First impressions are important, and 44 percent of employers responding to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) say it's a job candidate's general demeanor that first gets their attention.
But, sometimes, what a person actually does in the job interview can ruin a favorable first impression.
College recruiters responding to NACE's Job Outlook 2000 survey were asked about their worst interview experiences. The majority cited interviews in which the candidate knew nothing about the company or the job opening.
This included people who confused the employer with a competitor, and those who couldn't even place the employer in the right industry - such as a candidate who mistook an accounting firm for an aerospace manufacturer.
Many recruiters said their worst experiences involved applicants with poor communications skills - the top personal quality they seek in new hires.
Of course, some respondents also cited experiences that border on the absurd. Here are some of the things recruiters say candidates did during job interviews:
*Brought lunch and ate it during the interview.
Swigged spring water from a bottle throughout the interview.
*Flirted with the recruiter.
*Said the application did not provide enough room to list his criminal convictions.
*Came to the interview intoxicated.
*Responded "I don't know" to all 13 of the recruiter's questions.
*Used foul language.
*Said the recruiter was "a fool" for not hiring him.
*Appeared at the interview with multiple piercings on her face.
*Tried to sell personal grooming products to other candidates while awaiting the interview.
*Asked to borrow money from the recruiter for parking.
*Told the recruiter he was very interested in working for the company's competitor.
*Wore swim trunks, a T-shirt, and loafers (sans socks) to the interview.
*Verbally abused the recruiter for asking questions not to his liking.
*Complained to the recruiter that the interview questions were "too hard."
*Put his feet up on the interview table and talked about adult entertainment.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society