Fri, Aug 16, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Survey reveals job interview taboos

TWO-WAY STREET:Both job-hunters and firms interviewing applicants should keep certain pointers in mind to ensure making a good impression and not break the law

By Yang Chiu-ying and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The top five taboo behaviors by job applicants while being interviewed for jobs at corporations are playing with their hair, crossing and uncrossing their legs, playing with their fingernails, dressing inappropriately and “not answering the question.”

These were the findings of a poll conducted by the online job bank yes123 among corporations during the peak job-hunting season between the middle of last month and early this month.

Criticizing former employers or previous work, as well as providing false education and work experiences, were also considered taboo, the survey showed.

The poll also found that the average job-hunter secured one interview for every 16 jobs applied to. Furthermore, applicants were interviewed by 5.33 companies on average before being offered employment, the survey results showed.

The online job bank reminded job-hunters that they should also keep their attitude in mind when looking for a job.

Many companies have a standard, referred to as the blacklist standard, which includes the reasons the company would not hire an applicant, it said.

Among them, failing to show up for an interview was the main reason, at 80.6 percent of all businesses, with applicants who were hired, but failed to show up, coming in second at 72.7 percent. Other factors listed include applicants saying they need further consideration when notified of their being hired, not answering their telephone after submitting applications for jobs and changing the time for interviews on multiple occasions.

The poll also found that more than 60 percent of applicants dressed up for an interview. However, stylist Hanny said the type of job the job-hunter applied for should be considered when dressing up, adding that the rule of thumb is for women to use makeup sparingly, while men should wear dress shirts and dress shoes.

Meanwhile, applicants are not the only ones who should be careful when asking questions or making statements. The amendments to the Enforcement Rules of the Employment Service Act (就業服務法施行細則), passed by the Legislative Yuan in November, made it illegal for employers to ask applicants questions that require personal information “outside the bounds of the job being applied for.”

Violation of the act is punishable by fines of NT$30,000 to NT$600,000.

The yes123 poll found that despite the amendments, applicants are still facing all sorts of questions that seem unrelated to the job they have applied for.

More than 74 percent of applicants said they have been asked whether they were in a relationship, 52.4 percent were asked what they did after work and more than 20 percent were asked why they were not married or if they planned to have children, the poll showed.

A further 47.1 percent were asked about their sexual orientation, 41.2 percent said they were sexually harassed with lewd jokes, while 22.1 were asked about their bust, hip and waist ratios. Some applicants said that they were harassed with inappropriate gestures, with 20.6 percent saying interviewers touched them on their shoulders and 17.6 percent saying interviewers touched their hands.

A woman surnamed Chan (詹) said that when she was being interviewed for an administrative job at a legal firm, she was asked if she smoked and if she knew how to make coffee. She was also asked to sing and tell jokes, to stand up and turn around in a full circle, and even what one particular set of mahjong combinations was called.

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