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Being interviewed for a job? Don't answer your cellphone

71% of hiring managers in a CareerBuilder survey say taking a cellphone call is the most common mistake job applicants make. Other common errors: dressing inappropriately, appearing uninterested and appearing arrogant.

January 14, 2011|By Sandra M. Jones

Reporting from Chicago — If you receive a cellphone call or text message during your job interview, don't answer it. Doing so ranks as job candidates' most common mistake in an interview, according to a survey of hiring managers.

Indeed, 71% of managers surveyed named it as the top blunder, according to a report released Wednesday by website CareerBuilder. Other common mistakes: dressing inappropriately and appearing uninterested, each cited by 69% of managers, followed closely by appearing arrogant at 66%.

Rounding out the list of what not to do is speaking negatively about a current or previous employer at 63%, chewing gum at 59%, not providing specific answers at 35% and not asking good questions at 32%.

"The good news is that the number of open jobs continues to improve month over month; however, competition will remain high for some time to come," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. "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."

Harris Interactive conducted the survey for CareerBuilder among 2,482 U.S. hiring managers between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2.

When asked the most outrageous blunders they have encountered when interviewing job candidates, the hiring managers came up with a long list, including hugging the hiring manager at the end of the interview and eating all the candy from the candy bowl. At the top of the list of no-no's: Wearing a hat that said, "Take this job and shove it."

The Times is a unit of Tribune Co., which owns a stake in CareerBuilder.

smjones@tribune.com

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