One of the original Surf Report Rules of Thumb states, “You CAN judge a book by its cover.” And I stand by that proclamation. However, it’s just a rule a thumb, meaning it’s only true most of the time — not all the time.
During my ridiculous life I’ve encountered a handful of people I originally misjudged. But it’s rare. I’d say I have no initial opinion about 75% of the population, and only form one when they do something (good or bad) that warrants it. The other 25%? I think I’m pretty good at sizing ’em up with a single glance.
And it only takes me about two minutes to zero-in on “complications” (if any) with the 75%. After a brief 2 or 3 minute conversation, I know.
Unfortunately I’ve never been in a position where I can hire people on my own. I’ve been on small committees that decided as a group about potential new employees, but I’ve never wielded such power by myself. I know I’d be great at it, though. In fact, one of the all-time best.
Here are some automatic disqualifiers:
- Anyone who shows up for an interview in shorts, flip-flops, NASCAR wear, novelty t-shirts (including tour shirts, or anything that hints at a political axe to grind), hats, dress shirts missing a button or apparently pulled from the bottom of a hamper, or fingerless gloves. I call this category the Dipshit Jubilee.
- Anyone who answers the “Why did you leave your previous job?” question with a tale of victimhood, and/or something to do with their “impossible” supervisor.
- Anyone under the age of 25.
- Anyone who starts talking about their medical history, unprovoked.
- Anyone with even the slightest hint of ‘tude. You’re exasperated and/or bored by this process? See ya.
- Anyone who asks about the amount of vacation time they’ll earn, before the job has been offered to them.
- Anyone who doesn’t sit straight up in their chair.
There are others, many others, but I can’t think of them right now. And I admit the one about people under the age of 25 might be a bit unfair (and illegal). But I’m just playing the percentages here… There’s way too much drama and half-assery in that age group. Who needs it?
I’d be open to being convinced in the under-25 category, but the others are absolute.
Wanna help me complete the list of automatic hiring disqualifiers? Please do so in the comments section below. Also, if you disagree with any of my opinions… let’s hear it. You’re wrong, of course, but I’d like to know your point of view.
And I need to call it a day now. I’ll be back tomorrow with more of this quality entertainment.
See ya then!
Now playing in the bunker
Treat yourself at Amazon: US and Canada
WB in OH says
Under 25? We hire school to work kids taking a vocational program suited to our particular trade. We hire about 4 a year and end up with 1 or 2 pretty good kids every year.
ears with massive metal/glass/plastic o-rings mounted sideways is a sure ticket to the unemployment line
Or is that a given?
Miss Q says
There are no givens (given’s??). I hadn’t even considered face tattoos. My horizons have now been broadened.
Miss Q says
You asked for it. Here’s my (partial) list:
Having any hair color that does not occur in nature.
Having hair in your eyes. And for God’s sake, don’t do that stupid sideways head-twitch to knock it out of the way.
Wearing make-up that looks anything less than professional.
Wearing big hoop earrings. Earrings should not, I repeat NOT, rest on your shoulders.
I should be hiring manager for this company. I would rock at it.
Swami Bologna says
Anyone with more facial hair than a neatly-trimmed mustache. (And the mustache-wearers get extra scrutiny.)
I’m 48 and have interviewed with, and have been hired with, my goatee or full beard (either/both always neatly trimmed) for jobs for 25+ years with no problem/issue.
Miss Q says
Dave, you didn’t come on here with a serious frame of mind today, did you? You have forgotten where you are, man! This is the WVSR, there will be no serious responses here. Banter only. I said, BANTER ONLY!
But you never REALLY know, do you?
I’m with Miss Q, and have responded accordingly.
Patty (In Cleveland) says
Any weird piercings–our owner forbids them
I think there are few things that say “unemployable” like a face and/or neck tattoo.
On the hat rule- does that mean baseball caps only, or does it include fine headwear as one might find from a hatter? The hat would of course be removed upon entry to the buliding.
Also, I think that rule is waived in Texas for cowboy hats.
Lucie in Tampa says
best one I have witnessed was a skeevy looking guy who interviewed for a warehouse position & then came back 2 days later and asked if he had passed the drug test or not…..
Also my current company was hiring over the past 2 months and I witnessed a few come in with red eyes smelling like weed & one who smelled like he just chugged a beer at 10 am…
someone else passed onto interview stage (hard to do) said he had a clean background, the morning of the interview we got his background… he was convicted of taking up the skirt pictures at the mall….
WB in OH says
That’s illegal? Shit!
Lucie in Tampa says
lol… killing me here…. we had a rash of those up the skirt offenders a few years back…..
I’m going with presentable make-up, hair and attire. Also included are nails. Don’t come into an interview with those 3 inch ghetto fingernails polished up looking like a hot pink zebra. It’s not the least bit attractive, nor is it in fashion.
On the other hand, wear SOME make-up. I’ve seen women come in looking like they’ve been on a bender and couldn’t sleep it off.
Gum chewing is another game killer.
Miss Q says
We have a mix of women here. Some look perfectly presentable, office-wise. Others look, as you describe, like they haven’t gotten over their last binge-drinking episode, and still others dress like they’re in a nightclub. It’s astonishing, really.
Swami Bologna says
Plus, how does one properly wipe one’s booty or pooty with three-inch fingernails?
Miss Q says
I have often wondered that very thing! Thank goodness you were able to put in into words. And so succinctly, at that.
Lucie in Tampa says
HA! too funny, there is a woman who works at my local wal mart who has SUPER LONG fingernails, real ones she has been growing them for years, i have seen her there at our store for over 5 years, they are all curly and frankly gross… my b/f asked me the other day “how do you think she wipes her ass?” worst part her name is Lucy. fuk. at least it’s not spelled the same…. I guess… I want to ask her cuz now I really need to know!
Root 66 says
She lets someone else do it? I don’t really know…
Maybe she has a bidet? Those long funky, curly nails make me gag. Imagine the dirt and filth caught underneath them?
I’ve done my share of interviews and the shit that comes out of some people’s mouths is astounding:
“My only real weakness is that I tend to run late.”
“Lots of people tell me that I care too much. That I work too hard, but I can’t help it. I CARE.”
“Do you guys ever press charges?”
And on and on and on. I usually don’t hire smokers for the office because I can’t stand for them to fucking disappear several times a day. Sorry.
Anyone that’s been reading some bullshit on the web about how to “ace your interview” is an idiot. It’s very clear when you try to do that. “Now, sir, may I ask you a few questions?” No you may not. Fuck off.
Anyone with annoying speech habits “know what I’m sayin” or “and all that” or “anywho!!!” they get disqualified on the spot.
“Like, um…I just tend to run late sometimes…”
I second the vote on repetitive speech patterns. Mkay? Mkay? MMMMMMMMMMkay?
Like…………. Like……….Like……….. etc……
– Beginning sentences with “so” for no reason
– Inappropriate or excessive use of “actually”
– “gnome sane” or “y’feel me”
And anyone who tries to infuse the word “game-changer” 27 times in thee sentences gets the automatic boot.
A woman with big tits and a nice ass.
No, wait. Wrong list. Sorry.
I personally have a great deal of trouble applying eye makeup (seriously near-sighted, and contacts are problematic for me). I’d probably look more “professional” (hopefully not in the “working girl” sense) without it.
I’d agree with face/neck tattoo-ing, facial piercings, or ghetto-style grooming as disqualifiers, mostly because those appearance factors have a strong linkage to lousy attitude that would make for a poor employee.
Showing up late (without very good cause) or sloppy, or giving the interviewer attitude, would also make my list.
eL ME says
If they forget to put their cell phone on silent or if they are chewing gum!
I suppose it depends on the type of job you are talking about.
Mac: I’m saying I did an ocular assessment of the situation garnered that he was not a security risk and I cleared him for passage.
Not sure about the age of 25 thing. What’s the difference if they are 25, versus 26 or 27? I think under the age of 21 would be more applicable. Personally, I did a lot of growing up after the age of the 21. I’ve been working my way up in a highly annoying, yet, respectable position in an office on steroids and have earned my stripes here since I’ve turned 23. At 18-21, hell no. I was still discovering myself, working my way through a shitty relationship, in and out of waitressing positions, and I would have been a terrible canidate. People grow up and mature, and I think they should deserve a chance. I guess that’s why they have probationary periods at most places, but I don’t think under the age of 25 should automatically disqualify. I’d change that to 21. Honestly though, not all people are assholes like I was at 21, so this one is just iffy in general. There’s a kid in town who owned 3 businesses by the age of 18, and running for State Senate by 26. So, like I said, iffy.
Whoops! My comments weren’t showing up so I retyped it. Dammit. I liked the second one better anyway. Jeff, a possible delete button someday would be good 😉
“Anyone under the age of 25.” Fuck you. However, it is not discrimination or against the law to not hire young people. The only age laws are to defend against not hiring old people; which is strange to me because I now of many situations where younger people were not hired due to age and nothing else. I’ve never seen an occurrence of an old person being discriminated against, but that might just be because of the law.
When I was 21 or 22 I was passed over for a government job because I was too young. I was told straight up at the end of the interview, “We think you are great for this position. You are clearly the best person for the job, you had some of the best answers we’ve heard, but we just don’t want to have to explain to retired Sergeant Major’s and Colonels that their new boss is so much younger than them.”
I filed complaints and went to the Inspector General with that, but it didn’t matter. There is not protection or recourse for the young against age discrimination.
Now for my list:
Anyone over the age of 45. Take that fuckers.
If they are already receiving one pension. You are already getting paid for something you aren’t even doing anymore, give someone else a chance you greedy bastard.
They expect answers after they make statements that are not questions. If there isn’t a question mark at the end of your statement, stop looking at me like a cat who hears a can opener.
They have a smell. Bad smells are the worst, but all else being equal, the person who doesn’t have a smell gets the job. I don’t want to walk through the general population office to my sweet sood paneled office in the back and feel like I just went through the detergent section at Mega-Low Mart.
They smell like gasoline. I don’t care if you come to work drunk, just don’t try to hide it. How else will I know who to get a swig from.
They have fancy hair. I’m sorry your show was canceled Mr. Fieri, I think the Sonic Drive-in needs a new intercom maintenance administrator.
They talk about things they have done but not about things they can do. I don’t care that you provided blood to a spider monkey so that you could finish your K2 climb together, can you fucking answer the phone without sounding like a jackass.
If they seem more dedicated to appearance than they are to product. You can look Tommy Lee in a blender of all I care, so long as the spider webs are cleaned out of the supply closet, your TPS reports are on time, and your 3-foot long meat bat doesn’t interfere with the customers’ access to giving me their money. If you look like Fred Astaire but have to ask for permission to answer some customers question, check the classifieds before you use them as sheets for your bench ’cause your ass won’t be working here.
If they talk about their degree without being asked. Great you have a master’s degree, who doesn’t? Are you smarter than a 5th grader? Yes. Good, get our of my office and make there there are 12 eggs in each dozen.
They ask about the pornography policy at work. I wouldn’t mind if they looked at porn or not, just asking about it is what would bother me. Especially if you have your own office. Just so long as it doesn’t smell like cum and ball hair in here I don’t care what you look at. But if you have to ask, then you already think there might be a problem with it, and I don’t want to have to deal with that shit when you are keeping Tommy Lee up there from getting to his fork lift keys because you want his not fully absorbed fetus twin so far up your ass you can taste the tip.
If they ride the bus. These people are always full of excuses for being late and leaving early.
As soon as I find out about their recent surgery or doctor visit, regardless of outcome, they are off the list. I don’t care about this, which means I didn’t ask about it. If I didn’t ask about it, I don’t want to hear it. If you are telling me anyway then you are going to be the woman who keeps saying, “Oh, one more thing…”. and always needs her cars oil changed every damn week.
If you speak your punctuation. “This is a great plan comma but I don’t think it will work.” Or “That’s the way it’s going to be period.” I know where you pause in your speech by the way words aren’t coming out of your mouth. However, if you are the type that is stating the punctuation, then there probably isn’t really much pausing is there, you gas bag.
Miss Q says
And the nomination for “Comment of the Day” goes to…..
Thank the lord you’re not a hiring manager.
Try getting a job if you’re over 55. Age-related discrimination is ubiquitous.
If you’re 23, there’s a pretty good chance you don’t have the 10-15 years of technical experience I’m looking for, and there’s even a better chance you don’t have much experience with human business dynamics. I have never, in 35 years of being a hiring manager, seen a young person not hired because of age. Lack of experience, sure.
If you don’t mind whether people look at porn at work, you are inviting a sexual harassment / hostile work environment lawsuit. You’d know that if you had more experience. No sane applicant asks about porno policies. In my life, no one ever has.
I don’t care about hair, fancy or otherwise. I care about experience, potential and communications skills. Fuck hair.
Do you have any idea what Fred Astaire looks like?
I WANT to hear about things people have done. That discussion illuminates skills in meeting deadlines, achieving goals, and working well with others. I don’t really care what they think they CAN do. Hell, technology is going to change the nature of the job soon anyway. I want to know about their adaptability.
I”ve had some top-notch performers over the years who rode the bus. Of course, for overnight and weekend work they’d drive their car. What do you care how people get to work as long as they’re puncual? Dedicated employees who use public transportation shouldn’t pay the price for your limited observations of previous employees who couldn’t make it to work on time.
And I don’t care whether the prospective employee is drawing a pension, has a wealthy spouse, made a million on his baseball card collection, or is third in line to the British throne. Competence, curiousity, generosity of spirit, a knack for learning new things quickly, and a sense of humor have little to do with the presence of another income, but are reasonable predictors of job performance.
I’d very much like to give you the gift of an open mind, but I fear it’s a little late for that.
Best of luck anyway….jtb
Calm down, Francis.
I was an interrogator for three years by the time I was told I was too young for the job. I had just returned from a 14 month tour in Afghanistan; while there I was an interrogation team leader. The job I was told I was too young for was a position as a Training Specialist at the Army interrogation school. I would be in charge of other trainers, many of which were retired soldiers who had never been to the current operating environment or had even been an interrogator. No lack of experience for the required position.
I do mind that people look at porn at work. I don’t mind if people tool around on Facebook or The West Virginia Surf Report while at work. However, that doesn’t really lend well toward comedy writing. Also, I addressed the sexual harassment concern when you were trying to get in Blender Tommy Lee’s pants.
Yeah, fuck hair. Who gives a shit?
Fred Astaire looks upside down.
In the Army Civilian Corps hiring boards frequently hear that a person was First Sergeant, or a Sergeant Major, or a Colonel, etc. All that means is that they could run fast and had shiny boots. People who are used to having everyone else not question their orders and follow them with blind faith, while useful in the green suit, are not necessarily qualities that are suitable for civil service. Great, you were a brigade commander, can you schedule range training programs, coordinate academic training for 8000 people, and write Excel formulas; or did you leave that to a Staff Sergeant, your platoon sergeants, and the private who was only working for you because he was getting discharged?
I don’t care if people use public transportation. I do care if they can’t get to work before 0730 for the teleconference we have with some guys back in Virginia. I do care about the fact that they have to leave no later than 1600, even though the Commanding General of the MI Corps wants to meet us at 1630 for an update on the barracks situation.
Of this list “Competence, curiosity, generosity of spirit, a knack for learning new things quickly, and a sense of humor have little to do with the presence”, the only one I care about is competence. The only thing that matters is accomplishing the objective with the given resources (which includes your fellow workers) in the given allotment of time to the expressed standard required within the regulations imposed upon you. If you can do that, I don’t care about anything else.
I don’t care about your pension either; other than the incredible economic devastation elaborate pension programs can cause (reference the USPS). With all the youth hate out there, I just took that as an opportunity to throw a little back at the geezers.
Me: *knock knock*
You: Whose there?
Front door: *Flaming bag of poo.*
Bad grammar would be first of my disqualify list.
Sorry, I went to Catholic elementary school way back when and the nuns beat good grammar into us. While we’re at it, I guess they’d have to pass a spelling test.
Asking about the internet porn policy? You are kidding. Right? RIGHT? I just can’t imagine who would have the balls to do that.
Oh, and not hiring anyone over 45. I’m 49. Ugh. I’m old. PERIOD.
The above comment was in reply to icecycle66. Fucking touchpad bullshit!
Remember, I work for the government. It’s every month you hear that some missle command launch station was neglected for 45 hours straight due to some full staff pornathon.
Root 66 says
After having interviewed many people for a very large retailer (rhymes with “Ball-Cart”), I sized-up people pretty quick and I was very seldom wrong:
-You look like you slept in your car.
-You smell like it too.
-You won’t make eye contact.
-You slump in the chair.
-You shake my hand like I’m dead.
-You mumble or answer questions in mono-syllabic grunts.
-You roll your eyes.
-You try to “wow” me with how much you know about the company I work for–and you have no clue as to what you’re talking about!
-You look like “Mimi” from the Drew Carey Show did your makeup and wardrobe.
-You explain that every boss you ever had was an idiot.
I could go on and on. I saw all kinds of critters trying to get a job. But in all honesty, a person should look their absolute best at an interview, and if that’s their best, I’d hate to see their worst!
A question I would always ask myself was, “Would I want to work alongside this person?” If I had any doubts, I passed them by!
I had an applicant do some texting during an interview. I could not believe it. I hired her anyways because of the rack.
Being from the deepest part of the Great South, failing to say Yes Ma’am and No Ma’am to me is an automatic disqualification.
I don’t think the 25 and under rule should automatically disqualify someone. Someone from town owned 3 businesses before the age of 20, and was running for state senate by 26. Obviously not everyone has that kind of ambition, but regardless. I’ve been working in the same place since I was 23, I’m going on 27. I feel like I’ve earned my stripes here, working a respectable position in this annoying office (which seems to be on steroids I might add), but I’ve always worked hard here. Before and after I was 25. It just depends on the person. I was at a lawfirm when I was 22. What’s the difference with being 25 versus being 26 or 27? It just depends on the maturity level and experience with the position being hired for. I guess that’s the reason that most businesses have a 30-90 day probationary period. Judging a book by it’s cover may potentially pass up a potentially great employee.
Oh yea. I will be the first to say I was WAY more responsible in my twenties than I am now.
I have managed to get every job I’ve had since I got out of the Army at the age of 21 with a full beard (most of that time and to this day about to third button length) and a ponytail down to the middle of my back. I maintain this look to this day, and I am 57 next month. I also have had the same pair of fingerless gloves for about 25 years, but I take them off when I get off my Harley. Some of the people I work with, including my manager’s boss, don’t like me at all. But I am good at what I do. That, my friends, is the key to employment. Find something you can do, and be able to do it well. I have, in the past, been asked for my opinion of new hire applicants. Weird piercings/oversized earrings don’t make the cut. People dressed inappropriately for the position they apply for don’t make the cut. I no longer have any say in the hiring, and I don’t give a shit. And yeah, most people under 25 need some serious lessons in life before they are any good at what they do. Also I don’t give a shit if you have 3 PHDs by the time you’re 21, at that age you are no where near old enough to tell grownups what to do. If you don’t get a management job at that age, no matter what you’re told on your way to the door that’s the reason. Grow up, learn a little about life and and how to actually do a job of your own before your idiototic juvenile attitude tells you that you have enough life experience to be in charge of anything besides learning to wipe your own ass.
If I’m interviewing someone for a technical position – and that’s what I’d be interviewing them for – I don’t want to hear any phrases like “vertical market” or “growing the brand”. If an applicant is young or inexperienced, that’s not necessarily a deal-killer; what’s key is that they have a grasp of the fundamentals and are willing and able to learn. Having said that, we could really use an AMX programmer who can jump right in at the deep end.
And BTW, I have one co-worker whose neck tattoos make him look like he’s just out of the Big House. But he does some of the most beatiful wiring I’ve ever seen, and is a really nice guy as well.
Finally, I guess it’s just as well that Virginia is far enough south for me. I was not brought up to auto-Ma’am, and it does not occur to me to do so.
This is all great information for me, as I was just invited for a job interview next Monday. It’s been several years since I’ve been in that seat, but I have been the one interviewing since, so I too know what to look for. Now, wish me luck guys! I will be sure to leave my ginormous piercings, medical complaints, beard, hickeys, tattoos, cell phones and blue eyeshadow at home, in the bin marked “1980s”.
Best answers I ever got from a potential employee during standard interview for office/light industrial jobs. This was when I worked for a temp agency –
Is there any job you wouldn’t want to do?
“I don’t think I’d like being a coal miner.”
Is there any job you feel that you’re not qualified for?
Both said with the most deadpan face imaginable. At least thinking about the questions earns BIG points with me so even though he wasn’t qualified, I hired him immediately and he did a great job.
I have had limited experience during the hiring process, basically sitting next to my sales manager while he interviews potential inside sales people. These are the people who process my sales orders and talk to my customers while I am traveling or taking vacation.
We have mutually agreed not to hire very heavy people because they have health problems and take too many sick days. We don’t hire extremely good looking females because they are a distraction to the younger guys in the office.
I won’t allow him to hire people with bad teeth. If they don’t bother to brush their teeth or have obvious rotten teeth, they are slobs and do sloppy work, not acceptable. I also notice things like dirty finger nails, clothing way too big or way too tight, overpowering perfume, strange jewelry (something like a skull on a necklace.) All disqualifiers.
If anyone mentions the word “divorce” or discusses alimony or child custody, automatic disqualifier. We have had our share of people taking unpaid personal days for attorney meetings and court dates. We need people to show up and work without those types of distractions.
We have had the best luck with single young college educated males with 4 year college degrees with 2 to 3 years inside sales experience who are just looking for a job that pays $3K to $4K more than their current job, or married women between 40 and 55 who are re-entering the work force because their youngest child just entered college.
A man, dressed impeccably in a suit but feels the need to wear a huge gold medallion – outside and over the tie.
Anyone with a lot of front gold teeth.
Any handicapped person who feels they should be automatically hired just because they’re handicapped.
If I can clearly see through your earlobes, chances are the “position has been filled.”
Visible track marks.
Dragging your knapsack into the interview. Leave that shit in your car or with the receptionist.
Farting during the interview.
The only farts let loose during an interview will be my own. It’s part of the “getting to know me” phase. I’m still working on consistency. You know, apples to apples.
Apples? You might have better luck with cauliflower. Maybe onions.
T. Farty McAppleass says
I told the last secretary I hired, “This job is going to involve a lot of blowjobs.” And she said, “Whose dick will you be sucking?” I had to hire her for being such a good sport.
I know it’s wrong to tell an applicant that, especially if it’s for a bookkeeping position. But is it punishable by law? Just wondering.
Lee Harvey Ramone says
Immediate disqualifier = wearing chaps with no pants to the interview.
According to the McDonalds commercial, the guy that brings the hash browns to the interview gets the job over the guy without hashbrowns. I’m lovin’ it.
I’m so sick of accompanying people to McDonald’s job interviews.
I hate that commercial. What if the guy was a vegan and he got offended? Or alread ate breakfast? Or had the shits from heavily drinking the night before?
If he had the shits from a night of knocking back bourbons, he would have inhaled the hashbrowns and anything else in his path like a Eureka on steroids.
Vegans don’t eat potatoes?
I was thinking more a sandwich with meat. You don’t know what’s in that bag – coulda been a steak, egg and cheese bagel with a side of sausage.