Want this job? Then bite your tongue

May 11 2006 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Talking too much is the most common interview mistake made by job seekers, even those applying for executive level positions, according to new U.S research.

More than a third of recruiters – 36 per cent – polled by recruitment firm Korn/Ferry International said talking too much was the most common gaffe a candidate can make.

But other common mistakes included a lack of knowledge about the company or position (22 per cent), over-inflated ego (16 per cent) and appearing overly confident (9 per cent).

More than six out of ten recruiters agreed that anything more than one week was too long for a candidate to consider a formal job offer, with almost a third suggesting that the appropriate amount of time was even shorter.

"Executive-level candidates are unquestionably more polished and sophisticated today than ever before, so it is remarkable how many basic interview etiquette mistakes are still made," said Charles Tseng, president of Korn/Ferry Asia Pacific.

"Although small, these mistakes can often mean the difference between getting the job and being passed over," he added.

The survey also examined various regional differences as they relate to job tenure.

In North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa recruiters agreed that two years was the minimum acceptable amount of time to stay with one employer.

In South America and Asia Pacific, however, one year was considered the minimum amount.

The rapid pace of growth and hiring in these emerging regions was most likely responsible for this difference, said the survey.

When asked why executives left companies after short periods of employment, bad cultural fit emerged as the leading reason in both South America and Asia Pacific, whereas responses were more mixed in North America and EMEA.

Recruiters worldwide agreed overwhelmingly that executives should disclose that they worked somewhere for a short amount of time, rather than omit the position from their CV/resume.