Serious Interview Mistakes Job Seekers Make

In a nationwide CareerBuilder survey conducted by Harris Interactive among more than 3,000 employers, hiring and human resource managers were asked to rate the biggest mistakes candidates make during interviews and share their most unusual interview memories.

[ Also Read: Four Job Interview Flubs You Must Avoid ]

Hiring managers say the following are the mistakes most detrimental to your interview performance:

  • Answering cell phone or texting: 77 percent
  • Appearing disinterested: 75 percent
  • Dressing inappropriately: 72 percent
  • Appearing arrogant: 72 percent
  • Talking negatively about current or previous employers: 67 percent
  • Chewing gum: 63 percent
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Several thousand hiring managers shared their most memorable or unusual interview experiences. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Candidate brought a “how to interview book” with him to the interview.
  • Candidate asked, “What company is this again?”
  • Candidate put the interviewer on hold during a phone interview.  When she came back on the line, she told the interviewer that she had a date set up for Friday.
  • When a candidate interviewing for a security position wasn’t hired on the spot, he painted graffiti on the building.
  • Candidate wore a Boy Scout uniform and never told interviewers why.
  • Candidate was arrested by federal authorities during the interview when the background check revealed the person had an outstanding warrant.
  • Candidate talked about promptness as one of her strengths after showing up ten minutes late.
  • On the way to the interview, the candidate passed, cut-off, and flipped his middle finger at the driver who happened to be the interviewer.
  • Candidate referred to himself in the third person.
  • Candidate took off his shoes during the interview.
  • Candidate asked for a sip of the interviewer’s coffee.
  • Candidate told the interviewer she wasn’t sure if the job offered was worth “starting the car for.”
[ Also Read: Nine Signs You’re Working in a Sick Company ]

“It may seem unlikely that candidates would ever answer a cell phone during an interview, or wear shorts, but when we talk to hiring managers, we remarkably hear these stories all of the time,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder.

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder among 3,023 hiring managers and human resource professionals between Nov. 9 and Dec. 5, 2011. The survey findings were announced today, Feb.22. CareerBuilder offers human capital solutions.

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