Old-fashioned good manners and a tidy appearance can really count when it comes to making a good first impression with a potential new employer, according to research from new job site

The research, carried out by YouGov who polled over 500 employers and 2000 UK adults, found that the most important things employers look for in candidates happen before they even opened their mouths.  The top four things selected by employers as most likely to create a good impression are punctuality (68%), dressing smartly or appropriately (52%), making good eye contact with the interviewer (51%) and appearing tidy and well groomed (33%). The power of the traditional firm handshake is more questionable, with only 11% of employers thinking this was important.

When asked about the worst things candidates have ever done in interviews, several employers reported catastrophic errors such as using foul language, badmouthing former employers, calling the interviewer “mate”, being unprepared and lying about their experience without being able to back it up. Others have been put off by candidates chewing gum, and taking calls on their mobile phone during an interview.

When asked what the worst thing a candidate had ever done in a job interview was, employers replied:

“Answered a personal mobile call, not just apologising for leaving the phone on, but actually taking the call and speaking for a few minutes.”

“Brought a glass of beer into an interview, which was held in a hotel”

“Asked if they can come in an hour later as they were getting their nails done”

“Winked at the interviewer”

“Burst into tears – for no apparent reason other than the pressure they’ve put on themselves”

“Sat down and put his feet on my desk.”

“Turned up late and addressed me as ‘love’.”

“A candidate trainee who bragged about how many men she had slept with.”

“A male candidate who, when greeted by his female interviewer, looked over her shoulder and said ‘I’m here to see the boss man’.’”

“A candidate who made their interviewer feel uncomfortable by pulling out a top hat and magic wand and asking them to choose one thing they would wish for their organisation in the future.”



Alistair Rennie, Managing Director at Foosle said: “Bad manners are just one example of poor interview behaviour we are consistently hearing about from employers . There is still great emphasis placed on what’s written on a paper CV however hirers feel this is not an accurate reflection of what an individual is really like and how they will behave.  Employers are fed up and frustrated with wasting time by going through the motions interviewing people that are quite obviously not right for the job.”

“Equally interviews are a nerve-wracking experience for people and candidates often feel they have little support or guidance in preparing for interviews.  In addition there is such emphasis placed on the written CV there is limited opportunity for them to show the best of themselves and the real person behind the paper.  That’s why we developed Foosle. Through our On Demand Interview technology, employers can conduct first round interviews online, shortlisting only the very best candidates for a face to face meeting. Candidates are provided with training tools to showcase themselves and also to practice and prepare in advance of interviews. ”