20 weirdest interview mistakes young candidates make

Sarcasm, halitosis and The Ramones; some candidates just can’t seem to get it right.

A recent poll conducted by Business Insider has found some of the worst - and some of the oddest - mistakes young people have made during interviews. And despite the fact that there is an air of understanding when it comes to assessing inexperienced applicants, some faux pas’ just can’t be overlooked.

In the technological age we live in, Skype interviews are fast becoming a real favourite in global recruitment. However, some candidates seem to forget that when the interviewer can see them, they can also see the landscape behind them.

Students are presumed to be messy by nature, but piles of dirty laundry and mountains of pizza boxes don’t exactly make a great first impression. According to Business Insider, one candidate’s cat actually leapt out of an open window in the middle of their assessment.

Other online blunders include using a photo of a child/dog/guinea pig as a LinkedIn profile picture, monotonous video resumés and failing to follow up via email.

For a full list of young applicant’s worst interview mistakes, see below;

  1. Typos anywhere on a CV or cover letter
  2. Having bad breath
  3. Not telling a good story about your life
  4. Being overly sarcastic or negative
  5. Being arrogant
  6. Not knowing anything about the field you’re interviewing for
  7. Sending email attachments
  8. Wearing a Ramones t-shirt to a job interview
  9. Letting your cat escape out of a window during a live video chat
  10. Trying to negotiate your salary in the first meeting
  11. Using a photo of your dog or kids, or a bad picture of yourself, on your Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts
  12. Forgetting to follow up via email
  13. Putting career 'objectives' at the top of your resumé
  14. Trying to impress us with your off-the-wall creativity
  15. Sending us a video resumé
  16. Failing to provide a link to your LinkedIn profile
  17. Eating a sandwich during the meeting
  18. Being 'low-energy'
  19. Men forgetting to shave
  20. Making your CV three pages long when you have no experience


What’s the worst mistake you’ve seen a candidate make during an interview? Let us know in the comments.

Comments (3)
Tue, 16 Feb 2016 9:38pm GMT
I think the worst thing is when they tell me they're going to have my job in 5 years. Its so arrogant and shows zero respect for my education and experience. I know its a great 'urban legend' out there that someone said this once to a CEO and they were hired on the spot and immediately rose to the position of Senior Vice President, but most of us work very hard for many years to have someone with zero experience to be so presumptuous that they could just have my job. Its just kind of rude.
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Tue, 2 Feb 2016 5:06pm GMT
Mark Watson
Not entirely sure that forgetting to shave is an issue.
Surely well groomed facial hair is ok?
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Fri, 29 Jan 2016 1:58pm GMT
Dave Sharman
Most of these are just common sense, some are specific to certain companies and others are just silly. For example, not providing a link to their LinkedIn profile? How is that relevant in anyway when they have provided a CV that will show their education and work history? Also, how is putting career objectives at the top of their CV a mistake? I would have thought that this would be extremely relevant to any employer hiring a trainee or graduate, as knowing their aspirations is vital.
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