25 Too-Weird-to-Be-True Job Interview Blunders

interview-blundersJob seekers work hard to get a job interview. Once they get the interview, though, it is clear many don’t understand the need to impress, to fit into an existing culture or to compete well.

A recent CareerBuilder study of over 2,200 hiring managers and human resources representatives showed some amazing behavior on the part of job seekers:

  • One applicant crashed her car into the building
  • Many applicants dress strangely – in a Star Wars costume or in their running gear
  • An applicant kept iPod headphone on during the interview
  • Another checked Facebook during the job interview
  • One over-eager candidate asked for the receptionist’s name and phone number because he really liked her

I’ve heard many other horror stories from recruiters and experienced a few myself as an interviewer. Please do NOT do any of these behaviors during a job interview:

Misusing Cell Phones:

  1. Answering a call
  2. Texting
  3. Playing a game on the smart phone while waiting, or even interviewing
  4. Asking to delay the start of the interview until composing an email was completed

Demonstrating Bad Manners:

  1. Arriving late
  2. Yawning
  3. Bad breath
  4. Bad body odor or too much perfume or cologne
  5. Cursing during the interview
  6. Arriving too early (more than 10 minutes)
  7. Parking in the employee parking spaces
  8. Smelling like cigarette or cigar smoke
  9. Being rude to the elevator operator, receptionist, secretary, or other “unimportant” staff members
  10. Coughing and sneezing and not covering up

Being Unprepared for Job Interviews:

  1. Not knowing which job being interviewed for
  2. Not remembering the title and requirements of the job being interviewed for
  3. Not having copies of the resume ready to give to interviewers
  4. Not having a good answer to, “What do you know about us?”
  5. Not having good questions about the job and the organization ready to ask (questions that couldn’t be answered by a Google search or pre-interview preparation)

Acting Very Oddly in Job Interviews:

  1. Bringing small children in strollers
  2. Attempting to include parents in the interview
  3. Bringing a sandwich and soft drink (or coffee and a bagel) and eating during the interview that was not intended to be a meal
  4. Appearing tipsy or drugged
  5. Deliberately Avoiding eye contact
  6. Dressing inappropriately – this is not a night club!

Of course, not everyone is this clueless; still, we can learn from the mistakes of others. Who knows, we just might have the very next interview after a candidate commits one of these blunders!





For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Work Coach Cafe!




About the Author: Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been  observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. In 2011, NETability purchased WorkCoachCafe.com, which Susan has been editor and publisher of WorkCoach since then.  Susan also edits and publishes Job-Hunt.org.  Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on .



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