Posted 15 July 2015 | 1 Comment
Even an unsuccessful job interview can end up being a great learning experience, and some are pretty funny once time has healed your wounded pride…. lots and lots of time.
In the combined spirit of comedy and learning, we have gathered together a list of our favourite interview stories!
1. “I had a candidate taking a phone interview while walking through a park. Someone ran past and stole her phone!”
Lesson: You could say it’s an example of why you should sit somewhere quiet and private for a phone interview, somewhere you won’t be interrupted. (by criminals or otherwise) We’re not sure anyone could have anticipated that though!
2. “After a very successful interview, my other half walked into a cupboard and then had to come back out to leave the interview room.”
Lesson: Given our insider knowledge, there are actually two lessons you could take from this story: 1. Remember to keep your composure until you are out of sight, it aint over til it’s over. 2. Truly great knowledge and experience showcased at an otherwise solid interview along with the ability to laugh and move on from a mistake can save you from something seemingly horrendous. – she still got an offer!
3. “A friend of mine from years back was driving on the M25 to get to her interview. A man cut her up going onto the slip road and after much shouting and ‘gesturing’ from her car to his, she continued on her journey. When she got to the interview a few minutes later, the man waiting for her was (of course) the same man who had received her in-car fury.”
Lesson: Be kind to everyone you meet and treat people with respect, even when they don’t do the same for you. You just don’t know who someone will turn out to be, and sod’s law means anything that can go wrong will do so with the worst possible outcome. Some employers make hiring decisions based on how you were perceived outside of the interview room so flash that receptionist a smile, say thank you when you’re offered a drink and try not to scream at anyone!
4. “I interviewed a woman who brought her boyfriend along. It would have been OK if he had waited outside!”
Lesson: If someone has brought you to an interview, ask them to wait outside. Don’t start off on the back foot and make your interviewer uncomfortable or confused.
5. “Luckily, I had already been told not to badmouth your former employer at an interview. If I hadn’t known (and didn’t bite my tongue) I would have ended up slating a woman it turned out my interviewer was friends with…. I still cringe when I think how close I was to doing it.”
Lesson: Never badmouth your old employer to a potential new one. It doesn’t matter how poorly you feel you’ve been treated or how much you think the interviewer will enjoy hearing bad things about a competitor, you’ll probably come over as bitter and, most importantly, they’ll be picturing a future of you talking about their company this way. Not good.
If you must discuss past negativity, stick to the facts and avoid personal, emotional opinions.
6. “I once had a guy turn up to a job interview wearing what only can be described as a technicolour dream coat.”
Lesson: Always dress appropriately for the job you are trying to get. If dream coats are the order of the day, we say go for it. If it’s more a suit and tie environment, maybe ease them into your style with some rainbow socks.
7. “Years ago, my girlfriend interviewed for a minimum wage temp job in Cardiff that was to last a few weeks. At the end of the interview they asked about her plans for after the summer; she said she was moving to France for a year. The hiring manager then asked, seriously, if she would consider commuting.”
Lesson: Think before you speak. Please, just take a breath and think before you ask if someone fancies commuting 500 miles for a low paying holiday job!
8. “When young and naive, I interviewed for a job with a hangover. They asked for examples of honesty and I started talking about the game of ‘I have never’ we’d played the night before… Fail.”
Lesson: Don’t interview with a hangover, it’s really not a good idea. Unless you’re incredibly lucky you won’t look your best, you’ll probably smell a bit no matter how many times you brush your teeth and you won’t be on top form. If you know you have an interview the next day, stick to the soft drinks and if you are offered a last minute interview when you’re hanging, rearrange or let them know and give your interviewer the chance to decide whether they want to meet you this way.