Knowing that you should turn your cell phone off during an interview should be obvious. Unfortunately, for many people, turning off the phone isn't intuitive. If you've been wrestling over whether or not you should actually turn off your phone when you're headed in for an interview, make sure you're considering these key issues with cell phone use.
Your Phone is a Distraction
From the moment you set foot into the office for an interview, your attention should be on your goal: to acquire a job with the company. Having your cell phone out, whether you're waiting to be called back for your interview or for an interviewer to come back to the desk, is a distraction from what you should really be focusing on. It may take time and effort to shift your attention back away from your phone to what you should really be doing.
Instead, take the time to interact with the office staff. Pay attention to what's going on around you. Wait patiently for your interviewer to return to the office. It's well worth putting your best foot forward and keeping your full attention on the interview.
Your phone going off during an interview is also a distraction--for both you and your interviewer. Whether you're answering a question or simply having a discussion about your potential position, a buzz or ring can throw you both off-stride. Worse, this may be the part of the interview that stands out most in the mind of your interviewer!
Being on Your Phone is Rude
During the interview itself, you should never take your phone out for any reason. Even if you've forgotten to turn it off, the only thing you should do with your phone is silence it--quickly!
All the information you need to provide your interviewer should be either memorized or in paper form. There is no excuse for having your phone out at any time during the interview, especially when you are speaking with the interviewer or other members of the senior staff. Pulling it out gives the impression that you're ignoring the people you're with and, as a result, is typically seen as extremely rude.
Dealing with Your Phone During a Job Interview
When you head in for a job interview, your phone should be turned off or, even better, left in your vehicle. For the short time that you'll be at the interview, there is absolutely no reason you can't be out of communication.
Follow these rules to be sure that you'll use proper protocol during the interview:
- Explain to anyone who might typically try to contact you that you'll be out of reach during the interview. Arrange for a different person to intercept any necessary calls pertaining to kids, aging parents, or other potential emergency situations.
- Make sure that your current employer, if you have one, knows not to expect you to answer during this time.
- Turn off your phone completely. If you must leave it on, turn it completely to silent: no vibrations or rings.
- Turn off any notifications to your smart watch or any other device.
- Prepare to be separated from your texts and emails during the interview. Even a glance down to see what you've received can be construed as rude.
How you use your cell phone during an interview can make a significant difference in the first impression that you create with a potential employer. If you're working in a temporary position with an office or you've recently accepted a new job, make sure that you're familiar with the company cell phone policies and that you follow them absolutely.
Cell phone use has become a hotly contested issue in many workplaces, so you want to be sure that you're not putting forth a bad impression of yourself as a result of your smart phone attachment.
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