New Survey From TopResume Reveals Employers’ Biggest Interview Turn-Offs

NEW YORK (February 4, 2020) TopResume has today announced its latest survey results, revealing the worst mistakes a candidate can make when interviewing for a new job. TopResume, the largest resume-writing service in the world, recently presented 316 U.S. employers and recruiters with a list of common interview mistakes and asked them to rate how offensive each one is on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being Not Serious At All and 5 being Extremely Serious. Each mistake was then given a weighted average based on its rating, and ranked to determine which blunders employers consider the most damaging. When asked, “Would any of these interview mistakes cause you to reject a candidate?”, 92 percent said, yes, it would.

Following is TopResume’s list of the most offensive "interview deal-breakers" that could cause an employer to dismiss a candidate — even before the interview-room door closes:

  1. Lying (experience, education, skills, achievements) (4.6)

  2. Appearing disinterested in the opportunity (4.4)

  3. Being unprepared (4.3)

  4. Arriving late (without a valid excuse) (4.2)

  5. Showing poor hygiene and/or grooming (4.2)

  6. Dressing inappropriately (4.0)

  7. Displaying negative body language or low energy (4.0)

  8. Asking inappropriate questions (4.0)

  9. Badmouthing a current or former employer (3.9)

  10. Coming across as arrogant or overconfident (3.9)

  11. Bringing one’s children or parents to the interview (3.8)

  12. Sharing overly personal or too much information (3.5)

  13. Declining the opportunity to ask any questions (3.4)

  14. Appearing desperate or overly eager (3.3)

  15. Failing to follow up after the interview (2.9)

  16. Forgetting to bring a resume (2.9)

  17. Arriving too early (30 minutes or more) (2.3) 

Although "failing to follow up after the interview" was one of the least offensive interview deal-breakers (15th among the 17 poor behaviors), 51 percent of those surveyed confirmed that receiving a thank-you email or mailed note after an interview impacts their decision-making process. Only 6 percent have ever dismissed a candidate because they failed to send a thank-you email/note after an interview.

“While an impressive resume will help you secure the interview, it’s your interview performance that ultimately determines whether you’ll land the job,” said Amanda Augustine, career expert for TopResume, a certified professional career coach (CPCC), and a certified professional resume writer (CPRW). “Our recent survey reveals that job seekers are sabotaging their own candidacy through rookie, deal-breaking interview mistakes, all of which can be easily avoided through thoughtful preparation — if you fail to prepare, be prepared to fail.”

On an ongoing basis, the data science team at Talent Inc., the global leader in technology-enabled career services and also the parent company of TopResume, TopInterview, and TopCV, compiles nationwide data from their customers to better understand current behavioral trends in the job market. Visit TopResume's Career Advice blog to see their latest tips for coaching modern job seekers through their search.

Media inquiries

Lisa Hagendorf
  • About TopResume

    TopResume, a Talent Inc. company, is the largest resume-writing service in the world, and writes and analyzes more resumes, CVs, and LinkedIn profiles than any other service. Job seekers work directly with professional writers and industry experts to redefine their personal brand and stand out from the crowd during the job-search process. Follow TopResume on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and Instagram.

  • About

Media inquiries

Lisa Hagendorf