There’s no denying that mobile phones play an important part in today’s culture. In fact, a great number of people consider cell-phones to be an indispensable part of modern-day living. Cell-phones come in extra-handy when emergencies arise, and no doubt your own phone has saved you from countless awkward situations. However, there are certain scenarios where the use of this wonderful technological contraption can be considered mildly taboo, and I’m not just referring to weddings and first dates. I’m talking about how the use of your mobile can affect your chances of getting a job.
In >a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 71 percent of the 2,400 managers who participated in the study said that it’s a deal-breaker when an applicant answers a call while being interviewed. It doesn’t matter if you’re skilled enough for the job, if you leave a bad impression on a prospective boss, you can expect that impression to stick.
To avoid this unfortunate incident, it’s best to explore Office Cell-Phone Etiquette. You can start with the five ways your mobile can stop you from getting the job that you want:
#1: Answering a call in the middle of the interview
As aforementioned, one of the biggest mistakes a job seeker can make while being interviewed is picking up a call. This holds true 99.9 percent of the time, so never answer the phone when you’re in the hot seat. Not only does it look rude and unprofessional, it also gives your prospective boss the impression that you’re not taking the job, or worse, him/her seriously.
Bosses and interviewers understand that you may want to pick up the phone in case it’s an emergency. But let’s be honest. When was the last time you had a real emergency call while in a job interview?
#2: Texting while being interviewed
Reading or replying to an SMS message is almost as rude as picking up a call while in an interview. Actually, texting might even be worse – especially if you don’t stop with the first message. Also, no matter how discreet you think you’re being, chances are, your potential boss knows when you’re texting someone.
A friend of mine, Cate, works as a Human Resources manager in New York, and according to her, she could easily tell if a person’s texting even if it’s from behind the desk. So what are the giveaways? Misplaced “mmhmms” and “yeses”. While it’s embarrassing to be caught texting while in an interview, it’s even more embarrassing if you’re caught not paying attention to your interviewer.
Truth be told, bosses like it when you’re able to multitask, but texting while in an important job interview isn’t the type of multitasking your potential boss would want to see.
#3: Keeping the interviewer waiting as you talk on the phone
Most job seekers would think it’s fine to call people while the interview hasn’t officially started. However this should not always be the case. Technically, yes, as long as the boss hasn’t arrived, you can still answer calls. But if you’re around 5 minutes away from the interview time, then I suggest putting your phone on silent mode and ignoring it. That way, in case you get called in early, you won’t have to keep the interviewer waiting.
#4: Not putting your phone on silent mode
Minutes before your job interview, as you sit in the lobby with the rest of the applicants, what do you do? While most people do discreet touch-ups, finding reflective surfaces to check if they look okay, others whip out their PDAs and cell-phones for that final text or tweet before the interview. Few people, however, bother to turn off their phones or to at least put them on silent mode.
Now, this isn’t really a problem – until someone calls or texts you. I’ve had one interview that went really well, until the interviewee’s phone started ringing loudly. The ring tone? Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” To the interviewee’s credit, she had no intentions of picking up the phone. The only problem was that after this fumble, the job applicant became so nervous that the interview went downhill from there.
#5: Talking aloud while in the office premises
Sure, you got in early and your interview’s still an hour away. You have time to burn. But that doesn’t mean that you should phone a friend and gab away for the next hour or so. Bear in mind that even while the interview hasn’t started, you’re already in the office premises. You’d want to leave a good impression on everyone you meet – and that’s just not possible if you talk too loudly on the phone for too long.
If you really need to call someone up, try to find a place where you won’t be bothering anyone. Should there be no other place but the lobby, then the least you can do is keep your voice low and soft. That way, other people can’t pick up on your private conversations.
Now that you know the pet peeves most managers have when interviewing people, it’s up to you to stop your cell-phone from robbing you of the job that you want. The foolproof way of preventing mobile interruptions during your interview? Turn off your cell-phone, or at least put it on silent mode. After all, you can always turn it back on once the interview’s done.