IT Staffing - "They did what?!?"

By CIO Update Staff

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With competition for open positions fierce, the pressure is on for job seekers to have flawless interview skills. Sometimes that pressure can cause candidates to make unusual, and sometimes unfavorable, interview mistakes. A new CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,700 hiring managers reveals the outrageous and common mistakes that some candidates have made in job interviews.

When asked for the most unusual blunders they'd encountered while interviewing candidates, hiring managers reported the following:

In addition to the most unusual gaffes, employers shared the most common mistakes candidates made during an interview:

"With heightened competition for open positions in today's economy, it's important for candidates to put their best foot forward in an interview," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. "You want to stand out for the right reasons. Even though the job search process can be frustrating, candidates should stay positive, focus on their strengths and be prepared on how to best sell their skill set."

Haefner offers the following tips for successful interviews in a competitive job market:

Stay positive: Many job seekers may be experiencing tougher than usual job searches in this economy. Even if your job search process has been frustrating, do what you can to remain positive. Also, no matter how tempting it is, don't say negative things about a previous employer, regardless of how the job ended - hiring managers may fear that you will say the same things about their organization.

Research, research, research: When you walk into an interview knowledgeable about the company, the role and recent news in that industry, you show the hiring manager you value their time and that you want to be part of the organization. A simple online search can provide you with the background information about a company that you need to stand out.

Keep it professional, not personal: Don't let business decorum disappear even in the interview is in a casual setting. Refrain from discussing over-the-top personal issues and focus on the position and selling yourself.

Practice makes perfect: Nerves are likely to rear their head in an interview, so help calm them ahead of time by practicing. Go through common interview questions with a friend or family member and practice in front of mirror so you can see read your body language.

Honesty is the best policy: If questions come up that you don't know how to answer, don't lie or pretend you know. Admit that you may not know the answer, but then explain how you would go about finding a solution, proving your resourcefulness.

About the Survey

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among 2,720 hiring managers ages 18 and over between November 5 and November 23, 2009.