Survey: How Not to Get Hired

May 26, 2006 ( - Not surprisingly, tactics such as bribing an interviewer for a position or turning in an application stained with orange juice are not the best ways to get a job.

The survey by California-based OfficeTeam asked office professionals to recount some of the most egregious hiring blunders. The most frequent responses related to over – or underselling one’s skills, not researching the company, or complaining about former employers.

According to the release, other mistakes by applicants include poor communication etiquette, failing to return calls, or talking too much or too little during the interview.

Office workers were asked, “What is the biggest mistake you’ve heard of someone making during his or her job search?”

Some of the more amusing responses were:

  • Someone interviewed for a position and was not given the job. But he showed up anyway, saying, “here I am!”
  • Someone tried to bribe me during the interview. She really wanted the job and asked how much she could pay me for it.
  • An applicant came in with his recruiter and had the recruiter answer the questions.
  • One gentleman submitted a resume that contained misspelled words and an orange juice stain.
  • I interviewed someone who had a jawbreaker in her mouth during the entire interview.
  • When asked what he had been doing while unemployed, the applicant said, “Staying home and watching TV.”
  • One woman immediately described her faults to the interviewer and mentioned days she would need to take off.
  • During an interview, when asked what his greatest faults were, an applicant gave too many answers. He kept going and going and going.
  • A job seeker wrote on her application, “My boss was a jerk so I quit.”

The survey was sponsored by OfficeTeam and conducted by an independent research firm. It included responses from 508 individuals 18 years of age or older.