Top 5 job interview deal-breakers

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When you’re looking to make a career change, an interview is your best opportunity to prove to a hiring manager that you’ve got what it takes to do the job.

So when it comes time to prepare, you need to be aware of a few things that will almost certainly get you eliminated from the final list of candidates.

Read more: The 10 least stressful jobs of 2017

Worst things to do during a job interview

According to a CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,600 hiring and human resource managers, 51% of employers know within the first five minutes of an interview if a candidate is a good fit.

“The best solution to minimize pre-interview anxiety is solid preparation,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder. “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.”

So what are the worst things you can do when interviewing for a job? Employers revealed five instant deal breakers, which you should avoid at all costs.

1. Candidate is caught lying about something

The majority of hiring managers say they’ve discovered lies on a resume. One study found that lying about where you went to college is considered the most serious resume lie of them all. 

2. Candidate answers a cell phone or text during the interview

Turn your cell phone off before the interview starts to avoid having a ringing or vibrating phone interrupt your conversation with a potential employer.

If you normally take notes using your smartphone, remember to bring a notepad and pen.

3. Candidate appears arrogant or entitled

Confidence is good, but arrogance is not! When talking about your accomplishments, CareerBuilder says you should frame them in the context of the company’s overall success.


Avoid these five other behaviors that may seem arrogant: 

  • Excessive name dropping
  • Interrupting the hiring manager
  • Condescending remarks
  • Know-it-all attitude
  • Avoiding eye contact

4. Candidate dresses inappropriately 

A previous CareerBuilder study found that hiring managers believe orange is the worst color to wear to a job interview. Wear black, blue or gray to convey a sense of professionalism.

In addition, tailor your outfit and avoid distractions, like crazy ties or oversized jewelry.

5. Candidate appears to have a lack of accountability

Hiring managers are looking for good team players, so if they perceive that you have an inability to show responsibility for your work, you won’t make it to the second round.

Clearly explain to the employer how you’re qualified to perform the duties of the job.

Read more: 10 job interview mistakes you’ll most likely regret

CareerBuilder’s 2017 job forecast

If you’ve been looking for a new job for a while, you should know that the hiring outlook for 2017 is the best the U.S. has seen in a decade, according to CareerBuilder’s annual job forecast.

You can expect about 40% of employers to hire full-time, permanent workers over the next year.

Of those employers planning to hire, some of the hot areas for hiring will be: information technology, customer service, production, sales and administrative.

Check out these five other trends to watch for in 2017: 


1. Pressure to offer higher pay: Two-thirds of employers plan to increase salaries on initial job offers, with 30% of employers increasing it by 5% or more.

2. Job seekers must emphasize soft skills: The majority of hiring managers place importance on skills associated with one’s personality, like a positive attitude.

3. You may not receive a phone call: More than 40% of employers will reach out to candidates through text messages to schedule interviews.

4. Keep up with Facebook and Twitter: Roughly 60% of employers expect employees to have social media experience.

5. No experience, no problem: More than half of employers said they will hire and train workers who don’t have experience in their field.

Read more: 12 steps to a better resume in 2017

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