Candidate Flip "Flopped" in Interview

February 24, 2010 ( – Hiring managers surveyed by CareerBuilder cited "dressing inappropriately" as the most common mistake candidates make in interviews.

In its latest survey on interview mistakes, CareerBuilder found 57% of respondents say this is the most common mistake. One hiring manager, responding to the most unusual blunder encountered, said a candidate wore a business suit with flip flops to the interview.

According to a CareerBuilder press release, other common mistakes made during interviews include:

  • Appearing disinterested – 55%;
  • Speaking negatively about a current or previous employer – 52%;
  • Appearing arrogant – 51%;
  • Answering a cell phone or texting during the interview – 46%;
  • Not providing specific answers – 34%; and
  • Not asking good questions – 34%.


Other unusual blunders respondents say they’ve encountered include:

  • Candidate asked if the interviewer wanted to meet for a drink after.
  • Candidate had applied for an accounting job, yet said he was “bad at managing money.”
  • Candidate ate food in the employee break room after the interview.
  • Candidate recited poetry.
  • Candidate applying for a customer service job said “I don’t really like working with people.”
  • Candidate had to go immediately to get his dog that had gotten loose in the parking lot.
  • Candidate looked at the ceiling during the entire interview.
  • Candidate used Dungeons and Dragons as an example of teamwork.
  • Candidate filed fingernails.


The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 2,720 hiring managers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government), ages 18 and over, between November 5 and November 23, 2009.