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10 things that can instantly stop you getting that dream job

  • Publish Date: Posted over 2 years ago

So, you have an interview for your dream job. You’re taking this seriously and have been preparing accordingly. You know that you only have one chance to show yourself off in the best light, so you are all prepared to make a great first impression and you are more than ready to answer why you are a perfect fit for this job.

No one could say you are ill prepared. But you might be surprised to hear that no matter how much planning and preparation you do according to research, conducted by The Harris Poll for CareerBuilder, there are things that you can do in an interview that can instantly devastate your chance of getting the job, even if you are the best candidate!

So, what did respondents say are the 10 things that will instantly stop you getting that dream job?

  • Candidate is discovered telling lies about something - 71%

    Now surely this is an easy one, but if we are honest it has to be the most tempting. It can be very frustrating when you know that you could do a job well but are unable to get it because you have a missing piece of experience or a grade that is essential. No matter how tempting it is it is never worth the risk as even if you were to get through the interview stage you could be caught out later which is even worse.

  • Candidate answers a mobile phone or sends texts during the interview - 67%

    Another one that might surprise you, although as it ranks so highly candidates are stilling doing. Checking your phone during an interview, even if you say, “excuse me this is an important call,” simply tells the interviewer that they and this new role are not your priority and conveys that you aren’t taking the interview serious. There should be no temptation to answer your phone so make sure it is turned completely off.

  • Candidate appears arrogant or entitled - 59%

    Now no one is doubting that we are recruiting in a candidate driven market and often the candidate is king. Even if you have been headhunted appearing arrogant or entitled is going to put of 59 percent of hiring managers. Yes, you want to give the best impression, stand out and get all your successes across but it can be a fine line between pride and bragging and it can be easy to appear like you take all the success yourself and leave nothing for your team.

  • Candidate has a lack of accountability for their actions - 52%

    For any business accountability is one of the most important traits they will desire from any team member as without it there can be a serious impact on the overall team and ultimately the success of the business. Highlighting where you have taken full accountability is important but more important is to not show that you don’t take responsibility and blame others for your lack of success.

  • Candidate swears - 51%

    This really again should be an obvious one. No matter how comfortable you feel in the interview or how friendly the interviewer is, don’t relax and start swearing.

  • Candidate dresses inappropriately - 50%

    The days are gone where you knew that a suit was always best for an interview. Today the clothes you wear for your interview need to match the industry, company culture and say a lot about your judgement and professionalism. Dress the part for the individual company and role and be wary of anything too tight, casual or anything that looks like you are about to hit the town.

  • Candidate responds negatively about their current/previous employers - 48%

    When you do this the interviewer is wondering what you would say about them when you next go for an interview and that never ends well. Don’t do it.

  • Candidate knows nothing about the vacancy or company - 45%

    Even if you are at the top of your field not knowing anything about the company can come over as if you aren’t really interested or committed. An interviewer wants to know that you are committed or else no matter how much they want your experience or skills, they will not take a risk on hiring you.

  • Candidate has unprofessional body language - 43%

    Any interviewer expects candidates to be nervous and somewhat unrelaxed, however be careful that your body language doesn’t come over as unprofessional. Watch that you don’t fidget, play with things such as your hair and sit upright. Remember this is your time to shine so make eye contact, smile and always give a firm hand shake.

  • Candidate has no industry knowledge or knows nothing about the competitors - 35%

    You might be an expert it your particular role but interviewers care that you care about their specific industry and who their competitors are. Although you might not be expected to have specific industry knowledge to do the job, ignorance is never ok in an interview.

To offer even more insight researchers also asked hiring managers and HR professionals to identify “the biggest body language mistakes job seekers make during an interview.”

Here are the top 10 body language mistakes you can make:

  • Failure to make eye contact - 68%

  • Failure to smile - 38%

  • Playing with something on the table - 36%

  • Fidgeting too much in his/her seat - 32%

  • Bad posture - 31%

  • Crossing their arms over their chest - 31%

  • Playing with your hair or touching one’s face - 26%

  • Handshake that is too weak - 22%

  • Using too many hand gestures - 13%

  • Handshake is too strong - 8%