PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – According to a recent USA Today article, college graduates aren’t performing well at job interviews- in fact, 20 percent of them are acting bizarrely, texting or taking calls during the interview, dressing inappropriately, using slang, or even coming with parents and or PETS. One guy actually took his cat on a job interview.

KDKA-AM’s Larry and John talk about the study with author and job specialist Monica Allen. Her new book, “You’ve Graduated NOW WHAT? 10 Steps to Stand Out and Get Hired in the New Economy,” talks about the good, the bad, and the ugly in job interviews. As a business owner and job interviewer, she has great tips for graduates heading to the job market.

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“It’s amazing how many resumes I get that have grammatical errors,” says Allen. “That’s the start. Those are automatically booted.”

In an age of spell check, Allen says that things like grammatical errors, misspellings, using text speak, or even not capitalizing things like the letter “I” will disqualify you for a job.

“Employers are looking for any way to weed you out, so you have to be perfect,” she said.

Allen says another trend she sees are people texting or taking calls during an interview. Her tip is to leave the cell phone in the car so you’re not tempted to use it.

Another thing college graduates overlook is their dress.

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“You want to make sure you research the company you’re interviewing with so that you know going into it how they dress. Are they in suit and tie everyday, in khakis and polo shirts?” says Allen. “You want to look like you fit right into the company when you go.”

Allen says you should dress ‘up’ for the interview, are well-groomed, and smell good.

“We had someone show up at an interview before with crocs and socks, their jeans rolled up, literally looking like they just walked out of their garden,” she said.

And leave the parents and pets at home, says Allen. Unless you’re going for a veterinarian job, don’t bring your pets. Bringing a parent into the interview shows you can’t stand on your own.

Allen also says you should be polite, speak clearly, have good manners, don’t speak in generalities, be confident but not cocky, and don’t use slang or words like “like” and “you know…”

Check out “You’ve Graduated NOW WHAT? 10 Steps to Stand Out and Get Hired in the New Economy” for more tips and tricks to land a job.

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