Those are among outrageous blunders job candidates have made, according to the results of a CareerBuilder survey released in January 2011. The findings are from an online survey of 2,482 full-time hiring managers in the U.S. conducted in November and December 2010. Other over-the-top mistakes include:
- The woman who blew her nose and lined up the used tissues on the table in front of her.
- The man who talked about an affair that cost him a previous job.
- The person who ate all the candy from the bowl while answering interview questions.
- The person who wore a hat that said “take this job and shove it.”
- The person whose friend interrupted the interview to ask how much longer it was going to last.
- The person who brought a copy of a doctored college diploma.
- The person who provided a detailed list of how the previous employer made him mad.
“The goal of any interview is to stand out from the other candidates and ultimately land the job, but make sure you stand out for the right reasons,” CareerBuilder’s vice president of HR, Rosemary Haefner, said in a news release.
Mia Melle, president of West Coast Property Specialists Inc., wishes she could take job candidates aside and clue them in to their missteps. Most of the time an interviewer knows within a few moments of meeting the applicant whether the candidate has a chance of being hired, she told SHRM Online.
“That may seem harsh or superficial, but I’ve been in the position of hiring people for over 10 years and it’s the truth. Unless what starts coming out of your mouth is exceptional, I’ve made up my mind in the first three seconds or so.”
Other things that can contribute to a bad impression: a limp, clammy, cold or even bone-crushing handshake; being inattentive; reeking of perfume or tobacco.
“Whatever you do, do not smoke before an interview,” Melle said. “All I can think about is them stinking up our office every day and having to leave every hour to go smoke.”
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