With job interviews being so stressful, today we take a lighthearted look at the job interviews where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Both hiring managers and employees alike share stories of their job interviews from hell. Learn why you are not the only job candidate who had dealt with a crazy job interview or two.
Negative Stories from Hiring Managers
1. Bringing your mom to an interview
An HR manager for a market research firm had an awkward interview worthy of a television sitcom. A 19-year old seeking a position in customer service brought his mother to the interview. When the HR manager questioned why he brought mom along, the mother spoke up and offered this logic:
“I am just making sure this is the right company for my son and that you are asking fair questions.”
The HR manager decided to play along. It was the most interesting thing that happened for a while. The HR manager asked the son another interview question. Once again, the mom answered for him. When the HR manager politely asked the mom to leave she responded, “I am not going anywhere.”
As expected, this ended the interview. After all, the job required critical thinking and problem-solving skills, none of which the son had shown. When the mom and son are told the interview was over, the mother told the HR manager to “f*** off” and expressed a lawsuit was coming.
2. Giving way too much information
During an interview with an employer, a job candidate is asked the interview question, “Why did you leave your last job?” The question sounds simple enough. Then, the job candidate replies, “I shot my last boss.” The job candidate was on parole and told by his parole officer it is important to be honest. Honesty is a great policy, but so is discretion.
3. Nudity during a job interview
As many jobs require when someone is looking to relocate for a job, a boss is interviewing a job candidate via Skype. All seems normal, at first. The job candidate is well-dressed and polite. He is answering questions and doing very well.
Suddenly, a woman in her bathrobe appears in the background completely unaware that this boss can see her. She had just woken up, looked disheveled, and was drinking a cup of coffee while sitting on the sofa. The boss made light of this and asked the job candidate, “Is that your wife in the background?”
The woman hears the question and becomes incredibly upset and embarrassed. Not knowing it is a job interview, she proceeds to yell at her husband occasionally slapping him on the head. As the boss asked, “Is this a good time?” the wife begins to yell at the boss, “Keep your mouth shut! I’ll deal with you later!”
The job candidate ended the Skype call, and neither the boss nor the company ever heard from him again.
Negative Stories from Employees
4. Insulting your colleague during an interview
While interviewing to work for a company that created an app to help people balance their budget, an employee is asked to figure out a not-so-simple math problem involving return on investment (ROI). Unbeknownst to the job candidate, the founders of the company were a married couple and one of them (the husband) was not very good with numbers. The job candidate solved the math problem given to him.
After giving his answer, the wife says, “Finally. No one has answered this correctly all week and...”.
The husband quickly jumps in and disagrees, “No. He got the answer wrong. The answer is $4500.”
The wife fires back, “You must be stupid. How did you ever arrive at that number!?”
The husband gets even louder, “YOU must be stupid! Don’t you know the formula for figuring out ROI or should I explain it again?”
This comment set the wife off. A rather loud argument ensued between the husband and wife for the next five minutes while the job candidate sat there wishing he was on another planet. This argument abruptly led to the wife walking out of the interview and the husband following after her.
Eventually, the job candidate became nervous, got up and left, letting the receptionist know that he had to leave. Later that day, the wife called the job candidate and apologized for putting the job candidate in that situation. The wife offered another chance to interview. The job candidate politely declined.
5. Too much heat to handle
A job candidate goes to an interview and all seemed as if this would be a great place to work. The people were nice, the commute was reasonable, and the salary was fair. This job candidate is answering questions like a pro!
Suddenly, the fire alarm goes off. The receptionist pops her head in the room and says, “It’s a fire drill. We have to leave.” The interview continues as they leave the building and the job candidate thinks she is earning points for dealing with adversity as cool as a cucumber.
Then, as everyone stands outside waiting to go back in, they find out the building is really on fire. The job candidate agrees to come back later in the week.
Unfortunately, the next day she gets a call from the employer that the building had burned down and the office was being relocated to another state. Everyone who could not relocate lost their jobs and were given severance packages. The job was scrapped.
6. Do you really want to work here?
A job candidate sat down to interview, and the employer asked the common interview question, “So, tell me...why do you want to work here?”
The job candidate began to give his best-rehearsed answer when suddenly the interviewer stops him. The interviewer asks, “No. Really. Why in the world would you want to work here? What possessed you to apply for this position?”
Before the job candidate has a chance to speak, he receives a lecture from a supervisor explaining how he feels about the company. And it is not good. The last thing the job candidate remembers hearing is, “You seem like a good person. After hearing what I told you I ask again why you want to work here.”
The job candidate thanked the interviewer for the information and said, “That’s ok. I don’t want to anymore.”
At the end of the day
Regardless of all the job interview advice out there, both job candidates and employers are imperfect human beings. There is no reason a person should walk into an interview without confidence. Everyone at some point deals with something crazy in an interview. Treat every interview as if it were two professionals talking business; a friendly conversation you have nothing to be worried about.