May 2012
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Arrested for an Outstanding Warrant ... and Other Memorable Interview Moments

Monday, May 7, 2012

A job search in today's market is difficult enough without applicants committing egregious blunders during the interview phase. In a recent CareerBuilder survey conducted by Harris Interactive, more than 3,000 employers, hiring managers, and human resource managers in the United States rated the biggest mistakes candidates commonly make during interviews.


The most consistent mishaps include answering a cell phone or texting (77 percent), appearing disinterested (75 percent), dressing inappropriately (72 percent), appearing arrogant (72 percent), talking negatively about current or previous employers (67 percent), and chewing gum (63 percent).

Additionally, survey respondents shared their most unusual interview moments. While job seekers hope to be memorable when compared with other interviewees, employers most likely recalled the following stand-out candidates with a giggle, cringe, or sigh.

  • Candidate brought a "how to interview book" with him to the interview.
  • Candidate asked, "What company is this again?"
  • Candidate put the interviewer on hold during a phone interview. When she came back on the line, she told the interviewer that she had a date set up for Friday.
  • When a candidate interviewing for a security position wasn't hired on the spot, he painted graffiti on the building.
  • Candidate wore a Boy Scout uniform and never told interviewers why.
  • Candidate was arrested by federal authorities during the interview when the background check revealed the person had an outstanding warrant.
  • Candidate cited promptness as one of her strengths after showing up 10 minutes late.
  • On the way to the interview, the candidate passed, cut off, and flipped his middle finger at a driver, who happened to be the interviewer.
  • Candidate referred to himself in the third person.
  • Candidate took off his shoes during the interview.
  • Candidate asked for a sip of the interviewer's coffee.
  • Candidate told the interviewer she wasn't sure if the job offered was worth "starting the car for."
About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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