Sunday, November 29, 2015

Hi. I'm Capt. Kirk and I need a job

OK, maybe the applicant didn't dress up like Star Trek's Captain Kirk for the job interview. But whatever Trekkie identity the applicant assumed, it didn't impress the hiring manager, who

Hi. I'm Capt. Kirk and I need a job


OK, maybe the applicant didn't dress up like Star Trek's Captain Kirk for the job interview. But whatever Trekkie identity the applicant assumed, it didn't impress the hiring manager, who sent the applicant trekking out the door.

It's time for CareerBuilder's annual report on job interview oops moments, based on an online survey of 2,201 hiring managers and human resource professionals conducted by Harris Interactive in November and December. Nearly half of the managers say they know within five minutes if a candidate will fit the position and 87 percent know within the first 15 minutes. Lesson here? First impressions count.

So here are 2013's most memorable blunders, based on the interviews.

  • Applicant warned the interviewer that she "took too much Valium" and didn't think her interview was indicative of her personality
  • Applicant acted out a Star Trek role
  • Applicant acted like he was answering a phone call for an interview with a competitor
  • Applicant arrived in a jogging suit because he was going running after the interview
  • Applicant asked for a hug
  • Applicant attempted to secretly record the interview
  • Applicant brought personal photo albums
  • Applicant called himself his own personal hero
  • Applicant checked Facebook during the interview
  • Applicant crashed her car into the building
  • Applicant popped out his teeth when discussing dental benefits
  • Applicant kept his iPod headphones on during the interview
  • Applicant set fire to the interviewer¹s newspaper (hope it wasn't the Philadelphia Inquirer!) while reading it when the interviewer said, "impress me."
  • Applicant said that he questioned his daughter¹s paternity
  • Applicant wanted to know the number of the receptionist because he really liked her

Here are common mistakes:

  • Appearing disinterested ­ 55 percent
  • Dressing inappropriately ­ 53 percent
  • Appearing arrogant ­ 53 percent
  • Talking negatively about current or previous employers ­ 50 percent
  • Answering a cell phone or texting during the interview ­ 49 percent
  • Appearing uninformed about the company or role ­ 39 percent
  • Not providing specific examples ­ 33 percent
  • Providing too much personal information ­ 20 percent
  • Asking the hiring manager personal questions ­ 17 percent

And finally, here's a list of body language boo boos noted by the hiring managers:

  • Failure to make eye contact ­ 70 percent
  • Failure to smile ­ 44 percent
  • Bad posture ­ 35 percent
  • Fidgeting too much in one¹s seat ­ 35 percent
  • Playing with something on the table ­ 29 percent
  • Handshake that is too weak ­ 27 percent
  • Crossing their arms over one¹s chest ­ 24 percent
  • Playing with hair or touching one¹s face ­ 24 percent
  • Using too many hand gestures ­ 10 percent
  • Handshake that is too strong ­ 5 percent


Inquirer Staff Writer
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About this blog

Jobbing covers the workplace – employment, unemployment, management, unions, legal issues, labor economics, benefits, work-life balance, workforce development, trends and profiles.

Jane M. Von Bergen writes about workplace issues for the Inquirer.

Married to a photographer she met at her college newspaper, Von Bergen has been a reporter since fourth grade, covering education, government, retailing, courts, marketing and business. “I love the specific detail that tells the story,” she says.

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Jane M. Von Bergen Inquirer Staff Writer
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