Job interviews are almost never fun, but they can be downright brutal if you really screw one up. Which is why every now and then when we see some tips or advice that might help you folks out down the road we try to share.
Most of the time that means we share some of the things that you SHOULD do when you go into a job interview. Occasionally, however, it also important to know what NOT to do in a job interview, unless you want to fail like these people did in epic fashion, according to the employers who witnessed the carnage.
I was the hiring manager at a major grocery retailer. I called a guy to schedule an interview, and sent him a confirmation email with the date, time, and our company’s logo in the header and along with the address in the signature of the email.
Dude shows up 20 minutes late, and says “sorry I’m late – I went to direct competitor grocery store on the other side of town because I thought that’s where the interview was.” I’m not sure how he figured it out finally (and how he DIDN’T figure it out before leaving the house that morning). ~ glorious_one
Had an interviewee show up 10 minutes late to an interview, tell us our clock was wrong and proceed to take it off the wall and adjust it. After he left of course we adjusted it back to the actual time.
EDIT: The interview was for an architect. He did not get the job. We needed someone we could work with. ~ eggplantsrin
“you guys would be lucky to have me, Google is trying to recruit me too.”
I wished him the best of luck at his job with Google. ~ loki8481
Me: You mentioned on your application that you are a good leader, could you give me an example of your leadership abilities?
Candidate: “Absolutely! At my last job we hated our Chef and I organized the kitchen staff to walk out during the Friday night rush.” ~ omahamyhomaha
A guy showed up to a job fair at a nice hotel downtown. He walks in dressed like he just came off the corner selling dope. Long baggy shorts, ratty old Jordans, and a baggy hoodie. We thought he just came in the wrong hall but sure enough he was here for an interview.
The other manager decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and started interviewing him. About five minutes in to the interview the guy asks if it was OK for him to park out front of the hotel. Now this Hotel is on the busiest street in the city and there were about 20 signs around saying no parking. The other manager tells the guy this and he yells “OH SHIT!” and runs out.
He came back about an hour later, this time smelling strongly of weed. He said he parked his car and wanted to continue the interview. We told him thanks but we have already filled the position. He freaked out then started demanding we pay for his parking and parking ticket. He was then removed by security. ~ ex-ape
Proceeded to respond to the program manager’s question of “what did you do/would you do if you had a conflict with another coworker” with an extremely long anecdote about how he worked with this guy who got his girlfriend at the time pregnant, and he had to see this guy every day at work and resist beating his ass. The program manager was staring at him and went “oh…” and then he felt the need to say “I mean, I got him outside of work, but I NEVER touched him at work” ~ CobyCoyle
So I work for a cabinet company. A while back we were looking for an account manager to work on a mix of design and pricing projects. One of the applicants we got was a guy in Canada, now we aren’t a big company so I thought it was really weird to get an out of country applicant.
We decide to call him for a phone interview out of curiosity and hand his info to HR. As it turned out his fiance was living in our city which is why he applied. HR reports that he seems normal and we schedule an in person for the next time he is in town.
So, we come to the day of the interview. This bit I got from the front desk person so I didn’t witness it personally. Apparently the guy came into the office with his fiance and told her to wait in the lobby for him. She had driven him I guess? But she refused to make eye contact with the front desk girl or make conversation with her at all.
He gets shown to the interview room and the front desk person lets us know he is there. The interview is conducted by our HR person, the department manager, and me as the office trainer. The three of us walk in with me last in line. He jumps around the two women to shake my hand first and barely acknowledges the other two in the room. So, red flag one.
As the interview proceeds he begins to do a couple of things. One, he asks how long it will be before he takes the department managers job. Two, he begins to bash our product for not being the same as what he is used to. And three, starts explaining all the things we will be required to do to sponsor his visa. What is normally a 45 minute interview process took about 15 before we ended it.
He kept calling about once a week for two months asking when we were going to be starting his visa sponsorship. ~ AvellionB
20 something chick with an impressive looking resume…
…but then she showed up with her Mom in tow, and actually expected mom to come into the interview. ~ Thomystic
I work for a giant global engineering company. This is happening more frequently. When my boss gets a resume with a cover letter stating that the parents will be present during the interview, he throws it away. ~ Smithme2g
I’ve seen people put really inappropriate email addresses on their resumes. It is unprofessional and a few have been offensive. ~ MsNewKicks
She picked up a call in the middle of the interview. I thought she was just stepping out to take the call. She never came back in. The front desk said she left to hang out with her friends. ~ insomniaceve
Resume included a startup he founded.
I asked about it: “Tell me about your startup, sorry, what was it called again?”
He forgot. He forgot the fucking name of the startup he founded a year prior.
It went downhill from there. ~ GC_Liam
Work at Nike. The recruiter told the dude it was a very casual office and to dress appropriately (wear nice jeans, button down, no tie necessary, nice sneakers).
He came in wearing Adidas sneakers.
He also was not at all qualified for the position. But don’t wear the brand’s competitor to an interview when it’s easily avoidable (he could’ve worn dress shoes and it would have been a non-issue). ~ icanhe
A girl talked about her breasts, her ex boyfriend stalking her, how she packs heat at all times, even though its illegal in certain places in our state, how she had a child at 15 and regrets it and the child is taken care of by her mother who refuses to speak to her, how her last job was cleaning up shit at a burger king and she spoke in graphic detail about cleaning up shit with pennies in it, and how she was fired from that job “for some reason”, and how she wants to bang our manager.
…for a part time retail position.
I really wish I was making this up. It was the most uncomfortable ten minutes of my life.
Even worse, she seemed to seriously believe that we couldn’t hire her because of “not enough positions” and kept showing up…every day…. ~ WHTMage
I was interviewing a woman for a customer service position. Her cover letter said multiple times that she was great with people. Before sitting down across from me in my office, to conduct the interview, she sticks her leg out in my direction and points to a scab on her leg. It is CLEARLY infected and has been picked at. She then proceeds to ask me of my opinion about if it is indeed infected and if she should see a doctor. ~ polkadottoast
A colleague of mine called this guy in for an interview. He didn’t show and about 2 hours after he was due in, he called and said he’d been hit by a car. Colleague decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and they arranged another day. The day arrives and he didn’t turn up again. We got a call from him a while later saying he’d broken his tooth on an almond and couldn’t come as he’d had to rush to a dentist. My incredibly trusting colleague decided to try one more time another day. The guy turned up drunk. ~ strawberrypops
Check out even more job interview mistakes shared by employers over at Reddit.