Human resource pros tell you what to do—and what not to do—when meeting to discuss an employment opportunity.
1. “It’s amazing when people come in for an interview and say, ‘Can you tell me about your business?’ Seriously, people. There’s an Internet. Look it up.” –HR professional in New York City
2. “A lot of managers don’t want to hire people with young kids, and they use all sorts of tricks to find that out, illegally. One woman kept a picture of two really cute children on her desk even though she didn’t have children [hoping job candidates would ask about them]. Another guy used to walk people out to their car to see whether they had car seats.” –Cynthia Shapiro, former human resources executive and author of Corporate Confidential: 50 Secrets Your Company Doesn’t Want You to Know
3. “Is it harder to get the job if you’re fat? Absolutely. Hiring managers make quick judgments based on stereotypes. They’re just following George Clooney’s character in Up in the Air, who said ‘I stereotype. It’s faster.’” –Suzanne Lucas, a former HR executive and the Evil HR Lady on bnet.com
4. “I once had a hiring manager who refused to hire someone because the job required her to be on call one weekend a month and she had talked in the interview about how much she goes to church. Another candidate didn’t get hired because the manager was worried that the car he drove wasn’t nice enough.” –HR professional at a midsize firm in North Carolina
5. “Don’t just silence your phone for the interview. Turn it all the way off.” –Sharlyn Lauby, HR consultant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
6. “If you’ve got a weak handshake, I make a note of it.” –HR manager at a medical-equipment sales firm
7. “If you’re a candidate and the hiring manager spends 45 minutes talking about himself, the company or his Harley, let him. He’s going to come out of the interview saying you’re a great candidate.” –Kris Dunn, chief human resources officer at Atlanta-based Kinetix, who blogs at hrcapitalist.com