21 bad habits stopping candidates from getting the job

Chewing gum, turning up late, and even swearing – things recruiters know all too well will most likely land a candidate’s CV in the bin, not on the client’s table.

Whilst recruiters are great at reminding candidates what they should do before, during and after that all-important interview, they still seem to be making these rookie mistakes, costing them the job.

Business Insider spoke to experts about the 21 least professional behaviours jobseekers have displayed in the past, and why they are detrimental.

The list can be seen below:

1. They haven’t done their homework

"Employers take note of candidates that are educated on the responsibilities of the job opening in question and on the company itself," Rosemary Haefner, Chief Human Resources Officer for CareerBuilder, said. "This demonstrates that you made the decision to apply for the job after considering the facts, rather than out of desperation."

2. They skip breakfast

It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Lisa De Fazio, Health expert told the publication that if breakfast is skipped, “blood-sugar levels are low, it's much harder to focus and you're more likely to feel tired, irritable, and impatient,” all of which contribute to performance.

3. They smell of smoke

Vicky Oliver, Author of ‘301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions,’ advises candidates to never smoke anything before a job interview.

"Your interviewer will smell it on you," she says. "If she's a smoker, she may not mind, but most interviewers gave up the nicotine habit." She adds that drinking alcohol is never a good idea. Whilst it can help calm nerves, it dulls the senses, explains Oliver, which runs the risk of not sounding intelligent.

4. They turn up late

TopResume's Career Expert, Amanda Augustine, and Business Insider's Director of Talent, Stephanie Fogle suggests candidates should plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early, and spend that time preparing in a coffee shop close by. Turning up too early, they warn, can be frustrating for the hiring manager.

5. They’ve got poor hygiene

Author of "Don't Burp in the Boardroom," says that if candidates have poor hygiene, it could detract from their answers to questions. Also, a "lack of effort in your appearance can be construed as potentially lacking effort in your work and work area," she says.

6. They dress inappropriately

Randall adds that: "Sloppy clothes scream 'I don't care!' and are a sure-fire way to put off those around you."

Dressing too formally could also indicate that a candidate hasn’t done their research. Read more on coaching your candidate to dress appropriately for the industry they’re going for here.

7. They text

Oliver advises that even when candidates turn up early, they shouldn’t text while they wait otherwise they look as if they’d rather be elsewhere. 

8. They start grooming themselves

Oliver says candidates should do any touch ups in the bathroom – rather than being caught topping up their lipstick by their potential employer.

9. They bring too much stuff

Of course, candidates need to bring their portfolio and copies of their CV but anything else is superfluous. Randall suggests leaving any drinks or their mobile phone in the car so they are free to shake hands.

10. They talk without thinking

This one goes without saying, but even slipping up to the receptionist can crush a candidate’s chance.

11. They’re too informal

"While I'm not promoting a formal, 'How do you do?' -style greeting, you might consider stepping it up a bit when you're introducing yourself to the person who will be determining whether you get the job or not," Randall advises.

Click next to see the following 10 unprofessional behaviours your candidate must avoid...

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