Here's a tip for your next job interview: Don't mention that you punched your previous boss.
It may sound like a no-brainer, but that was just one of ten unusual job interview gaffes according to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive for CareerBuilder.com. The survey asked over 3,000 hiring managers and human resources professionals nationwide to list their job candidates worst interview blunders. The top ten were:
- Candidate answered cell phone and asked the interviewer to leave her own office because it was a "private" conversation.
- Candidate told the interviewer he wouldn’t be able to stay with the job long because he thought he might get an inheritance if his uncle died – and his uncle wasn’t "looking too good."
- Candidate asked the interviewer for a ride home after the interview.
- Candidate smelled his armpits on the way to the interview room.
- Candidate said she could not provide a writing sample because all of her writing had been for the CIA and it was "classified."
- Candidate told the interviewer he was fired for beating up his last boss.
- When applicant was offered food before the interview, he declined saying he didn’t want to line his stomach with grease before going out drinking.
- Candidate for an accounting position said she was a "people person" not a "numbers person."
- Candidate flushed the toilet while talking to interviewer during phone interview.
- Candidate took out a hair brush and brushed her hair.
Job interview nerves are common, but Tanya Flynn, a senior career advisor at CareerBuilder.com, thinks nerves are not the real problem here. She says people make the mistake of getting “too comfortable” and casual at an interview and thus reveal too much personal information.
Flynn's advice is to ask yourself mock questions before heading out to the interview to avoid saying the wrong thing.
Besides asking them to list their most unusual blunders, the survey also asked hiring managers what the most common and damaging mistakes candidates make during job interviews.
The biggest mistake is dressing inappropriately, followed by speaking negatively about a previous employer. In third place was appearing disinterested, followed by appearing arrogant, not providing specific answers and not asking good questions.
Tell us your worst interview story. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll follow up sometime soon.