You’ve stood in line to fill out a job application. Or you’ve applied online or by mail. If you’re called in for an interview, here’s a word to the wise: Body language mistakes can cost you the job.
Fifty percent of hiring or human resource managers know if you’re a good fit for the job within the first five minutes of an interview, according to a survey conducted for CareerBuilder.com.
While an impressive application or resume can land you an interview, your body language may lose you a job, according to a survey of 2,500 hiring managers.
The top 10 body language mistakes
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1. Failing to make eye contact.
2. Failing to smile.
3. Playing with something on the table or desk.
4. Having bad posture.
5. Fidgeting too much in your seat.
6. Crossing your arms over your chest.
7. Playing with your hair or touching your face.
8. Having a weak handshake.
9. Using too many hand gestures.
10. Having a handshake that was too strong.
Preparing for an interview should include researching the company and finding out all you can about its products or services, the survey’s report said.
Applicants also should practice interviewing themselves with the most common interview questions, such as “Tell me about yourself.” And why you want the job; why did you leave your last job; what’s your greatest strength and greatest weakness; and describe a prior difficulty on a job and tell how you overcame it.
Preparing for an interview takes a lot more than Googling answers to common interview questions. Candidates have to make a great first impression appearance-wise, have a solid understanding of the target company, know exactly how to convey that they’re the perfect fit for the job and control their body language.
Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder chief human resources officer
Aside from body language, managers named their top five automatic deal breakers: Applicant is caught lying; answering a cellphone or a text message during the interview; appearing to be arrogant or entitled; dressed inappropriately; or swearing.
“Preparing for an interview takes a lot more than Googling answers to common interview questions,” said Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder chief human resources officer.
“Candidates have to make a great first impression appearance-wise, have a solid understanding of the target company, know exactly how to convey that they’re the perfect fit for the job and control their body language.”
The biggest mistakes
The survey also revealed the 10 biggest or most unusual mistakes by candidates.
1. Took a picture off the interviewer’s desk and put it in her purse.
2. Screamed that the interview was taking too long.
3. Said she’s a psychic/medium and insisted she read the interviewer’s palm in spite of numerous refusals.
4. Said her ideal job is “painter of birdhouses” when she was a candidate for a data entry clerk’s position.
5. Sang her responses to questions.
6. Put lotion on her feet during the interview.
7. When asked why he wanted the position, candidate said, “My wife wants me to get a job.”
8. Started touching interviewer’s chest so they could “connect heart to heart.”
9. Had a pet bird in her shirt.
10. Went to the bathroom and flushed the toilet while on a phone interview.
The survey was conducted for CareerBuilder by the Harris Poll.