If you’ve watched one of those reality TV singing competitions like The Voice or American Idol, you’ll know that the contestants barely have a few minutes to make their mark and impress the judges with their talent if they expect to move on to the next round. Turns out job interviews are similar in that it’s a race against time to impress the hiring managers.
Nearly half of employers (49 percent) say they can tell within the first five minutes whether a candidate will be a good fit for the position, and the vast majority (87 percent) know within the first 15 minutes, according to CareerBuilder’s new national survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers and HR professionals. But that doesn’t prevent some job seekers from crashing and burning.
Wow, what were they thinking?
Just like some of the cringeworthy wild cards on American Idol, there have been some “William Hung” moments in the job interview world. Are these stunts gone bad, or are these people for real? Just for fun, I’ve taken the liberty of rating each of these actions in one of three categories: LOL, OMG and WTF. Take a look and tell me if you agree or put your own rating on it.
- What better way to express an interest in the company’s dental benefits than popping out your dentures? WTF
- Setting fire to the interviewer’s newspaper will certainly impress him. OMG
- I don’t care what anyone says, it’s totally normal to act out a Star Trek role during a job interview. LOL
- Crashing your car into a building will definitely get you the employer’s attention — but for all the wrong reasons. OMG
- Unless you’re applying for a job at Apple, keeping your iPod headphones on during the entire interview seems disrespectful. WTF
- If you have second thoughts about your daughter’s paternity, bring it to Maury, not a hiring manager. OMG
- Can’t scrounge up a date? Hit up the receptionist at the company you’re interviewing with. LOL
- A wannabe Chris Hanson secretly tried to record a job interview. WTF
- When your significant other doesn’t feel like perusing personal photo albums with you, why not bring it in to share with a hiring manager? OMG
- Asking for a hug from a stranger seems inappropriate even outside of a job interview, even though it’s more harmless than the rest of these. LOL
That’s not even the end of the list. Click here to read the entire press release.
Common sense is not so common
Quit fidgeting. Sit up straight. Smile. Make eye contact. Stop playing with your hair. We’ve all heard this type of “nagging” from our parents at one point or another when we were young. Turns out job seekers could use some of that advice while interviewing, as employers pointed to this lack of body language etiquette as a factor that could potentially harm a candidate’s chances of landing the job.
If you thought that etiquette and common courtesy came naturally to people, newsflash — it doesn’t. Some examples of candidates crossing that line during an interview include: looking bored (55 percent), dressing inappropriately (53 percent), coming off as arrogant (53 percent), bad mouthing previous employers (50 percent), answering a phone call in front of the hiring manager (49 percent), not doing homework on the company or role (39 percent), sharing TMI (20 percent) and asking personal questions (17 percent).
Tell us in the comments below: What are the biggest interview blunders YOU have ever come across? I’ll get us started. Someone once came in 20 minutes late with no heads up or explanation or even mention of why he was late and then proceeded to turn red in the face and sweat profusely throughout the interview. Awkward!