Everyone who interviews potential employees has a job interview story to tell. Like the man who asked me if the reason that he didn't get the sales manager's job was because he was a recovering alcoholic - on the wagon for over two years. The question followed an interview during which he reeked so much of booze that I could hardly sit in the same room.
Or, the woman who ordered two coffees and a dessert to go - and charged them to my company - following our lunch interview, so she wouldn't "get hungry on her way home." Or, the guy who looked at his watch repeatedly during our interview, and excused himself by saying that he had somewhere important to go following the interview. Yes, you have a job interview story to tell. Share your favorite job interview story.
- Your Favorite Interview Questions
- Your Favorite Questions and Answers From Your Candidates
- Readers respond to additional questions and share their workplace stories.
- This is a tough one.The primary reason that people are terminated from a job is not getting along with co-workers. My feeling is that the people who are going to hire you like you in the first few minutes (first interview), but when they spend more time with you, they find things about you that will be problematic with the group you'd work with. As a former owner of several companies, I had similar issues in hiring people. Things that would be the kiss of death for a potential employee (and I never told them this) were: someone who smokes (too much time outside), too talkative (too much time wasted), too much of a know-it-all (destroys team spirit), too much pontificating of a religious belief), and others.You need to take a hard look at yourself and see if you have any abrasive qualities, anything that would get on the nerves of people after they have been around you for more than the first interview. It's likely that you won't be able to recognize these yourself. In that case, ask a friend, someone who will be brutally honest with you. It's my guess that the problem will be revealed if you do this. Once you know the problem, it's up to you to take steps to solve it. Or, maybe you will soon find a place that's the perfect fit for you. Good luck.
- —Guest zZGJsuNQ
Big Corp But Unprofessional Staff
- I'm from Country A, and I was called to 1st interview in Singapore. All went well. I even put down my required salary. Days later, HR called again saying another IT staff person would like to meet with me, asking me to ignore the package. After the intervw, HR staff called to offer me the job based on exchange rate and not on my experience and knowledge. What a big corp, tall building located in Jurong East but poor unprofessional HR skills
- —Guest HealthyGuyKL
Job interview story
- Several years ago I was interviewing a candidate for a junior nursing post. She was wearing brightly colored striped leggings. At the end of the interview, I could not for the life of me reflect back on any of her answers. All I could see were red, orange, pink, yellow, and green striped leggings! Needless to say, she failed to get the job
- —Guest chrissy
- I posted an ad that described everything for this position; hours, duties, pay and other details. When my interviewee came in, the first thing they said to me was, "What would I be doing?" I explained the position and referred back to the ad. I asked them the main strength question and they answered, "perfectionist." However, they could not provide an example of how this had helped them in their career. I then proceeded to ask their main weakness. Their answer: "not being able to get the job done." Needless to say, I moved through the interview pretty quickly. At the end, I asked if the person had any questions. They proceeded to ask me what the hours and pay are. I informed him, that all was already mentioned in the ad.
The Swear Whisperer & The Diet Lady
- Early on in my career as a recruiter I was interviewing someone for a position that demanded someone wtih a flexible schedule. This was clear in the ad and was discussed by myself and the administrative manager with the candidate on the phone and during the interview. At the end of the interview the candidate was convinced they had the job and stated "great! I'm so excited about this, I think its a perfect fit. One thing, I can't come in before 9am and I have to leave by 4pm because I'm on the south beach diet. Its the only thing I do for myself and I have to stick to my eating and workout schedule." More recently I met with someone who told me a tearful story about how much they hated their former manager. When we were saying our goodbyes, she bent down and whispered in my ear that he had once told her to "F" Off (she used the word) and called her a C (also used the word) she then patted my arm and left. Neither of these people were hired, needless to say.
- —Guest Jennie
Give and take away!
- I scheduled my interview in the early a.m. so that I could make it into work on time. I let the interviewer know ahead of time that I would have to leave accordingly and he approved. However, as the interview went on, he deemed me a great candidate and decided to give me a tour of the office and then wanted me to meet with the CEO and a few other employees. I patiently waited 45 minutes til the CEO was finally able to meet with me. After that, the HR manager proceeded to make me an offer on the spot with the expectation that I accept. Taken aback, I said I am grateful for the offer but I'd like to sleep on it and get back to you. He yelled at me about why I wouldn't accept. I calmly explained myself and said I'd let him know the next day. I called him the next day and not only did he take the offer back but he said to me that they decided to get rid of the position. I checked their website 2 weeks later and the position was still listed open!
- —Guest Anonymous
Really Busy CEO
- I had a great first interview for a marketing position at a nonprofit company. They scheduled my second interview, which the CEO would be sitting in on, for a week later. The day before, they called to postpone the interview because the CEO had a golf tournament she had to attend. We rescheduled for this afternoon and I took a sick day to make the appointment. They just called and cancelled again due to the CEO's schedule being changed. What a nightmare - and I haven't even had my second interview yet! Needless to say I will not be taking a job with this company!
- —Guest Lanya
- Recently I interviewed with a medical device/software company that has a good reputation although I had heard a few negative stories from former and current employees. You have to realize there are no perfect situations, there are positive and negative influences in all organizations. When I first arrived I met with the HR assistant and the Director of HR, both very good conversations, standard, exactly what would be expected. Then I was introduced to the Director of Marketing; he began the interview by explaining the skill set needed for the position. He utilized what he referred to as his guide to the key points of the job. This key point list was a copy of a page from a Marketing text book, not even a good copy as he could barely interpret it. I attempted to make contact with him as he postured in his chair, stared at the ceiling and just seemed to have no interest in the discussion, or for that matter, the interview. I felt as if I would need to carry him through the interview. (Susan asks: Did you accept this job, I wonder?)
- —Guest Bill Clarke
What have you been trying?
- Interviewers are astonished why volunteer work is not sufficient? The price of gas, food, clothing, shelter, pets, bills, make good use of 18 hrs.
- —Guest David B. Kotulak
Questioning MY Qualifications?
- I was recently interviewed by two supervisors for a hospital clerical job. One of the ladies had been a stay-at-home mom all her life, and the other had been a dog-bather, yet, they had somehow risen to supervisory status after only one year of working outside the home. So, you can imagine my surprise when they questioned MY qualifications, when I had already been a hospital secretary, scheduler, transcriptionist, and department manager for over 15 years. I didn't get the job. Perhaps I would have had better luck had I previously been a professional scrapbooker or circus clown.
- —Guest D. Smith
Boyfriends, Bass, and Bra Straps
- I am interviewing applicants for the receptionist position in our growing practice. A young girl showed up about 15 minutes late along with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend was wearing cut off ripped jeans and a stained white T-shirt. When I took the applicant to my office, I noticed both of her bra straps hanging out of the bottom of her shirt. As if all this wasn't bad enough, it was like pulling teeth to get anything more then a one word answer out of her. So after an extremely short interview, I walked the young lady back out to the front of the building. This is when I began to feel the bass from her boyfriend's rap music, which he was literally blaring in the parking lot. Needless to say she did not get the job!
- —Guest Melissa
- I had a young adult candidate that was escorted to her interview by her mother. After introductions, it was clear that the mother expected to be a part of the interview. She agreeed to wait on the side while I had a conversation with her daughter. Every question that I asked was interrupted and answers were corrected by the eaves-dropping mom who listened sitting nearby. The interview was brought to a close, the candidate did not get the job, but the mother kept following up with me for future openings!
- —Guest JulieR
Have a Bed?
- Do I have a job interview story for you....when we asked the applicant if they had any questions for the interview panel, their response was, "yes, I would like to know if you could provide a place for me to take a nap about mid-day as I require one to help prevent me from "going off." I just need a quiet place with a bed so I can rest for approximately 20 minutes a day."