12 Unusual Interview Mistakes Candidates Have Made

Ladan Nikravan Hayes

A lot hangs on the success of a job interview for candidates, making it a stressful experience for many of them. Stress can lead to nervousness, and nervousness can lead to strange behavior. Perhaps that explains the strange behavior some hiring managers have seen from job candidates.

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, when asked to share the most unusual things job candidates have done during the interview process, employers and hiring managers recalled the following:

  • 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 for which he was interviewing.
  • 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.

It’s Not What They Said…

While the mistakes above are sure to get an interviewer’s attention, body language mistakes can also lead to doom for a job seeker. From the moment job seekers arrive for their interviews until the moment they leave, they should be keenly aware of their gestures and nonverbal cues. According to employers, the most common body language mistakes include:

  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

Nerves All Around

Job seekers aren’t the only ones that become nervous when it’s interview time. The process can be stressful for employers, too. To keep your nerves at bay, before going into an interview:

  • Fully understand what you’re looking for in a job candidate.
  • Create a list of questions that apply to all open jobs.
  • Be patient and treat yourself and candidates with kindness.

Hiring? Get to know some common red flags that can tell you to reconsider a candidate and dig deeper before moving ahead in the hiring process.

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