Most job seekers know that making a good first impression in a job interview is crucial, but they may not realize how little time they have to do it. A new survey from CareerBuilder finds that nearly half (47 percent) of employers say they know whether a candidate is a good or bad fit for the position within the first 5 minutes of the interview. By the 15-minutes mark, 87 percent have determined if the job seeker is a good or bad fit.


Memorable Blunders

When asked to share the most memorable mistakes candidates made during a job interview, employers gave the following real-life examples:

  • Candidate asked interviewer out on a date
  • Candidate ate a hard-boiled egg
  • Candidate brought in a high school project because their mother thought the interviewer might want to look at it
  • Candidate explained that they would prefer to work at another company but had not heard back from them yet, so they were applying to ours in the meantime
  • Candidate fell asleep
  • Candidate forgot who his current employer was
  • Candidate offered to bake for the office regularly if she was hired
  • Candidate untied his shoes, removed his socks, and rubbed his bare feet on the interviewer's desk
  • Candidate said they wouldn't be able to work in the summer if it was sunny as they would be sailing
  • Candidate got up and paced around the office while interviewer remained seated

Common Mistakes

The top most detrimental blunders employers frequently see from candidates include:

  • Appearing arrogant - 54 percent
  • Appearing disinterested - 52 percent
  • Appearing uninformed about the company or role - 49 percent
  • Answering a cell phone or texting during the interview - 48 percent
  • Dressing inappropriately - 47 percent
  • Talking negatively about current or previous employers - 46 percent
  • Not providing specific examples - 43 percent
  • Not asking good questions - 31 percent
  • Asking the hiring manager personal questions - 21 percent
  • Providing too much personal information - 18 percent