It is the annual article that basically writes itself, but I wish it didn’t. In what has now become a new calendar year tradition, this week we have the 2020 edition of “Don’t Do It!” For those few unfamiliar with the “Don’t Do It” concept, a brief overview (or refresher) is in order.

Over the course of a year, I have many conversations with different Recruiters and Hiring Managers. During these chats the topic often turns to some of the unusual things Job Seekers do during the recruiting process. My reaction is almost always the same, “Oh My” and quickly followed with “I Need to Write This Down”. What you read below are the results of my efforts during the course of the past year to collect interesting anecdotes that can be used for educational purposes. The idea being to learn from other’s mistakes and to avoid making them yourself.

So, now that everyone is level set regarding the theme of this column, let’s get started with my latest “Don’t Do It” (don’t forget you can go online at for the full archive of past editions).

• Make Sure You Have the Time: One of the most common complaints I heard from Recruiters is the Job Seeker that does not seem to have the time for them. The most extreme example I heard was the Job Seeker who answered the phone for a scheduled phone interview from their car and, during the course of the conversation, drove to a fast food restaurant and had to place the Recruiter on hold as they he ordered through the drive thru window. Your job search should be a priority and must take precedent over most other activities in your life. Also, the Recruiter and/or Hiring Manager you are working with are very busy and you should be as sensitive to their time as possible.

• If You Are Too Sick, Then Reschedule: It is impossible to plan when you will be ill and, although you sometimes feel some warning signs, no one really knows when it will occur. In other words, sometimes things happen (such as illness) and you are left no choice but to reschedule your appointment. In the midst of cold and flu season, your Recruiter will understand and would rather have you reschedule and talk to you when you are at your best. Don’t make the decision that one candidate did when deciding to go through with a phone interview while ill. This person went as far as placing the Recruiter on hold so they could “spit” on several occasions.

• Ask the Necessary Questions at the Right Time: Not everything is an emergency and how you handle certain situations will typically be a reflection of how you will handle like issues when in the job. For example, showing up unannounced at the place of business in order to ask a benign question about a future Dr. appointment is not a good look.

• Adjust Your E-Mail Address: In what feels like an annual submission to “Don’t Do It”, comes my urging to use an e-mail address that does not contain any offensive or sexually suggestive language. So, if your e-mail address contains the terms “hot” or “sexy”, then you should either change it immediately, or open up a separate professional e-mail address you can use.

• Be Sure To Get Plenty of Rest: An interview is a very important event and you should add being well rested to your list of required items. One Hiring Manager was telling me of a time when she needed to step out unexpectedly for a brief moment right before starting the discussion. When she came back, the candidate had dozed off and needed to be woken up in order to continue. Not a good look!

• Why Are You Asking: It is hard not to draw a conclusion when a person starts asking a number of detailed questions about the employer’s drug testing process. When you are asked about what drugs will be specifically tested for and exactly when the test will be held, it generally means that the candidate has a vested interest in the subject.

Well, there we are for another year of “Don’t Do It!” Remember, the idea is not to “make fun” of these candidates, but rather to learn from them in order to avoid making the same mistakes. As you know, a job search goes far beyond your experience, skills, and education and how you handle yourself is critical.

As always, best of luck in your job search.

The following has been prepared for the general information of RochesterJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.

Joe Stein
WNY Human Resources Professional

Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at:
Joe Stein


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