A recent survey by CareerBuilder among more than 2.500 hiring and human resource managers in the U.S., claims 50% of employers know within the first five minutes if you are a viable candidate for the job. Better not bring your pet bird along to the interview. 

CareerBuilder, the largest U.S. online jobsite and a global thought leader in human capital solutions, just released one of the funniest surveys this year. The key topic? The worst behaviour by candidates during job interviews.

The survey, done by Harris Poll among more than 2.300 hiring and human resource managers in the private sector, asked participants to share some of the most outrageous things job candidates have done during the interview process.

The 10 Strangest Things People Have Done in Job Interviews:

  • Candidate took a family photo off of interviewer’s desk and put it into her purse.
  • Candidate started screaming that the interview was taking too long.
  • Candidate said her main job was being a psychic/medium and tried to read interviewer’s palm, despite interviewer’s attempts to decline the offer.
  • When asked what her ideal job was, candidate said "painter of birdhouses." (Company was hiring for a data entry clerk.)
  • Candidate sang her responses to questions.
  • Candidate put lotion on her feet during the interview.
  • When asked why he wanted the position, candidate replied, “My wife wants me to get a job.”
  • Candidate started feeling interviewer’s chest to find a heartbeat so they could “connect heart to heart.”
  • Candidate had a pet bird in her shirt.
  • Candidate took phone interview in the bathroom – and flushed.
The upside: you can prepare

According to the nationwide survey half of the employers within the first five minutes of an interview know if a candidate is a good fit for a position. So beware, body language mistakes can cost you a job too. Check out the biggest body language mistakes or read about instant deal breakers here.

If you want to make a great first impression you should have a solid understanding of the target organization and its work. Some tips? Rosemary Heafner of CareerBuilder recommends the following: do your research, interview yourself for the position and be positive. 

Like to feel secure before you enter a job interview? Check out a great article on pre-interview preparation on the website (with a lot of links to relevant content) or take a look at the job interview guide on iamexpat. Good tips for a successful job interview with a Dutch or international company in the Netherlands.

You can read the full CareerBuilder article on interview don’ts here.

For Dutch readers: maak kennis met de sollicitatieadviezen van Stepstone of ontdek boeken over solliciteren op