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Advice for Job Applicants: Don’t Text/Answer Your Phone in the Middle of an Interview

Believe it or Not, People Do It

Express Employment Professionals Study Reveals Worst Interview Mistakes

OKLAHOMA CITY, August 7, 2013 — In the fifth of a series entitled “America Employed,” Express Employment Professionals, the nation’s largest privately held staffing firm, released findings today that revealed the worst things an applicant can do in an interview.

While the list of actions to avoid in an interview is long, the study finds the top five things that an applicant should never do are (1) lie about experience, (2) answer a phone call, (3) arrive late, (4) badmouth a boss or co-worker, or (5) act arrogant.

“It’s hard to believe that a job applicant would interrupt his or her own interview to check their personal phone or send a text, but amazingly it happens,” said Bob Funk, CEO and chairman of the board for Express Employment Professionals, and a former chairman of the conference of chairmen of the federal reserve.

“An interview is a window into a person’s character. Showing anything but the utmost professionalism will quickly lead to a ‘no thank you’ from the prospective employer. Interviews aren’t like baseball. Especially with high unemployment, one strike and you’re usually out.”


The survey of nearly 300 Express Employment Professionals offices across the United States asked respondents to select the top five worst things an applicant can do in an interview. The following are the responses ranked in order:


 1.    Lie about experience: 65%
 2.    Answer a phone call: 61%
 3.    Arrive late : 59%
 4.    Badmouth boss or co-worker: 51%
 5.    Act arrogant: 39%
 6.    Check phone: 32%
 7.    Text: 29%
 8.    Using poor language or slang: 28%
 9.    Smoking: 24%
10.   Bring a friend or relative: 21%
11.   Bad eye contact: 13%
12.   Dress inappropriately: 13%
13.   Drinking : 12%
14.   Chew gum: 9%
15.   Not doing your homework: 9%
16.   Not knowing your strengths: 7%
17.   Bad posture: 6%
18.   Not asking enough questions: 5%
19.   Handshake failure: 2%
20.   Not knowing your weaknesses: 2%
21.   Act nervous: 1%
22.   Ask too many questions: 1%
23.   Fidget: 1%
24.   Tell an elaborate story: 1%



If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bob Funk to discuss this topic, please contact Sherry Kast at (405) 717-5966.


About Robert A. Funk
Robert A. “Bob” Funk is chairman, chief executive officer and president of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 675 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than five million people to work worldwide. Funk served as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and was also the Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve.

About Express Employment Professionals
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated more than $2.3 billion in temporary sales in 2012 and ranks as the largest privately held staffing agency in the United States. Its goal is to put a million people to work.