Beyond April Fools’ Day: Hiring managers share the foolish behavior that costs candidates the job

April Fool’s Day comes once a year, but hiring managers report laughable interview etiquette year-round. 

In partnership with Express Employment Professionals, Harris Poll researchers surveyed hiring managers about uncouth job-seeker behaviors. According to the March 27 results:

  • 53% said “unprofessional” interview outfits would cause them to pass over a candidate
  • More than half also said lateness would give them the professional ick
  • And no April surprise: 68% said rudeness would cause them to not hire a candidate

A lower but still considerable percentage of recruiters called out a lack of knowledge about the company and unprofessional body language as cause to toss out an application. Almost 30% of hiring managers told Harris Poll they’d dock a candidate for not asking them questions back.

Questions were a recurring theme in the report; one candidate was bold enough to demand every other Friday off and pizza when they did come in at the end of the week. Another asked if the iguana — the one they brought with them — would receive compensation for showing up at work each day.

Although these anecdotes “may elicit a chuckle,” ultimately, it’s up to both the candidate and hiring manager to respect each other’s time, said Bill Stoller, CEO of study partner Express Employment International, in a statement.

Sometimes the interview process goes awry, however, and neither the job-seeker nor the recruiter are to blame.

“I saw a physical fight break out between two employees in the office and the manager interviewing me rushed over to break it up and got knocked out by one of the guys in the fight,” one respondent said. One recounted a current employee quitting during the interview and another said their interviewer went into labor during their meeting.