What NOT To Do At a Job Interview

Most of us are on our best behavior at job interviews. Most of us. Want proof that some people look at the process a little differently?

Here are some true horror stories shared by employers, hiring managers and HR managers as part of a nationwide survey recently conducted by Harris Interactive for CareerBuilder.

Believe It or Not

You’d think avoiding these mistakes would be no-brainers, but survey respondents said the following are actually the most common interview misbehaviors:

  • Answering cell phone or texting: 77 percent
  • Appearing disinterested: 75 percent
  • Dressing inappropriately: 72 percent
  • Appearing arrogant: 72 percent
  • Talking negatively about current or previous employers: 67 percent
  • Chewing gum: 63 percent

And You Thought Texting Was Bad?

Here are some highlights of the respondents’ most memorable or unusual interview experiences:

  • Candidate brought a “How to Interview” book with him to the interview.
  • Candidate asked, “What company is this, again?”
  • Candidate asked for a sip of the interviewer’s coffee.
  • Candidate took off his shoes during the interview.
  • Candidate talked about promptness as one of her strengths after showing up ten minutes late.
  • Candidate wore a Boy Scout uniform and never told interviewers why.
  • Candidate was arrested by federal authorities during the interview when the background check revealed the person had an outstanding warrant.
  • On the way to the interview, the candidate passed, cut off, and flipped his middle finger at the driver–who happened to be the interviewer.
  • Candidate referred to himself in the third person.
  • Candidate told the interviewer she wasn’t sure if the job offered was worth “starting the car for.”
  • When a candidate interviewing for a security position wasn’t hired on the spot, he painted graffiti on the building.

Trust us–we won’t let you show up on next year’s list. We’ll help you do your homework, stay professional and blow away the interviewer–for the right reasons!

About the author:

Erik Deckers is the owner of Professional Blog Service, a blogging and social media marketing agency in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is the co-author of Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself. His new book, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing, is in bookstores and available as a Kindle or Nook book, now.