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Aug
12
2011

I think when someone comes up with a really great idea, you should steal it. For example, on “Project Runway” this season, there is a contestant named Olivier Green who lived in Columbus, Ohio until he was 16. Then he moved to London. This is what he sounds like…

If you’re lazy like me and didn’t watch, I’ll just tell you… he sounds British! But he’s from OHIO. I love that he’s going all Madonna-esque and pretending to have an accent. I’m totally stealing this idea. So from now on, I’m writing in a British accent over here. Don’t I seem fancier?! Oh, your American accent is so animal.

And here’s what else I’m stealing… Marinka’s brilliant idea of “I’m Right, You’re Wrong!” where she lets the internet decide a squabble with a family member. So here’s my edition of “I’m Right, You’re Wrong.”

Disagreement: Is it ever okay to text during a job interview?

Disagreers: Kelcey and husband Rick

Position One: I’m interviewing a candidate for a babysitting job. Let’s put aside the fact that she’s wearing ripped jeans. And that her boobs are ridiculously perky (After all, it’s not her fault that I’ve nursed four kids and my breasts hang a little lower. Okay, they’re at my waist).

She seems very bubbly and has lots of experience so I ask her to come back another day and babysit the kids for a couple hours. As I’m looking at my date book to figure out the best time, I hear, “tap, tap, tap.” And I look up to see her texting under the table.

If she’s willing to text during a job interview, she certainly will be doing it in front of my kids when I’m not around. The interview was only 15 minutes. Her phone should have been off the entire time. It’s just unprofessional.

She’s OUT.

Position Two:  This is how she explained the texting…. She said her mom kept calling during the interview (her phone was on vibrate). So she texted her mom to let her know she’d call her after the interview. I could see myself doing the same thing.

She’s not interviewing to be the president of a Fortune 500 company. It’s a babysitting job. Is she nice? Does she breathe? Hire her.

She’s IN.

So who’s right?

Please respond in a British accent.

 


61 Responses to is it ever okay to text during a job interview?

  • Abby Siegel says:

    First let me just say that Kelcey, your boobs are not at your waist and at least after 4 kids you are still a gorgeous, tiny, and THIN person.

    I work with teenagers and they have no phone skills let alone know how to interview, dress for them, talk with adults on a formal bases, etc like we did back in the dinosaur years. Not sure how old this girl is but probably at the oldest mid-20s so still in the same generation with the texting, iPhones, Facebook. The ONLY time I answer my phone when I’m with a student and/or family is if my mom calls. BUT the difference is that I’m in nice clothing (I’m old) and I ALWAYS say “I’m sorry I forgot to turn off my phone, it is my mom do you mind if I just tell her I’m with a client?” The clients always say of course. I just did it tonight but we were walking on the street and I said to my mom “I’m fine but with a client and will call you later.” No issue. This girl could have said “My mother keeps texting me, do you mind if I quickly tell her I’m with you at an interview” and just been honest about it. Yes, it’s a job interview but it’s more casual than a corporate setting. If she were interview for a job as an attorney and started texting I think the people would have thrown her out! I think the mom(s) can wait a few minutes to hear back from her daughter. If it’s on vibrate just throw it in your bag and let it go! My job is on a more casual level, otherwise I wouldn’t pick up the phone and just start chatting or texting.

    So really I guess what it comes down to is do you and Rick fancy her enough to let her sit for your children? Is that British enough? :) This one is a draw, IMHO.

  • Jamie says:

    Ok so I was going to be lazy until I read the rest and then had to hear for myself. I am from Ohio and my sister lives in London. He is a fake. And annoying now that I know these things about him.

    Second… I think it was wrong to text in the interview but I’m not sure it’s a reason not to hire her. She will do it in front of your kids regardless of whether or not she does it during the interview. Maybe it provides a good conversation starter for your expectations and the cell phone usage while babysitting?

  • Nanette says:

    NO texting during an interview. Period. She could have just ignored mom. It shows she doesn’t have impulse control in this area.

  • Jenn says:

    I agree with Abby. Teens have NO CLUE! However, they are not opposed to a bit of learning – you should tell her that it is not acceptable to text in an interview – her phone should be off the whole time, and she can switch it back on after the interview is over, and that she should remember that for future interviews… and what tiem can she get there for the babysitting practical interview?

  • Littlej says:

    Back in my working days I was always amazed at what crazy things people did or said when interviewing for a job—it was both entertaining and a little depressing. So I have always said, if people are not smart enough to pull off a straightforward job interview when they are trying to show off their best side, what the heck are they going to be like as an employee?!

  • Becky says:

    ‘ello Kelcey. (OK, is that enough of a British accent?).

    I have to go with position #1 – no texting. It was a 15 minute interview. If you can’t turn off the phone for that period of time, it’s not a good sign.

  • Peek says:

    Hullo, dahling.

    Representing the young 20′s crowd, I’m with position 1. No texting. It’s highly unprofessional, as is showing up in ripped jeans. If I showed up for ANY interview in ripped jeans (especially a babysitting job), I’d expect the interviewer to laugh at me. What? She doesn’t own a pair of nice, non-ripped jeans?

    But I digress, her attire is not the heart of this disagreement. Any potential employee should demonstrate professionalism. If you’re serious and don’t want her texting at all in front of your little ones, I laugh at you. It’s not going to happen. Especially because rather than tell you about her mom, she threw it out there AFTER she got caught. She’s going to tell you she won’t text in front of the kids, and then, oh wait, she won’t stop texting in front of the kids.

    My final opinion – if she can’t be honest and respectful DURING the interview (especially about something as stupid as texting), she’s OUT.

  • Angie says:

    I agree with Nanette. If it was just a short interview the text to her “mom” could have waited. She should have had her phone on silent or off to begin with. What if she was driving with Summer. Dylan, Harlowe and Chase in the car and her mom kept texting her then? Would she have picked up the phone to text her back? If she couldn’t refrain from using it for just 15 minutes I would think twice about hiring her.

  • Jodie says:

    I don’t think texting should be a factor. If she has solid experience and good references, I say hire her!

    Cheers!

  • Robyn says:

    If you loved her, hire her. Good babysitters are hard to come by. BUT, I think you should let her know that you expect her to limit the texting (maybe even say NO texting) while she’s watching your kids. I mean, 4 kids is a LOT of kids to watch – she can’t be on the phone!!!

  • Laura says:

    I must say I agree w/ scenario 1. Ripped jeans: inapproroiate for any job interview, no matter how informal. Strike one. Texting or engaging in any communication other than with the prospective employer during said interview: inappropriate and unprofessional. Strike two. Being furtive about the texting and not up-front w/ you brings into question her explanation when she was caught. What else may she be dishonest about after you hire her (which i hope you won’t)? Strike three. Mummy, you need to throw the girl and her mobile out. (token British reference)

    And as for the accent situation, it’s not even a good British accent! I do like that his apartment is unassuming and non-pretentious, though.

  • Megan says:

    My feeling is that any babysitter you hire will text on the job, at least occasionally. I see babysitters with kids at the park, library, etc. and they all seem to call/text. So do the moms and dads for that matter. Once a dad came to have lunch with a student and he had his phone out the entire time. It was sad. What was the point of the visit? So if you like this girl, hire her! And inform her that she should NOT text while with your kids unless it’s an emergency. Good luck darling! (that was British.)

  • Mel says:

    She will text during babysitting. There is no doubt that pretty much any babysitter you hire will text during babysitting. If you had a cell when you were a teen, you would have done it too. Hire her if she seemed nice and clean and polite and good with your kids. Teenagers are just idiots with their cell phones.

    • Mel says:

      Oh, bullocks! I forgot to respond in a British accent. Please imagine me speaking like the queen of England (ala John Stewart’s imitation of the queen, that is).

  • Kristen says:

    I’d say she’s out, love. (British enough?) She may be a fantastic human being, but what concerns me most is that her choices during the interview (her attire, not turning her phone off, sneaking around about sending a text) show that she does not have good judgment. If one of your precious little ones has an injury, this will be the person who decides whether it requires a call to 911 or an ice pack and a kiss, so good judgment is critical. I’d say keep looking.

  • Meghan says:

    Hm……..

    If I was the girl, the proper thing to do would have been to apologize to you for the vibrating, say it was her mother and something may be wrong, to which, you, the rational, person that you are, would have encouraged her to text her or call her.

    Interesting……..

    If you loved her, bring her in the for the trial, and see if she texts again….. Set the ground rules of no texting while on the job.

  • Betsy says:

    The texting during the interview sends up red flags. If Mom can’t leave her alone during a 15 min interview, how many contacts with Mom during a work day. Or with other people? But if you think she will be a good fit with your children, have a frank discussion about phone rules and dressing appropriately, for that matter. I would lean towards not hiring her.
    (token British) But if she is the best choice, mould her into a jolly good sitter.

  • Stephanie says:

    HELL NO! I would have called her out on it right then and there and told her it’s why she didn’t get the job. I interview these kids all the time and when they do stupid things like that, I tell them it’s why they didn’t get the job they are meeting me for and then I ask them to leave. If you don’t tell them, they will never ever learn. Don’t hire her.

  • Kristine says:

    This was tough, but I’m going with position #1. If her mom was that frantic, I assume she had no idea where her daughter was. Which…isn’t a good sign. And if she did, Tge girl would be able to hold off for 15 minutes.

    I can’t believe that kid is from Ohio. He had me fooled, the bastard.

  • Modernemama says:

    Sounds like she needs babysitting. Perhaps you should interview the mother for the aforementioned position, but the wee lassie is OUT!

  • Alex G says:

    What a wanker! Such rubbish! I say, you should have asked to see the phone because teenagers are not just rude/clueless, they are also full of shit. If it really was her mom on the other end, I’d let her pass. You gotta respect a kid who returns her mom’s call/text. That’s what I would want my daughter to do.

  • LT says:

    Blimey that is a tough choice. It is piss poor interview etiquette. Rubbish. On the flip side, your house might be left in shambles if you are snookered with no childcare. Hope that you have a smashing weekend.

    Bugger about this comment is that I didn’t answer the question or write anything that makes sense. Did I at least ace the writing in British? Chow. xoxo

  • Tough call.

    It is so important to start the parent/sitter relationship on the right foot. If you hire her, but have this little voice in your head constantly questioning your decision, you may not have the best relationship and experience with this sitter.

    Our position at Sitter Pals is to find someone you know and trust through your network of close friends. I would ask a friend of your who shares your values and has children around the same age, who they know and trust to watch their children.

    Hope this helps!

  • Brittany says:

    I’m with you Kelcey.

    I use to Nanny, and I would never, ever have texted during an interview. My mom knew I was at an interview and would not have bothered me.

    To be fair, I didn’t have a cell phone when I was a teenager…. but still.

    You want a babysitter that is in the moment – not texting her friend when your child is talking to her.

  • Tisha says:

    I agree with Becky–not a good sign if she can’t put it down for 15 minutes, regardless of who’s trying to reach her. And, like Brittany said, (if she’s a teen) mom should have known her whereabouts. If she didn’t tell mom her plans, that’s really just another strike against the poor girl.

    I’m in my mid-20s and have nannied for many families over the years. My rule for myself: Don’t take calls or respond to texts unless it’s from the kids’ parents. Otherwise, I’m at work and it can wait. It’s professionalism plain and simple. This girl has obviously set no boundaries for herself, and that is worrisome considering you have very young children.

  • Beth says:

    I can’t seem to get past the part where Oliver Green lived in Ohio until he was 16, moved to London, now looks 17 and suddenly has a british accent! LOL I’m trying not to be offended that he could lose his Ohioan twang that fast…my being a fellow Ohioan and all!

    And…I understand your quandry about this babysitter texting during an interview thing. I’d definitely have a problem with it, but get her explaination (if she’s telling the truth, that is)! :) I get pretty darn frustrated with my two teenagers who can’t seem to unglue their hand from their phones EVER! I told them the other day when one was trying to unload the dishwasher with one hand while holding the phone in the other (not talking on it, just holding it IN CASE she got a text, btw) that you just watch…soon they’ll be saying those darn things cause hand cancer. You just watch! Can’t even put it down to do a chore. GRRRR. Oh yeah…we were talking about YOU! Sorry. Got a little off track there. I guess what I was getting at is I’d keep an eye open for overusage while she’s supposed to be watching the kids and your girls are old enough to help you with that. Make them your little spies and you’ll know for sure what’s going on when you’re not there to see! I’m all about trusting your sitter, but you can never be too careful these days, especially when teenagers and cell phones are involved!!! :D

  • Jackie says:

    It’s not like you are highering a girl in jr high or even high school. She should have been appropriatly attired and not texting should have been going on. I don’t care if it was her mom. Heck if she is that close to her mom then her mom should have known she was in an interview. And with the meeting being 15 min. it was just unacceptable. Her mom would have understood. Or she should have said I’m sorry my mom keep trying to get in contact with me do you mind if I text her and let her know our meeting is still going on and if it is an emergency to please let her know otherwise she will get back with her after the meeting. If she isn’t smart enough to do that how can she handel 4 kids? She migh leave the toaster oven on and try to burn down the house!

  • Renee says:

    No time to read the other comments to see if they’ve already said this (I’m off for tea with the Queen), but here’s my take: She out, dahling!

  • Auntie T says:

    Olivier sounds confused to me….British mixed in with a tad bit of french accent. Such a fake, Mum! As for the hiding the texting, ripped jeans, can’t focus on interview in progress girl…she’s out! I’ve learned to follow my first impressions, when i don’t, it always comes back to bite me!

  • I guess for me it depends on how old she is. If she’s under 20, I would say she doesn’t have enough interviewing experience to know better. If she’s older than 20, she should. If she’s exactly 20, you’ll have to toss a coin. (A Euro, of course.)

    Cheerio.

  • Roxanne says:

    (Read this in a British accent even though I’m from California and currently reside in Nevada).

    Texting at an interview is a NO GO. If she needed to text her mom or whatever, it can wait until the interview is over. Phones should not even be turned on when you’re at an interview. I don’t care how old you are, or what job it’s for.

  • Marinka says:

    I think texting during an interview is crazy. Not as crazy as agreeing to look after a million kids for under a million dollars, but still– a bad sign.

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    If she’s using her perky boobs to text with, you don’t want her showing those tricks to your children. Anything else is just a sign of the times; she’s young, dumb, socially stunted and interested more in socializing than the job. So what else is new?

  • Leigh Ann says:

    I have no advice, as I’m too chicken to hire a babysitter. But I can say that as a teen I didn’t have the people skills to say why I was texting. I probably would’ve just hoped you didn’t notice.

    Tally ho! Fish n’ chips!

  • Patrick says:

    Here’s what to do, guaranteed to untwist your knickers.
    Call Tisha. Convince her that your home town is a way nicer place to live than Ohio. When she moves, hire her.

  • Jodi F. says:

    She knew she should not have been texting, which is why she hid the phone under the table. I work in a high school and can spot illicit phone use from 20 paces due to the student assuming the position I call “cell phone prayer”: head down, hands in lap. So obvious.  If I were you I would have asked to see her phone and read the message(s).  But then again, I’m beeotch; just ask half the kids at my school.

    I’m not sure if the texting bothers me as much as the ripped jeans. Texting has become endemic these days. But she should have been dressed decently. If she is young, her mother should have worked with her on this. So does her mother not have a clue? Not a good sign.

  • scrappysue says:

    ahem (in my best british accent) – which isn’t much a stretch given that my dad’s a brit…there is NO way she should be texting. teens these days (and i have THREE) have NO clue about social graces – cellphones changed all that! if i were her, i would have said to you, “excuse me ms kintner, but my mum is texting me, can i please let her know i’m ok and that i’ll call her once this interview is over?” but that’s just TOO EASY and involves common sense! if that’s the only mark against her as a sitter, then i’d talk to her about it, otherwise – she’s GONE!!! my kids learned a long time ago, that a long as their phone is in their hand, i’m not going to converse with them. EYE CONTACT is needed!

  • erinb says:

    Blimey! Shite! My bloody dvr did not record PR again. Ring my telly next week would you love and remind me? Righty oh.
    PS Wait, there was a real reason for this response…oh yes perky boobs is out. just because i am jealous. But you my friend…look fabulous. Cheerio! xo

  • Yo, dude, wussup? Oh. Wait. Restart: cheers, darling, you’re right, texting in an interview really isn’t cricket. And the ripped jeans? Whatever would the Queen (by which I mean you) say? BUT let’s be real here, folks. Um, any of us moms ever texted whilst watching our kids? Or…tweeted? Or… checked FB? Or just whipped out the damn phone and talked to a friend? The girl doesn’t seem to understand professionalism and so on those grounds I wouldn’t hire her; it’s not b/c I wouldn’t want her texting in front of my kids, unless, I guess, she’s parking them in front of reruns of Jersey Shore so she can text her friends. And then the problem would be SNooki, not her texting.

  • Amy Wilson says:

    I think if she was an amazing candidate otherwise, then it’s a teachable moment, and you explain why it’s unacceptable. And see how she does at the next interview, she indeed might not be able to help herself.

    But I do agree with you, it’s probably indicative of what she will be doing every single minute you’re not around. People of a certain age think every single text requires an immediate response no matter where you are or what you’re doing.

    I’ve had to explain to multiple 20somethings why that behavior isnt okay. This weekend I saw a 14 yr old texting at her grandfather’s funeral.

    Kids today.

  • Position One says:

    Bloody He!!, Gov, are you kidding me?! First, ripped jeans– out. I am no longer young and perky, but I remember being young and certainly always dressed appropriately for an interview– even when I was 13!. Second, the only thing perky about a babysitter should be her personality. Third, I don’t care if she was texting the bloody queen of– well, you know where, NO TEXTING at an interview. You will find someone better– or at least bright enough to wait until she is alone in the car with your children barelling down the highway to text her “mother”. Cheerio.

  • Ilana says:

    I say Position One. Although I’ve heard that the people entering the work force today are a whole other breed. Do you know they offer specific courses to corporations on how you have to treat them to get the best work from them? You know what it teaches exactly? CODDLING.

    Mom can wait fifteen minutes.

  • Janey Millar says:

    I am British so my accent should just about pass muster. I say, tell her to sling ‘er hook, It’s simply not cricket to pitch up in ripped jeans and text during the interview. No, no and thrice no. I’m off for a cup of tea to calm my nerves at the impudence of today’s youth!

  • Helen says:

    Hello – please read this in a Welsh accent!! Go for it, she is obviously close to her Mam so overlook it this once. Diolch yn fawr!

    • Helen says:

      Forgot to say I am actually Welsh just in case you thought I was a Mexican who had strange thoughts about the Welsh with their leeks, dragons, welsh cakes and rugby!!!

  • Lotte B says:

    Ohh…darling…Why don’t you call her mother? Just say that you would like to have a reference – and that could be her mother? Then you can find out whether it really was her mother calling – or she lied (I’m still out on this one…).
    But – I say “go for her!”. I teach classes at the business school here in Copenhagen (Den), and the students text and is on facebook during the classes. In the beginning I thought they were so out of line and rude, but now I just a different generation…Try her out…and ask your girls whether they think she text too much…

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