Applying for a Job? Don’t do this.

The InterviewHiring staff, interviewing for your own job, or guiding your loved ones through the job application and interview process can be stressful, unpredictable and even humorous. Here are few things we had the opportunity to witness recently.

1. Don’t send your resume in if it has the wrong company on it. Several of the resumes we received were for vision clinics, bakeries, local hospitals and therapy offices. We understand that often people send out resumes by the dozens but it helps to at least personalize them to the company you want to work for.

2. Pay attention to what the job qualifications are. Flipping burgers at McDonald’s or serving up beautiful latte’s at your local coffee shop does not equal medical office experience.

3. When interviewing, don’t tell your potential employers all the reasons not to hire you. On the other hand, it makes my job easier.

4. It’s not a good idea to show up with wet hair. I’m glad you showered, but would have preferred you showed up as if you are prepared and not rushed. Under that same category…please dress appropriately for the interview.

5. Still smoking? At least don’t smoke just before you walk into the interview. Especially when the job announcement said: “We are a non-smoking, drug free office and prefer that you are as well.” Hmmm.

6. Yes, we are a chronic pain management clinic, but you are not here to tell me about your pain or tell me how much morphine you are on. And no, I’m not going to give you advice about medication or acupuncture.

7. It’s usually considered good form to present yourself letting your potential employer know what you bring to the table and why you’d be such a good fit. On the other hand, it’s poor form to tell us you can only work 10am-2pm on Mondays (we are not open on Monday) and that you don’t really like working with people. Really?

And finally…do not apply for a job and tell your potential employers that you cannot drive after dark (hmm…it’s dark at 7:30am and 4:30pm in the winter here and you live an hour away) and that you have migraines every month and won’t be your best during that time.

While this is written rather tongue-in-cheek, each of these points are true and really did happen. The purpose of this article is not to point fingers, but to educate. I’m sure that each of these individuals had no idea how they were coming across and I’d love to see these types of bloopers be eliminated.

What kind of experiences have you had? I’m sure you’ve got some whoppers yourself, so please feel free to share below.

Barbara C. Phillips, NP, FAANP is a professional speaker, author, clinician and business owner who provides business education, resources and support to Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants and other Advance Practice Clinicians — both for the employed and self-employed clinician. Additional information about Ms. Phillips is available at

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