Shocked by what she'd seen, my colleague said later, "In this economy, I expect job seekers will be on their very best behavior." Needless to say, this job seeker will not be getting a job offer. In this extremely competitive job market, employers get to choose the very best. They expect to see the very best of you in the interview.
Here's my advice: If you've developed a Pavlovian response and simply cannot help but reach for your phone or PDA whenever it buzzes, beeps or otherwise calls to you, then turn it off or leave it at home.
For more sage advice on job hunting, check out the Employment Specialist blog. It's written by an honest-to-goodness professional employment specialist in Portland, Oregon. The blog has a good mix of straightforward advice and news from around the employment and job hunting world. It makes sense of some of the job hunting advice you might be hearing and reading, and helps to debunk some of the bad advice out there.
For example, from a recent Employment Specialist post:
"You do not need a resume to do a job search."
Is it possible to get a job without a resume? Sure. Can all my job seekers throw away their resumes? The idea frightens me.
There is probably a nuanced explanation to the "no resume" job search, but the 1/2 hour presentation didn't leave time for that.
When reading job search advice, consider the source, and check it against common sense.
Good luck on the job search, and put your best foot forward.