CNBC News Releases


ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — November 2, 2017 — Many job applicants face discriminatory questions during a job interview and nearly three in 10 admit to having lied or exaggerated, according to a new Associated Press-CNBC poll released today. CNBC commissioned the poll in conjunction with the launch of CNBC's new primetime series "The Job Interview," premiering Wednesday, November 8th at 10PM and 10:30PM ET/PT, which goes inside one of life's most pressure-filled experiences ─ where the words you say, the clothes you wear, and even the expression on your face can mean the difference between success and failure. According to the poll, conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research:

During the interview process, many Americans have been asked questions that could be considered in violation of fair hiring practices:

  • 35% were asked about their age; Those with a college degree were less likely to be asked than those without a college degree.
  • 35% were asked about their marital status
  • 21% of respondents were asked about their medical history; Men are about 50% more likely to have been asked than women (26% of men vs. 17% of women).
  • 11% were asked about their plans to have children;
    • Women are more likely than men to have been asked that (13% of women and 8% of men have been asked that).
    • Those in households making less than $60K are nearly three times as likely have been asked than those in households making $60K or more.
    • Also, those with only a high school degree or less are more than twice as likely to have been asked than those with a college degree.
  • 10% percent of Americans under 30 said they've experienced flirtatious behavior or asked sexually suggestive questions during an interview.

Job candidates aren't exactly squeaky clean themselves:

  • 28% or nearly three in 10 Americans say they've lied or exaggerated during a job interview or on an application. This includes:
    • 13% about their skills
    • 12% about previous salary
    • 11% about prior work experience
    • 10% about illegal drug use; Men are more than twice as likely to have lied or exaggerated more than females.
  • Men are also more likely than women to say they've lied or exaggerated about at least one thing, 34 percent to 23 percent.

Many applicants have experienced their share of awkward interview moments:

  • 40% say their mind has gone completely blank and were unable to answer a simple question
  • 28% reported they have forgotten the name of an interviewer entirely
  • 16% sweated profusely
  • 10% arrived late
  • 4% had food stuck in teeth

Adults 45 and under are more likely than older people to have experienced many of these awkward experiences during an interview:

  • Half have blanked and been unable to answer a question.
  • More than a third have forgotten their interviewer's name.
  • More than a quarter have experienced profuse sweating during an interview.
  • Seven percent of those under 30 have attended an interview with food stuck in their teeth.

While young adults (under age 30) are five times as likely than adults 30 plus to say office amenities are very important, most Americans are traditionalists when it comes to what's important when looking for a new job:

  • 76% of everyone polled said that salary and type of work are most important
  • 71% said retirement or insurance benefits are very or extremely important
  • 60% said office location was very or extremely important
  • 16% of younger adults versus just 3% of those 30 and over call office amenities very important.

Premiering Wednesday, November 8th with back-to-back episodes at 10PM and 10:30PM ET/PT, "The Job Interview" is a ten-episode observational series which brings viewers into the room as real employers conduct real interviews with real candidates, only one of whom will land an offer. As candidates step off the elevator, every bead of sweat, awkward handshake, and nervous laugh is captured on camera. The stakes are high, the interviews are real and somebody's going to get hired. Click here to view the trailer.

To learn more about "The Job Interview," visit: Like us on Facebook: and follow us on Twitter: @TheJobInterview #TheJobInterview.

"The Job Interview" is produced by ITV Entertainment based on an ITV Studios Format, to be distributed by ITV Studios Global Entertainment Limited with David Eilenberg, David George, Shawn Witt and Arthur Borman serving as executive producers. Jim Ackerman, Christian Barcellos and Luke Bauer are the executive producers for CNBC.

Programming Note:"The Job Interview" premieres Wednesday, November 8th with back-to-back new episodes at 10PM and 10:30PM ET/PT. Two new episodes will premiere back-to-back on Wednesday, November 15th at 10PM and 10:30PM ET/PT. Beginning Wednesday, November 22, one new episode will premiere each week at 10 PM ET/PT.

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ITV Entertainment, part of the ITV America group, is one of the largest international producers for the US market and a major force in acquiring, developing and producing entertainment programming for US networks. ITV Entertainment has a wide slate of series with major networks and syndicators, including Hell's Kitchen (FOX); The First 48 (A&E); TheFour (FOX); The Job Interview(CNBC); TheChase (GSN); 30 Something Grandma (Lifetime); Big Star Little Star(USA); Help My Yelp(Food); and the new Queer Eye (Netflix), as well as upcoming series and specials for Nickelodeon and A&E, among others.


The AP-CNBC poll of 1,054 adults was conducted Oct. 12-16 by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research using a sample drawn from NORC's probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.0 percentage points.

Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods, and later interviewed online or by phone.

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