Job Interviews: What Not to Do

Acing an interview is an important step in landing a job, but it’s no easy feat, and your time to show yourself off is limited. According to a new CareerBuilder survey of hiring managers and human-resources professionals, around half of employers (49 percent) know within the first five minutes of an interview if a candidate is a good or bad fit for a position.

“There’s a lot riding on an interview — you have to make a great first impression, have knowledge of your target company and its product, and know exactly how to convey that you’re the perfect fit for the job,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “The best thing you can do for yourself is to prepare and practice everything from your body language to answers to standard interview questions. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so going in well-prepared is key.”

Here, from, the CareerBuilder survey results, are the biggest mistakes people make in this crucial process. They’re instant deal breakers, even if the person is the best candidate for the job:

  1. Lying
  2. Answering a cell phone or a text during an interview
  3. Appearing arrogant or entitled
  4. Seems to have a lack of accountability
  5. Swears
  6. Dresses inappropriately
  7. Talks negatively about current or previous employers
  8. Knows nothing about the job or company
  9. Has unprofessional body language
  10. Knows nothing about the industry or competitors

The Importance of Body Language

Sometimes your body language communicates more to another person than what you say or the tone of your voice. When asked to identify the biggest body language mistakes job seekers make during an interview, survey respondents named the following:

  1. Failure to make eye contact
  2. Failure to smile
  3. Playing with something on the table
  4. Fidgeting too much
  5. Bad posture
  6. Crossing arms over their chest
  7. Playing with hair or touching one’s face
  8. Handshake that is too weak
  9. Using too many hand gestures
  10. Handshake is too strong

This survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll from November 28 and December 20, 2017 and included a representative sample of 1,014 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and companies sizes (of which 888 are in the U.S. private sector).

About CareerBuilder®

CareerBuilder is a global company focused on helping employers find, hire and manage great talent. It operates in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit



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