Over the years I've spent a lot of time dealing with guild applications. Designing them, reading them, critiqueing them, filling them out, etc. I've written a couple posts on how to properly apply for a raiding guild, and I still poke my head into recruitment forums just to see what other folks are producing.
Most guild application are fairly straight forward affairs, though some are certainly more developed than others. Like a job application, this is a guild's opportunity to get to know you before they take the time to actually speak with you. Because of this, it's generally your first (and often only) chance to tell them what they want to hear about you.
Typical questions are about your spec, role, playtimes (or playstyle), former raid experience, former guilds (and why you left) etc. They want to make sure they aren't getting a habitual guild hopper, or someone who just opened WoW for the first time ever. These questions are generally fair and easy enough to answer (if you put 30 sec worth of effort into it), but then we come to the big one.
The big lie
The one question that sets you up for failure faster than anything else, at least if you're being expected to tell the truth on everything.
Are you willing to sit out for another raid member?
Uh - what is no? Look, you're recruiting for my role here. Your board specifically says you have a high need for a Holy Paladin, hence my application. So why would I sit out for someone else? Maybe if it's an extreme case where we really need that one extra DPS, but then I want to know why you're not sitting that guy who you have 2 or 3 of his class in.
In all honesty though, I play to raid. I also think it's pretty poor form to expect someone to be on and available, but not actually raid. Requireing you to be on vent or (worse) sitting outside the instance logged in - on the CHANCE you'll be called in. Bugger that. I can make an exception if you're in a guild that is racing for world (maybe, and I mean MAYBE server) firsts. In guilds like Paragon and Vodka you do whatever it takes for those kills. Then you resume normal play again, and ratchet down.
Unfortunately, this attitude doesn't seem to be the popular one, because larger guilds need a bench to operate. You want your bench players to have some idea of the fights, and it doesn't hurt them to get gear. My only response to that is...
I don't care - I want a white one
Honestly, I could care less about Jimmy the 3rd Pally getting in to heal or what not. I don't play the game for Jimmy, I play for me. If I make the scheduling requirements to raid, I expect to be in there - every single raid.
There's probably at least one
I'm sure that of my few readers (and the thousands of raiders) at least one or two are honestly ok with sitting out for the good of the raid. Personally, I want to throw up and tell the applicant to grow a pair every time I read something like "I'm completely ok with sitting, because it's for the good of the raid that everyone gets a chance to experience the content and get some gear". /vomit