Article: 36% mid-level executives make blunders during interviews


36% mid-level executives make blunders during interviews

The research, done on more than 500 employers across various industries, stated that the question on which most candidates falter is when they try to explain their current job responsibilities.
36% mid-level executives make blunders during interviews

Interview is a process you cannot avoid -- whether you are hiring someone or whether you are interested in getting a job.

Let's look at two different situations (and this has happened in reality)

Situation 1: At an office for a job interview

Interviewer: Briefly tell us about your current job responsibilities

Interviewee: What do you want to know?

Interviewer: Tell us how you handled various responsibilities, and about your current job profile

Interviewee: Just like everybody else does!

This is not a fictional conversation. This happened with my colleague who was busy taking interviews for a position we were trying to close. The candidate had already gone through telephonic interviews, possesses decent experience yet the person had no idea about how to answer questions during interviews, even if you are not interested to work.

Needless to say, the candidate was not considered for the position anymore.

Situation 2: After the initial interview, the candidate was asked to take a test

Interviewer: There are two topics on which you can write on within 500 words. It’s 11 am now. Although there is no time limit, see when you can finish.

Interviewee: OK. Can I go and have something to eat?

Interviewer: Of course, but appreciate if you could start asap.

Interviewee: Sure! 

(The candidate took three breaks, one for at least 45 mins. The interviewee submitted papers in the evening at 6.30.) The candidate had absolutely no idea that he/she was being marked in the negative because of the lackadaisical attitude. The write-ups were good, but do you think the person made it?

These are two very pertinent problems the recruitment managers face everyday. And you thought recruiting the perfect candidate is a cake walk. 

Ask the HR managers handling the hiring processes for your organizations and they will have huge stories on how they finally zeroed in on you! Every company is sitting on a huge pool of data – talent, hiring agencies, referrels. But how many of them actually work? 

According to a study by, more than 50% candidates fumble during job interviews and cannot answer the most elementary questions. The research was done on more than 500 employers across various industries, and 52% respondents said that the question on which most candidates falter is when they try to explain their current job responsibilities. 

Interestingly, an employer/recruiter/hiring manager on an average spends 10-15 minutes on interviewing a candidate and less than 5% of the candidates (interviews monthly) are finally selected for the job.

While a newbie might slip in an interview for obvious reasons, maybe he/she is nervous since it’s a first job interview or for any other reason, (44% employers in the survey said that the entry-level candidates fumble the most), but a good 36% respondents also said that experienced middle-level professionals also make the most number of mistakes during interviews. Only 20% said senior-level candidates make interview mistakes.

The biggest blunder a candidate does is when he/she comes unprepared for an interview. There is nothing more off-putting than that.  Failing to do research about the company is the most common blunder, a whopping 72% of the employers said.

The other very common areas where candidates falter are:

  • How they are best fit for the job in the company (20%)
  • Explaining their skill-sets (18%)
  • Lying about their achievements and over-exaggerating during interviews (36%)
  • Body language showing they are dispassionate and disengaged (50%)
  • Not dressing appropriately (43%)
  • Date of employment and academic degree on which candidates fumble (10%)


Research will pop data right in front of you. It will talk about how talent is readily available – yes degree-wise, it is possible. But the peripheral things while hiring one – whether he/she is a culture fit, attitude, responsible – are equally important since it’s business we are talking about. It doesn’t make sense to hire and fire. 

Read full story

Topics: Recruitment, #Hiring

Did you find this story helpful?



How do you envision AI transforming your work?