Hiring Managers Reveal Do’s and Don’ts for Job Seekers

Poll results released by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) revealed that 54 percent of 498 hiring managers surveyed make their final decision to hire based on chemistry. A closer look shows that 15 percent of the managers polled say “chemistry” is 75 percent of the final hire decision while 39 percent of those polled report chemistry is 50 percent of the final decision. 

Highlighting the importance of chemistry, 30 percent of respondents said the “not-to-hire decision” is made within 15 minutes of meeting the job candidate. Another 28 percent make the decision to not hire someone within five minutes of meeting. Fifty-six percent of the managers polled rank first a candidate’s “skills directly related to the job” while 42 percent say “a good fit with team members/the organization.” The HR professionals surveyed also say that candidates who stand out during the job interview demonstrate professionalism and a strong work ethic (32 percent), passion for the job (20 percent), and are personable (14 percent).

Among the 16 interview don’ts cited, HR professionals report the worst offenses to be:

  • Typos or grammatical errors in cover letters and resumes – (58 percent say “deal breaker” and 41 percent say “somewhat of a problem”)
  • Arriving late for the interview – (58 percent say “deal breaker” and 39 percent say “somewhat of a problem”)
  •   Dressing too provocatively – (67 percent say “deal breaker” and 28 percent say “somewhat of a problem”)

Additionally, HR professionals polled said they are 86 percent less likely to hire a job candidate whose social networking profile or tweets showed evidence of unprofessional behavior. Unprofessional social networking profiles include drunken party photos, sexually suggestive content, and indiscreet comments about a former employer or boss.

How job seekers act after the interview also matters to hiring managers. Fifty percent of HR respondents surveyed say post-interview thank-you notes are best delivered via e-mail, compared with regular mail (28 percent) or combination of both (17 percent). Also, they prefer candidates keep to a minimum inquiries about the status of the job opening. Specifically, 76 percent of HR respondents recommend job candidates call or e-mail no more than once a week. Five percent say that a candidate should never call or e-mail to inquire about the job opening post-interview.

Are you a hiring manager with something to add?  Tell us in the comment section!

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