Start to slap your own hands when you bite your nails, wear pants or a skirt that makes it impossible for you to cross your legs, put so much hair spray in your hair that the feel of it makes your skin crawl, and listen to your speech in a tape recorder during a conversation to remove those annoying extras.

And if you're reading this and believe that the only time the nose pick happens is when you're alone in your car, think again. Private habits are never really private now, are they?

receptionist secretary sitting behind desk

No. 2: Receptionists have feelings (and power) too

Your job interview was scheduled at 2 p.m. and now it's 3 p.m. and you're still waiting. Surely, it's the receptionist's fault. She/he didn't call them to announce your arrival, they should call again, it is their job to find out why the person is making you wait and announce that to you.

Wrong, wrong and wrong again.

Make no mistake, the receptionist at any company wields power. They are put there as the first line of defense to everyone who passes through that door, ergo their opinion many times is paramount.

The receptionist is who decides what kind of first impression you make. Talking a blue streak on your cell phone while waiting is another first impression faux pas. It might seem like a good way to pass the time, but it can also indicate lack of concentration, patience and respect. And don't think the person in charge won't hear about your whining about the drab color scheme, uncomfortable chairs, and the hour-long wait.

woman with resume at job interview

No. 1: Why did I bring this dummy along?

Most of the reason interview blunders happen are because of nerves, but some of them are just out of sheer stupidity.

Careerbuilder.com recently released findings from a survey of 3,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals about some of the most unbelievable (we'll call them stupid) interview blunders.

  • One candidate answered their cell phone then asked the interviewer to leave their own office because the conversation was "private."
  • A man smelled his armpits on the way into the interview room.
  • A woman who had applied for an accounting position said she was a "people person" not a "numbers person."
  • An interviewee asked for a ride home following the interview.
  • A man said he was fired from his last job for beating up his boss.

In job interviews as in life, it's all about how you play your cards. Good rule of thumb: Don't check your common sense at the door.


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