Did they really just say that?

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What's the most unusual thing a candidate has ever done in a job interview? Fall asleep? Disappear? Bring his/her mum?

A CareerBuilder.com survey of the most outrageous interview mistakes candidates have made, according to more than 3,000 hiring managers and HR professionals, listed the top 10 job interview blunders as:


  1. Candidate answered cell phone and asked the interviewer to leave her own office because it was a "private" conversation.
  2. 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".
  3. Candidate asked the interviewer for a ride home after the interview.
  4. Candidate smelled his armpits on the way to the interview room.
  5. Candidate said she could not provide a writing sample because all of her writing had been for the secret police and it was "classified".
  6. Candidate told the interviewer he was fired for bashing his last boss.
  7. 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. 
  8. A candidate for an accounting position said she was a "people person" not a "numbers person".
  9. Candidate flushed the toilet while talking to interviewer during phone interview.
  10. Candidate took out a hair brush and brushed her hair.

In addition to the most unusual blunders, employers were also asked about the most common and detrimental mistakes candidates have made during an interview.

More than half (51%) of hiring managers cited dressing inappropriately as the most detrimental mistake a candidate can make in an interview.

Speaking negatively about a current or previous employer came in second place at 49% and appearing disinterested ranked third at 48%.

Other mistakes included appearing arrogant (44%), not providing specific answers (30%) and not asking relevant questions (29%).


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