How does an interviewer think? What are the biggest red flags that an interviewee displays without realizing? What are some of the oddest exchanges that have transpired in an interview? A recent CareerBuilder survey answers these, and many more questions.
The survey, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder, gathered responses from 1,014 hiring managers and human resource professionals employed mostly in the US private sector between November and December 2017. They were asked to share deal-breakers, odd behaviors and discuss the importance of body language and the following are the findings:
10 Most Lethal Interview Mistakes
The respondents were asked to list the behaviors that would result in them writing off candidates immediately. The following are the top ten mistakes that were considered to be the worst:
1. Candidate is caught lying about something: 71%
2. Candidate answers a cell phone or texts during the interview: 67%
3. Candidate appears arrogant or entitled: 59%
4. Candidate appears to have a lack of accountability: 52%
5. Candidate swears: 51%
6. Candidate dresses inappropriately: 50%
7. Candidate talks negatively about current or previous employers: 48%
8. Candidate knows nothing about the job or company: 45%
9. Candidate has unprofessional body language: 43%
10. Candidate knows nothing about the industry or competitors: 35%
Top 10 Body Language Mistakes:
Candidates can also give a lot away, without saying much. The following body language mistakes were the worst, as per the responses:
1. Failure to make eye contact: 68%
2. Failure to smile: 38%
3. Playing with something on the table: 36%
4. Fidgeting too much in his/her seat: 32%
5. Bad posture: 31%
6. Crossing their arms over their chest: 31%
7. Playing with hair or touching one's face: 26%
8. Handshake that is too weak: 22%
9. Using too many hand gestures: 13%
10. Handshake is too strong: 8%
Bizarre Candidate Behaviour
Probably the most amusing part of the survey sought the respondents to describe the most unusual thing a candidate has done during a job interview, and, the findings were unbelievable and surprising in equal parts:
- Candidate did not have the skills to do the job and stated, "Fake it until you make it" as his personal philosophy.
- Candidate asked the interviewer if she was qualified to be doing her job.
- Candidate asked for a cocktail.
- Candidate asked to taste the interviewer's coffee.
- Candidate called a government job "something government-y."
- Candidate came to interview wearing slippers.
- Candidate wore a Darth Vader outfit to the interview.
- Candidate spent a lot of time quoting Dwight D. Eisenhower, which had nothing to do with the position he was interviewing for.
- Candidate leaned far forward with his head down during the first five minutes of the interview.
- Candidate offered interviewer pumpkins and said they transfer good energy.
- Candidate pulled out a bag of drugs with his keys.
- Candidate broke out in song in the middle of the interview.
Rosemary Haefner, CHRO, CareerBuilder, says, "There's a lot riding on an interview — you have to make a great first impression, have knowledge of your target company and its product, and know exactly how to convey that you're the perfect fit for the job. The best thing you can do for yourself is to prepare and practice everything from your body language to answers to standard interview questions. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so going in well-prepared is key."
Appearing for interviews can be a nerve-wracking and anxious process, and even the most rigorous preparation does not guarantee success. The only way to make a first impression is by being reading up beforehand and staying honest; but, on second thought, if your philosophy in life is ‘fake it till you make it’, staying mum might be the way to go!
How much do you agree with the above findings? What are some of the oddest interview experiences you have had? Let us know in the comments below!
You can view the entire survey here.