A smart phone can be a valuable job search tool. It can allow you to track job openings, email employers and apply for jobs even if you are away from your computer or are traveling. This powerful little device, however, has also complicated life for job seekers and has the power to cost people an opportunity for a job.
Here are 3 ways a smart phone can sabotage your job interview:
1. Leading us astray. Because information is constantly available to us with the swipe of a finger there is not a pressing need to prepare for events ahead of time. Before the Internet, if one had a job interview in an unfamiliar part of the city, maps were taken out and consulted and optimal travel routes were painstakingly identified. Because the information is always available there is a temptation to not worry about research as one merely needs to seek out the information when it is needed. Have you ever had Google Maps lead you astray by showing one road that connected to another when in reality it led to a dead end ? The same popular service can also give driving times that are wildly inaccurate. There’s nothing like the feeling I’m sure of realizing you are 10 kilometers away from your job interview with 5 minutes left to get there. Showing up late and panicky while blaming your phone is no way to start an interview. Yes our phones are smart, but let’s not give our responsibility and power away.
2. Sending the wrong message. By now we all know to turn our phones off during a job interview. Right ? Maybe not. A recent survey found that 30% of Millennials thought that it was acceptable to text during an interview. As each year passes it becomes harder to remember when our phones were not a necessary component of our overall communication. For younger people who can’t remember not having a phone this can be even more challenging. But rest assured nothing screams disinterest to an employer like dividing your attention. Your interviewer wants to believe that the job you have applied for is so important to you that you will focus on it (to the exclusion of all other things) for the duration of the meeting. By using your phone during the interview you are telling the employer you don’t care about what is taking place.
3. A source of distraction. While waiting for an interview it might seem tempting to browse the web or play games on our phones. This could be a lost opportunity to review some of your key talking points you have prepared, observe your environment to gain insights into company culture or to simply sit quietly and practice stress reduction. While you are distracted by your phone your employer may suddenly appear in front of you. In your rush to make a good first impression you may forget to turn off your phone as you place it in a purse or pocket. At this point your phone has become a potential distraction – awaiting the most inopportune moment during your interview to emit a buzz, ring tone or other annoying sound that can derail the conversation.