Deal Or No Deal?

Research Reveals 5 Job Interview Deal Breakers

TORONTO, April 20, 2015 /CNW/ - It should go without saying, but checking your smartphone isn't a smart move during a job interview. In fact, it's the top way to blow your chances with a prospective employer, new research by The Creative Group shows. More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of advertising and marketing executives surveyed said it's likely they'd remove a candidate from consideration if the person used his or her phone during the interview.

The national study was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service for interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on 400 telephone interviews -- 200 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees and 200 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees.

Advertising and marketing executives were asked, "When interviewing candidates for creative roles, which of the following do you consider to be a deal breaker (something a candidate says or does that will likely cause you to immediately discount that person from consideration)?" Their responses:

Checking or answering the phone during an interview


Showing up late without acknowledging it


Not bringing items that were requested (e.g., resume, portfolio, references)


Wearing improper interview attire


Speaking poorly of a past job or employer


Note: Multiple responses permitted. Top responses shown.

View an infographic of the research results.

"When walking into an interview, the assumption is that candidates are putting their best foot forward, so any unprofessional or questionable conduct will have a significant impact, regardless of how good their qualifications are for the role," said Deborah Bottineau, senior regional manager of The Creative Group. "Paying attention to the small details and making sure they are properly prepared for the interview will help job seekers set themselves apart from the competition and win over the interviewer."

The Creative Group offers tips to avoid the top five missteps that can ruin a job interview:

  1. Pulling out your phone. Before entering the building, make sure your smartphone is turned off and put away. While you may be tempted to surf the Web or check social media while waiting in the lobby, it's better to sit patiently and peruse company literature that's available. When the interview begins, give the person you're meeting with your undivided attention.
  2. Being tardy. Showing up even a few minutes late could signal to the hiring manager that you have little regard for his or her schedule; worse, it could cause you to miss the meeting altogether. Plan for any traffic and arrive about 10 minutes early for your job interview -- this also will give you time to calm any jitters. If you think you will be late, call ahead and explain the reason for the delay.
  3. Arriving empty-handed. Don't assume hiring managers will have all of your application materials with them. Print extra copies of your resume and bring a laptop or tablet with your online portfolio saved to the desktop so you can easily present it without an Internet connection.
  4. Dressing too casually. Even if the company you're meeting with is laid-back, it's usually not a good idea to wear flip-flops and board shorts, unless you're interviewing with a surfboard company. Do some research to find out the company's dress code and choose an outfit that's slightly more formal.
  5. Complaining about a past job. Badmouthing former employers, colleagues or clients may lead hiring managers to question your professionalism and attitude. Although it's OK -- and often necessary -- to discuss work-related challenges, show tact during these conversations. The ability to describe difficult situations diplomatically can turn the tables in your favour.

About The Creative Group
The Creative Group (TCG) specializes in placing a range of highly skilled interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals with a variety of firms on a project and full-time basis. More information, including online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and TCG's blog, can be found at Follow @TCGToronto on Twitter for additional workplace news and hiring trends.

SOURCE The Creative Group

For further information: Naz Araghian, 416.865.2140,

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