You Can't Take It With You!

Well, you can, but it’ll cost you!  Possibly big time!
That cell phone in your pocket or purse, excellent tool that it is, can cost you a job!  Especially if it goes off at an inopportune time like an interview, or even while waiting for that all-important meeting.  Do I really need to remind you that you should turn the thing off before going in for your interview so that it wont cause unneeded interruptions?
But what about while you are waiting?  I’ve seen applicants yakking away on their cell phones while waiting to be interviewed.  It didn’t matter whether they were applying for an entry level or senior position.  Concerned only with themselves and their phone partners, I’ve overheard job seekers say inappropriate things about family, friends, AND the company where they are interviewing, that company’s competitors, and other companies where they’ve been interviewed.  Bad form!
An applicant’s assumption is that no one is listening, but if the receptionist, other staffer, or even a vendor inadvertently hears one negative comment – regardless what it’s about and to whom – that negativity will often be reported to someone where you’re interviewing, and it could very likely get back to the hiring manager.  And if that happens your chances of being hired drop dramatically!  Same goes for text messaging.  Even though no one else in the room will see your messages, you do not want to appear distracted from the reason you are there, and you don’t want to distract others!
If you have calls to make, go out into the hall, away from the entrance to the employer’s offices, or better still, make the call before you enter the employer’s building, complete your call, then turn the phone off.  Not on low, not on vibrate, but off!  If you must be immediately reachable because of an ill family member, soon-to-deliver pregnant spouse or other imminent health related emergency issue, then advise your interviewer of that situation, and use the Caller ID feature to identify who is calling and only take calls relevant to that emergency.
So, if you’re not anticipating an emergency, if you’re not a doctor or a police officer, leave the phone in your car, in your purse/attache bag, or at home.  If you want the job, everything else can wait
Oh, and also please don’t forget to turn your phone off at meetings, lectures, classes, movies, concerts, weddings, etc.
Thank you.