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Hiring Managers Are Tired Of Job Applicants' Bad Attitude

Interviewing for jobs and getting nowhere? Well, you might want to start acting like you're interested in the job.

Attention, interviewees: Employers think you're just not that into them, because you keep sitting there like a bump on a log with that blank stare on your face, taking phone calls during the job interview, and then when the interviewer asks if you have any questions about the job, you don't have any. I take that back. You do have a few questions, such as, "How soon can I get vacation time?" and "How many breaks would I get?" Really!?

Yes, according to a new CareerBuilder/Harris Interactive survey that ranks "failure to appear interested in the job during an interview" as THE number one mistake U.S. job seekers are making day in, day out. Nearly two-thirds (62%) -- two thirds! -- of hiring managers surveyed said job applicants doom themselves by not seeming at all interested in the job.

While acting above it all can work while stupidly dating ("He seems sooooo uninterested in me, I MUST HAVE HIM!"), it can be incredibly detrimental on the job hunt, where the hiring manager will drop you like a hot rock at the first hint of ennui or Franz Kafka-like Existentialism. I know, I know. The hiring manager cannot possibly understand your individualized human existence based on social media over-use and hours spent listening to Skrillex on your iPod. I feel you. But you know what? You need to...take it away, Larry David (Warning: Language NSFW).

If you want the job for real, then you have to act like you want the job. It's that simple. Stop acting like you'd rather be someplace else, sit up, smile, listen, be mentally present, look people in the eye. Then "flip it and topsy-turvy that mother*&%^$#" by asking a few good questions, and by "good" questions I mean asking about the work itself and NOT about the work schedule. For example, you might ask, "What kinds of projects would I get to work on?" or "Would there be future opportunities for advancement?" Now you're talking!

Whatever you do, don't curb your enthusiasm by looking too cool but don't look too desperate, either. There's a fine line here. You don't want to come off looking like a creepy, job-seeking Brent Musberger, do you?

And if you don't want the job, don't bother to interview for it because you're taking away the opportunity from someone else who would really like the job. Tell your nagging mom that you're not going to apply there because it's not the right job for you, and you don't want to waste everyone's time. Then look for job openings that do seem right for you and make you excited. If she gets excited and flips out, then topsy-turvy that...oh, nevermind.


  1. “If you want the job for real, then you have to act like you want the job.” — Thanks for pointing that out, Chris! It really can be difficult for job seekers to show their enthusiasm about the work they’re applying for if they are nervous, which leads them to act stiff and guarded. I think the wisest thing to do is apply for a job you really want so you won't have any problems.

    Andrew Calvillo


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