Everyone knows that the most important aspect of the job-seeking process is the interview. We’ve all had plenty of them and can probably remember specific interviews that went well while others didn’t. What makes an interview so memorable? Was it something you said or something the interviewer said? Maybe it was a bit of both.
Here are some of the worst stories and experiences we found from a variety of sources around the web:
“Fire alarm goes off. Guy runs off for 10 minutes and comes back, says it’s a fire drill and to continue while it’s wailing. Come to find out at the end of the interview, the building is actually on fire…”
From The Guardian:
“I was a fresh design graduate and had had two interviews already at a leading fashion designer. Their business partner loved my portfolio, so I thought I had the job. The third interview was with the designer’s husband, who came in the room and asked one question: ‘What’s your star sign?’ After hearing my reply, he turned around and walked straight out. I was stunned, turned to the business partner and asked what went wrong. He shook his head and said: ‘Same as his wife. He won’t have anyone who shares her star sign.’ And that was that.”
“I had an interview at my dream school a few years ago. I arrived early, just as it began to pour with rain, and by the time I’d crossed the car park I was drenched. The deputy head met me and the other candidates just as I was beginning to dry off and took us on a tour around the school. The tour began with me sliding over on the newly resurfaced floor in the main hall – landing on my hands and knees in a puddle. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job.”
“I had a video interview for a very large company. The computer would ask a question and record your answer to send to management. You had 30 seconds, no more no less, to answer the question. For one question, I ran out of things to talk about so I decided to stand really still and not blink for 15 seconds to make it look like the video froze…that’s probably the reason why I didn’t get the job.”
“The woman interviewing me for a job as an assistant for a magazine asked me what a weakness of mine was and I replied very seriously: ‘Well, I do not know how to hoola hoop.’”
“I was looking to move departments when I worked for my school’s library and I had an interview with one of the directors in his office. I was trying to make small talk and noticed a picture on his desk of a woman and a dog. I gestured toward it and said ‘is that an Irish Setter?’ He looked up at me, paused, and with the straightest face said: ‘no, that’s my wife.’ He didn’t laugh or smile. I didn’t laugh or smile. And a long awkward silence followed. I ended up getting the job.”
“Nothing says confident like crying when asked what your weaknesses are.”
(Below are a few choice quotes from an interview a job-seeker had with a company’s HR director):
“Our workforce is mainly male, which I like, because women take more leave and use more FMLA to care for children. Women are the caretakers and they should be.”
“I want this position to be female though, because I have to talk to women and I’m not a woman. Also minorities.”
“A French company owns us, but they let us do our own thing. We don’t have many French in this location. Our CFO is here and he’s a French, but he’s okay.”
“In a final round of interviews with a large company, the woman in HR who I had been speaking with for the majority of the process invited me into her office to see how my meetings with the hiring managers went. As she started to walk toward me, she began to put her arm up, signaling as if she was about to give me a small nice-to-see-you hug (we had gotten to know each other over the recent weeks). To reciprocate, I started to motion a hug back, until I noticed she was only trying to shut the door behind me. It was extremely awkward. She didn’t call me back afterward.”
“I was asked, ‘If you could be an animal, what would it be?’ I replied, ‘What sort of a stupid question is that?’ I didn’t get the job.”
“I once confidently told an interviewer that I’d read a book he’d mentioned. He pointed out it hadn’t been published yet. Or even written.”
“I was told by one of the members of the interview panel that I got my current job because I was ‘the least worst.’
“The interviewer wrote my name at top of a notebook page. Took no notes. Halfway through, crossed my name out.
“The interview went so well I got cocky, and when the interviewer gave me my suit jacket from the rack I turned so he could put it on me. No job.”
“Had an interview with Microsoft. I was asked if I’d change anything about them. I said, ‘I’d get rid of Internet Explorer.’ Needless to say, I didn’t get the job.”
“A friend was interviewed for medical school. The panel asked how he handled stress. ‘I drink heavily. Doesn’t everyone?’ He got in.”
So, what have we learned from all of these horror-filled (yet hilarious) stories? The bottom line is quite simple: when it comes to job interviews, don’t be that guy.