Ohio University Office of Career Services

Cell phone manners matter! by Alyse K

Recently, as I escorted a potential candidate to the door at the end of her interview, she pulled out her cell phone and began searching through it.  I found this situation very disconcerting.  While she may have been simply checking the time, she could have been reading a text message, email, or checking for missed calls.  This gave me the troubling impression that she was not focused on our recent interview and was missing out on valuable time to converse with me about the position.

Checking our cell phone and carrying it with us has become almost like second nature.  It is important to remember that during an interview, these habits can cause employers to form negative impressions of a candidate who may be viewed as uninterested and distracted.

Here are some tips to remember when interviewing:

  • The interview begins well before you sit down at the desk with the interviewer.  Avoid using your cell phone while in the waiting room.  Take out a notebook, study your notes, or browse company information available in the waiting room.   Even if you are reading information about the company online or reading your notes on your phone, it can come across to an employer as though you are not focused on the interview at hand.
  • Never set your cell phone on the table top during an interview.  Leave your cell phone in the car.   Avoid temptation.  No phone call or text message will be important enough to interrupt an interview.
  • If you must bring your cell phone with you, make sure to turn it to silent.  It can be very distracting to have your cell phone ring in the middle of an interview—even if it is set to vibrate.

—Heather Pittman, Career Services Interim Assistant Director

Good luck on finals and have a safe and fun spring break! We’ll see you again spring quarter!

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