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May 08, 2006
Survey: Job Applicants Should Talk Less, Research More
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candidates would do well to do more homework, talk less, and generally get over themselves, according to a recent survey of recruiters.

Talking too much is the most common interview mistake that job candidates make, according to 36 percent of recruiters who completed the ninth edition of the quarterly Executive Recruiter Index, released today by Korn/Ferry International, a global provider of executive search, outsourced recruiting and leadership development solutions.

Other common mistakes cited by recruiters include lack of knowledge about the company or position (22 percent), over-inflated ego (16 percent) and appearing overly confident (9 percent).

More than six in ten (62 percent) recruiters agreed that anything more than one week is too long for a candidate to consider a formal job offer, with 29 percent indicating that the appropriate amount of time is 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."

The survey also looked at various regional differences in what is considered an acceptable minimum amount of time to stay with a company. In both North America and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), recruiters agreed that 2 years is the minimum. In South America and Asia Pacific, however, 1 year is the minimum amount. The rapid pace of growth and hiring in these emerging regions is likely responsible for this difference.

When asked why executives leave 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.

One thing nearly all (87 percent) agreed on: Executives should disclose that they worked somewhere for a short amount of time, rather than omit the position from their resumes.

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