Last Updated Nov 3, 2009 6:36 PM EST
Some were pretty basic, but having seen just about everything when recruiting, I thought it might also be a constructive exercise to share some examples of what not to do. (These all really happened, folks.)
- In a resume listing referees, don't include a note stating "I love where I work right now so please do not contact them because I don't want to tip them off that I'm looking around". Just don't include them as referees, ok?
- In the cover letter, don't say "I know it may look like I move around a bit but it is important to note that I've never resigned".
- Try, if you can, not to get your mother to write the cover letter. It may be a glowing letter of recommendation, but sentences like "recruitment is like dating and my son would make the 'marriage' work" can make interviewers slightly queasy.
- Under the Awards and Achievements section, avoid listing television appearances like "Been a contestant on The Price is Right".
- Including salary expectations can be helpful; putting "The higher the better" is not.
- By all means, include any medical information that might be pertinent, but not that you have "minor allergies to stupid people and teenage girls who like, say 'like' a lot".
- Take the iPod earphones out of your ears when entering the interview (though responding with "It proves that I can multitask" when this is pointed out is not bad).
- If you really feel the job is not for you, feel free to say so honestly and with a smile. Don't excuse yourself in the middle of the interview, say you're going to the bathroom and never return.
- Before the interview commences, don't use your camera phone to take a photo of the startled HR Manager and say that it's "Just so I can remember which people I have seen today".
- Don't use the letterhead from your current employer on your cover letter.
- You will be asked "What are your weaknesses?" Try to come up with something better than "I find it hard to get up in the mornings so I sometimes turn up late".
- Yes, some habits are hard to break. But chewing your nails throughout the entire interview, and spitting out bits as you go will simply not do. Wear gloves.
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