Think you’ve seen and heard it all when it comes to interviews? In a time when there is an average of five people for every job opening, one might think job seekers consistently bring their “A” game to the interview room. Not so, as Careerbuilder’s annual survey on the most memorable interview mistakes reveals.
In the survey of more than 3,000 employers, hiring and human resource managers shared some of the most pervasive harmful mistakes individuals make in the process.
- “I’m on an interview, but I can talk.” Close to 80 percent of respondents identified individuals who answered their cell phones or sent text messages during the interview.
- I see your lips moving, but all I hear is “blah, blah, blah.” Many hiring managers (75 percent) said they’ve had candidates who appear disinterested during the interview.
- This doesn’t quite meet the definition of business casual. It might seem surprising that candidates would show up to an interview in shorts and flip flops, but it is very common. Unless you’re interviewing for a lifeguard position, ditch the shorts at home.
- Purveyor of Awesome? Tied with dressing inappropriately, hiring managers cited candidates who appeared arrogant during an interview.
- Trash talk about a former employer. When you hear a candidate talk negatively about their current or previous employer, don’t you cringe inside? The loudest thought in my head is, “Stay away from this negative person.”
To the hiring managers who experienced these unique situations, it may have been difficult to see the humor. Thanks to them, however, we can enjoy some of them here. Here are a few of my favorites from the list:
- On the way to his interview, one candidate passed, cut-off, and then flipped the bird at a driver. Unfortunately for him, the driver was the interviewer he was coming to meet!
- One candidate referred to himself in the third person throughout the interview.
- After showing up 10 minutes late, the candidate highlighted “promptness” as one of her strengths.
- After being placed on hold during a phone interview, one hiring manager listened as the candidate excitedly shared that she had just set up a date for the following Friday.
- One candidate who interviewed for a security position was so upset that he wasn’t hired on the spot: he decided to paint graffiti on the building!
Careerbuilder’s Survey: Most Memorable Interview Mistakes