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Can you imagine showing up for an interview without a resume? It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Even if you are interviewing for a low-level job, you must have a resume and arrive on time. Your resume-less arrival reflects a casual attitude and lack of preparation.

As you know, a resume is a simple statement of your work and education experience. It is the starting point of every interview. Arriving on time, which means being five minutes early, will enable you to interview with confidence. Go to the Daily News Web site, www.dailynews.com, and click on the employment link. Read my Ten Commandments of Interviewing. You will find the advice helpful for your next interview.

Before your interview, you already e-mailed or faxed your resume to the company, therefore, why would you need to bring a copy? Resumes can be misplaced or lost at the last minute. Sometimes, the interviewer wants a hard copy from you to verify the information. If you have changed or updated your resume, since sending it to the company, be sure to indicate that and explain what has changed.

Here are several statements that signal the interviewer that you are not a serious candidate. They are as follows:

  1. My map was wrong.
    I got lost because I’m really bad at reading a map. I might be dyslexic. I drove by your office twice and had to ask for directions. I hope this job does not require any outside work or travel.
  2. My car would not start.
    Someone misplaced my keys and I couldn’t find them for 20 minutes! I need to get a lock for my bedroom door. My family is always snooping around my stuff. Then, my car wouldn’t start and I got trapped in heavy traffic.
  3. My mom forgot to wake me.
    My mom always wakes me up when I have an important appointment. My alarm didn’t go off because I have trouble setting the A.M. or P.M. and I get confused.
  4. My dog hit the delete key.
    My entire resume was deleted and I didn’t have enough time to recreate it. I have a very small lap dog and she sometimes leaps up onto the keyboard. This is the new, updated excuse for the digital age.
[QUICK TIP:] Blaming your map, your car, your mom or your dog is avoiding responsibility and stating that it’s not your fault. None of these excuses are real, at least I have never heard them. I made them up to illustrate how transparent excuses can be. Even when your excuse is legitimate, you face an uphill battle during the interview to gain credibility. You must take responsibility for your mistakes. Planning ahead and being prepared will make the interview go smoothly and get you the job offer.

PLEASE NOTE: emails received become the property of "Dear Headhunter" and may be published unless otherwise requested. Questions may be edited for content and length. All questions will be reviewed, some without a reply.

George Gurney has been a leader in the employment industry since 1976. He founded an executive search firm that conducts domestic and international assignments.  He has won numerous awards for recruiting excellence.  He has been a guest speaker at national conventions and seminars.