Doing well in a job interview is part art and part science. Crafting the right image to project varies from one employer to another. But there are some pretty hard and fast rules you can follow to increase your chances of having a successful interview.
To that end, CareerBuilder’s recent annual survey of employers reveals some very unusual job interview mistakes as well as several important tips about body language.
According to their survey of 1,014 hiring managers and human resource professionals across assorted industries and company sizes, nearly half of employers reported that they know if a candidate is a good or bad fit within the first five minutes of the job interview. Only eight percent say they take a half hour or longer to make up their mind about a potential employee.
“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,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “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.”
When asked to share the most unusual things job candidates have done during the interview process, here are some of the odd stories employers and hiring managers shared. You probably shouldn’t do any of these things.
— Candidate did not have the skills to do the job and stated, “Fake it until you make it” as his personal philosophy.
— Candidate asked 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.
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Okay, now you know to avoid doing those things in a job interview. Here are 10 more instant deal breakers employers revealed.
1. Candidate is caught lying about something: 71 percent
2. Candidate answers a cell phone or texts during the interview: 67 percent
3. Candidate appears arrogant or entitled: 59 percent
4. Candidate appears to have a lack of accountability: 52 percent
5. Candidate swears: 51 percent
6. Candidate dresses inappropriately: 50 percent
7. Candidate talks negatively about current or previous employers: 48 percent
8. Candidate knows nothing about the job or company: 45 percent
9. Candidate has unprofessional body language: 43 percent
10. Candidate knows nothing about the industry or competitors: 35 percent
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Got all that? Good. I know it’s a lot to remember, but just use some common sense and you should be good. Oh, and be sure to also not make any of these body language mistakes. Hiring managers don’t like these either.
1. Failure to make eye contact: 68 percent
2. Failure to smile: 38 percent
3. Playing with something on the table: 36 percent
4. Fidgeting too much in his/her seat: 32 percent
5. Bad posture: 31 percent
6. Crossing their arms over their chest: 31 percent
7. Playing with hair or touching one’s face: 26 percent
8. Handshake that is too weak: 22 percent
9. Using too many hand gestures: 13 percent
10. Handshake is too strong: 8 percent
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