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Bizarre behaviour

The most bizarre interview behaviours

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Hiring can sometimes be a never-ending nightmare for recruiters and HR personnel.

Last year, compiled the most memorable interview mistakes made by candidates. This year, the list continues, but with added amounts of unusual and eccentric behaviour by job candidates – all for your amusement (and horror).

Polling more than 2,100 hiring and human resource managers, this year’s CareerBuilder study found 49% of employers know within the first five minutes of an interview if a candidate is a good fit for a position. In the quarter of an hour, that number reaches 90%.

Despite this, many interviewers sit through the entire interview for fear of seeming dismissive or rude if they cut short the session. Here are some of the most unusual interview behaviours they encountered this year:

  • The candidate brought about 50 ink pens to the interview and proceeded to spread them out on the table.
  • The candidate kept fidgeting and repositioning his duffel bag, which turned out to have a dog inside.
  • After introducing himself by name, the candidate said, “But you can call me Tigger! That is the nickname I gave myself.”
  • In answer to a question about diversity, the candidate used the term “off the boat.”
  • The candidate asked if he could offer religious advice to the employees.
  • The candidate asked if his wife, who worked at the company for which he was interviewing, was cheating on him.
  • The candidate asked how much money everyone else makes.
  • The candidate gave the reason for leaving the previous position as “kicking someone’s butt that really needed it.”
  • The candidate sat in a yoga pose during the interview.
  • The candidate tried to Google the answer to a question

The list of biggest non-verbal mistakes during an interview remained almost the same as last year, highlighting the continual lack of emphasis placed on body language by candidates to impress employers.

“Acing the job interview isn’t just about what you say in response to the interviewer’s questions,” Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder, said.

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“It’s also about what your body language says about you. Employers are looking for those non-verbal cues to indicate a candidate’s level of professionalism and if they will be the right fit for the position.”

Here were 2014’s biggest non-verbal mistakes made by candidates.

1. Failing to make eye contact (65%)

2. Failing to smile (36%)

3. Playing with something on the table (33%)

4. Having bad posture (30%)

5. Fidgeting too much in their seat (29%)

6. Crossing their arms over their chest (26%)

7. Playing with their hair or touching their face (25%)

8. Having a weak handshake: (22%)

9. Using too many hand gestures (11%)

10. Having a handshake that is too strong (7%)

Image: Shutterstock

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