Bloopers and Blunders

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CareerBuilder did a survey to find out the common and shocking mistakes job seekers make during the interview process. After questioning at least 2,400 hiring managers, CareerBuilder received several examples of offensive mistakes:

Made a list with examples of how previous employer made them mad;

Ate all the candy in the bowl when answering questions;

Blew her nose and then placed the used tissues on the table;

Had a copy of a college diploma that contained Wite-Out with their name added;

Wore a hat that said “Take this job and shove it”;

Put his beer can in the outside trash can before walking into the reception area;

Made a friend come into the interview and ask “how much longer.”

Hiring managers also provided examples of common interview mistakes:
Answering a cell phone or texting;

Wearing inappropriate workplace attire;

Looking indifferent;

Acting arrogant;

Talking about a current or past employer in a negative manner;

Chewing gum;

Providing vague answers;
Avoiding important questions.

“The number of open jobs continues to improve month over month, however competition will remain high for some time to come,” says Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder’s vice president of human resources. “The goal of any interview is to stand out from the other candidates and ultimately land the job, but make sure you 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 recommends keeping a positive attitude, preparing before the interview, staying in a professional mindset, practicing ahead of time and answering questions honestly.

Employers face awkward situations, too
Workers aren’t the only ones who make embarrassing mistakes in the workplace. Employers have also had humiliating experiences, which they hope their workers won’t remember. OfficeTeam, a staffing service, interviewed 1,300 senior managers to find out about their craziest moments in the office. Here are a few embarrassing situations:
“While speaking at a business event, I fell off the stage.”

“I got locked in the office.”

“While interviewing a job candidate, I fell asleep.”

“I answered the phone using the wrong company name.”

“I sent an offer letter to the wrong candidate.”

“I went into the ladies’ bathroom by mistake.”

“I fainted during a meeting with a client.”

Wardrobe malfunctions seemed to be a top blunder among respondents. These executives may want to take more time getting ready in the morning:
“I was late getting to the office and realized I wore my bathroom slippers to work.”

“I conducted a training session with my zipper down.”

“My trousers tore in front of my team members.”

Other executives faced the ultimate embarrassing moment in front of their boss:
“I called my boss ‘my love’ by complete accident.”

“I spilled coffee all over my boss.”

“I called my boss by the wrong name during a meeting.”

Some executives may need more training when it comes to using office tools:
“I stapled one of my fingers with the stapler while I was assisting an employee.”

“I slammed my foot into the copy machine and had to be taken to the emergency room.”

“I fell off a chair while talking to my boss.”

When a worker or manager needs to recover from a humiliating situation, OfficeTeam recommends staying calm, admitting the mistake, apologizing if it hurt another person and moving on past the incident. Sometimes humor can help ease the uncomfortable mood. “Nearly everyone has had an embarrassing situation at work,” says Robert Hosking, OfficeTeam’s executive director. “Although these moments can be awkward, it’s best not to dwell on them, or you risk drawing more negative attention to yourself.”