Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Nightmare Interviews

Career advisors often tell anecdotal stories of interviewing faux pas in order to help clients understand common mistakes that are made in interview situations. There are plenty of stories of interviewees that interviewed wearing white tube socks (or no socks at all), having some nervous twitch like head scratching throughout the interview, or the many tales of candidates just saying the darnedest things.

What I have not seen so much are the nightmarish stories from the interviewees perspective. Sometimes the interviewers themselves are lacking a sense of etiquette, creating an immediate turn-off for the potential candidate.

What made me think of this was a recent story I heard of a poor woman whose interviewer decided that the interview was a perfect opportunity to multi-task and ate her entire lunch during the interview. All people do need to eat, but wouldn't it be more considerate to schedule a lunch interview so that the interviewee could eat too? I am familiar with a similar story where the interviewer checked, sorted, opened, and read her mail during a person's interview. Both actions were potentially good psychological intimidation tests for the interviewees, but too blatantly rude and disrespectful for me to acknowledge as being appropriate or professional.

I am wondering if any readers have stories to share, and perhaps even somebody has the story what could be qualified as the worst job interview experience ever. If you think you have a story, please do tell!

1 comment:

Valinda said...

So, while not the worst interview ever, I do use this story with my students now.

We're hiring for a position in my larger department and I took one of the candidates out to dinner. She, appropriately, followed up with a thank you card. The thank you card was a little less than appropriate. It featured Snoopy with big, outstretched arms going for a hug.

My problems with the card were two-fold 1) Snoopy. I'd argue that Snoopy cards are never appropriate, but they're certainly not for a job interview. 2) The hug. We're not on hugging terms quite yet.

While I'm sure it was more than the card that did her in, she didn't get an offer.