Until USA Today mentioned in an article on job interview etiquette that a candidate interviewing for a job at American Eagle once brought her cat to her interview, we didn't realize it was necessary to explicitly instruct job hopefuls not to bring their cats to their interviews.

A college senior brought her cat into an interview for a buyer's position at clothing retailer American Eagle. She set the crate-housed cat on the interviewer's desk and periodically played with it. "It hit me like — why would you think that's OK?" says Mark Dillon, the chain's former recruiting director. "She cut herself off before she had a chance."

Obviously, this anecdote raises many questions. At what point during the interview did it "hit" the interviewer that it was odd his candidate had brought her cat to the interview, if not immediately, even before they sat down? How did the interviewee wrangle her cat into a crate in the first place? Did the cat ever land a job?

While pondering these issues, we began to create a list of all the behaviors job candidates should not exhibit in their interviews.


1) Don’t bring a cat or any other animal (domesticated or wild) unless it can be discreetly concealed in your pocket or purse for the duration of the interview.

2) Don’t set the office in which your interview is being conducted on fire.

3) Don’t sit in your interviewer’s lap and put her necklace in your mouth.

4) Don’t put your necklace in your mouth.

5) Don’t set off the fire alarm unless you have disregarded instruction No. 2.

6) Don’t steal your interviewer’s wallet; this is but a temporary solution to your money problems.

7) Don’t shake your interviewer’s hand while holding a blood-soaked tampon.

8) Don’t not wear clothes.

9) Don’t chop up the office furniture with an axe.

10) Don’t invite your boyfriend to the office in the middle of your interview to have sex with him.

11) Don’t attack your interviewer.

Please offer your interview advice for new grads in the discussion space below.

[USA Today // Image via Shutterstock]