Increasingly younger candidates are exhibiting some rather bizarre behaviour in job interviews that puts them instantly out of the running for jobs.

In the heat of last summer, I wrote an article reminding people to wear pants to job interviews. This was in response to a young man who came into a job interview for a position here at Workopolis wearing shorts. This seemed to be a sure way to indicate that you’re not really interested in impressing your potential employer or actually landing the job.

Dressing professionally is important to note. According to a new survey by Adecco, fully half of hiring managers say one of the biggest interview mistakes that Millennials (people aged from 18-34) make is showing up to the interview inappropriately dressed.

Interestingly, 30% also said that the worst things young candidates do is checking their phones or sending text messages during the job interview.

Texting during the job interview. Really?

A new survey of hiring managers and HR executives published on CNBC this week shows that this half-hearted approach to job interviews is becoming more commonplace. It’s causing a generation already struggling with high unemployment to miss out on opportunities.

Mara Swan, executive vice president of Manpower told CNBC, “Life has gotten more casual. They don’t realize (the interview) is a sales event.”

Turn your phone off before going into the interview. Don’t touch it or look at it until you are out again. Answering the interviewer’s questions and promoting your ability to do the job and your passion for the role deserve your full attention.

Oh, and leave your parents and pets at home. Mark Dillon, the former recruiting director for American Eagle tells CNBC the story of a young woman who brought her crated cat to the job interview and set it on the desk. She proceeded to play with it off and on throughout the interview. “It hit me like,” says Dillon, “Why would you think that’s OK?”

The Adecco survey also points out that it’s possible to ruin a job interview after the fact. 12% of recruiters surveyed said that candidates damaged the impression they had made by tweeting or posting about the interview on their social media sites. Employers will be looking you up, so be aware of what you post online before and after the interview.

And of course, remember to wear pants.

The full results of the Adecco Way to Work Survey are summarized in this infographic.


Peter Harris

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