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What Are Hiring Managers Looking For? Good Manners

CareerBuilder is out today with another survey of hiring managers.

In this one, hiring managers were asked about the things applicants do during interviews that drive them absolutely freaking bonkers. Here's what they said:

71% -- Answering a cell phone or texting during the interview
69% -- Dressing inappropriately
69% -- Appearing disinterested
66% -- Appearing arrogant
63% -- Speaking negatively about a current or previous employer
59% -- Chewing gum
35% -- Not providing specific answers
32% -- Not asking good questions

What jumps out at me is that the first six things on the list have nothing to do with knowledge and skill level and everything to do with manners and social etiquette.

Job applicants are blowing job opportunities due to their own poor manners. It turns out Mom was right, as always. Sit up straight. Spit out the gum. Don't mumble. Look people in the eye. Don't cop an attitude. Remember to say "thank you." And are you really going to wear that out of the house? No, I don't think so. Go back to your room and change, because you're not leaving the house in that outfit. In ten years, you can dress like that for a job interview and lose credibility with the hiring manager, but as long as you're living in my house you'll follow my rules, got it? Now do your homework.

Apparently, a good number of hiring managers wish job applicants would have listened to Mom. Sigh.

So EQ is just as important, if not more so, than IQ in a job interview. On a good note, this means job applicants can ask a few clunker questions as long as their good manners more than make up for it. Asking if they can leave early on Fridays still isn't a good idea, though.

Read more about the study here.


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