it’s cool that you got your conceal/carry license, but did you notice those stickers on the front door with a red slash through a gun?
This post was written by regular Jobacle contributor Nancy LaFever.