HR worker shares what you should never do during the interview process

@sydniemarlella/TikTok tsyhun/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘I can’t answer the phone with HELLO?’: HR worker shares what you should never do during the interview process

'Is this a skit?'


Jack Alban


Posted on Jan 13, 2024   Updated on Jan 13, 2024, 8:34 pm CST

A human resources worker who is employed with her family’s business posted a viral TikTok that’s accrued over 547,000 views, in which she lists a few things job seekers should never do while they’re on the hunt for a new position.

TikTok user Sydnie Marlella (@sydniemarlella) said that she’s currently in the process of hiring new employees for the company, but that the on-boarding process can be “treacherous” at times. The source of the treachery? Specific behaviors prospective applicants engage in that grind her gears and which she says no self-respecting human resources person would ever tolerate.

She says that the interview process starts from the second one answers the phone. Her first big gripe? Answering the phone with “Hello, who’s this?”

She says that she is immediately not hiring someone who decides to answer the phone in this fashion because “that’s how you’re gonna answer my phone at my company.” She indicates that she doesn’t want to onboard someone who exhibits such a colloquial manner of speaking.

Marlella went on to say that the greeting has less to do with the words used and more to do with the tone in which the greeting is conveyed. She encouraged folks to “have a smile” in their voice when they’re answering the phone.

The second no-no, Marlella says, is if a prospective employer calls you, then you should know the company reaching out to you, and to never say something along the lines of, “Oh I just applied to so many places.” She says that she not only doesn’t care that you applied to other businesses and have been sending out job applications via the Indeed shotgun blast approach, and that this actually makes her like the applicant less because they couldn’t be bothered to know the company. That makes it seem like her business isn’t important enough to remember.

She says that the best thing to do in this scenario is to thank the rep on the phone for taking the time to ring you up and sound excited about the prospect of being able to talk with them for an opportunity to possibly be an employee in their organization. “I would love to interview, that’s all you have to say, not I don’t know what this is because I just applied to so many jobs, we don’t care and now I don’t even want you to come in for the interview because there’s somebody else out there that really wants to work in my corporation and didn’t apply to so many jobs because this corporation is special to them,” she says.

@sydniemarlella trust me, i am helping y’all ✨ #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #sydniemarlella #philly #phillytiktok #levelup #luxury #corporate #corporatetiktok ♬ original sound – SYDNIE MARLELLA

Her third gripe with job applicants is one that may seem innocuous but leaves a bad taste in her mouth anyway: Asking her to text applicants the address for the interview location. “Either get something to write down the address or we’ll send a follow-up email. I’m not texting you from my personal number I’m sorry I’m not doing and that’s just unprofessional so stop,” she says.

Another big no-no is showing up to interviews on time. She says that if your appointment is set for 12 p.m., you should arrive a few minutes ahead of time, and she explains he reasoning for this. “During an interview you’re trying to impress me. So if you’re coming on time or later than on time I already know in my head that as an employee you’re gonna be late and I’m not hiring you. Also with that tangent, come dressed professionally. I’m not saying you have to be in a suit and tie, but a nice blouse, OK, no jeans, no sweatpants, no Forever 21 tights, no Crocs, like come presentable,” she says.

She said that this even applies to positions that aren’t “corporate” or require business attire, either. “It doesn’t matter. You want to dress to impress. Nothing that’s showing cleavage or nothing that’s showing, you know, too much figure. Guys don’t have your pants to your knees, like please, it’s just—it’s common sense but common sense is just not so common,” the TikToker remarked.

Marlella capped off her video by stating these she believes these “icks” should be considered common sense and that she ultimately doesn’t understand why this isn’t the case.

However, judging by the replies from other users on the platform, this common sense wasn’t exactly so common, and many folks appeared to take issue with her criticisms, suggesting that she doesn’t know what it’s like to be on the other side of the phone from potential employers. One person wrote, “I wonder if she’s been on the other side meaning the applicants because getting ghosted and have to apply to so many makes it hard to keep track.”

Another person thought her criticism of someone who answers their phone with “hello” wasn’t valid. “So someone answering their personal phone is indicative of how they’ll answer the phone at work? BFFR,” they wrote.

Someone else said that when folks who are applying for jobs usually reach out to multiple potential employers and that they aren’t exactly holding out for or putting all of their eggs in a single basket. “I couldn’t recall a single job I applied for while I’m on a job search. We’re applying for 20 jobs on a daily basis. Girl we don’t damn know,” they wrote.

There was one TikToker who replied that they were dubious of receiving phone calls, stating that they usually only trust companies that’ll email them first to schedule an interview before reaching out with a phone call. “If companies don’t email me to schedule the first interview I’m going to assume it’s a scam lol who calls first?” they wrote.

Some viewers who responded to her video were a bit more blunt when it came to their assessment of Marlella’s advice. “A lot of these are kind of unrealistic, I don’t think it’s bad to ask a company who they are especially if you are applying to so many jobs,” someone said.

Another quipped, “She took so long to say absolutely NOTHING.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Marlella via email for further comment.

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*First Published: Jan 13, 2024, 10:30 pm CST