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Top interview mistakes include lying, answering phone

August 12, 2013

The worst thing an applicant can do in an interview is lie about experience, and the second worst is answering a phone call, according to Express Employment Professionals, an Oklahoma City-based staffing firm.

In a survey of 300 Express offices across the U.S., lying about experience was cited as the worst thing an applicant can do by 65 percent. Answering a phone call ranked second with 61 percent. Respondents were asked to select the top five worst things an applicant can do in an interview.

“It’s hard to believe that a job applicant would interrupt his or her own interview to check their personal phone or send a text, but amazingly it happens,” said Bob Funk, CEO and chairman of the board for Express Employment Professionals, and a former chairman of the conference of chairmen of the federal reserve. “An interview is a window into a person’s character. Showing anything but the utmost professionalism will quickly lead to a ‘no thank you’ from the prospective employer. Interviews aren’t like baseball. Especially with high unemployment, one strike and you’re usually out.”

The top 10 interview mistakes include:

  1. Lie about experience: 65 percent
  2. Answer a phone call: 61 percent
  3. Arrive late: 59 percent
  4. Badmouth boss or co-worker: 51 percent
  5. Act arrogant: 39 percent
  6. Check phone: 32 percent
  7. Text: 29 percent
  8. Using poor language or slang: 28 percent
  9. Smoking: 24 percent
  10. Bring a friend or relative: 21 percent


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