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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.

Does a spectacular failure in an oxford uni interview count?
Not strictly a job interview, but I'm sure it affected my employability.

I was at the world-famous Oxford University, interviewing for a place on the Physics course, and I was the first to be interviewed by Dr Brooker.

I'd been warned about Dr Brooker by the student looking after us - "do NOT attempt to bond with him!" she said. "He has NO sense of humour - don't even try!". Righto, I thought.

Off I went to to an hour of abject torture - I've never felt so out-of-my-depth before or since.

When I got back to the communal room, I opened the door, a broken man. "How was it?" someone asked. I immediately launched into a rant about the perverse evil of Dr Brooker, including an in-depth discussion of his satanic chicken-buggering tendencies, and a graphic description of the images in my head of him buggering a tesco's frozen chicken behind his desk and dancing naked around vestal virgins on the hillside. I thought it was actually quite funny...

No-one laughed. They just stared open-mouthed. Someone slowly shook their head. I turned round, knowing what I would see... and true enough, there behind was Dr Brooker, entering his room opposite.

Apparently this tale became almost an urban legend - if anyone here actually *went* to Wadham College, Oxford, and heard that story - yes it's true. It was me.

If you're going to fail - fail in style, I say....
(, Mon 24 Jan 2005, 14:49, Reply)
Should have known better.....
After working in London for 4 years, and getting up at stupid o'clock every morning for the commute, I decided enough was enough and looked for a local job. I got sent by an agency to a company that made the interiors for aircraft and the night before thought it would be a really good idea to get leathered with a friend who happens to be a pilot. Next morning in the interview (whilst longlingly looking at the pot plant to be sick in) the only thing I could think of that actually qualified me for the post was that I knew someone who could fly therefore I must be bestest for the job and made a joke about choppers.

Looking back I think I can see where I went wrong. Funny really because I spent those 4 years in London as a Recruitment Consultant. Hee-de-hee.
(, Mon 24 Jan 2005, 14:25, Reply)
unintentional hilarity
I had a job interview a month ago with a company that runs a preparatory program for American standardized testing. The initial interview was a group interview, during which each person had to give a teaching demonstration on any subject. I was going to do "how to wrap a present," but then they mentioned that topic in the email they sent out the day of the interview, after I had planned it all out. Not wanting to look unoriginal, I chose another topic.

How to make a sock monkey.

For my demonstration, I drew socks on the dry-erase board, and showed where to cut and sew them with dotted lines. Halfway through, I look at what I've drawn, and it remarkably looks like a bunch of willies, complete with dotted pee-lines.

I got the job.
(, Mon 24 Jan 2005, 14:23, Reply)
shitty interview
my very first job interview was a very lowly position in an advertising agency.

intimidated by the long leggedy blondes, the chrome and steel, I found myself caught short whilst waiting so asked for directions to the thunderbox.

having dropped my groceries I proceeded to wipe my arse. Catching the long tail of my white shirt between arse and paper.

faced with the prospect of being interviewed by said long leggedy blondes stinking of shit, I was forced to wash my shirt tail down the pan as best I could, and do the interview sitting in a monstrous damp patch.

after the interview I retreated from the room backwards and fled.

I never got the job. Bastards.
(, Mon 24 Jan 2005, 14:15, Reply)
Introducing The Big World Of Business...
...or, my very first interview after leaving school, which was at the building firm Taylor Woodrow.

Unfortunately I must have caught the interviewer on a very bad day.

I was nervous and a bit intimidated by the whole thing, but still feeling keen and optimistic. I was called into an office where I introduced myself, the reply to this from the interviewer was: (in a very loud voice) "WHAT IS TWENTYSEVEN TIMES FIFTEEN?"

Me - instant panic, causing me to forget practically everything except my first name - after which the interviewer proceeded to rip me apart for not being able to think quickly when presented with a problem.

After about ten minutes of continuous abuse I finally jumped up and shouted: "YOU'RE A WANKER!" before legging it out of his office and the building. Funny enough I didn't get the job.

Still, after my first interview nothing else ever seemed difficult. (but he WAS a wanker!)
(, Mon 24 Jan 2005, 14:06, Reply)
Big steaming piles of sales toss...
I could rant forever on this but we'll see...

After coming back from travelling in Oz a couple of years ago, I decided that it would be a good idea to become medical rep (lack of morals/principles, reasonable salary, company car, corporate bollocks...).
Anyhow, after breezing through the initial interviews with a recruitment consultancy I got put forward to a pharmaceutical company which rhymes with Spire.
There I am, sat in front to the national sales manager giving it the typical sales pish about being tenacious, well organised, motivated etc. Everything seems to be going really well to the extent that it doesn't seem like an interview anymore, more like a chat. The final part of the interview (even after talking about the territory that I'd be taking over) I have to fill out an aptitude form. Sales wanker says that its basically a formality.
Guess what happens? Psychometric testing after the interview? This is only going one way... Needless to say, I get a phone call a couple of days later being given the 'thanks but no thanks' talk. The reason? Just like from 'Little Britain', 'Computer says no'. I could get really bitter but I'm now in a job that is far more enjoyable, paid more with less stress and I don't ever get told to 'fuck off' by GP receptionists.
Being a medical rep was the worst 6 months of my entire life.

Length and girth? You love it.
(, Mon 24 Jan 2005, 13:11, Reply)
My mate Interviewed a lad for a job as data entry thingy. When asked what his special interests were he replied "Hiding".

Didn't get the job
(, Mon 24 Jan 2005, 13:08, Reply)
Nepotism is alive and well
Just finished uni, my uncle got me a job with this company down in LONDON. i was living in manchester at the time, and didn't really fancy living in the big smoke, but as he was family decided to go to the interview anyway. So I sat down, told the interviewer that I really wanted to be in Manchester, didn't want the job and would let her know. Damn me for being so stubborn, got the job anyway, good old fashioned nepotsim and worked there for over 2 years! Wish I had never left now.
(, Mon 24 Jan 2005, 12:57, Reply)
Peach and grey
I once had an interview for the position of secretary at a well-known newspaper publishers where the interviwer, a 6'2" tall Scottish woman with scary eighties hair and cerise pink skirt suit, asked me if I could give an example of when I had used my creativity. My brain went completely blank, I felt myself start to blush and sweat, said "Um... er" a few times, then proceeded to tell her about the time I had decorated my bedroom. Wtf??!!! She looked a little puzzled but asked me to elaborate. I thought "Oh f*** it, she's not gonna give me the job now anyway" and launched into a description of the colour scheme (peach and grey - nice), the difficulty of hanging wallpaper straight, the impossibility of removing gloss paint from your hair etc etc.
I just couldn't believe it when I received a letter not a week later, confirming that I had the job. She obviously liked peach and grey :)
(, Mon 24 Jan 2005, 12:10, Reply)
Gimpy man boobs
Whilst in the middle of an office move, me and a mate were quite surprised to be asked to interview a young keen candidate. Because of the move, were we in our old scruffy clothes - me in a "Rehab's for quitters" T-shirt and my mate in a rather too tight T-shirt that showed off his man boobs all too well. (Neither overly fitting attire for an IT consultancy.) Asking if he had anything more suitable he produced an ancient faded pink (supposedly was red) lumberjack shirt. With far too many visions of gay lumberjacks, I think we decided that perhaps the man boob T-shirt was the least offensive.

In the interview my mate (who also has a fixatation with dwarves/gimps/dungeons etc) then proceeded to pepper the conversation with as many inappropriate references as he could to the above, even maintaining that the interview room, "looks rather like a dungeon, doesn't it?"

To her credit she seemed to humour us but we were never asked to interview again...
(, Mon 24 Jan 2005, 11:32, Reply)
Frozen food
I interviewed someone about three years ago who were sent from the local job centre. They had taken the opportunity of doing their shopping first, and came into the office wrestling with four or five Morrisons bags. They sat down with the bags on their knee. As the interview went on, I could not help but notice something dribbling out of the bag and the candidate looking somewhat uncomfortable.

Cue me being a cunt.

There was not a cat in hell's chance of me offering her the job - but i made the interview last about 40 minutes. By this time her jeans were covered in what would appear to be ice cream.

As the interview came to a close, I asked, "Oh, is that ice cream running out of your bag?" Which gave the answer "Oh, yes, do you have a freezer I could put it in?"

I made my excuses and left.
(, Mon 24 Jan 2005, 10:47, Reply)
A bloke I interviewed when I was 2nd in command
of an Irish restaurant had little white crystals on his nostrils. I asked him if he'd had a line of coke before coming in and he said it was Beechams, he found it more effective than mixing it with hot water. It didn't seem to have worked, as he sniffled all the way through the interview. He didn't get the job.
(, Mon 24 Jan 2005, 9:51, Reply)
Not so much an interview, as from an applicants CV..........
The last paragraph is pure genius.

I am a tenacious focused intelligent risk taker who is positive, flexible and processes good business acumen.

A business builder who is forward thinking and has a fascination for emerging technologies and its implications on how we work and live. I’m a plain speaker who cuts to the core of what is required. A team player that doesn’t drop the ball and who looks to help others succeed.

I am looking for an organisation that reflects my profile and will allow me to explore and fuel my career ambitions.

3 years result focused, sharp end direct sales experience.

Result focused It’s all about results! That’s what I get paid on – new business pure and simple.Nothing happens without a sale - therefore salesman is king.The key to achieving target …Hard work, but that’s not enough you need to work Smart.I am courteous with people but ruthless with time and maximise every sales opportunity. A dog with a bone mentality with the tenacity to deliver.I’m aware of the current climate and I always have my ear to the ground. My sales strategy is focused towards high revenue key accounts, organisations that are forward thinking and open new concepts and ways of working. I look for Companies with whom to forge long-term partnerships with a view to revenue stream building and retention. The organisations I have worked for have instilled in me the need to take ownership of my business and I have drawn from this a work ethic that allows me to be self-managed and self-sufficient. This was demonstrated at xxxxxx where I was the first Business Adviser in the southeast to move from telemarketing support to being totally self-generated.From this I won a number of awards on a regional and national basis.With xxxxxx I never dropped out of the top 20 performers nationally, with over 250 sales advisers.

Relationship Building When first meeting a prospect I take the view that we are firstly individuals - from there one can find common ground. Its important that both understands the overall dynamics of each others business, it allows us to build a clearly defined picture of why were both there and how we both benefit each other. I always envisage a sphere if you will, which can be placed on the table for us to draw from. It contains the newly acquired knowledge and mutual understandings of each of are industry sectors. As the relationship grows it allows both parties to look to the sphere and understand how both businesses work and how we can identify specifically the requirements and fulfil them.I believe it is vital to establish the web of influence within the buyer organisation and there decision making protocols, from there my focus is to deliver the right solution to the right person at the right time. This has resulted in bringing on board key business that have received the correct solution for their organisation and are potentially more open to additional revenue steams and the adoption of emerging mobile technology, which going forward is vital to the cellular industry.

(, Mon 24 Jan 2005, 9:26, Reply)
A few days before I was due to have an interview for a well paid sales job I dislocated my Kneecap playing football. I turned up for the interview on crutches in a hell of a lot of pain. The hospital had given me the highest strength painkillers available. I realised I had taken too many during the first test, and by the time It got to questions from the panel I was totally ripped to the tits on codiene and could only manage Yes-No answers. The panel must of thought I was insane so not surprisingly they gave the job to someone else.
(, Mon 24 Jan 2005, 7:14, Reply)
I went for an interview in Bristol for a physics degree. The day before I had been in Manchester to look around UMIST as I already had an unconditional offer from them. Silly me decides to go out with one of my friends who lives in Manchester. I turn up in Bristol bleary eyed. I walk around the campus half asleep on a tour. Finally my interview comes and I sit in an office with one of the professors. He asks me a very simple question about the trajectory of a ball. I had been learning this stuff for ages and knew it very well, however under pressure I forgot. I sat and asked for some paper then invented my own working out for said problem. He didn't ask me many more questions, and he even dumbed them down for me. Worse part is I worked out the answer on the train ride home!

Needless to say I got rejected from Bristol. Then failed my A levels so I didn't even get in to UMIST!
(, Mon 24 Jan 2005, 3:48, Reply)
I was a bit nervous and bottled my Oxford interviews a tad. I took four attempts to answer the first question correctly, and it went downhill from there. Particularly bad since the first question was "What's your name again?"

(, Mon 24 Jan 2005, 0:58, Reply)
I once
had an interview for a certain shop selling gadgets. This being a group interview where around 40 of us sat and completed tests, and were then divided into groups for the following things : karioke, reading from a book, juggling and drawing pictures. The picture drawing was of where you'd think you'd be in 5 years crap. So me decides to draw nice house, porshce etc, and husband labelled "Mr K Reeves." Cue us discussing our pictures. "how do you expect to get where you are?" me:"hard work" . "And how do you expect to marry Keanu Reeves?" me:" Well he SAYS its a restraining order, but he KNOWS its love". Woman stares blankly, with a somewhat pissed off expression. yeay.

I Got into the final 18, but i think it was my singing that put them off... ha!

Apologies for length, i'm compensating for something..
(, Mon 24 Jan 2005, 0:04, Reply)
I once interviewed a young Spanish girl for a customer service position:

Q: I'm going to ask you a few questions from this sheet, OK?

A: Yes

Q: Tell me what experience you have had (etc)

A: Yes

Q: Do you understand a word I'm saying?

A: Yes

Q: You don't do you?

A: Yes

Q: Have you ever smuggled cocaine through customs?

A: Yes

Q: I really don't think you're suitable for this position and I resent you for wasting my time

A: Yes

And the shortest one ever: A candidate arrived THREE HOURS LATE, and when asked why she hadn't phoned she said she hadn't thought of that. I sent her home.

Size doesn't matter....
(, Sun 23 Jan 2005, 23:47, Reply)
Many years ago I was interviewing for a new Unix admin. This guy came 200 miles for the interview and within about 30 seconds I knew I wasn't going to hire him (first impressions...) But seeing as he had come 200 miles I decided to go through the full interview as professionally as possible but I simply couldn't make it last more than 30 minutes. 1 word answers to everything. In the end I resorted to his hobbies noting "You state one of your hobbies as DXing. What is that?"

"Well", he says, "it's like being a radio ham but without transmitting"

me: "What, you just listen to other radio hams talking to each other?"
him: "Yes."
me: "So your main hobby is listening to people you've never met talking to each other"
him: "Yes."

The Moral of this story: 1st impressions are usually correct.

apologies to any DXers out there. on seconds thoughts, no apologies - get a life.
(, Sun 23 Jan 2005, 22:26, Reply)
Not bad as such.... but didnt get the job
I went for an interview that consisted of the normal stuff.... group exercises etc... we stand up and talk about ideal holidays. Where most people would make a joke like 'I dont take holidays!' Har har.. yea that first guy was funny (ish) when he said it... your number 6 and your a twunt!
And 'what are you looking for in a job?' where everyone says prospects, a career, job satisfaction... blah blah.. bull!
I tried to be as bluntly honest as possible hoping my cheeky chappy attitude would win through the cheese balls i tried 'Lots of money for short hours'... that went down like a fart in a lift.
Thats not the best bit. We did a 'impossible scenario/what would you take with you if your boat crashed and the captain died'
Now apparently this captain had a box you could take with you if you wanted to. no one knew what was in it and you couldnt open it. Some fat lad in our group decided to take it as it must be important. the gimp.
Turns out said box contained a daemon and it killed us all. Yes... thats what the cell manager told us...
I left before they came back to tell us who had 1 to 1 interviews.
They never called either!
(, Sun 23 Jan 2005, 22:16, Reply)
Saturday, January 22, 2005
I had applied at an ice cream place, Coldstones Creamery. (I think they're dotting the east coast of the states, but i really don't know.) Anyways, their little trademark, for those who've never heard of them, is that whenever someone puts a dollar or more in the tip jar, all the employees sing a song, but with the words reworked to deal with ice cream. So theres 30 or so random college kids in for this mass interview. And they ask us to showcase some kind skill or talent, in 3-10 seconds. People are singing and dancing and such, neither of which I can do.

So I pulled out the Vanilla Ice jump-through-the-leg move, and then kicked myself in the head.
The owners father-in-law, who was sitting in for one of the store managers, asked me to do it again. And then asked how I figured out I could do that.

I didn't get the job...
(apologies for length)
(, Sun 23 Jan 2005, 21:17, Reply)
I had just been made redundant by Royal Doulton, when they decided to ship all the production overseas to Indonesia, so I was on the lookout for a new job. I picked up an application form for Asda and began to read through it.

Now, me and Tony DeNunzio, the CEO of Asda, have had a few run ins in our time with the suspect quality of some of their items I have bought. Me being a complete twunt at the time (still am I guess) decided to correct the spelling mistakes and awful grammar on the application form...and then put down Tony as a reference for the job.

Needless to say...no interview. And he doesn't return my calls nowadays either.
(, Sun 23 Jan 2005, 21:00, Reply)
I went for (and got) a rather cushy job that involved doing fairly minimal amounts of actual work.

I found out about 3 weeks into the job that both my boss and another bloke in the office decided to give me the job as they wanted my arse.

I left. Very quickly.
(, Sun 23 Jan 2005, 20:35, Reply)
One of my mates
had an interview with Cambridge last year, in which they allegedly asked him what he would do were he shopping and had three apples in one hand and two oranges in the other, but still had to get more things.

He didn't get in.

Get a basket, obviously.
(, Sun 23 Jan 2005, 19:41, Reply)
I went for an interview...
... at Cambridge University to try and get an offer of a place on a maths course. I eventually found my way though the maze of some backward king's college administration building to meet a mad old professor.

I was told it wasn't unusal to ben interviewed by three people but he was on his own in a dusty old room full of books and bit's of paper covered in notes all over the floor. Despite being asked some horrific questions about my opinion on the nature of maths (wtf?) and having to justify why I thought the proof for 0! = 1 is incredibly stupid the interview went quite well.

It ended, I stood up and shook hands and thanked him and turned to the door opened it walked in and shut it behind me. I was daydreaming/looking at the floor/insane for I had walked into the closet. A bookshelf of ancient books, several jackets and canes were lying about, but no exit. Perhaps he hadn't noticed, I stayed in the closet for about a minute then opened the door and backed out.

Thankfully the professor was snoring loudly on his desk (was I that dull?) and I escaped red faced. Cambridge offered me a place which I rejected to take engineering at Edinburgh which I promptly dropped out of.
(, Sun 23 Jan 2005, 17:04, Reply)
You can't print that!!?
Interviewer - 'So why do you want to be a printer?'

Me - ''Coz, I want to print!?'
(, Sun 23 Jan 2005, 16:30, Reply)
Had an interview for the "video mobile" company for the job as sales pleb in Cambridge a year or so back, for which I had to drive to Newmarket to be met by some humpa lumpa b.o. secreting bint who came up with (I think) her own interview questions (which were so stupidly simple I've forgotten them) and then at the end of the interview proceeded to offer me the job. Great I thought, beats stacking shelves in tescos.....

Then she pipes up and says "Its quite a long way to drive each day, are you sure thats ok..."

Me: "Yes, It's only about 10 miles.."

transpires the silly watermeloning biaatch had "forgotten" to tell me that there were actually no jobs in Cambridge, and that she had in effect hired me to work in Bury StEdmunds, at least a 2 hour drive in the morning.

A week later, I still had people from their "recruitment" centre phoning and trying to pursuade me to accept the job.
I think they got the message when in the SU bar they phoned and in my absence a friend answered the phone....
They stopped calling after he told the person he was going to hide with a sniper rifle and pick them off one by one as they left work...
(It was around the same time when the psyco guy hid in his car and shot random people in the US!)
(, Sun 23 Jan 2005, 15:51, Reply)
Just not paying attention.
Interview for senior teacher position in a Newcastle primary school. Headteacher introduces me to the board; there is the chair of governors, deputy head, LEA advisor and deputy head from the local comprehensive school that they are linked to.
Interview goes well. At the end the deputy from the local comp says "do you have anything you would like to ask us?"
I think, hmm, always better to ask something, think of something lame to ask.....
"Um, yes, do you link up with a local comprehensive school?"
Doh! Didn't get the job!
(, Sun 23 Jan 2005, 14:15, Reply)
We need someone assertive..
Ok, finally haven been a systems team leader for a global company for a while, i thought i would go for being a more 'hands on' managment role, so I went after team leader roles, rather than just the Unix/SA~NE type jobs which where around. Get agency call me back nearly as quickly as my CV gets submitted..
First interview, really good, can you come back this afternoon for a technical interview, the CTO is out at the moment.. So go back..

Stroll throu the technical questions and they want to test my assertive/team skills 'So you have a product that needs to be out the next day,and will need working on overnight' 'well I join in with the team and be there to make sure its delivered on time'. Of course he is 'kind' enough to tell me thats not the correct answer, he felt that I shoulf of been assertive and TOLD THEM TO DO IT OR ELSE ! or else, what lose your team. But this is the 1st comic moment, just as he lectures me about being assertive, the current team leader strolls through and he goes all quite and sheepish ! LOL..

Well anyway, seems they was midly intrested in me as I got a call back asking how much I wanted, well I had stated my rate well before and found out 'well its 33k'. This is for a pressured team leader and for what looked like a complete c*nt of CTO/CFO who was just looking to build the company up before selling it out like their previous pet projects. I really wanted to see the guys face as i giggled down the phone and said 'no thanks'. Twunt.
(, Sun 23 Jan 2005, 13:11, Reply)

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