Embarrassing mistakes when applying for a job and how to avoid them

Amazingly, the embarrassing mistakes applicants make. However, you can easily avoid them. Senior managers list some of the biggest blunders they’ve heard applicants make during an interview.

  • “An applicant did not notice that his zipper was open.”
  • “A job seeker had lettuce between his teeth when he walked in.”
  • “One job applicant was so nervous she nearly passed out.”
  • “When the interviewer asked a woman to say something about herself, she couldn’t say anything.”
  • “A job applicant showed up in his sweatpants.”
  • “The candidate was wearing the wrong shoes.”
  • “The applicant addressed the interviewer by the wrong name.”
  • “One man didn’t even know what job he was applying for.”

Some of these mistakes could have happened to anyone, but most of them could have been avoided if the applicant had been better prepared and paid attention.

5 examples of unprofessional behavior when applying for a job

  • “The candidate was on his cell phone during the interview and had to chew gum in his mouth.”
  • “A job applicant just fell asleep.”
  • “A candidate started swearing during the job interview.”
  • “A job applicant was caught lying on her resume during the interview.”
  • “A candidate said he was late because he didn’t know the way, but the receptionist said she saw him at the coffee bar.”

These application blunders can also count:

6 tips on how to avoid job application mistakes

Mistakes in job interviews do happen, but you can minimize the chance of them.

Be honest

It goes without saying: don’t make your skills more beautiful than they are. Not in your resume, not in your cover letter, and not during the job interview.

Even though this may not be noticed during the screening, there is a good chance that you will eventually fall for it.

Gather information before writing your cover letter

“Gather information about your potential employer. Important: do this before you edit your cover letter and before the interview. Carefully read the “About Us” and “News” sections of the company’s website, check out social media posts, and see what’s been in the press recently about the company.

With all this background information, you can better answer the interviewer’s questions, ask intelligent questions yourself and minimize mistakes during the interview.


Make sure you have practiced well before the job interview. Especially if you just graduated or haven’t worked for a while.

Role-play with friends or family members who can give you realistic feedback and tips.

When in doubt, opt for formal attire

The first impression is important. “Hiring managers quickly get a picture of an applicant by how they present themselves, from the neat haircut to the polished and fitting shoes, and everything in between.

If you don’t know what to wear, choose formal attire with caution.

Be prepared and don’t come too early (but also not too late)

Prepare well in the evening or morning before the interview. Ensure you have the address, find out how to get there, and allow extra travel time. Arrive about 10 minutes before the appointment and go to the bathroom to check your hair, teeth, makeup (for women), and your zipper.

But just as you shouldn’t be late, so you shouldn’t show up too early; otherwise, you can appear too eager. Take a few deep breaths, cheer yourself up, and walk in confidently.

Be courteous to everyone in the company

Even if you only deal with one person during the interview, others also pay attention to how you come across and what you do. Therefore, be kind and respectful to everyone you meet in the company.

So stick to business etiquette and take the time to prepare. And if you still make a mistake, everything doesn’t have to be lost. The way you get out of awkward situations during the interview can impress the hiring manager to get the job.

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