Assertive Solutions

We’ve all been there and know how awkward and nerve-wracking job interviews can be. Occasionally, this can lead to some really embarrassing, and sometimes even bizarre behaviour, all of which can amount to some pretty funny anecdotes.

Here is our pick of the best stories from around the web:

Bizarre Behaviour

  • One nervous candidate talked about himself in the third person – as if he wasn’t there – and read from his CV as it were his notes for a speech. Err…cough!
  • Another recruiter recalls interviewing a candidate who told her that his previous clients described him as someone who “over-promised and under-delivered.” When she asked him if he’d mixed up his adjectives, he said, “No” – she’d heard him right the first time!…
  • Another relates how a girl turned up for an interview wearing a necklace made of sweets, which she then proceeded to chomp on during the interview.
  • And then, there was the candidate who revealed his inexperience by bringing an “Interviews for Dummies” book with him…

Cringe-Worthy Moments

  • After cutting someone up whilst driving to a job interview, one candidate arrived at their meeting, only to find out that the person they had been so rude to also happened to be their interviewer! Awkward, or what?!!!
  • Another interviewee tried to establish common ground with his interviewer by asking if she remembered him – from school – about 25 years ago! She didn’t, which was awkward…Cue tumbleweed!
  • And then there is the nightmare scenario of the interviewee who turned out to be the man she had met on a drunken night out and was trying to avoid.

Common Clangers

Many recruiters will identify with these situations, which are sadly, a lot more common than you think:

  • Candidates who talk about timeliness as one of their strengths after arriving late for their interview.
  • Candidates who answer their mobile phone (with a rather unusual ring tone) or check their texts while the interview is in progress. In one particular instance, a girl being interviewed got so many texts that she was finally asked (very sarcastically) if she needed a few moments to answer them. Unbelievably, she took them up on their offer! Needless to say, when she came back in, the interviewer told her the interview was over, and she’d text her in a few days to let her know the outcome. No prizes for guessing who didn’t get hired!
  • Candidates who chew gum loudly and even blow bubbles whilst being interviewed.
  • Candidates who turn up in wrinkled shirts, too-short trousers and trainers or sporting tattoos and piercings for a job interview at a corporate organisation and then wonder why they didn’t get the job.
  • Candidates with whiffy armpits, dirty hair or bad breath.
  • The anxious, bossy or OTT candidate who interrupts, talks over or corrects the interviewer.
  • The candidate who slags off their current or previous employer and can’t understand how this might affect their job chances.
  • The candidate who asks, “When do I start?” or talks about how soon they can get a raise or take holiday.

Just plain wrong

  • One recruiter relates the story of a candidate who took off her shoes during the interview, saying she hoped they didn’t mind, but that her feet hurt…
  • Or what about the thirsty candidate who asked if he could have a sip of the interviewer’s coffee???
  • Another favourite ”what not to do” story must be that of a mature candidate who told her interviewer that she wasn’t sure whether their job was worth “starting the car for.”
  • And finally, our list of no-no stories would not be complete without that of the mother who brought her crying baby to her job interview because she couldn’t find a sitter. Hmmm…

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