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This is a question Job Interview Disasters

The boss showed me the shop floor, complete with loose floor tiles, out-of-date equipment and prospective colleagues eyeing me like a raw steak. "Christ, what a craphole", I said. I think that's the moment I blew it. Tell us how you didn't get the job.

Suggested by Field Marshall Dozington-Smythe (Ret.)

(, Thu 21 Nov 2013, 13:06)
Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

It didn't start well ...
My first interview at 17. I was hoping to become a draughtsman (this was in the day when we still used pencils instead of CAD software tools ... er ... 1984). I took along my portfolio, which was a think wad of drawings rolled up in a plastic tube.

I entered the building, ignoring the amused stares of the receptionist coz in them days I was a really fat fuck. The guy who interviewed me was sitting next to reception, so he got up, proffering a sweaty mitt in greeting.

There was a step down to reception. Just one fucking step. It was hard to miss. Yet I missed it.

My momentum launched myself forwards in a fucked-up stumbling motion. The thick wad of drawings launched themselves forwards from my tube with all the ballistic-ness of a rocket launcher. They whistled past my interviewer, grazing his ear.

He smiled politely, pulled out a handkerchief and dabbed at the blood now seeping from his lug-hole. We carried on with the pointless interview.

Miraculously I got the job ... in another dimension, possibly as I never got it in this fucking one. I never became a draughtsman. I ended up in data entry and slowly worked my way up over the next 30 years to become one of the country's leading experts in a bespoke set of programming tools with a handsome salary. Which I then blew when I was sacked last year when the large multi-national conglomerate I worked for summoned me to Birmingham for a high-level meeting. They explained to me following managerial complaints about my work-rate they'd been monitoring me, and found out I'd really done bugger all for six months. Meh. I'd lost interest. Se lavvy.
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 20:28, 2 replies)
Our Price. Barnstaple. 1998.
At the time I was mainlining the NME, I had one ear permanently tuned to Radio One and the other on a Fender Strat with a 10 watt amp in my bedroom. I was the fucking king of music.

The first part of the interview involved naming the current top 10 singles and albums in the UK. I nailed it. Shania Twain was number one at the time.

”You got every answer right," she said. "That's never happened before.”

"So, what do you think makes Our Price better than the other record stores in Barnstaple?"

A beat. I thought through why I liked this compact disc utopia better than all the others.

There were three music shops in Barnstaple. Sound n Vision was the indie kid's paradise, chock full of CD singles and a guy who looked a little like Steve Lamacq. Up Front was fronted by a guy with 37 kids, and it was the choice for vinyl wizards taking drugs I had not even heard of at that point. And Our Price, inhabited by dads who wanted to listen to the new Ocean Colour Scene CD in their brand spanking new Ford Mondeo.

But, to me, each and every one was a cultured oasis where spending money on a Shed Seven single validated my outsider status in a town full of moron factory workers and loaded retiree's grandchildren, who were often one and the same.

I deeply considered what made Our Price better than the other two.

”Our Price smells a lot better than the other record shops,” I said. Didn't get the job.
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 20:19, 3 replies)
I was once working as a temp in a pharmaceuticals factory, and had applied for a permanent position.
During the interview I was asked if I was a 'team player', and what teams did I think I represented within the company as a whole.

'Well' says I, 'This site is compared with the other sites, so I want it to do well, and on site I guess I represent the Tablet side of production over the inhaler side. Within Tablets I guess I represent the shift I work on.'

'So you think that the shifts compete against each other, and don't work together.'

'No, it's not that. We all work together, It's just that the Night Shift are lazy cunts.'

Nailed it.
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 19:32, Reply)
I would rather ask: "What pathetically useless questions do you know have been used in interviews?"
I nominate: "If you could invite three people living, dead or fictional to a dinner party who would you invite?".
I've vowed to myself that, should I ever have to respond to this, I shall reply "'Chopper Reid', Howard Marx and the inmate formally known as Charles Bronson.
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 18:54, 15 replies)
A&W Root Beer Ad
Always liked the various versions of this ad.
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 18:49, Reply)
The quickest contradiction
"I'm really committed to everything I do, right up until the point I give up."
Well done me.
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 18:46, Reply)
I went for an interview for a post at Edinburgh Uni. As I was being shown round the department there was an outburst of hysterical laughter. The trouble was it was coming from my jacket pocket. For no reason whatever I had picked a jacket which held a joke shop novelty "Laughing Bag" - a small cotton bag containing an electronic laugh generator and which needed a mere breath on the switch to turn it on. I must have breathed. Huh, didn't want to be a medical photographer anyway . . .
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 18:23, Reply)
Changing schools...
For a while, my first teaching job was great, until they employed an new assistant head, who will now be known as "Ms Turnbull", for in personality and looks resembled the character from Matilda.

She turned a lovely school into a place full of backstabbing and anger, and turnover increased from 5 staff a year to 37 in her first full year.

I hated her with a passion, as did 99% of the other staff. As did the students. When the 6th form had her face on their common room dart board, they were never told to take it down bay any other member of staff.

So I applied for another job, and found a school a few miles further away but with a brilliant reputation, an inspiring department for me to work in, no insistence on ties for teachers (my pet hate).

As it was a 2nd in department role, I had 2 days of interviews and the first one was fantastic. 10 people down to 4. Interview with the out-going head, department, students went better than expected.

That night I get a text from a mate at my school, saying was I coming out tonight? turned down the offer, read up on pedagogy, the schools ethos etc.

Walked into 9am interview and the out going head announces that the new head has been able to take a day off and oversee the rest of the interview. 2 minutes later Ms Turnbull walks in and sits down behind the desk.

My first words of "You can fuck off", were involuntary, but the meaning was there. For the first time ever, my brain engaged when needed and my next line of "well, I'd rather swim through liquid shit that work for you" may have cost me the job...

I walked out and left. Turns out she had announced she was leaving the in the previous morning meeting and every member of staff in the school had gone out to celebrate. I remained at my school, and all is now well.
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 17:20, 7 replies)
give me a job or i'll show you my balls

(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 17:11, 5 replies)
I went to an interview and they gave me a job but then I was asked to go to another interview and they also wanted to give me a job and then I was worried because I would have too many jobs but in the end I just chose the job that sounded best.

(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 17:10, Reply)

This one is from last week and another recruiter mate.

Managing Partner of a Sydney law firm eats sandwich in interview with candidate, necks entire can of coke, pretty much in one hit, does a lengthy and impressive belch, then tells said recruiter that the candidate is being "precious" as she's not keen on going through to the next round having met with him.

Also one that happened to me a few years back whilst working for a US investment bank in London. Candidate is doing fine until he's asked what frustrates him at work.

"Well, the main one," he lines up thoughtfully, "is when you spend time training people up and then they just fuck off and leave."

Interview ends.

Idiot. Pretty sure he was stoned when I called to give him the feedback and tell him why he wasn't progressing as well. Which is good going during office hours and when he's theoretically already working at another major IB.
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 16:38, 6 replies)
What in her what??
Having spent several years working in recruitment I've got a few of these. My favourite actually happened to a mate though whilst he was interviewing a junior IT recruiter for a job. He thought he was being clever by throwing the old "tell me a joke" question in, but the candidate was reticent as "the only joke I know is rude". Cue my friend assuring him that as a recruiter dirty jokes were all the rage and he'd be fine. At which point said candidate popped out with this little gem. In his first (and obviously last) interview.

"How do get a gay guy to shag a woman?

You shit in her cunt."

Future business leader. Right there.
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 16:25, 11 replies)
Ian the Chef.
When I was at Uni studying to be a Land Surveyor (Site Engineer in the UK), there was one particular droog named Ian who was a rather vacant, lazy type of bloke. Nice enough, just fucking useless at getting himself organised. Never really made much of an effort, and was always scunging assignments off others.

After graduating from Uni, we all went separate ways and sought jobs that were remotely related to our degree, usually in the areas of mining, engineering or land development.

A few years later, I bumped into him in the supermarket, trolley laden with pot noodles. "Hey Ian, how's things mate, where are you working now?"

"Ain't got a job yet, had another interview today, but I think I might have fucked up".

"How so, mate? Jesus, he must be really shit at surveying if he doesn't have a decent job by now, I pondered to myself.

"Well, it was for a chef's job at the old peoples home".

"Umm, yeah mate, but you aren't qualified as a chef..."

"Thats what the bloke fucking said in the the interview! So I said, well, fuck mate, well it's only cooking for old people, how hard can it be?"

Last I heard, he was working in a video shop.
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 13:27, 2 replies)
Not a disaster but a triumph!
Mrs Duck is very good in interviews. Once she went for a Sales teamleader post.

The guy conducting the interview was your typical salesman all brash and matey. Mrs Duck clocked this and decided he was a bit of lad and liked a pint or two (developing beer gut confirming this).

So when he asked the inevitable and boring question "what are your weaknesses?" she took a risk and said "Stella"

Luckily he laughed decided she was just right for the job.

He turned out to be a right cunt to work for.
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 12:33, 6 replies)
I failed a newly-introduced option-based telephone selection process for B&Q, which would have otherwise led to a face-to-face interview.
This was after working for them for four years, and then taking a three-year break to go off to college. I guess their shelf-stacking standards must have soared in that time.

Probably just as well, as I later heard about the ritual humiliation that was their face-to-face ... sing your favourite song while doing a dance in front of your fellow applicants. What sort of fucking spastic comes up with this kind of thing?
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 11:58, 9 replies)
So I then got this idea about driving a cheescake truck
'Cause I figured at the end of the day I could take the leftover cheesecakes home and I love cheesecake, so I went to the cheesecake company and they asked me if I could drive a truck and I said yes and they said you're hired.
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 11:47, 5 replies)
I was two hours late for a job interview
thanks to my reliance on a postcode search in Google maps and my "oh, I'm bound to spot the place" attitude. After too long driving round like a well attired kerb crawler, peering at every building on the industrial estates near a huge rugby stadium, I tended my man shield and gun and asked for directions.

Maybe if I had more of an affinity for large sweaty men playing with their funny shaped balls I would've realised the name of the place I was asking directions to from multiple locals was the rather large stadium looming in the background at every turn. Either they were taking the piss or they thought I was.

I didn't even know rugby stadiums had office space.
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 11:36, 1 reply)
Bye spimf

(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 11:32, 6 replies)
I left my home and my family
and went looking for a job.
But I got no offers.
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 11:18, 11 replies)

(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 11:08, 3 replies)
A valuable member of the team

I'm a techie, so I expect job interviews to be mainly about technical knowledge, experience and competence. But for some reason, the guy interviewing me didn't seem very interested in those things. He gave me a tour of the place, in each department emphasising not the technologies used, but rather the interdeparmental softball / football / squash teams.

It soon became apparent that, while they'd advertised for a Java developer, what they actually wanted was a replacement player for their various inter-office sports teams. Now I am overweight, asthmatic, lazy, and have skin that can burn if someone says the word "SUN" loudly within 50 metres - in fact a pretty stereotypical IT professional. I consider "fit" to mean "capable of rolling a joint without requiring defibrillation", and the closest I come to sport is watching the women's Beach Volleyball finals. It was never going to work.

Apparently I "wasn't a good fit for the company".
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 10:17, 1 reply)
5th "media sales" interview of the day (many years ago).
I was tired, bored, and should have cancelled. But at the end of a discussion about my CV, the director asked me the stunningly silly question "How long have you wanted* to be in media sales?".

Without thinking, I replied "as a toddler, I had a toy phone, and I'd pretend to ring up people I didn't know and sell them things that didn't belong to me in return for a very small percentage".

*Nobody has ever wanted to be in media sales. It's just something you find yourself doing. It's very much like a heroin addiction, but without the upsides. I have since escaped into advertising agencies.
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 9:28, 5 replies)
How not to start an interview.
I work in the NHS. We get student nurses through regularly. Some are great, most are fine, a few are crap. Sue was crap. Partly it was a personality clash (it was mutual), mainly it was her stupidity. An example, she asks me if I want a cuppa. " yes please, white no sugar" . She returns with my tea, with sugar in. "Oh Sue, you've given me the wrong one, this has sugar in" "no, I know you said you didn't want sugar, but the list in the kitchen says you do, so I gave you one". WTF?

Anyway, time passes. I'm interviewing with a colleague for a staff nurse job. I look at the list of candidates and see her name. "Christ Sue, can't stand her. But let's be professional. Maybe she's changed". My colleague goes to bring her to the interview room. I stand to greet her as she enters ( as we did all candidates). She enters, looks at me and declares, with disdain in her voice, "What are YOU doing here?" Not quite the first impression she wanted to make I'm sure.

She didn't get the job (she was shit as well as being rude and not coping well with unexpected situations).
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 7:49, 8 replies)
I applied for a job
Then some lowlife creep hacked my email.
(, Thu 21 Nov 2013, 21:56, 5 replies)
I used to interview people. It's a right laugh. Much better than QOTW.
I liked the waterboarding best but the electrodes driven by the hand crank can be a delight, "please stop owwwwwww." and suchlike.
(, Thu 21 Nov 2013, 21:04, Reply)
The airports annual recruitment drive.
This started with a tame interview. Despite not even knowing what the company actually did I still was allowed to progress to the medical and then hearing test.

After failing the hearing test; I passed by the lady tapping on the soundproof glass to signal when to push the button, I was sat in an unused terminal with what seemed far too many applicants. I was perplexed further when a lady entered with a large trolley rattling with little plastic containers who announced the final test to be a drug one.

Half the applicants left.
(, Thu 21 Nov 2013, 19:09, Reply)

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