Don’t Bring Your Cat To a Job Interview If You Want To Get Hired

Too many young people are unprepared for the job interview process

Jul 19, 2014 at 11:30AM

Flickr / eva101.

This is the time of year when college graduates are out in force, searching for jobs and lining up interviews. Sadly, many of those who score face-to-face interviews will not be hired – not because they aren't adequately educated, but because they simply do not know how to behave during meetings with hiring managers.

Interpersonal skills are sorely lacking
Employers have long noted that the Millennial generation has a deficit of social skills that are crucial to workplace success. Poor communication skills and a lack of preparedness for the workaday world loom large, and may be at the root of some strange behavior that young people have been known to exhibit during job interviews.

Last year, a USA Today article described some of the weird things new college graduates did on their interviews, including bringing a pet cat along – and interacting more with the animal than with the hiring manager. 

Young applicants have also brought their parents into job interviews, as well as taken cell phone calls and sent texts. In a survey of hiring managers last summer by staffing firm Express Employment, 61% of respondents ranked answering a call the second-worst thing job applicants can do during an interview – immediately following lying about one's work experience. 

Another issue is Millennials' casual approach to appearance. Employers still expect applicants to dress professionally and be well-groomed when they show up for an interview, and sloppy attire will quickly turn off any HR manager. Last year, an Adecco Staffing survey showed half of hiring managers believed that showing up to an interview wearing inappropriate attire is the worst mistake applicants can make.

Tips for making a good impression
Now that it's clear what employers don't want, how can applicants ace job interviews once they've dressed up and turned off their phones? Three very important factors come through loud and clear:


Flickr / withassociates.

1. Resumes are still extremely important. In the Adecco survey, 54% of managers said that a poor resume will prevent an applicant from being granted an interview. Spelling mistakes really rankle, and will put you out of the running very quickly.

2. You should be clear and articulate during the interview. Poor communication skills are cited often by HR managers as problematic during an interview, and the ability to successfully interact with other people is considered crucial to job success by 83% of managers, according to Millennial Branding.

3. Don't be afraid to show some personality, and radiate a positive attitude. A recent poll by CareerBuilder showed that 72% of employers value this particular soft skill. Only dependability and a strong work ethic scored higher with HR managers.

Being properly prepared before a job interview will not only impress the hiring manager, but will make you stand out from the rest of the applicants in a very positive way. Being prepared has another advantage: You will feel more comfortable during the interview, making communication much less stilted.

And, of course, leave the parents – and the pets – at home.

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4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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