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Seven Top Deal-Breakers When Applying for, Accepting a Job


More than half of U.S. adults (53%) say the No. 1 deal-breaker that would deter them from applying for or accepting an offer of employment is inappropriate interview questions, according to the results of the latest American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor® survey conducted online by The Harris Poll.

Other reasons that half of people would refrain from applying for a job or accepting an offer of employment include unrealistic job or skill requirements (51%), misrepresenting job duties (50%), and aggressive behavior of the recruiter or hiring manager (49%).

High-touch human interaction matters to job seekers, according to the latest Workforce Monitor survey. That’s consistent with the results of an earlier edition of the ASA Workforce Monitor focused on job hunting. At least three out of 10 adults say they would not apply for or accept a job if the prospective employer fails to respond to questions about open positions (38%), provides poor follow-up by the recruiter or hiring manager (37%), or does not offer any face-to-face contact during the hiring process (30%).

Opinions on potential deal-breakers differ based on gender. Women are more likely than men to express that inappropriate interview questions (56% versus 50%) or aggressive recruiter or hiring manager behavior (52% versus 45%) would discourage them from pursuing employment with an offending company.

Top Deal-Breakers When Applying for or Accepting a Job

  1. Inappropriate interview questions
  2. Unrealistic job or skill requirements
  3. Misrepresenting job duties
  4. Aggressive behavior of recruiter or hiring manager
  5. Not responding to questions about open positions
  6. Poor follow-up by recruiting or hiring manager
  7. No face-to-face contact during hiring process

“Each touchpoint in the recruitment process vitally matters to job seekers,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “In the tightest labor market in modern history, and facing fierce competition for talent, employers cannot afford to make costly mistakes that prevent individuals from applying for employment or accepting job offers.”

To learn more about the ASA Workforce Monitor, visit You can also follow ASA research on Twitter.


The Harris Poll conducted the survey online within the U.S. on behalf of ASA, Aug. 27–29, 2019, among a total of 2,022 U.S. adults age 18 and older, of whom 1,111 are employed full-time or part-time, or self-employed. Results were weighted on age, gender, education, race/ethnicity, household income, and geographic region where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the U.S. population. In addition, the data were adjusted for differences between the online and offline populations.


About the American Staffing Association (ASA)

The American Staffing Association is the voice of the U.S. staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions industry. ASA and its state affiliates advance the interests of the industry across all sectors through advocacy, research, education, and the promotion of high standards of legal, ethical, and professional practices. For more information about ASA, visit

About the ASA Workforce Monitor

The ASA Workforce Monitor is a periodic survey commissioned by ASA and conducted online by The Harris Poll among 2,000 or more U.S. adults age 18 and older. The survey series focuses on current workforce trends and issues. For more information about the survey series, visit

About The Harris Poll

The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys in the U.S. (tracking public opinion, motivations, and social sentiment since 1963) and is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm.

ASA Workforce MonitorNearly half of employed U.S. job seekers (49%) believe AI tools used in job recruiting are more biased than their human counterparts. View the results & download the infographics »
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