Don’t try to pick up the receptionist – and other outrageous interview blunders

New survey shares 15 of the worst missteps ever made in real-life job interviews


Nearly half of today’s hiring managers say they know within the first 5 minutes whether a candidate is a good fit for the job. Push the clock out to 15 minutes and 87% say they have a yay or nay opinion, according to the latest CareerBuilder survey.

Your takeaway: Strive for a good impression immediately. Bonus upshot: Don’t do any of the following below.

As part of the survey, more than 2,000 hiring managers and HR pros shared the most unbelievable mistakes candidates have made in real-life interviews.

So no matter how terribly you think your last job interview went, remember that people - real people - actually did the following:

  • Warned the interviewer that she 'took too much valium' and didn’t think her interview was indicative of her personality.Hey, people get nervous during interviews.
  • Acted out a Star Trek role.If anything, this would help you in an interview in our opinion.
  • Answered a phone call for an interview with a competitor.Nothing wrong with being a hot property.
  • Arrived in a jogging suit because he was going running after the interview.Being health-conscious is a plus, at least he wasn't in racing tights.
  • Asked for a hug.Barney the Dinosaur is still looking for work.
  • Attempted to secretly record the interview.Demonstrating an expert grasp of today's technologies.
  • Brought personal photo albums.Everyone loves Disney trip photos. Everyone.
  • Called himself his own personal hero.Someone took the recruiter's "be self-confident" advice a bit too far.
  • Checked Facebook during the interview.Come on, you can't get enough of cat memes, either.
  • Crashed her car into the building.Obviously needs work to pay for new brake job.
  • Popped out his teeth when discussing dental benefits.Latest entrant in the company talent show.
  • Kept her iPod headphones on during the interview.The new Beyonce tracks are that good.
  • Set fire to the interviewer’s newspaper while reading it when the interviewer said 'impress me'.Their response: "Arrest him."
  • Applicant said that he questioned his daughter’s paternity.The recession is truly over if Maury is hiring.
  • Wanted to know the name and phone number of the receptionist because he really liked her. "And why do you think you should be the next Bachelor?" via CareerBuilder
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