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This is a question Job Interviews

If it's not the "where do you see yourself in five years time" question, it's the trick questions they throw at you to make them feel superior. Tell us about your worst job interview and the most unsuited candidates you've seen. BTW: Please don't use the question board to send messages to each other. It makes the whole thing unreadable for everyone else.

(, Thu 20 Jan 2005, 9:51)
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This question is now closed.

Careless talk
While in my front garden, shaking the hand of the estate agent that had just secured me a buyer for my house, he got a phone call. "Yeah, the office is next to that little pizza place on the high street. My blue Ford Probe is parked out the front - you can't miss it". Sunny day, and he'd been so delighted with the news he had to deliver to me that he'd walked the short distance between his office and my home.

He hangs up and explains that it was someone coming in for an interview, calling to get directions. "Pain in the arse - we filled that post last week, and I've got whoever that f*cking retard is and 2 others coming in tomorrow that I can't be arsed cancelling."

A guy that had been frantically thumbing an A-Z by the phonebox outside my house suddenly became very animated, jumped into a car and sped away. The sudden appearance of various unofficial go-faster stripes in the paintwork of the metallic blue Ford Probe back at the estate agents (as well as "retard" carved into the windscreen on the driver's side) were no coincidence, the prosecution is currently arguing.
(, Thu 27 Jan 2005, 4:44, Reply)
More reasons to shop at...
Having had to go through a three-day-long group interview process (all this for a £1.94 floor monkey job at a newly built Morrison's), it eventually culminated in a one-to-one interview.

"I see here that you did Social & Economic History at school - can you tell me one interesting fact about your local area's past?"

Mind numb after three days of sitting through half a million videos which all basically said "don't steal from us or you're dead", I could only think of one thing.

"The date on the planning application for the site you've just built on is BEFORE the date that the factory that used to occupy the site burned to the ground in suspicious circumstances."

Veh, veh awkward silence.
(, Thu 27 Jan 2005, 4:13, Reply)
how we laughed...
IT company i used to work for had a policy of only hiring people with a VERY good sense of humour and lots of common sense.

So, IT grad straight out of uni arrives at 9am for an interview, my boss tells him there's a load of PCs next door that need the HDDs changed, can he get on with that. All the new HDDS are in a pile, just need to open the boxes up and switch 'em. A doddle.

"Oh, here's some anti-static gloves so you don't knacker 'em all while you're doing it" and hands him a pair of bright red oven gloves with OXO written on 'em in big white letters.

He changed 4 HDDs, went to lunch and never came back. Never said a word to anyone the whole morning either... we were all next door pissing ourselves.
(, Thu 27 Jan 2005, 2:39, Reply)
BBaaaahhh
Interview @ gadget shop, they are known for their obscure interview methods,

anyhooo,

they asked me,

"what 2 animals do i think i am most like,"

prompting my anwser of

"a cat, aanndd a sloth"

confused and intrested asked,

"whys that?"

myself actually wondering why i chose those animals wittingly anwsered

"Coz im f**king lazy!"

After a brief scilence, they 2 interviewers fell in2 stitches with laughter loving my humour, and offered me the job. I turned it down after being offered a much better pay elsewhere.
(, Thu 27 Jan 2005, 1:56, Reply)
Salisbury
I was going for an interview in Salisbury, travelling by bus. The bus broke down on the dual carriage-way outside of said city. The bus driver said that it would take ages for the engineer to arrive, so we were better off waiting for the next bus (half an hour). Bollocks to that I thought, that will make me late for my interview, I will hitchhike.

This was rush hour, so I had no doubt that some kind citizen would give me a lift.

I wandered up the hard shoulder with my thumb out for some time, and these cars just kept thundering past. It was also raining. As I wandered closer and closer to the city limits (uphill) I was becoming more and more saturated with rain, and more and more saturated with hatred towards the human race (thumb still out).

I started to shout "You fucking wankers!" towards the oncoming traffic as it carried on regardless. This shouting carried on for some time.

Then, the next bus appeared. By this time I was trudging my way up the hill closer to the city. I was not, unfortunately, near a bus stop...

Eventually, I arrived at the office of my interview. Absolutely saturated, and so hoarse that the receptionist asked me to repeat myself. I was late, but I was here!

The bastards should at least respect the fact that I battled to get here, I thought.

Wrong.

The interviewer eventually turned up, looked me up and down, and invited me in (grudgingly). All of my excuses were disregarded, and I was informed about how the company only takes the "creme de la creme".

Ah well.

[edit: this was my first 'serious' interview, circa 1988]
(, Wed 26 Jan 2005, 22:38, Reply)
not all bad
what can i say, first interview, first job and now im in there with the gaffers daughter, get fucked by the inland revenue for tax but never mind.
(, Wed 26 Jan 2005, 22:09, Reply)
"Having spent many years..."
..working for a large entertainment empire beginning with 'V', had a fair number of job interviews as I scaled the corporate ladder. By far my worst was with a ruthless regional manager with Terminator like tenacity...as I sat in my interview she kept saying " Well, if you done this" and "if I done that". I'd like to think that subconsciously, detecting the interview was not going my way I decided to sabotage it:

"It's 'I did', not 'I done'".

Didn't get the job, but gained immense Kudos from the other regional managers as no one had ever dared to correct her appalling grammar.
(, Wed 26 Jan 2005, 21:41, Reply)
False pretences
Oh yes, we have the perfect position for you Mr Plankton. Logica, big company, great benefits and suits your coding skills right down to the ground.

Of course i check the web site, see all the nice photies of satellites and concorde and pole dancers and hop in the spitfire to toddle down to Leatherhead.

"Morning Mr Plankton. We need someone with excellent real-time programmning skills for our new division. Waste flow control at sewage works - it's a great role"

Me. "Errr.... I somehow can't see that on my CV. Bye"

Damn it all to hell. I could have been to King of Poo Programming.
(, Wed 26 Jan 2005, 21:21, Reply)
Book keeper
Years ago I had the misfortune to work in Milton Keynes. Actually it wasn't that bad, but why refute the myth?

Anyway, I was writing software for robotics and underwater vehicles and natty stuff like that and we needed a new book keeper for accounts. So, like good citizens, we put an ad in the paper.

First contestant came along. All his life's belongings in a Tesco bag and a top CV. "I think I could do your book keeping because I have a collection of books at home and I keep them all tidy and in alphabetical order". "Spot the Dog" seemed to appear rather more than would be expected for a library belonging to a 30 year old man with above the ankle trousers. Actually, combined with the Simpsons socks it was a definite fashion statement that I may adopt at some stage.

Obviously we got the PA to tell him to go away as the rest of us were hiding in the office in case he was one of the care in the community homicidal maniacs we read about in the Daily Mail. Eventually we hired a mad woman who eventually became one of my closest friends due to her ability to turn a blind eye to my exhorbitant phone bills and bar bills.
(, Wed 26 Jan 2005, 21:14, Reply)
So Mr Griffen where do you see yourself in 5 years
(In head)
dont say doing your wife
dont say doing your wife
dont say doing your wife

(looks at picture on desk of interviewer on holiday with wife and son)

um... doing your son?
(, Wed 26 Jan 2005, 20:36, Reply)
So many.....
Having been an IT contractor, job hopper and recruitment consultant I can tell you quite a few stories but I'll relay a particular favourite.

I went to an interview a few years back with an Insurance company, and spent most of the first part of the interview chatting about motorbikes with the Chief op. Impressed enough by this seemed to bypass my need of a technical interview and he decides to see if the IT manager is free, rather than call me back for a second.

IT manager comes in, browses my CV and notes my hobbies and asks if I spend most weekends playing guitar or doing photography.

I replay "Naaah - mostly I'm out getting wankered with my mates"

"Good" says manager "as we do that most lunchtimes - when can you start?"

18 happy months there with some of the greatest colleagues you could wish for.
(, Wed 26 Jan 2005, 17:39, Reply)
Thanks for the weekend
Not an interview as such but....

A few years ago, due to a merger, I was told that my choices were (a) go and work at Head Office in Glasgow, where a new position had been created for me, or (b) be made redundant.

Never having been to Glasgow or having met the new boss, I asked if I could go up there and check it out. My current boss agreed, and told me to take my wife, stay for the weekend, hire a car, etc, and charge it all to the company.

Excellent. So I rang the new boss. "What do you want to come up here for?". "Well, I've never been to Glasgow, or seen the office, and I thought it would be a good idea". "Oh. Seems strange to me, but if you really want to...".

Hmmm. Anyway, flew up there, met the new boss at 9:30am on the Friday morning.

Within 5 minutes, she said "Well, if you don't take the job, I won't be disappointed".

Sorry? I thought you wanted me to come and work for you and had created a position especially for me???

Anyway, we had a really good weekend - Glasgow is great - and then on Monday, the new boss was in the London office, so I told her that I didn't like her attitude and that I wouldn't be taking the job.

She nearly cried. "But...but....but....I've based the whole set up of the new team around the fact that you're going to move to Scotland!"

"Well, that was a bit dumb, wasn't it...."
(, Wed 26 Jan 2005, 16:48, Reply)
I went to sign on at New Deal
As I had done for the previous 10 months, when during my interview the New Deal bloke said he had got me a job interview.
I was very pleased and asked where and when, he replied, here and now. I was wearing a pair of un-ironed jeans, trainers, spunk-covered Pyjama top and scruffy jacket, topped with an unshaven chin and ratty cap. In the bag I thought.
I went into the interview with 8 other candidates all wearing suits, gel and smellies and began.
After the main form filling in, they handed round a yellow form with which to write down "Criminal Convictions".
Everyone else ticked "No" put the form down and sat back, whilst I spent 5-10 mins filling it in crouched over in shame.


I got the Job.
(, Wed 26 Jan 2005, 16:27, Reply)
Arty wankers
Many years ago I tried to get into Bournemouth art college. I'd heard they (photography) had a bit of a reputation....First the balding grey pony-tailed tosser of a lecturer asked everyone in the room where they were from, everyone was from London or essex, when he heard I was from Yorkshire he said "Right we'll do you first since you've got the furthest to go back". During the interview I showed him my portfolio, as I'd been working for the last 6 years, I had some brochures in there too...on seeing these he said "Don't you think you're prostituting the art form?" What a tnuc!

I later heard that he interviewed someone via a Sooty puppet, which would whisper in his ear, and he would translate "Sooty thinks your work is shit"

Chances are he continues to be a very sad, bitter and lonely man - hopefully.

I meanwhile got into their rival college!
(, Wed 26 Jan 2005, 16:13, Reply)
Not me but a friend...
Who when asked if she knew much about kite marks (british safety standard marks) racked her brains before saying, "what, like you get on condoms?"

I don't think she got the job...
(, Wed 26 Jan 2005, 15:56, Reply)
plastic tossers
I had applied for a job for a well known credit card supplier and after a few months had heard nothing back not even a letter or anything, so a friend of mine gave me the name of an agency that she said I could get a job with and that the same bank had a contract with them.

sure enough got an interview the next day and the day after I was in my job trying to sell credit cards to old age pensioners(this is because the credit bereaux lists them a good credit rating they've paid of a mortgate or two in their liftetime)

Suffice to say I didn't like it very much and after many latee days and about two sales in 3 months I was told not to come in when I rang in to say I'd be late one day and that they had decided I wasan't "(insert acronym name that isn't an acronym at all and actually stands for nothin here) People" the next day they rang me up to see if I would be interested in comin in for an interview for the same job in the same department and the same chair.plebs. 'told them to shove it somewhere.
(, Wed 26 Jan 2005, 15:18, Reply)
Remembered Some More....
Once had a guy in an interview who, when asked what his strengths were, replied "I have a good memory, I'm good at maths......and I have a good memory....."

Amazingly enough, he didn't get in....

My wife runs her own recruitment agency.....hang on, I know what you're thinking - that puts her somewhere in the same category as estate agents, car salesmen and cockroaches on the evolutionary scale, but honestly she is a very, very moral and ethical person and would never dream of exploiting anyone to make a fast buck.....more's the pity.....we could have been millionaires by now.....
Anyway, some of the stories SHE could tell...
A couple of weeks ago she had a potential candidate who listed under 'Membership Of Any Professional Body Or Organisation" the classics;
The AA
Burnley (or some such place) Model Railway Enthusiasts, and
The 147 Snooker Club



Twunt? YOU decide.......
(, Wed 26 Jan 2005, 14:36, Reply)
MikeroweSoft interview
Was at a MS interview the other day, started off with 9 of us (mostly business types / I am a maths person) watching a MS introduction video! (fairly standard corporate stuff)

anyway, the recruitment chaps walked back into the room, and asked what we thought of it.

Cue one candidate saying he was brainwashed...
How I cringed :P...
(, Wed 26 Jan 2005, 14:26, Reply)
Oh let's have a monster round-up
One place I used to work had an idiot postman pat clone working there and someone managed to nick a copy of his CV. Best line was "I am a keen DIY enthusiast and have found many ways to reduce the value of my house".


Not long after getting this job, I had to do this lunchtime buffet thing where the next wave of graduates got to meet the Real People who actually worked there. I was more interested in the food and looking out of the window at the pleasant view over the channel when I became aware of one of the graddies asking me something. "Yeah, sure" I replied, having no idea what he'd said. The guy looked really shocked, but rather than admit I'd been ignoring him I just brassed it out. Never saw him again which was probably just as well for him.


Went for a contract at BAE and the interviewer introduced me to the team. I shook one bloke's hand and it made the loudest CRACK! I've ever heard. People on the other side of the office were looking over to see what it was to see the guy shaking his hand and going "Ow ow ow!" and me standing there looking like a twat. Got the job though.
(, Wed 26 Jan 2005, 14:13, Reply)
Trick questions?
How about, from a newspaper firm I had already worked for for two years on a part-time and freelance basis, :So what do you know about us then?"
Queue smart response: "I am aware of the *flagship title*, the vartious weekly titles in the area and that the firm was built up by a small number of people before it became a larger group, and was bought by the Americans. Now part of a major newspaper empire etc
At this point the worse-for-wear interviewer decides to walk out and call his wife. Second interviewer says: "Er...sorry...this isn't a test."
In comes interviewer number one and says: "Rubbish."
He then proceeds to bore the back teeth out of everyone present with a 20-MINUTE presentation on the history of the firm, including people re-mortgaging their homes to keep it afloat in its infancy.
I didn't get the job, despite already working for them.
...but they did apologise six months later and offer it to me then.
And like an arse I took it. Worst decision ever.
(, Wed 26 Jan 2005, 13:48, Reply)
Farmfoodsman
How little were the details? Were they written so small that you had to use a magnifying glass? Wow, they must have been tiny.
(, Wed 26 Jan 2005, 13:44, Reply)
Going for my first job as a web designer.
The agency gave me very little details of what the company was, just the address and that it was an e-commerse business. I turned up at the correct road in south London, had a look around "hmm... looks a bit residential...". I found the number; a three bedroom house. Ok, I thought, So, I rang the agency to check the address and explained I was standing outside a normal looking house. They confirmed the address was ok. Anyhoo, me thinking it may be the directors house or something, I rang the doorbell. It turned out to be two blokes, 1 Macintosh and an "idea".

Fucking agencies.
(, Wed 26 Jan 2005, 13:32, Reply)
The first few that spring to mind...
I used to do recruitment for a well-known retail company at a time when it wasn't doing great (I'll just say "the failing high street giant" and you'll know who I mean"). The standard interview used to include a wander round the salesfloor with the victim answering questions from the recruiter.

Ones I recall include a dodgy-looking candidate going straight to the leather jackets and asking about our security tagging.

Or the woman when asked "what would you least enjoy here?" replied with: "well, nothing. If I was asked to do something I didn't want to do, I just wouldn't do it. It's not as if I need this job for the money."

Or the one where I had to push a young guy down an escalator out of the way of a trolley crashing down towards us. (I may have written about that one in the near-death experience question, I can't remember)

I left the company shortly after doing an interview with a lovely young guy, who was full of enthusiasm and stories of good customer service. I was nearly in tears, and just wanted to tell him to go and apply somewhere else before the company sucked him dry and turned him into a bitter husk of his previous self.

But I gave him the job anyway.

F x
(, Wed 26 Jan 2005, 12:56, Reply)

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