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The most common mistakes people make in job interviews

These 10 easily-avoidable mistakes are deal-breakers...

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The most common mistakes people make in job interviews

No matter how prepared or qualified you are for a job, at the end of the day it often comes down to how well you come across during the interview.

Here are 10 lessons to take on board before your next job interview!

Even the most confident of people can find job interviews stressful and daunting, their nerves getting the better of them.

Many job seekers jeopardise their job application , throwing away all their hard work on an easily-avoidable mistake, according to new research from career site CareerBuilder.

Its survey of about 2,600 hiring managers and human resource executives found that they can read body language to know whether a candidate is a good fit within the first five minutes of an interview.

Hiring managers identified a handful of deal-breakers for job candidates, with two-thirds saying they wouldn’t hire a worker who was caught lying about something (which should come as no surprise).

64 percent of hiring managers wouldn’t hire someone who answered a cellphone or text during an interview, 59 percent wouldn’t hire someone who appeared arrogant or entitled, and 49 percent wouldn’t hire someone who was dressed inappropriately.

And aside from preparing for a company’s interview questions, it’s essential to project positive body language, which CareerBuilder said can have even more influence than verbal responses. 

Here are 10 lessons to take on board before your next job interview!

1. Poor preparation

It's natural to be nervous in a job interview, but don't let your lack of confidence impact your preparation. “The best solution to minimize pre-interview anxiety is solid preparation,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder, in a statement. “If you don’t read about the company and research your role thoroughly, you could magnify your fear of interviewing poorly and lose the opportunity.”

2. Dressing inappropriately

When asked whether a candidate being dressed inappropriately was enough not to hire someone, 49 percent of hiring managers said yes. Although it may be hard to predict the work-wear of the job you're going for, assume the vibe is smart and presentable, unless you're sure it's otherwise.

3. Lack of eye contact

Almost 70 per cent of those surveyed said lack of eye contact would disqualify an otherwise positive candidate from the job interview process. It's SO important to strike the balance between appearing confident and sincere with the right amount of eye contact and, er, intensely staring at your potential employer until they feel uncomfortable.

4. Being late

Being late is obviously a big deal-breaker: not only does it demonstrate bad time keeping and organisational skills, but lack of respect and professionalism, too.

5. Lying

It's tempting to big yourself up on your CV by embellishing your achievements, but as soon as you get caught out (and you will get caught out), your potential employer loses all faith in you. It's good to be confident and proud of your past accomplishments, but don't get caught in the moment and exaggerate them to the point of being misleading.

6. Arrogance

Confidence is key, having a big head is not. 59 per cent of employers in the survey admitted that arrogance or entitlement is a deal-breaker for hiring new employees.

7. Fidgeting

This is a tough one for anyone who finds job interviews nerve-wracking, but in CareerBuilder's survey, 32 per cent of hirers disliked fidgeting in seats, while 28 per cent added that they found potential candidates fiddling with their hair or face off-putting.

8. Bad body language

Of the employers surveyed, bad posture, excessive gesturing and handshakes that are too weak / strong are seen as negative body language, while 32 per cent said crossing your arms over your chest was seen as stand off-ish and negative.

9. Using your phone

64 per cent of the hirers polled said that they would decide against hiring someone if they answered a call, sent a text or looked at their smart phone during an interview.

It's also considered highly unprofessional for a phone to ring during an interview situation, except in emergencies - make sure that it is on silent or vibrate.

10. Failure to smile

Almost 40 per cent of the employers pointed out that a failure to smile could mean a failure to pass the interview. While it's important to maintain an air of professionalism and to appear to take the interview seriously, it's also good to appear positive and approachable.

It could always be worse...

Messed up in a recent job interview? Don't beat youself up about it – we bet it couldn't have been as bad as these job interviews. When asked about the strangest things job candidates have done in interviews, hiring managers offered a few examples:

  • 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.
  • Candidate asked where the nearest bar was located.
  • Candidate brought his childhood toys to the interview.
  • Candidate ate a pizza he brought with him (and didn’t offer to share).
  • Candidate invited interviewer to dinner afterwards.
  • Candidate stated that if the interviewer wanted to get to heaven, she would hire him.
  • Candidate ate crumbs off the table.
  • Candidate said her hair was perfect when asked why she should become part of the team.
  • Candidate sang to a song on the radio playing overhead.
  • Candidate bragged about being in the local newspaper for allegedly stealing a treadmill from an older woman’s house.
  • Candidate put on and took off her sunglasses.