Wackiest job interview mistakes

by 10 Nov 2009

What’s the most unusual thing a candidate did in a job interview? Fall asleep? Disappear? Bring his/her mom? A CareerBuilder.com survey of the most outrageous interview mistakes candidates have made, according to more than 3000 hiring managers and HR professionals in the US, listed the top ten job interview blunders as:

1. Candidate answered cell phone and asked the interviewer to leave her own office because it was a “private” conversation.

2. Candidate told the interviewer he wouldn’t be able to stay with the job long because he thought he might get an inheritance if his uncle died – and his uncle wasn’t “looking too good”.

3. Candidate asked the interviewer for a ride home after the interview.

4. Candidate smelled his armpits on the way to the interview room.

5. Candidate said she could not provide a writing sample because all of her writing had been for the CIA and it was “classified”.

6. Candidate told the interviewer he was fired for beating up his last boss.

7. When applicant was offered food before the interview, he declined saying he didn’t want to line his stomach with grease before going out drinking.

8. A candidate for an accounting position said she was a “people person” not a “numbers person”.

9. Candidate flushed the toilet while talking to interviewer during phone interview.

10. Candidate took out a hair brush and brushed her hair.

In addition to the most unusual blunders, employers were also asked about the most common and detrimental mistakes candidates have made during an interview. More than half (51 per cent) of hiring managers cited dressing inappropriately as the most detrimental mistake a candidate can make in an interview. Speaking negatively about a current or previous employer came in second at 49 per cent and appearing disinterested ranked third at 48 per cent. Other mistakes included appearing arrogant (44 per cent), not providing specific answers (30 per cent) and not asking good questions (29 per cent).


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