We had 47 applicants for 1 position, 6 of whom were offered interviews; when asked if she had applied for another position in the building, 1 applicant told us she had applied to over 175 positions and honestly couldn't remember if she had applied for that particular position or not.
Three of the applicants interviewed were in-district applicants, who we are required to interview regardless of their qualifications or the qualifications of other applicants (2 whose positions had been cut, 1 teacher's aide who was trying to get a teaching job that would let her get into an alternative certification program) and had incredibly poor interviews. One, who appeared to be about 40, had horrible interpersonal skills (which, upon closer review of her letters of reference, were apparently a problem in her previous position), another, who appeared to be about 35, had totally flat affect (no facial expression, very little voice inflection) and incredibly long answers that nonetheless contained very little information even when asked for more details (she reminded me of students answering essay questions by putting in everything that might possibly apply) - those two had job histories that implied at least 10-12 interviews each, and still had horrible interviews. The teacher's aide, who appeared to be about 35, had interview skills that were okay, but it was pretty evident that she was not ready to make the move from aide to teacher and needed to go back to school first, instead of seeking alternative certification and going straight to the classroom.
The other three were much better. They were personable, engaged, answered questions fully but succinctly, made appropriate eye contact, and demonstrated appropriate social skills (e.g. eye contact, good listening and turn taking, etc.). One was 22, a newly certified teacher, one was about 25, and had been teaching for 3 years, and one was about 35 and had been teaching for 12 years (the last two were offered jobs). It was actually the older applicants who had poorer interview skills, except for the last one.
At the other end of the spectrum we had one show up for an interview in shorts, a Dallas Cowboy tshirt and flip flops. Needless to say she wasn't even considered. What surprised me about her was she had stopped by in person the day before and had to have noticed the entire dept was dressed in business attire. I would have thought that would have been an indication how to dress accordingly. She was in her early 20's. I wish high schools would teach a course in how to prepare for a job interview.
I wish parents would teach their children how to dress appropriately for a wide variety of situations, as well as teaching them basic social skills, such as how to greet someone, how to get another person's attention, how to eat neatly and with the appropriate utensils, and other basic skills that are sadly lacking for many. As a teacher, I try, as do my coworkers, but if it's not important at home or in the community, there's not much we can do to get through to them.