Let it Go to Voicemail During a Job Interview

April 28, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Nearly seven-in-ten (68%) employers surveyed by Vault said they would disqualify a job candidate for taking a cell phone call during an interview.

Over a quarter (26%) of employers said a candidate has taken a cell phone call during an interview. Over half (59%) said candidates’ manners during interviews have deteriorated over the past few years.

Other negative behaviors during interviews employers surveyed cited include:

  • Dressing inappropriately – 87%,
  • Using profanity – 43%,
  • Bringing a child – 19%,
  • Leaving before the end of the interview – 12%,
  • Taking a long bathroom break during the interview – 5%, and
  • Applying makeup during the interview – 3%.

Being on time was also important to employers. Twelve percent said they would disqualify a candidate who was 5 minutes late for the interview, 19% said being 10 minutes late would disqualify a candidate, and nearly a third (30%) said a candidate would be disqualified for being 15 minutes late.

Though 39% of employers surveyed said it was extremely important for a candidate to send a thank-you note after an interview and 41% said it was somewhat important, only 5% said they would reject a candidate who did not. Almost all (98%) employers said an email thank-you note was acceptable.

There seems to be a double standard, however, when it comes to interview etiquette. Fifty-six percent of employees surveyed said they have experienced an interviewer interrupting an interview to take a cell phone call. In addition, 71% said they have been rejected for a job by not hearing from the potential employer at all after an interview, but most (61%) feel the appropriate way for them to reject a job offer is by phone.

After the Job Offer

The survey also found 74% of employers said they have had a candidate accept a position then leave the company within 30 days. Seventy-seven percent have also had a new employee call before his or her start date to change plans, and 38% said a new employee has called before a start date to re-open salary negotiations.

Among employees surveyed, 48% said they have accepted a position and then left the company within 30 days, 43% have called just before a start date to change plans, and 15% have attempted to renegotiate salary just before a start date.