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Don't call us: Top job interview goofs

If you receive a cell phone call or text message during your job interview, don't answer it. Doing so ranks as job candidates' most common mistake in an interview, according to a survey of hiring managers.

Indeed, 71 percent of managers surveyed named it as the top blunder, according to a report released last week by the website CareerBuilder. Other common mistakes: dressing inappropriately and appearing uninterested, each cited by 69 percent of managers, followed closely by appearing arrogant at 66 percent.

Rounding out the list of what not to do is speaking negatively about a current or previous employer at 63 percent, chewing gum at 59 percent, not providing specific answers at 35 percent, and not asking good questions at 32 percent.

"The good news is that the number of open jobs continues to improve month over month; however, competition will remain high for some time to come," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. "Even though the job search process can be frustrating, candidates should stay positive, focus on their strengths and be prepared on how to best sell their skill set."

Harris Interactive conducted the survey for CareerBuilder among 2,482 U.S. hiring managers between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2.

When asked the most outrageous blunders they have encountered when interviewing job candidates, the hiring managers came up with a long list from hugging the hiring manager at the end of the interview to eating all the candy from the candy bowl. At the top of the list of no-no's: Wearing a hat that said, "Take this job and shove it."

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(Tribune Co. and McClatchy Co., which are partners in McClatchy-Tribune News Service, share ownership of CareerBuilder with Gannett Co. and Microsoft Corp.)

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