As we have just started new jobs at OnePoll, we decided to write a blog about peoples’ experiences of interviews and starting new jobs, to find out the most common faux pas.

Brits revealed that their most dreaded question faced during an interview is “If you were a (i.e. animal, cereal, celebrity), what would you be?” (39.30%). This was closely followed by, “Who would win a fight between Spider-man and Batman?” (38.70%), and the more standard interview question; “What is your biggest weakness?” (38.20%).

Other feared questions reported were “Describe your father’s job” and “Sell me this pen”.

When asked about the biggest interview faux pas, Brits voted “Not knowing anything about the company” (44.80%) as by far the top blunder. Another popular answer was “Saying something inappropriate” (20.90%), for example, asking about holidays or salaries, or slipping out a swear word.

Top 10 Most Common Interview Faux Pas

  1. Not being prepared/not knowing about the company
  2. Asking about salary/holidays
  3. Telling inappropriate stories/Swearing
  4. Mind going blank / not being able to answer
  5. Dressing inappropriately
  6. Accidentally calling someone the wrong name
  7. Falling over/Spilling drink
  8. Being sick / nose bleed/ crying
  9. Turning up at wrong place/wrong time
  10. Phoning ringing during interview 

On our first day at OnePoll, we were worried about making a huge mistake, unsurprisingly, this was revealed as Britain’s biggest worry when starting a new job (35.75%).

The next biggest worry was not being liked by your colleagues (18.63%); luckily that wasn’t a problem for us… at least we hope!

What do Stephen Fry, Richard Branson, and Holly Willoughby all have in common?…. Well, they have just been voted as Brits’ top 3 ideal celebrity colleagues for their first day at a new job!

Although these came out on top (Stephen Fry with 19.00%, Richard Branson with 18.80% and Holly Willoughby with 17.80%), Tom Hanks, Philip Schofield, Peter Kay, Brian Cox and Joanna Lumley all proved popular choices for ideal celebrity colleagues.

However, Paris Hilton didn’t prove as popular with 1.60%, nor did One Direction, particularly with male voters (1.49%).

Unsurprisingly, our male voters would have preferred Mila Kunis (8.49%/3.97%) and Megan Fox (9.55%/2.27%) as their colleagues. Whilst Phillip Schofield (17.01%/ 8.70%), Sharon Osbourne (9.07%/3.40%) and Oprah Winfrey (6.81%/2.12%) proved more popular with our ladies. Another stark difference in gender was the popularity of Jeremy Clarkson amongst men (14.01%/6.43%). Obviously they weren’t put off by his recent “fracas”!

We also asked Brits about their dream job, where the most popular included; Food/Drink Taster, (8.10%), Writer, (7.90%), and Sports Person, (7.80%).  Other dream jobs reported were; Archaeologist, DJ, Zoo Keeper, Teacher, Midwife, Travel writer, Film Director, Forensic Scientist, and Housewife (with one respondent stating “seriously; I am one now and it’s perfect”).

Surprisingly, only 16.9% of Brits have experienced an embarrassing moment during an interview or on their first day at a new job. However these unfortunate few had some pretty embarrassing stories to share with us, here are some of our favourites;

“Broadcasted an inappropriate email to the entire company”

“[After spending the night at my boyfriends, I went to an interview]…Unbeknownst to myself I had left a pair of knickers in my bag. Upon taking out my portfolio, they came out too. “

“There was a heatwave and due to nerves I totally forgot to put on deodorant!”

“I had to make coffee for the manager. I used milk which had been in the office the whole weekend, not in a fridge. Nervously gave my boss the mug of coffee with lumps of sour milk floating on the top. Suffice to say he was not impressed.”

“Girlfriend going into labour and ringing”

“Having previous been out with one of the interviewers”

“On my first day teaching at a new school I mistakenly thought the deputy head was a teaching assistant and asked her to do some photocopying for me”

“Still had labels in my suit!!”

“Walking dog poo into the building on the first day!!!”

“When I was very young I was offered a cigarette at my first interview-unthinkable now. I reached for the ashtray and the ash dropped into one of the interviewer’s coffee”

Thankfully, we didn’t have any of these moments during our interview for OnePoll (or we wouldn’t have the job), and were embarrassment-free on our first day. 

So we will leave you with Brit’s top 5 pieces of advice, to ensure your first day runs smoothly.

Top 5 pieces of advice for starting a new job:

  1. Be yourself 
  2. Listen
  3. Keep calm/relax 
  4. Be nice and friendly to everyone
  5. Ask lots of questions

.. But maybe don’t take this person’s advice “I have no idea. As I said, all I care about is the money.”

Tweet us if you have any embarrassing interview or first day stories @onepoll