5 Things Candidates Do That Interviewers Can’t Stand

Catherine Tabuena
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Job interviews are incredibly stressful. With all the pressure to do well, it’s easy to make foolish mistakes without even knowing it. Some blunders you make during an interview are so bad they can make the hiring manager disqualify you from the hiring process. Below are five things candidates do that most hiring managers cannot stand.

1.     Being Unprepared

This is probably the biggest pet peeve for employers.

Hiring managers aren’t just looking for likable candidates; They also want to hire people with some baseline knowledge of the company. You will unlikely make a lasting impression if you do not research the company thoroughly beforehand.

2.     Being Inauthentic

Just as being unprepared can hinder a candidate, so can displaying inauthentic behavior. Candidates who show unpredictable behavior and give inconsistent answers to questions are substantial warning signs to recruiters that causes them to doubt your intentions and motivations. Examples of these include:

  • Slowness to respond to questions
  • Making it difficult to schedule the interview process
  • Constantly changing what they are looking for regarding compensation and responsibility
  • Lying about credentials and accomplishments

3.     Being Uninterested

Candidates who arrive for an interview displaying low energy and lack a general enthusiasm for the company or its mission are further turnoffs.

An experienced recruiter can easily pick up on simple body language and nonverbal cues that show a lack of interest such as a lack of eye contact, slumping shoulders, one word responses to questions, and rarely or never smiling during the interview.

Conversely, people who express an overbearing and desperate willingness to take any job and candidates who feel entitled to the job also doesn’t come off well.

4.     Using Your Phone During the Interview

If you think fiddling with your smartphone shows an employer how important and in-demand you are, think again.

Candidates who use their phones during a job interview are not only rude and disruptive but also show a lack of judgment, self-control, and respect for the interviewer. Instead of impressing them, you’ll only anger the hiring manager since it shows that getting this job is not a priority.

5.     Crossing over professional boundaries

Unfortunately, some people mistake a hiring manager’s friendliness for something more and cross a professional boundary. 

A job candidate who displays boundary crossing early on is a major red flag to hiring managers. These people might damage relationships with business clients, cause potential harm to colleagues, put their co-workers in difficult situations, and cause unintentional risk for their employer. Things that candidates do that cross the line are:

  • Engaging in behaviors that could be interpreted as flirting
  • Calling the recruiter nicknames or endearments (e.g. ‘sweetie’ or ‘honey’)
  • Getting overly chummy
  • Inappropriate touching
  • Giving gifts and tips or doing special favors


During your job interview, keep in mind that all that’s standing between you and your dream job is the hiring manager. Stay away from these five faux pas to avoid annoying the interviewer.


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  • Dorothy K.
    Dorothy K.

    Very good advice!

  • Chantal R.
    Chantal R.

    I disagree with the slowness to respond. I welcome the candidates that are thinkers before a snap response.

  • KURT S.
    KURT S.

    Thanks for the tips

  • Mark B.
    Mark B.

    I also believe how you present yourself for the job that you're applying for you can over present yourself or under present yourself so no your job that you're going into interview with so you know how to dress q

  • David S.
    David S.



    Great tips, can be used for many things.

  • Madeline F.
    Madeline F.

    Loved the tips

  • KAREN D.
    KAREN D.

    First of all I can’t believe this is even thought of foo g or it actually happens


    Excellent tips.


    Absolutely right

  • Allvace m.
    Allvace m.

    Yes 👍

  • Steven P.
    Steven P.

    That’s so true

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