You know the job market is bad, but perhaps you aren't aware of quite how bad.
Human resources consultant Caliper, Princeton, N.J., conducted a typical staid employment survey and asked companies questions such as "How long is it taking to fill management positions?" (average: 65 days), "How long for sales positions?" (average: 60 days) and "How long for customer service jobs?" (average: 40 days).
HR staff reported to Caliper that they've had to narrow down "reams of resumes" to the top 10 or so candidates, and that they are being a lot pickier and taking more time to find the right person.
But Caliper's survey also found that even in a super-tight job market and with a more careful selection process, HR execs still aren't getting the savviest interviewees. Caliper asked internal company recruiters for the funniest things anyone ever said during a hiring interview and got the following responses (these are real examples):
* Do you know of any companies where I could get a job I would like better than this one?
* My resume might make it look like I'm a job hopper, but I want you to know I never left any of those jobs voluntarily.
* I'm quitting my present job because I hate to work hard.
* Does this tie go with this suit?
* I can't see out of these glasses. Can I come back when I get my new glasses?
* I will definitely work harder for you than I did for my last employer.
* Sorry for yawning. I usually sleep until my soap operas are on.
* I don't think I'm capable of doing this job, but I sure would like the money.
* What job am I applying for, anyway?