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What gives you the biggest 'ick' as a hiring manager?

What gives you the biggest 'ick' as a hiring manager?


Lateness remains the biggest hiring peeve for managers, according to survey results.

Does being late for an interview bother you as a hiring manager? What about if a candidate uses an excessive amount of filler words like ‘umm’ and ‘err’?

A recent study by Ringover, conducted in the US, surveyed 1,200 managers who have remote & in-person interview experience across a myriad of industries and age groups.

*While this study was based in the US, HRO believes the data remains relevant and useful for our readers in Asia.

With the world adapting into a post-pandemic era, many hiring managers are on the hunt to increase their talent pool. In fact, 95% of the survey respondents shared that they still prefer to conduct face-to-face interviews with their potential new hires.

Here are the survey results for what gives hiring managers the ick when hiring during an in-person interview:


Based on the findings, be it face-to-face or online, 35.8% of respondents shared a similar sentiment that lateness was their biggest irk during an interview. This statistic weighed heavier than a candidate failing to prove that they did their research on the company or job description (30.7%), or getting the name of the organisation wrong during the interview (28.4%).

Online interview

On the other hand, there are still organisations that prefer to do online interviews, possibly due to convenience or just as a first round of induction, before proceeding to a face-to-face one.

The results of the survey for which candidate behaviours give employers the biggest ick when hiring during an online interview are below:

ringover 2

Making a positive lasting impression, despite interviews being conducted online, is crucial. Despite being in the comfort of one’s home, etiquette no doubt plays a major role in showing professionalism to the hiring managers, as affirmed in the survey. The results of the survey saw 30.1% of hiring managers being put off by candidates failing to stay focused during the interview. Specifically: speaking to somebody off-camera. Further, 30% of managers added that candidates who fail to switch on their camera was also a big no-no.

Phone interviews:

Phone interviews can also rub hiring managers the wrong way. Despite the absence of eye contact and body language cues to be aware of, there are still other ways that candidates can still give hiring managers the ick.

These are the survey findings of what gives hiring managers the ick during a phone interview:

ringover 3

As seen in the results, 33.8% of hiring managers are intolerant of candidates who interrupt them. This is worse than carrying out the interview whilst the candidate is preoccupied with other activities (32.1), and audible yawning (30.3).

The survey also revealed other key findings:

  • A third (33.7%) of managers are bothered by the lack of eye contact from candidates during an in-person interview.
  • Interviewers are put off by late (32%) and distracted video callers (30.1%) during online interviews
  • Interruptions and using a speakerphone for calls are the worst part of phone interviews for hiring managers, with each falling at 33%.

So, what are your biggest 'icks' as a hiring manager? Send your responses to, or feel free to drop us a message on our Instagram page.


Between 11/20/2023 and 11/22/2023, a total of 1,200 adults were surveyed about the behaviours they find most off-putting during job interviews. In total, 1,147 respondents said that they had interviewed candidates for a job in the past (95.3% of the sample).

Respondents were asked a series of questions related to job interview behaviours in a variety of situations, and whether they would be deterred from hiring someone if the candidate displayed those behaviours. 

READ MORE: Global employee mobility trends for 2024 point to building talent capabilities in Asia

Lead photo / 123RF

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