With so many job interview how-to guides out there, you'd think we'd all be nailing them by now. A new survey from recruiting solutions company JazzHR, however, shows that candidates still are making employers all over the country do face palms with a few key interview mistakes.
The 7 biggest deal breakers hiring managers can't stand to see
Among the you-should-know-better-by-now blunders, JazzHR's survey of more than 500 hiring professionals across the country found that
86 percent of interviewers won't consider candidates not authorized to work in the country. These employers know unauthorized workers can have great skills they need. But the legal ramifications--for example, fines, the loss of a business license or even jail--usually aren't worth the risk for most companies.
81 percent of respondents agree that badmouthing a previous employer or employers is bad news. Mature candidates don't badmouth old bosses or companies because they take responsibility for their own part in events. Even if the employer truly was at fault, hiring managers still want you to "be the better (wo)man" and show that you've grown and learned from what happened. They know that if you talk badly about an old employer, you probably wouldn't hesitate to do it to them, too, and they'll draw the line at risking their hard-earned reputation.
8 out of 10 people would not hire a candidate with visibly bad hygiene. This is a turnoff for hiring managers for the same reason you wouldn't want a dirty Tinder date. The underlying message is that you don't care about yourself, others or your work enough. Even if you could prove this isn't the case, employers aren't going to want others to get that initial impression from you.
76 percent of respondents would show a candidate the door if they appeared arrogant. Bosses need to know you're able to respect their authority and the contributions from others on the team, not your own ego. They also need to know you're humble enough to be willing to learn and take responsibility for mistakes.
71 percent of hirers wouldn't hire a person who missed the dress code memo. Yes, hoodie-loving Mark Zuckerberg and others like him are making leaders cut employees some slack when it comes to attire. Even so, appearances still count in first impressions, and employers want to see someone polished. Your best bet when in doubt? Look at what others in the company wear ahead of time and match it.
Now, consider these last two points carefully:
90 percent of respondents wouldn't hire someone who lied on their resume. We get it. The market's tough, so you feel like you've got to play hardball. But lies don't build the trust employers need to give you great projects, job security and the perks you're after.
90 percent of people would disqualify a candidate if they simply touched their phones. Attention on the interviewer, people. That's all there is to this one. Turn your device off and put it away.
Did you catch it?
Tech--or rather the distractions it causes--is now just as reviled during the interview process as fibbing. I'll give you a moment to let that one sink in.
What's not going to cost you
83 percent of respondents say that 'thank you' notes are obsolete and would not disqualify a candidate that didn't send one post-interview. This might be because the daily business pace is so frantic, making it hard to look at "extra" correspondence. But tech probably has changed things, too, giving candidates other ways to show appreciation on a larger scale.
82 percent of prospective hirers see visible tattoos as totally acceptable. This might be one area where companies have become more open-minded about diversity, particularly considering how so many businesses now are stressing expression, authenticity and creativity. Distracted, disrespectful candidates aren't tolerated, but those who show individuality are.
56 percent would still give someone a job if they didn't ask any questions of their own. This might be because interviewers know questions might be slim if you've done an incredible job getting details ahead of the interview and seamlessly weave them into the conversation. Interviewers also might be considering that your primary objective has to be making the case for your skills and experience in a limited amount of time.
53 percent of respondents said they'd still hire a candidate who was late or who had to reschedule. This isn't to say hiring managers love to be inconvenienced--the fact that 47 percent of interviewers would give you the boot is worth pause. You should give your all to schedule the interview for a time when you think the odds of potential problems are slim to none. It's merely to say that most interviewers understand that life--you know, getting sick or having car trouble, for instance--happens.
Why are we still making the goofs?
Allie Kelly, JazzHR's VP of Marketing, says that some of the difficulty comes from generational conflicts. Today's candidates simply have different priorities about what they need and want for work-life balance, which is creating some clashes and shifting what leaders value in their company culture. But she acknowledges personal responsibility, too.
"It all comes down to preparation and discipline. The candidates who are genuinely interested and want to prove their value are the ones who will take the time to research and show how they can fit into the bigger picture. [The candidates] going into the interview with the right amount of confidence, humility and knowledge are the ones who typically get it right."
Understanding that it's ultimately up to you to ace your interview, Kelly says there are only three things to do for success:
1. Do your research. Yes, you should have basic information about the company and their values in your head. But you should also know who you'll be interviewing with. Make it personal and truly seek to connect. "Look up their LinkedIn profiles. Know what roles they've held and start to brainstorm how you could potentially work together.. If you aren't provided with an [interviewer name] list, ask for one. Come prepared with thoughtful, relevant questions that will give you a better idea of what the role will entail."
2. Practice! Practicing using the research you've done, Kelly says, develops the confidence you need to set aside interview jitters. Do some mock interviews with your friends or family members to get your talking points in line, and dress the part regardless of the role you're trying to nab.
3. Know who you are. "It's important to take a candid look at your strengths and weaknesses prior to any interview. You should know your story--what major contributions you've made in past roles, challenges you've had to overcome, and most importantly, your results. Being able to articulate these key attributes and align them to your potential employer's organization will give you a big leg up amongst the competition."