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The boss showed me the shop floor, complete with loose floor tiles, out-of-date equipment and prospective colleagues eyeing me like a raw steak.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.

I'm from Somerset
and my accent was so broad that even people in Somerset mocked me for it.

I had an interview for a software development job. In Derby.

One of their questions was, "would you mind if people took the piss out of how you talk?"
(, Mon 25 Nov 2013, 11:51, 10 replies)
Recruitment agents, eh? Tch.
Having opened the paper one morning and discovered that the DotCom bubble had burst spectacularly, I grudgingly accepted that I would have to find a proper job in the real world. Which meant I had to deal with recruitment agents. I never met the one I had to deal with, Gus, but I can picture him exactly: tall, loud, alpha-male, shiny suit, expensive (but fake) watch, plays squash every Thursday with Gavin from accounts.

He asked me what I would consider to be a perfect job. Apart from the techical stuff, and the kind of money I hoped for, I mentioned that I'd ideally like to do something which was "socially useful". This threw him. Despite trying to explain what I meant, he was clearly struggling with the concept.

I went for several interviews, and the third one let him know that they would like to offer me a job. Unfortunately, it was a company that made software for Estate Agents. I agonized, because it was the first actual offer I'd had, but eventually told Gus that I didn't want to work in the world of Estate Agents, since it wasn't what I'd consider "socially useful". Unqualified money-grabbing leeches who charge obscene fees for doing fuck-all, apart from misleading their clients, lying to the buyers and cocking up any paperwork. Is what I really meant.

Again, Gus didn't understand. He asked if it was a question of more money. I tried to explain that there was more to a job than the paycheck, but I could hear the sound of his forehead creasing in confusion. Eventually I gave up trying to explain, and stopped answering Gus's calls. I now work in the world of education, which suits me nicely.

Finally, I've always wondered what the interview to be a recruitment agent would be like... I mean, you're turning up unemployed, so by definition you're shit at your job...
(, Mon 25 Nov 2013, 11:07, 4 replies)
I knew a girl who very much wanted to join the Metropolitan Police. She figured after a few years on the beat, she'd like to get into serious investigation, maybe become a detective.

She was invited to interview in London. She couldn't find the office.

She went home and never mentioned it again.
(, Mon 25 Nov 2013, 11:01, 3 replies)
Duncan had it in the bag
...or so he thought.

I'd worked with Duncan for a number of years. Our employer was a large educational establishment for distance learning with about 4000 staff. So while I'd met Duncan working in one department over the years we'd both moved about a bit.

While I'd landed a role with permanent employment, Duncan had ended up on temporary contracts and for the previous 6 months had been filling a tech support role in a quiet corner of campus. As such you might say he'd let his standards slip a little...

A senior colleague to us both had been keen to help Duncan out and pretty much lined up a permanent role with his name on it. The interview day came and said colleague was even on the interview panel. What more could you ask for - a job pretty much created for you and a friend on the interview panel!?

SO Duncan went through the motions, generally answering the required quizzing of his technical competence. It would be the last question that was his downfall though...

Interviewer 1: "So lets imagine you've done any open support calls or outstanding tasks and have a bit of time spare. What would you do with that time?"

Duncan: Ponders the possibilities with deepest consideration... "Probably bring in some CDs, or a DVD to watch".

At this point our colleague, Interviewer 2, leaps in to try and save things. Chucks Duncan "a look" and says in the most leading and assistive way possible: "OK, but imagine it's maybe more than a spare hour, possibly even a couple of days. What kind of things could you think of to fill your time at work that your manager may not have asked you to do?"

Now lets for a moment consider our own model answers... Maybe check the anti-virus was up to date on the PCs in the labs, or perform an audit of the hardware on site to check nothing was missing or in need of replacement?

Duncans answer: "Erm........ Yeah, I'd bring in some CDs".

He didn't get the job.
(, Mon 25 Nov 2013, 10:07, Reply)
My Dad wanted me to work with him.
One day he took me to his office, and his boss was there, he wanted me to work there too.

I got in a bit of a fight with my Dad about it, and I ended up knocking him out.

His boss tried to persuade me to work there anyway, but I told him to fuck off. He got really pissed off and started to fight with me.

Then my Dad stabbed him with a lightsabre. This last sentence is so that that last word doesn't stand out so much.
(, Mon 25 Nov 2013, 8:43, 10 replies)
Interviewed with the CIA
Didn't get in, not because the interview went badly, but because you had to pass their polygraph test, and since they trusted very, very few people to administer their test, the wait extended several years. Who has the time to wait for something like that, unless you're on some kind of mission? It's the strangest bottleneck. Polygraph examinations are notoriously unreliable, so it's basically holding hostage a huge organization to the whims of a few witch doctors.
(, Mon 25 Nov 2013, 4:15, 7 replies)
My pleasure is other people's leisure.

(, Sun 24 Nov 2013, 17:00, 4 replies)
I've got a job interview TOMORROW MORNING
at 10:00, for a job I don't really want.

So! This is your chance to USE ME AS YOUR PUPPET. Your sock-puppet, even!

Suggest things for me to say/do at the interview, and I will do them - within reason, of course: I'm not getting my cock out (again) or calling the interviewer a Nazi paeaedoe Razorlight-loving ass muncher (again) (even though they may very well be).

Suggest away!

[And yes, and yes, and no, it wasn't, and yes, it was, and yes, he was, and no, he wasn't, and isn't, and FUCK YES, he is!]
(, Sun 24 Nov 2013, 16:33, 25 replies)
I didn't get a job because I asked for more money than the two wankers interviewing me were getting paid, and that didn't go down well.

(, Sun 24 Nov 2013, 14:30, 12 replies)
I was turned down for a job because my real name was all over the internet
and the interviewer got some idea of my personality from a few thousand messageboard posts.
(, Sun 24 Nov 2013, 11:45, 3 replies)
This is how to do it

(, Sun 24 Nov 2013, 10:26, 7 replies)
Reading some of these tales about PhD interviews I am reminded of the day my mum got hers.
I would have paid to be a fly on the wall for this young ladies first job interview after she achieved her PhD.

On the evening my mum got her PhD about 6 mths. before she popped he clogs, we took her to the venue. I arranged that if she needed me to assist her onto the stage I could - she didn't.

Anyhoo - whilst the boffins onstage are reading out PhD's and their recipients they come across this pearler.
A young lady who is slightly overweight and vaguely "gothy" looking steps up onto the stage to be awarded with a PhD in "The use of the Klingon language in the study of Modern Linguistics" or something very close to that.
I shit you not.

Now, here in Oz (AFAIK) once you get you Masters you no longer have to pay HECS - which is what you have to repay to the government for your degree and any post-grad stuff. Student loans?
So this woman had spent at least a couple of years probably at taxpayers expense (PhD students are still eligible for Austudy - which is the equivalent of a welfare payment for students) using university resources for free - the uni doesn't get any more money from HECS remember, to pursue her dream of watching old Next Gen, Voyager, Enterprise and [shudder] Deep Space 9 episodes in order to get an accredited qualification.

How quietly do you think you would mumble your PhD topic when asked in job interviews "What was your doctorate in?" if you were her?
EDIT: The above is in no way meant to denigrate the amount of time and effort it goes into achieving a PhD. More about the choice of subjects some people have made in order to get such a lauded qualification.
(, Sun 24 Nov 2013, 8:23, 24 replies)
Professor Position
Years ago when I was a part time instructor looking for a full-time tenure track gig as a professor, I had the most amazingly awful interview.
I had made it past the first couple of rounds of the interview process and had made it to the point where I was one of 3 or 4 people in the running for the position. This part usually calls for the live, in-person, interview on campus.
It was all arranged, I would drive over a few hours to the next state, take the campus tour, conduct a few interviews with various committees and admins, have lunch, do any follow up, meet with HR and then head back home.
The campus tour was crazy. It looked NOTHING like the pictures and how they described it. The labs and classrooms were totally run down, antique, and beat to hell.
The big group interview with all the faculty in the department was actually going well... that is until someone runs into the room and yells, "Hey everyone! We're getting sued!"
Basically everyone in the room forgets I exist at this point... there are people whipping out cell phones and calling... there are discussions going on about what it could be about... I'm kinda ticked off at this point.
They suddenly decide to all go to lunch because the interview was basically dead at this point. (We drove there in this massive tricked out Humvee.) It quickly becomes clear that it was one of the other candidates who was interviewing for the job is now filing suit against the department for something and it sounds like it was going to stick. After I heard, "Well, this is going to clean us out!"
I did have a rather nice lunch though... they took me to some local "meat and three" lunch buffet dive and I ate like the poor starving adjunct that I was. They basically only talked about the pending lawsuit and I chatted with the secretary of the dept. about her new grandkid.
After lunch, I'm basically dismissed. The secretary tells me to send them my fuel receipts and I head home hours earlier than expected.
The bastards never paid my fuel receipts after contacting them multiple times.
I guess they really were cleaned out! hahaha
(, Sun 24 Nov 2013, 7:04, 1 reply)
Can I be the first to suggest
that we declare this /qotw an Amorous Badger Monumental Fail?

Surely, if there was an opportunity for him to trot out and repost AGAIN that sad, tired old pic of the post from AB's unoriginal and itself slightly creepy archives, where Albert Marshmallow proves himself to be a creepy sexpest by hacking into young ladies' webmail accounts in order to go looking for their nudey pics; wouldn't this week's /qotw be the most appropriate time and place?
Yet here we are on Sunday....
(, Sun 24 Nov 2013, 5:05, 35 replies)
'Ya Big Jobby!
Not quite an oven-cooked legume.

A number of years ago [insert wavy lines here] I was 2IC (second-in-charge) in a busy industrial kitchen/factory. Due to the fact that the cook's first language wasn't English and his general inability to be easily understood, the companies' owner had placed me in charge of hiring and firing in the kitchen-factory area. As such I had to often stop working to conduct interviews - particularly at certain times of the year as the products we cooked and packaged were mainly of a seasonal nature.

The interviews themselves weren't exactly rocket surgery, then again the jobs weren't exactly brain science either - I had to be sure that the "candidates" were capable of basic mathematics, which was needed in the packing room whilst making up and packing orders, that they could at least read an order slip, that they were capable of continued repetitive manual labour, that they could work safely around a busy kitchen and all of it's hazards and that they would at very least be able to work within a team.

Hard to fuck up you might think....

Some of my favourite moments -
The (moderately) pretty young woman who upon finding out that we had to wear hairnets, a onesy overalls, gloves and gumboots (since we were handling and packaging food) promptly got up and walked out exclaiming that the outfit just wouldn't go with her "look".

The young gent I heard in the dunnies prior to our interview, performing the unmistakeable Zen koan of "One Hand Fapping" and then leaving the toilets, hands unwashed who then moments later tried to shake my hand. Apparently it was motivated by the scene in "Something About Mary". I didn't check to see if I needed any hairgel. I've got no issues with a bit of tension release but doing it in the dunnies of your prospective employer and then not washing your hands ain't such a good look.

There was the idealistic young lass who told me she couldn't work in the kitchen because she was a vegan and lactose intolerant (a few products we made were pate, cheeses and dips). I suggested that she could work in the packaging area where the products were sealed (there were only 2 of us who cooked really anyway), the gloves & overalls would protect her from coming into contact with any food and that there was no expectations that she eat anything we made.
She then went onto give me a diatribe about how we were contributing to animal cruelty since we allowed our suppliers to force-feed geese to cause their livers to become enlarged. I pointed out (as patiently as I could) that we bought hundreds of kg's of chicken livers off the local chicken slaughterhouse. Livers that were usually sold cheaply as offal. Out of chickens that had been raised and killed to provide the local KFC with it's ability to sell bucket loads of greasy shit.
She didn't work out.

There was the red-eyed, reeking of pot-smoke young fella who said he couldn't read. I explained that this wasn't too much of a problem as long as he could pick the numbers off the order slip and check them as he packed an order - which he stated he could. When I politely told him we'd be in touch (a gentle NO, THE JOB IS NOT YOURS) he proceeded to accuse me of discriminating against him due to his 'dielexia'. At which point I quietly suggested to him that coming to an interview, even for a shitty manual labour job, stoned out of your fucking gourd probably wasn't the smartest move.
Pity really because I still smoked back then and I reckon he could've scored me some preemo gear!

I think the saddest was the older gent who came in very smartly (and over) dressed, interviewed amazingly and got the job. The following day he turned up and was clearly having difficulty using the sealing machines. On inspection I found his hands gnarled and arthritic. It seems he'd been made redundant from his last job and they'd screwed him out of his "lifetime" medical insurance in the severance package, his missus was also old and infirm and he was a couple of years away from pension age. When I asked him what he did - a CPA. Happily the boss needed someone to do the books every month and he got a nice rate that didn't show up on any bank statements. So silver linings and all that.

Let's not forget my nepotistic step-father-in-law who expected me to get him a job at my "level" and pay grade. I was very clear with him that he was there on his own cognisance and merits and that he would be treated as such. Two days later I told him I'd call him when we needed him next - an easy way for employers to get rid of casual staff. Having known the man for over a decade you'd think I'd have realised that he was as useless as a fart in a spacesuit.

There were the numerous people who would come in and interview just to tell me at the last minute at the end of said interview that they couldn't do the job due to an injury, ongoing illness, the fact that they couldn't work outside of school hours or that due to their beliefs/isms they would only be able to perform very small parts of the job expected of them.
When asked why they had bothered to turn up their response was 1 and the same - to meet the needs stipulated every fortnight in order to continue to receive their Newstart Allowance. And they were the ones who rang up, arranged a time for an interview and bothered to turn up.
Fuck You Centrelink for putting people in such a shitty situation and wasting hours of my time interviewing them.

TL;DR: I regularly interviewed many people for a shitty job and was an intolerant cunt when it came to dealing with time-wasting fuckwits.

No email accounts were hacked in the interviewing of any of the above candidates.
(, Sun 24 Nov 2013, 1:21, 13 replies)
Our Price / Vshop, early 00's
After spending a few years climbing the slippery pole towards store management, find myself being interviewed for a store managers role in London, by the regional manager.
"So, if I done..." she says. The grammar nazi in me notices. Then she does it again. And again.
"Um," I interject, "...it's not 'I done', it's 'I Did'".
And in that moment I consider the monumental act of fuckwittery I have just committed. A week later I get some feedback; she calls me "Smug and arrogant". I don't get the job.

"So, how did the interview go?" Asks my current regional manager.
"Bad" says I, "I corrected her grammar."
"WHAT?!?!?", and he collapses in giggles.
"Well, she does have shocking grammar" he says, then proceeds to call the other regional managers to share my lamentable performance.

This actually stands me in good stead a few months later when I interview for another store manager position, as that regional manager already knows my name and what I did, and I got my first store managers position.
(, Sun 24 Nov 2013, 0:03, 4 replies)
I really did not want to share this story with such illustious luminaries but I am compelled to share this story.
I was involved in an interview situation and the proposed new role was very simple and therefore within my remit. I tried my very hardest to not get the job but I did. I was sent by HR to an intensive training course where my remit was to understand verbal communications from customers. Once I had understood the customers needs I was supposed to do what the company described as UPSELL. Once I had fully understood the customers needs and successfully sold an UPSELL I was required to very craftily CROSSSELL. I think I had this concept pretty much nailed as they say in the vernacular. To be frank; I had breezed the interview and on the training course. I was CUSTOMER FOCUSED and I knew how to understand CUSTOMER NEEDS.

Cometh the day, cometh the MAN. With post training and interview trepidation I was put on the front line. I had never felt so good about myself and the uniform. God, I loved that uniform but I digress. My first real customer!

"I would like a Big Mac, please"

I swung into action. "Is that a Big Mac meal?"

"yes" the customer replies. At this point I could look in the idiots eyes and I knew I had him.

"extra large, sir" says I

"Yes", says he. Oh yes I think to myself I AM THE BEST

what came next was I agree an aberration. Because dear reader, I SHIT MY PANTS. Such sorrow, I probably compounded the event by telling the man that I thought his teenage son was yummy and did he need any help with his Filet O Fish (if you know what I mean).

After such a hard day at work, I went home for a hot bath and whilst in the bath I got an erection. Next thing I know I was accidentally pissing in my mouth.

best thing is, the next day I got that senior director role with the FMCG I had been targeting.
(, Sat 23 Nov 2013, 23:25, 2 replies)
I did not get it
The only job that I had had since stopping work to raise my children was on the sex chat-lines. I stopped doing it because I ended up worse off than on benefits, so started applying for jobs that fit in with school hours. There is a lot of competition for them and I was not getting to the interview stage and then inspiration struck: the next form I filled in, instead of meaningless waffle about the job that I had done, I filled it out as "Sex Chat Line Operative" and got an interview.

I was ushered into the room where a stony faced woman sat in the corner and the HR Rep sat in front of me, eyes gleaming and almost drooling said, "Tell me about the chat-lines!" I had no idea what that had to do with selling books for children to schools, waffled on about client confidentiality and could not wait to get out of there.
(, Sat 23 Nov 2013, 22:28, 2 replies)
I never got as far as the interview stage

Click for bigger (124 kb)

(, Sat 23 Nov 2013, 16:15, 6 replies)
We forgot to mention the job involves being a kidnap risk in a corrupt destitute country
About 13 years ago, I was interviewing for an advisory consultant role for a trade organisation. Pretty dull, and the salary was below average, but I needed another job and this was walking distance from home. About half way through they asked how I felt about travelling for work. "That would be fine". How would I feel about spending a week a month in Africa (as a prisoner in a hotel, advising corrupt governments on best practice, and potentially being kidnapped)? My first thought was "You gotta be fucking kidding, when were you going to mention that?" What left my mouth was "That would be inconvenient."

On the way back I rang the agency, and warned not to waste anyone's time like that again.
(, Sat 23 Nov 2013, 15:34, 4 replies)
I was encouraged, then harassed and cajoled into interviewing for a "career step-up" position.
I didn't want the job, knowing it to be dealing with disasters caused by by bad management decisions but they wouldn't leave me alone until I interviewed for it.

The company staff turnover rate was about 75% per year.

The job was already "as good as yours" they told me, "the role was made for you" they said.

I rode the 40 miles to head office on my motorbike in shitty weather and arrived wet and grubby. The bike boots looked very fetching coupled with my crumpled rain soaked suit, my waterproofs leaked somewhat. I had a red eye from a muddy splash and my hands were stained blue from new gloves soaked on the way.

They ushered me in, as far as I know, the only candidate, and began the questions.

"So, tell me what interests you about this role"
"I'm not interested in it, my manager said I had to come here and to be perfectly straight with you I'm here for a respite day away from him"

HR guy looks at director.Raised eyebrows. "Ok, is there something we should know?"
"I thought I was here for an interview?"
"Well obviously you don't want this job but we'd like to gather some feedback on the management while you're here"
"I'm sorry, this doesn't feel very appropriate" I replied, standing up. They let me leave without argument.

Two days later I received a letter explaining that although I'd interviewed well, sadly the job had been offered to someone else.

I complained to my manager that I'd obviously been overlooked and he promised to look into it.I still wonder how that conversation went.
(, Sat 23 Nov 2013, 15:16, 2 replies)
Sense of humour failure...
A few years (fuck me almost 10 now) back... I had an interview doing tech support for a broadband company.

The interview went well and I was told I was "making all the right noises". the final part of the interview was a mock interview where I had to interview my possible employer for some strange reason.

The Guy walked out leaving Kate behind who was taking notes, I was told to relax and await the knock on the door.

I sat wondering what to say, how to handle this, I had never interviewed anybody for a job and halfway through any job interview my brain goes for a walk and I'm on autopilot.

"Knock knock knock" Came from the door....

I turned to face Kate and said "Kate, I'm very busy today could you take a message for me?" Kate fell about laughing then the guy wandered in, I conducted the interview completely poker faced and as serious as I could manage with Kate still letting out little stifled laughs from time to time.

A week later I recieved a letter telling me I hadn't been chosen to be employed and maybe I should "Take interviews more seriously".
(, Sat 23 Nov 2013, 12:45, 1 reply)
No flies on me
Several years ago, as a raw young teacher I was pushed to the edge of a nervous breakdown by a particularly unpleasant class of 'behaviourally challenged' kids so in an effort to escape I applied for a job in a nice little school where all the kids were in wheelchairs. Someone told me that my chances of getting the job would be improved by visiting the school beforehand and making a good impression on the headteacher.

I made an appointment but unfortunately on the appointed day I woke up late and looked like being late so I made a hurried grab for the only suit I possessed - my old wedding suit. In the years since the wedding styles had really changed and I realised that I was sporting ultra-wide flares (much too short) and jacket lapels as wide as an ironing board. AND I couldn't find any clean underpants so in my haste decided to do without them.

On arrival at the school I spent half an hour with a very unimpressed-looking headteacher and then trapesed round the school visiting every classroom to meet the other staff, all of whom were female - except the very last one who was male and told me nervously that my flies were undone, revealing a flourishing clump of pubes and a little flash of pink coming from my wedding tackle. I didn't get the job.
(, Sat 23 Nov 2013, 11:50, 9 replies)
I had trouble with nebulous interview questions
like 'Where do you want to be in 10 years?' and 'What do you see as a weakness in yourself?' until I worked out what it was they wanted to hear.

Before that I used to say that I wanted to be independently wealthy and that my weakness was that I had little patience for bullshit.

Somehow I never got the jobs I wanted.
(, Sat 23 Nov 2013, 1:31, 2 replies)
I went for this job right and the geezer asks me
what is my biggest weakness?

I said, "It's probably my honesty."

He said, "I don't think honesty is a weakness."

I said, "I don't give a fuck what you think mate."
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 22:42, 3 replies)
The interview was going really well.
I thought it was safe to be humorous.
"What's your biggest weakness?" They asked.
"I steal." I replied.
Got a laugh. Did not get job.
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 22:05, 5 replies)
ERP system commentary
Interviewer: "We use the SAP system for all transactions: Are you aware of it and what do you think of it?"

Me: "It's an iron fist in a velvet glove"

WTF? I have no idea where that phrase came from or why I said it. Didn't get the job.
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 21:09, 10 replies)
This Irish guy asked me to prove my worth by building a small wall.
He didn't like it so I headbutted him and kicked it over.

Didn't get the job after that.
(, Fri 22 Nov 2013, 20:37, 9 replies)

This question is now closed.

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