If you’ve got a job interview coming up, do your research. Think we’re joking? A new study confirms that candidates who fail to research the company before the interview is a hiring manager’s pet peeve.

In a UK survey of 500 interviewers conducted for Barclays LifeSkills, 51% said that lack of research is the biggest mistake candidates make. The survey found that “candidates are often underprepared and may be overcompensating in other areas to impress.” Other hiring manager complaints included not asking questions, making stuff up, and lying. They also listed “showing off,” which probably translates to arrogance or overconfidence.

Here are the top 10 most common interview mistakes according to the survey.

      Failing to do their research – 51%


      Showing off – 31%


      Asking no questions – 31%


      Not acting interested or engaged with the interviewer – 30%


      Making up answers – 29%


      Lying about achievements – 29%


      Not dressing appropriately -26%


      Rambling on – 26%


      Failing to explain what they would bring to the role – 24%


              Complaining about their current employer – 19%


According to a media release:

“When it comes to the mistakes most likely to cost a candidate their dream career, 12 per cent of employers said they found forgetting your manners to be the most off-putting behaviour. Meanwhile, candidates who acted interested and engaged during interviews were deemed to be the best (48 per cent), whilst those who appeared genuine about themselves were favoured more highly (37 per cent).”

This stuff should be obvious. But obviously it bears repeating: do your research, be engaged, be interested, be genuine, don’t lie.


“In the head-to-head group interview scenario, dominating the conversation and not listening to others ranked among the top errors, coming in at 44 and 48 per cent respectively. Being too quiet or not contributing enough was also prevalent with 45 per cent of employers often witnessing this in group interviews. In contrast, in the typical one-on-one interview setting only a small number (6 per cent) said that being too modest would dampen a prospective candidate’s chances.”

Kirstie Mackey, Head of LifeSkills, is quoted as saying, “No matter how old or experienced you are, it’s invaluable to know how to properly prepare for and behave in interviews.”


See also:

5 ways to research a company that go beyond Google
The 5 most common interview questions (and how to answer them like a boss)
Interview tips from the Toronto Academy of Acting


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