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Warning to Job Seekers: The Commuter You Just Flipped Off Might Be the Hiring Manager

Topics: Current Events

It’s every job seeker’s worst nightmare. A man is running late on the way to a job interview, nervous, and he bumps into some guy boarding a crowded commuter train. He blows up, uses an incredibly rude expletive, and spends the rest of the time on the commute trying to calm down. Upon arriving at the interview, he and the hiring manager recognize each other — the hiring manager is the guy he insulted earlier this morning.


(Photo Credit: Rose Morelli/Flickr)

That really happened on the tube in London. Head of Talent and Recruiting at Forward Partners, Matt Buckland, was told what to do with himself on his morning commute. When the same character showed up for an interview for Python Developer, Matt laughed about the incident with the interviewee, but he did not offer him the job. He claims the guy wasn’t “right for the job.” 

Do You Know What You're Worth?

The lesson here is clear: behave yourself in a socially acceptable manner. People seem to feel that as long as they are anonymous they can do as they please, and perhaps people’s true colors come out. BishMeister tweeted that he was “road raged” by a woman on the way to work. Similar to the story above, it turned out he was to interview the raging driver that morning. 

“Behaviors” are our actions throughout the day. How we behave when we think nobody is watching is different than when we think others are paying attention. In other words, observation changes the thing observed. Something as simple as chewing your nails or constantly looking at your watch while in the waiting room area sends signals about your ability to wait patiently, and they might be watching. Don’t think a hiring manager won’t make you wait a little just so they can see how you react.

So many advice articles about being prepared for interviews include things like doing your research on the company and dressing appropriately for the job. Other things count, too. Speaking harshly to somebody on your cell phone before the interview may get noticed. Jumping on your cell phone right away after the interview may make you look like you can’t wait to get on to the next thing. Rushing past the receptionist without even waving goodbye seems like you only care about what the boss thinks.

How you treat third parties matters. There is an old “waiter rule” that states if a man is nice to you and rude to the waiter, he is a rude man. The same holds true for how you treat the lowly mail clerk or office janitor; they are just as deserving of courtesy and respect as your boss. And if your boss agrees, but you are unkind to the receptionist, you may not be offered the job.

Tell Us What You Think

Have you ever been rude to people, only to find out you had to work or interview with them? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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