Earth to Job Candidate: Lose the Dirty Tissue Parade

January 12, 2011 ( – Job candidates continue to commit some serious (but still funny) interviewing blunders, according to a new CareerBuilder hiring manager survey.

Just picture these scenarios where a candidate:

  • blew her nose and lined up the used tissues on the table in front of her.
  • threw his beer can in the outside trashcan before coming into the reception office.
  • wore a hat that said “take this job and shove it.”
  • talked about how an affair cost him a previous job.
  • provided a detailed listing of how a previous employer made the candidate mad.
  • brought a copy of his college diploma that had obviously been white-outed and his name added.
  • spent much of the conversation bad-mouthing her spouse.

Then there were the candidates who committed these social miscues: hugging the interviewer at the end of the conversation and emptying the interviewers’ candy bowl during the questioning.

The hiring managers also listed more ordinary candidates missteps:

  • Answering a cell phone or texting during the interview – 71%
  • Dressing inappropriately – 69%
  • Appearing disinterested – 69%
  • Appearing arrogant – 66%
  • Speaking negatively about a current or previous employer – 63%
  • Chewing gum – 59%
  • Not providing specific answers – 35%
  • Not asking good questions – 32%

“The good news is that the number of open jobs continues to improve month over month, however competition will remain high for some time to come,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder, in a press release. “The goal of any interview is to stand out from the other candidates and ultimately land the job, but make sure you stand out for the right reasons. Even though the job search process can be frustrating, candidates should stay positive, focus on their strengths and be prepared on how to best sell their skill set.” 

The survey of more than 2,400 hiring managers was conducted November 15 to December 2, 2010.