7 Personality Traits That Could Cost You a Job Offer (According to Employers)

7 Personality Traits That Could Cost You a Job Offer (According to Employers)

Certain characteristics can stop you from securing a job at an interview.

Or at least that’s what employers and recruiters believe.

In a 2019 survey conducted by TopCV, certain personality traits are less desirable than others.

And knowing what these are could be the difference between employment and unemployment.

Interestingly, around three-quarters (77%) of employers believe personality is the most important element when considering someone for a job, triumphing over education (13%) or appearance (12%).

So, at least we know it’s not all about looks, hey!

With this in mind, what are these personality traits that make employers’ skin crawl?

Here’s everything you need to know.

Entitled (18%)

It turns out that believing you should receive certain privileges or get special treatment is a real no-no with employers.

The problem with this one is those who act entitled, usually don’t know that they possess this personality trait.

The best way to know is if your friends or family have ever called you “a princess” or a “diva”.

If they have, you may want to think about how you come across. Relax your shoulders in an interview and accept that you’re not going to get offered the job on the spot.

There are a lot of other worthy candidates out there!

Ignorant (23%)

In the context of employment, being ignorant can be as simple as lacking knowledge or awareness in your chosen industry.

Employers want a candidate who likes to keep up-to-date with current trends and is open to learning more.

The key lesson here is to do your homework before an interview.

Don’t make the mistake of walking in thinking you can wing it, as this is a sign of ignorance and can be construed as an act of entitlement too (double ouch)!

Immoral (24%)

Being immoral or unethical is a sign of dishonesty and having a lack of integrity.

Granted, you have to bend the rules in certain circumstances, but not in a way where it could tarnish the reputation of a brand.

An example of this is when a salesperson hounds a customer into buying a product or service they don’t particularly need or want.

Or in more recent times, an employee who ignores the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and bombards prospects with marketing emails, despite them opting out or never opting in!

In an interview, an employer may get a sense of immoral behaviour by asking you about your processes.

Close-minded (26%)

The next personality trait that could cost you a job offer is coming across as close-minded.

When you talk about the industry that you work in and the job itself, it’s your job to show them that you’re open to learning more and being innovative.

Giving a blank expression when you’re asked about your long-term goals is a tell-tale sign that you’re not thinking about the possibilities.

Be inquisitive in an interview, asking about the company.

Or if you have an opportunity to say how you’d improve a service, product or the branding, think bigger.

Unreliable (60%)

There’s a big consensus jump with these final three undesirable personality traits. Firstly, we have unreliability.

Unlike some of the other ones on this list, an employer can easily judge your ability to be reliable by simply considering what time you arrived for the interview.

If you were late, that’s not a good start at all.

It tells the employer that you’re bad at managing your time and can’t be trusted when dealing with multiple looming deadlines.

So, be punctual!

Dishonest (62%)

Closely linked in with being immoral, dishonesty has been voted as 2nd in the list.

Telling the truth is easy to do, so there’s no real secret formula or tips for this one.

There’s no need to tweak the facts about who you worked for, why you took a career break or what experience you have, an employer can easily find these things out via your references.

And even if they don’t find out during the interview stage, the truth will come back to bite you in the bum at some point.

There’s nothing worse than saying you can do something and someone calls your bluff once you’ve been hired.

It can get very awkward!

Arrogant (65%)

The final personality trait employers hate is arrogance.

When you answer questions, think about how you come across.

Using expressions like, “I believe” and “I think” softens up responses to any questions that require you to sell yourself.

In comparison, “I am” can sound arrogant and self-absorbed, instead of confident.

It’s a fine line, but you have to consider the words you use.

When you’re asked about your achievements, don’t be afraid to briefly mention the team’s contribution, as it can help you sound more humble.

Yes, you have to sell yourself as a candidate, but that doesn’t mean you should discard what everyone else achieved.

After all, there’s no “I” in team!

Final thoughts

Although it’s hard for employers to openly assess some of these undesirable personality traits, there are subtle ways of detecting it.

That’s why you must consider these things and give calculated answers.

Always think about how you’re being judged.

Was that response too arrogant? Did I come across as close-minded when I mentioned my career goals?

Once you understand how you come across, you’ll stand a better chance of being offered your dream job.

Good luck!

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