Research the company. Wear clean, pressed clothes. Offer a firm handshake and make good eye contact. These are some of the basics when it comes to job interviews. Nowhere in the job search guidebooks are potential employees advised to bring along their childhood toys, eat a pizza, or boast about a petty theft. But according to a new survey from CareerBuilder, that’s exactly what some job candidates have done during their interviews.
According to the survey, when asked to share the strangest things people have done during the interview process, employers and hiring managers said that a job candidate:
- Asked to step away to call his wife to ask her if the starting salary was enough before he agreed to continue with the interview.
- Asked where the nearest bar was located.
- Brought his childhood toys to the interview.
- Ate a pizza he brought with him — and didn’t offer to share.
- Asked interviewer why her aura didn’t like the candidate.
- Invited interviewer to dinner afterwards.
- Stated that if the interviewer wanted to get to heaven, she would hire him.
- Ate crumbs off the table.
- Said her hair was perfect when asked why she should become part of the team.
- Sang to a song on the radio playing overhead.
- Bragged about the fact that they were in the local newspaper for allegedly stealing a treadmill from an older woman’s house.
- Put on and took off her sunglasses repeatedly.
While the unusual activities above are near guarantees a candidate won’t be invited back for a second interview — never mind be offered the job — they do take some effort, creativity and preparation. There are much easier ways to blow a job interview. Here are the top five instant deal breakers, according to employers:
- Lying about something: 66 percent
- Answering a cellphone or text during the interview: 64 percent
- Appearing arrogant or entitled: 59 percent
- Dressing inappropriately: 49 percent
- Appearing to have a lack of accountability: 48 percent
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,605 hiring and human resource managers ages 18 and over between November 16 and December 6, 2016.