The Punchline

CareerBuilder: Most common job interview mistakes

Katharine Crnko Mar 2, 2011

Acing an interview has always been an important step in landing a job. But as many Americans continue their search for employment in today’s ultra-competitive market, the added pressure may be causing some job seekers to make unnecessary mistakes during their interviews that could end up costing them the job. has surveyed more than 2,400 hiring managers to find out the outrageous and common mistakes some candidates have made in job interviews.

Top 10 Most Common Mistakes Candidates Make During a Job Interview:

  • Answering a cell phone or texting during the interview
  • Dressing inappropriately
  • Appearing disinterested
  • Appearing arrogant
  • Speaking negatively about a current or previous employer
  • Chewing gum
  • Not providing specific answers
  • Not asking good questions

Some of the hiring managers interviewed had some truly outrageous interview stories. These interview gaffs made a list of their own —’s Most Outrageous Job Interview Blunders:

  • Provided a detailed listing of how a previous employer made them mad.
  • Hugged the hiring manager at the end of the interview.
  • Ate all the candy from the candy bowl while trying to answer questions.
  • Constantly bad-mouthed their spouse.
  • Blew her nose and lined up the used tissues on the table in front of her.
  • Brought a copy of their college diploma that had obviously been whited-out and their name added.
  • Wore a hat that said “take this job and shove it.”
  • Talked about how an affair cost him a previous job.
  • Threw his beer can in the outside trashcan before coming into the reception office.
  • Had a friend come in and ask “HOW MUCH LONGER?”

You can read more about’s “Outrageous and Common Job Interview Mistakes” survey, and get advice on how to ace an interview, here.

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