Just had the worst job interview ever. Anyone else care to share?

(316 Posts)
EggNogRules Mon 26-Nov-12 13:01:57

I am morto blush and angry at myself. I was in and out in 20 mins shock.

I am used to initiating meeting with new clients and thought I had prepared well. I was so nervous, I had to keep drinking water to stop my lips from sticking to my teeth. It was all I could think about. None of the answers I prepared were useful. I need to rewind and do over because I have better answers now (after the nick of time).


RichardSimmonsTankTop Mon 26-Nov-12 13:08:41

It may not be as bad as you think ...?

I'm sure I can beat that though. In my younger, less organised days I had an interview at a charity. The role was assisting a deaf man in organising events. It looked like a great role.

Two women interviewed me. They asked - 'what do you think this job involves?'

I chatted on about the deaf man.

Turns out, it wasn't a deaf man - but a blind woman, who was one of the interviewers. The rest of the interview passed in a blur, I was just desperately biding my time before I could leave the room, and we all knew it.

Took me years to stop cringing!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

iMe Mon 26-Nov-12 13:12:46

I cried in an interview 10yrs ago. Needless to say, I wasn't offered the job. Still embarrasssed about itblush

EggNogRules Mon 26-Nov-12 13:23:23

I thought the interview was just past the introduction stage and it was over. I must have looked like this shock when they closed the interview and shook my hand.

Shaking hands and a mouth full of chalk. BAH! The more nervous I got, the more it became the elephant in the room. I forgot a question halfway through answering it and had to ask for it to be repeated.

Cringe. I could have done so much better <kicks self up the arse>.

RichardSimmonsTankTop Mon 26-Nov-12 13:55:38

"I forgot a question halfway through answering it and had to ask for it to be repeated."

Sorry, but this did make me laugh! Do you have any more interviews lined up?

Hayleyh34 Mon 26-Nov-12 13:57:38

I always get interviewitis and end up spouting total crap and not answering the questions at all.

Strange because normally I'm quite a sensible person, I just go to pieces in interviews!

Euphemia France Mon 26-Nov-12 14:00:16

"I forgot a question halfway through answering it and had to ask for it to be repeated."

I wouldn't worry about that! I went for an interview recently where they said "Please just ask if you want us to repeat a question, as we appreciate that interview nerves mean people don't always take the whole question in first time." I did ask them to repeat one question. I got the job. smile

moogdroog Mon 26-Nov-12 14:04:44

Ooh I had a similar experience a few months ago. It was horrific. I got tipped off about the job the day before the closing date, rushed to put an application in and had an invite to attend an interview just a few days after. They wanted to see a presentation, so I focused on that.
Had to drive 50 miles to attend, hand my small DCs over to my DF in a carpark, changed the worlds shittiest nappy in all my finery. Arrived on time, flustered and they then kept my waiting for half hour.
Cold and unsmiling panel put me on edge, I presented well and then came the questions. I was shit. Several questions I had to say 'I don't know' to, whilst I slowly sweated myself to death and my mouth sealed up. Was out in 20 mins.
Unfortunately, it was with an organisation I worked closely with. The shame. Soon after that I gave up my job....

Interview itself wasn't bad but after shaking hands with the panel in the hallway I turned and fell down a flight of stairs.

Didn't get the job and laddered my tights.

ATailOfTwoKitties Mon 26-Nov-12 14:14:11

Well, possibly snorting in derision when they mentioned the salary wasn't my best ever interview tactic.

Sadly that was not that long ago.

Like, last week.

Oh dear...

MarshaBrady Mon 26-Nov-12 14:14:45

Oh you poor thing. Physical signs of nervousness are a bugger. And make it all worse. As you know they know.

But am laughing a bit at forgetting a question half way through, sure I have done that.

nenevomito Mon 26-Nov-12 14:16:28

I once interviewed someone who it transpired had lied about lots of things on his CV, like having a degree and any work experience at all.

It was piss poor. I am sure you are not even close to being that bad!

I was so nervous in the last interview I attended that halfway through I reached over, grabbed the rubbish bin and threw up into it.

I couldn't think of anything to say after, I just looked up, said "sorry. Exam nerves.' and continued emptying my belly.

QuanticoVirginia Mon 26-Nov-12 14:20:27

The worst interview was when I was asked a question but missed a vital word which changed the whole meaning of the question.

I started answering the question I had heard and it was clear form the interviewers faces I wasn't on the right track and they were looking more and perturbed as I waffled on desperately trying to work out where I was going wrong...

They went to the next question which was sort of a follow on at which moment the penny dropped as to what had actually been said in the first question! i then had to explain my initial mistake, reanswer the first question in light of new info and then carry on. I just wanted to walk out and come back another day!!!

I did get the job (it was a large intake!!!) but I still cringe even now.

Blending Mon 26-Nov-12 14:20:58

Not so much the interview. I'd had a nice relaxing bath with oils in before hand, and as I walked out, my hold up stockings slipped to my knees!

Luckily enough the male Finance director didn't notice and the very nice HR person who did, dragged me straight into the loo! She laughed and said well thats a unique approach to get noticed! Didnt hold it against me and I got the job.

Skang Mon 26-Nov-12 14:21:08

I had an interview once where the woman spoke in the most outrageous management speak to the point that I couldn't understand what she meant at all. I'd worked in offices for about ten years at the time, done lots of temping and was quite up on management speak or so I thought. It flustered me so much that I left in tears! (I was feeling pretty down at the time anyway). I was so well suited for the job as well, I would have been great at it. She was saying stuff like 'Given blah blah blah, how would you manage expectations whilst limiting blah blah blah' and what she meant was how would you deliver bad news. That is the only one I can half remember and doesn't sound so bad on its own. I was mortified for weeks afterwards! That agency didn't contact me with any other interviews..

ChippingInLovesAutumn Mon 26-Nov-12 14:22:42

Wankbadger - poor you sad

Oh I have form.
When I was younger I went for a promotion interview. It was very formal, panel of three in a city 100 miles away. I struggled to remember my own name. Tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth, I don't think I answered a single question.
The following year I went back, went to the pub first and drank vodka. I nailed it.

notcitrus Mon 26-Nov-12 14:31:27

Job description I was perfect for, in city I really wanted to be in, organisation ditto. Travelled 3 hours to interview. Receptionist:Hello! I hope you don't really want this job - they're going to give it to the internal candidate but HR said they had to advertise...
Glad she gave me the heads-up as the interviewer was as obnoxious as humanly possible.

The one where I went to the loo beforehand and couldn't do my trousers up after was cringemaking too, as I was holding them together with one hand all the way through! Also felt like death, thinking I had flu. They gave me the job anyway as the other candidate was totally crap - got an email saying "The job's yours but you need to work on interview technique!"! Found out the day after I was four months pregnant rather than just got fat.

Got interview later this week and after dc2 I don't have any suits that fit now either...

I've had some great interviews.
In one, for a position at a legal firm, I was asked 'why would someone with a Chemistry degree decide to study law?' I started to answer, and really I think I was doing ok. 'Bit odd' I thought 'but not that hard'. Then interviewer said 'so why did you, with your Chemistry degree, decide to study law post-grad?'. I have a Sociology degree, it is a BSc though, so I think that's what confused them.
Second one, again a law firm - being interviewed by the owner, an old-school Criminal lawyer, well known in the Mags Court for thinking he's a Big Fish. He asked me 'so, you're of the age when women start dropping sprogs. Got any plans to do that?' I'd had a miscarriage about 3 weeks before, which I thought at the time was my only chance at 'dropping a sprog', so that question wasn't really that welcome. I did a death stare, he blustered 'I'm not supposed to ask that, am I? I don't even care'. Idiot.
And finally, I had an interview a few weeks ago, which was so appalling (from both the point of view of the interviewer and me!) that when I came out and a member of staff said 'how did that go? I couldn't help but reply 'it was really awful'! Got asked what steps could be taken to improve cultural diversity (this is for an admin job!). I blagged a bit, gave maybe 4 things they could do. Interviewer said 'can you think of anything else?' I said 'can you repeat the question?' She said 'can you think of anything else?'. I had to laugh.
Got the job though grin. The other candidates must have been shocking!

larrygrylls Mon 26-Nov-12 14:44:36


If you really want the job, I would e mail the company and say that you feel that you let yourself down due to interview nerves and that you still would really like the job and would love another opportunity to prove yourself. I would append proper answers to the questions where you feel that you let yourself down and ask for another opportunity to interview.

No guarantee that it will have an effect, but you never know.....

notcitrous Many years ago I also had an interview where I was just invited in to make up the numbers.

Found out ahead of the interview thye had planned on giving the job to someone else but had to advertise.

So I went through the interview, which was strange as they obviously weren't interested in my answers, and when we got to the any questions it at the end, I actually asked why they thought it was acceptable to call me in for an interview and waste my time when they were going to give the job internally anyway, especially as I was then unemployed and didn't have money to waste on unnecessary journeys.

I hadn't planned on saying anything, it just came out. On the plus side, I embarrassed them so much they gave me expenses in cash on the spot.grin I have not applied for any further jobs with them in all these years, as my name is distinctive and I don't want a re-run.grin

FakeGingerbreadHouse Mon 26-Nov-12 14:48:11

I fell over a potato on the way out the room after an interview. Im surprised the job offer they had just made me wasn't retracted on the spot.

PoppyAmex Portugal Mon 26-Nov-12 14:50:39

Seriously, it could be worse.

I interviewed a candidate who threw up during a panel presentation (bug, not nerves). He was applying for a job as a CFO in a large bank and he got it!

NicknameTaken Mon 26-Nov-12 14:52:54

I've mentioned before the interview I did with a ring of toothpaste around my mouth (mirror steamed up after shower, somehow didn't encounter any other mirrors along the way).

Cynner Mon 26-Nov-12 14:54:33

I went to an interview and left feeling very confident I had the position.....until I realised my skirt was tucked up into my tights..I walked through the entire building and out to car park with my bum swaying in the breeze..

DumSpiroSpero Mon 26-Nov-12 15:00:30

Perhaps they thought you were great and didn't need any more convincing?!

My worst interview was for some local council/getting kids involved with democracy type role. The interview panel consisted of the current postholder, her manager and 4 teenagers aged from 14-19, it was hideous.

I'm normally ok in interviews apart from a nervous yawning habit which isn't ideal, but I go to pieces when I have to have appraisals at work, and am usually tearful before I even go in blush. I think I've had so many redundancies over the years that whenever I get in a room on a 1-2-1 basis with a senior colleague, a sub-conscious part of my brain always thinks the shit is about to hit the fan.

LaCiccolina Mon 26-Nov-12 15:01:02

I interviewed a girl for a temp secretary position in a bank. After intros and before my first question she opined that she was so glad for this temp position as she was "naff" with money and always ran out by the weekend. It caused issues as she loved clubbing you see (apparently) but wasn't it hard to come to work on Monday? Was usually Wednesday before she was any use.....

I just ceased the interview there.... I very much doubt u did worse than that....

IdaBlankenship Mon 26-Nov-12 15:01:15

I got into an argument with one of the interview panel in the middle of an interview once.. funnily enough I didn't get the job..

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 26-Nov-12 15:03:37

The worst interview I ever had was years' ago for my own job. Huge cost cutting and department changes meant redundancies so we were all asked to explain what we did and how our role was relevant. We had to prove we deserved to keep our current jobs. I feel sick just remembering. I was just married and we were about to buy our first house.

I felt I was in a daze and everything I knew and had rehearsed flew out of my head. My team leader said afterwards I'd been like someone in a trance. Think the pressure got to me but I scraped through.

Curtsey Mon 26-Nov-12 15:03:39

Oh, I had a really terrible one last year. I was pregnant at the time (didn't know it) and honestly it was like I walked into the room and was suddenly lobotimised. They asked me 'What do you know about our company?' and I went 'Um.....<long silence>.'
Didn't get the job, obviously, and in hindsight, so glad I didn't.

Gunznroses Mon 26-Nov-12 15:04:48

first interview after graduation, was for a IT helpdesk support roll, i wanted it so badly, imagine my delight when the agency told me i had passed the first interview and called back for second.

I arrived at the second interview all nervous but prepared, i was called in and i entered the room, the interviewer glanced up at me from his desk, said "hello" i said "good morning", no further questions were asked, next thing he said was "we'll be in touch" i left the interview room puzzled why i wasnt actually being interviewed, agency rang later to say i was unsuccessful! i can only guess he must have not liked my face confused..i have a nice face..honest

I had a telephone interview once...I was prepared with notes, CV, computer on.....said hello, relaxed, leaned back and

CRASHED OFF THE CHAIR and onto the floor with a loud thump.

It was with a recruitment agent who put me forward for a job that I subsequently got. But I was blush at the time.

Yamyoid Mon 26-Nov-12 15:06:08

Ds was a baby and so dh took him to work while I went to an interview. Ten minutes after he'd left I realised I'd left my purse and phone in the change bag. I therefore had to walk as was going to get the bus. I then got lost and couldn't phone them to ask directions/explain my lateness. I remember changing my shoes on their doorstep and arriving totally dishevelled. I couldn't even explain as it sounded like a rubbish excuse. The interview lasted about 20 minutes and I (obviously) didn't get the job. To top it off, I had to wait in the neighbours' house afterwards as my keys were also in the bag. I was so embarrassed.

goralka Mon 26-Nov-12 15:06:12

wankbadger - did you get the job?

Curtsey Mon 26-Nov-12 15:10:42

Oh just remembered another interview, it was my 2nd or 3rd callback as part of a long interview process. It involved a video interview with a panel in the company's HQ abroad, but the technology had gone on the blink. I had to sit smiling in a seat for half an hour while local IT and HR became increasingly ranty and frustrated 'this keeps happening' etc. etc. and then when they finally got it set up, there was a hideous, truly hideous echo on the line. Everything I said sounded false and trite and was repeated back...back..back..I shudder even thinking about it. But I got that job!

I got a phone call from a potential job, which I took on my lunchbreak, the gyu on the phone was talking about when I could come in and said, "hopefully the rain will have eased off by then, I had to wade through knee high water to get to work this morning", I laughed and made some joke about needing a boat. I assumed he had a slightly weird sense of humour when he replied with, "nice to have some sympathy".

Finished my lunchbreak and went to serve the next client. Client started making small talk about the weather, how grim and wet it was etc, then casually remarked, "oh and of course <town name> is totally flooded" shock

Yep, you guessed it blush

I did get the job though, and apologised profusely for laughing!

Junebugjr Mon 26-Nov-12 15:14:20

I'm sure I had a job interview to be a MI5 spy once, or something like that.

I was unemployed for a few months once and was sending out applications for fun. I had call to ask if I could attend an interview with the ministry of defence at an army base miles away. I was informed vaguely that they were recruiting for a variety of positions after I queried what was the post.

Anyway I turned up, and got sent into a small bare room which had 3 officers in it with all medals and stuff on. At this point I started looking round for the cameras thinking it was some sort of pisstake.

I was asked loads of questions about my family, social life, past travelling experiences, so being a gossipy bubbly sort, I spilled my guts, and had a good old chinwag with them. They made some references about travelling and flexibility, confidentiality etc. Needless to say I didn't get the job, I got called and told my personality did not suit the job! They probably needed someone a bit less talkative, and could keep state secrets.

Gunznroses Mon 26-Nov-12 15:16:01

oh God ive just remebered another one! i had an interview for an IT manager role, i was chuffed! but couldnt get childcare for the interview date ds was about 11months old, i was really desperate, so i rang the company and asked if they would mind me bringing him along in his buggy, he would probably sleep through it. They were lovely and said no problem.

So i turn up on interview day with baby bag and buggy in tow, ds is excited about the "little trip" and quite chatty, no chance of sleep at all. The interview place was in some old medieval building it seemed with very low ceilings, part of the interview was to show me round the "network" which was in a basement, i couldnt stand up straight, and floors were all cobbled which meant buggy went bumpty bump all the way down, ds shrieking with laughter and me struggling to hear what the interviewer is saying.

At one point im asked "so will you be able to do this type of thing ? get down on your hands and knees and do the cabling etc through the walls etc ?" i'm saying "yes, yes" like a fool to everything trying to hold on to buggy which is now nose diving down the cobbled basement at alarming speed and trying to wrestle the baby bag strap which is about to strangle me round the neck... you should have seen the interviewers face!

I didn't get the job.

Hobbitation Mon 26-Nov-12 15:16:54

I've had a few where the interviewer was more nervous than I was and I had to encourage them a bit smile

In one interview I was asked a logic problem on the spot, and got it wrong, which apparently "Doesn't matter, I just wanted to know how you think"...then later he went on about my star sign "Oh I really like Virgos, they are great". I think he was just making it all up as he went along. I was offered that job but had already been offered another job and took that instead...

Graceparkhill Mon 26-Nov-12 15:18:21

I know someone who was so nervous that he left the room via the fire exit - setting off the alarm in the process.

He got the job.

I also know someone who misjudged the seat and sat on the floor- she got the job too.

Finally I interviewed someone who meant to say he had been receiving a "responsibility payment" for covering a maternity leave in xxx office.
What he said was he was "responsible for getting a girl pregnant in xxx office"
And yes- he got the job too!

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Mon 26-Nov-12 15:21:01

I got through to my 5th and final interview with a company. It was with a big honcho and I'd been told by everyone that it was just a formality at that point and that it was more up to him to make me want to join them rather than the other way round.

First thing he said was, to be honest, I can't understand why on earth you've applied here, your CV is all over the place, none of your decisions make sense and I really can't see you here shock

I managed to stumble out a reply (thanking him for voicing his reserves and allowing me to address them!) got home and cried my eyes out for hours.

I got the job!

And now, after 5 years I'm going to be on the interview panel for young recruits and I am so nervous! (it's one to one interviewing). Doesn't help that it's in French. Am so scared. The only thing which is easy is that I have to test every candidates English [smile

I think I might have to test the interviews out on DH...

Euphemia France Mon 26-Nov-12 15:36:03

fell over a potato?????!!!!

MaMaPo Mon 26-Nov-12 15:37:52

I interviewed a really terrible candidate last week. Some tips for everyone:

- don't, when obviously failing to interpret some data presented in a vignette, say 'Oh, I'm a bit weak in that area but would get up to speed in a few days.' There is a whole 2 year POSTDOCTORAL course in that field - but you can get up to speed in a few hours?

- don't, when obviously knowing nothing about the legal requirements around a particular part of the job, say 'If I get the job I'm sure I can get familiar with the legislation.' You didn't think to research your own job before applying for positions?

- and don't, when asked how you resolve disputes with other team members, tell us some vague guff and then go on to tell us about all the disputes you had in an old job, but it was OK because you were the boss and therefore knew you were 100% correct and didn't have to listen to anyone else.

Shocker. She didn't get the job.

ProcrastinatingPanda Mon 26-Nov-12 15:40:04

I had an interview once in retail. It was going really well, they were really impressed with my answers and seemed quite keen. They mentiined something about me seeming like a people person so would get on with the customers at the end of the interview, then for some reason I'm still kicking myself for I replied with "oh no, I hate the public." shock

LadyArtois Mon 26-Nov-12 15:41:31

I applied for a receptionist job when I was an apprentice and was really nervous. It was all going really well, but then I came on my period right there and then in the bloody interview!! I could actually feel it! Talk about off-putting!

I got offered the job, but turned it down as an amazing job came up that I wanted to apply for instead. I went for that interview 12 weeks pregnant and got it grin

Flosshilde Mon 26-Nov-12 15:42:43

One of my interviews just went from bad to worse.

On the walk to the tram, I got something behind my contact lense and one of my eyes started absolutely streaming, making all my mascara and makeup run. I had nothing to fix it with, so had to try and even it up by desperately scrubbing at my makeup to get it off, along with the other eye. This classy operation was carried out in Starbucks toilets with spit and loo roll. I looked less of a fright when I'd finished but still not particularly good.

Then when I got there, I kept trying to walk through the wrong door.

Then I was asked some of the most horrendous questions ever. Really hard. I had a crack at them but kept drying up. This was made worse by the fact I was already holding a job offer for not quite so good a job where I had sailed through the interview so struggling so badly (and I had prepared thoroughly) was a massive shock.

To top it all off, the job description had a bit of an ambiguous part in it about duties so I asked for clarification at the end. Obviously they didn't think it was ambiguous and gave me hmm looks all round.

I have (thankfully) successfully passed two interviews since and am now more often the interviewer than the interviewee. Asking for the question to be repeated doesn't lose you marks - I'd rather you did that and answered well than didn't and answered badly. Asking intelligent questions at the end always gives you a chance to shine as well as it can turn into a discussion.

LadyArtois Mon 26-Nov-12 15:44:03

That might sound weird..

The job I really wanted was open for a long time and took forever with interviews, that's how I had the time to get 12 weeks pregnant!

DownTheRabidHole Mon 26-Nov-12 15:47:55

The man interviewing me was utterly vile. There is a word to describe my function at the time which is the same as a famous "perfume shop". The fuckwit thought I meant I'd worked in a fucking make-up shop.

I ended up crying, he shouted at me and as this was a financial institution you couldn't get anywhere without card access so I couldn't get out. I was trying to walk out but he wouldn't swipe me out of his office until I'd stopped crying.

Didn't help my self-esteem much that one. sad

Absy Mon 26-Nov-12 15:49:43

My worst interview behaviour was in a second interview. When I arrived for the first interview, I was led through to a conference room by the receptionist, who noticed that the tv was on and said "oh, that shouldn't be like that" and switched it off. First interview went well, got called back for a second interview.

Second interview - was supposed to be with the head of the department. Receptionist drops me off in a room, and I saw that the TV was switched on, and there was someone on the screen. So I thought "there's no chuffing way I'm being filmed while interviewed" so switched off the TV. The interviewer arrived and went "oh, that's odd - you're having a video interview as the manager of the team is currently in New York. IT told me they'd set it up, I wonder why it's not on" while I sat there dying inside, absolutely mortified. IT/voice support got called, and eventually they got the man in the TV back who said "yeah, I was connected before. And then someone came into the room, I think it was Absy actually, and switched the TV off" at which point, I wanted the floor to swallow me

I got the job. They still take the piss about that

foofooyeah Mon 26-Nov-12 15:53:32

I tuned up for an interview drunk (was only 18) reached down to get glasses out my bag and fell off the chair.

I didnt get the job

goralka Mon 26-Nov-12 15:55:23

I remember a dreadful interview for a TEFL job where the interviewer had my CV in front of her, and asked me about things that she KNEW I didn't have - for example in that industry there is a 'certificate' and a 'diploma' which is higher?
If you have the diploma, obviously you put it your CV! So she was asking questions like - 'Do you have a diploma? and I would say..er..no.... and she would write in big letters at the top of my CV 'NO DIPLOMA'. I had worked for their sister company and she said ''''so what exactly was that involving''???? 'involving'?????confused
I just walked out when she said 'so where exactly do you see yourself in this company'....

busyauthor Mon 26-Nov-12 15:56:59

I agree with asking to hear the question again. When I recruit, I always account for nerves: hence offer to repeat questions, small talk at the beginning, start by explaining the structure of the interview, just so we all know what to expect. When I coach job seekers, I frequently suggest that the single most helpful thing to remember is to keep breathing. Sounds silly, but it keeps the nerves at bay

I went for an interview after a time out of work, there was no reason for it, I was a teenager and lazy and couldn't be arsed working for about 2 months.

When the interviewer asked me what I'd been doing for 2 months my mind just FROZE

and I started babbling about painting celebrities and selling my portraits on ebay.

It was total bullshit and I still have no idea why I said it!!

LimburgseVlaai Mon 26-Nov-12 15:58:25

I once interviewed someone who seemed to be OK. But at the end of the interview, when I asked whether she had any questions for me, she leaned towards me and said (with an intense stare): "What star sign are you? Because I like to know what star sign my manager is, to be sure we are compatible."

She didn't get the job.

bryonywhisker Mon 26-Nov-12 15:58:41

I did an unexpected very sudden sneeze and 'it' splatted right in the middle of the paper in front of the interviewer
Didn't get the job.

healstorturepeople Mon 26-Nov-12 16:01:31

I once had an interview where I was on the verge of tears all day. Whole day interview. It was a bad time in my life and I wasn't coping well. The interviewer kept trying to help me with answers but I still fluffed it up!

Mutt Mon 26-Nov-12 16:02:01

I once turned up for a 9am interview in a block of offices, went to the wrong floor and set off an alarm which resulted in the whole building being evacuated.

By the time the interview actually took place I swear I was in shock. I remember nothing at all about it.

Except of course that I didn't get the job.

poozlepants Mon 26-Nov-12 16:02:21

The worst interview I had was for a section of the civil service. There were 2 different aptitude tests, a group interview and then an interview with 8 on the panel. So I got to the last stage and the guy in charge who we'd already worked out was a bit of nob started with "Oh you're the one with the PhD. We don't like people with pHDs because they think too much of themselves and don't do a good job" and it went downhill from there. He did most of the talking and there were just constant digs about how I wouldn't be able to get up in the morning because I'd been a student etc etc. I was 30 ffs and had worked during my studies. It was horrible and I nearly cried I was so shell shocked he was so aggressive backed up by his pa. Everytime one of the others on the panel tried to ask me a question he would interrupt. He just had a huge chip and basically was out to humiliate me. One of the other panel who showed me out apologised and basically told me I did fine and they were embarrassed by the whole interview. Surprisingly I didn't get the job.

goralka Mon 26-Nov-12 16:06:57

oh I just thought of another one - it was a BB style interview where after each test (grammar, speed reading, comprehension) I was the last one left in the room at which point my phone went (silly me not switchin it off) and it was the school telling me to come and get the children due to a light snow flurry (in central London) I had to take the call in the reception area.....didn't get the job natch.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Mon 26-Nov-12 16:09:35

I must know more about the random potato.

TantrumsandBananas Mon 26-Nov-12 16:15:57


A few years ago, go for a great job at a lovely shiny up and coming company.

My second interview, very smug, as I know I've got it.

Interviewer asks if I would like to meet the guy I would be working closely with. So I trot after him to an office, and chappy turns round, we look at each other. Watched his smile turn to recognision and then horror. I was manically smiling as we were introduced and shook handed rather limply.

I had had a one night stand with him the weekend before....REALLY.

Mortified. I think he thought I was some sort of nutter who was stalking him.

AND they still offered me the job. Strangely enough I turned it down.

I'm sorry, am I the only one who saw that FakeGingerbreadHouse said she fell over a potato?!?!?!



I once interviewed a candidate with the most pungent, over powering BO, it was all I could do not to gag. It was truly horrendous.

PetiteRaleuse Mon 26-Nov-12 16:29:29

I went for an interview in Paris and got caught in a rainstorm with no hood, no umbrella. Hair like rat tails, glasses steamed up when I stumbled into the office, slightly late, and I realised afterwards that my make up had run.

I could tell by the look of slight disgust that the interviewer gave me at first sight that there was no way I was getting the job.

mouldyironingboard Mon 26-Nov-12 16:30:13

Back in the 1980's (I'm old!) I was asked by a male interviewer if I was planning to get married soon. I replied 'are you offering?'

At another interview I was told the work hours were 9-5 but would be expected to arrive by 8.30am. I immediately asked 'do you pay overtime?' and was shown the door very soon after - so glad I didn't get either job!

redwellybluewelly Mon 26-Nov-12 16:30:46

Oh my there have been some balls ups

- the one where I was hungover and threw up before, just after and almost passed out during hadn't noticed the vomit all over my skirt I got the job

- the one where I was up until 4am the night before sobbing as I didn't want the job and was scared I couldn't do it, went in with red eyes and white as a sheet, got the job but turned it down

- the one where I went for a technician post (way below my potential) and utterly fluffed it as I had been told it was a foregone conclusion and chatted to them like old friends and also completed stuffed up the computer test thinking it was too easy but in fact failing to read the instructions. I didn't get the job thank god a friend worked there years later and said it was hell on earth

- the one where I felt spaced out and faint, not hungover, assumed a bug - was 10 weeks pregnant, I got the job

Will come back later to discuss the people I have interviewed hmm some of them really were outrageous!

rosiesmartypants Mon 26-Nov-12 16:32:04

I got to an interview late....as the agency had given me wrong directions on leaving the train stations ("Oh did we say take a right turn, we meant left")....a bit stressed, sweaty, hassled, and full of apologies.

Got started on the interview, to realise that at some point while rumaging in my handbag, I must have knocked on my iPod, and I could hear it singing away quite merrily (and loudly) in my bag. Being a bit stressed I didn't think to just excuse myself and switch it off....instead I tried to talk louder and louder to cover it up....

Strangely enough I did get offered the role, but I think it was because no-one else was interested and it was in the middle of nowhere...he same reason I turned it down too.

Lavenderhoney Mon 26-Nov-12 16:33:41

Interviews are fine, it's the people interviewing who mess it up! Always amazes me no one does a spoof interview at a company to check the hr person or whoever is any goodsmile

- had one where the vvv young hr person at a huge multinational kept asking me why I hadn't gone to uni straight from school. And openly sneered at me when I explained i didn't have enough money and I needed to work, plus going to uni is not a right! The fact that I had a great cv at other multi nationals was of no interest.

- have always been asked if I plan to get married and have kids as haha!- no point hiring you hahaha- even if I do give them a death staresmile

- once, called to go for emergency interview as they company had been let down, and I lived near them, and was looking for a kob immediate start. but I was ready to go out for dinner. Didn't want to let down anyone, so went as I was ( black cocktail dress and heels, sparkly bag) bloke who interviewed me was in fits of giggles and even found a bow tie in his drawersmile got the jobsmile

MrsSalvoMontalbano Mon 26-Nov-12 16:38:54

Reading theseat awork after a shitty few weeks with my useless manager has made me laugh out loud - thANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hk78 Mon 26-Nov-12 16:39:09

DownTheRabidHoleMon 26-Nov-12 15:47:55

There is a word to describe my function at the time which is the same as a famous "perfume shop". The fuckwit thought I meant I'd worked in a fucking make-up shop.

DownTheRabidHole please could you put me out of my misery, what is this word? grin

grumpyoldbookworm Mon 26-Nov-12 16:40:49

As an undergraduate at an interview for a very major oil firm the male interviewer moved in his chair and a button flew off his jacket. He said 'my wife will sew that on. We know our roles in my family'. !!!!

dotnet Mon 26-Nov-12 16:42:34

Sympathy to the poster who cried in an interview! Ditto to those who have thrown up.
My most embarrassing one was with Oxfam. I turned up on the wrong day. They said, 'Oh dear, we did send you a letter explaining the person you needed to see would be away today.'
I said 'Oh, I'm afraid I never received the letter, you see, I live in a flat and there are quite a few letterboxes for the different flats. Your letter must have gone into someone else's letterbox; I never received it.'
I got a rather old fashioned look, but no comment was made.
Thinking about it afterwards, I had a vague notion I HAD had a follow up letter from Oxfam (about postponing the interview).
The old fashioned look was, I strongly suspect, because I'd sent a written acknowledgement of the changed date for the interview.
Did I get the job? Of course not. Cringe.

BigGiantCowWithAKnockKnockTail Mon 26-Nov-12 16:45:49

In a teaching interview I was talking about a boy I'd once worked with and heard myself referring to his dad as a "total meathead" blush It was one of those moments when you start the sentence and have no idea how to finish it confused

Still got the job somehow. The competition can't have been that great grin

MollyMurphy Mon 26-Nov-12 16:46:33

I threw up during an interview once.

In my younger years I was applying for a job as a medic. It was a 24 hour hands on interview with an experienced paramedic crew. Well about 5 hours in I started to get a migrane but it was so busy - call after call, there was no heading it off...the culmination of which was vomiting in the ambulance (though thankfully not on or in the presence of a patient). Still, they wouldn't believe me about the headache and kept banging on about my being too stressed and sensitive for the job blush.

Very embarassing. I still cringe.

Lavenderhoney Mon 26-Nov-12 16:47:49

Oh yes , if you are down to the final 2 and don't get the job, wait a couple of weeks and send an email to the manager/hr saying you are still interested in the role and if there is anything else in the company you would be interested. Some people don't make it past probation period.

Went to one, and the main interveiwer asked me if I spoke French. I said yes, wondering what this had to do with anything as it was a uk company, everyone was a brit, nothing about France in the spec. He immediately continued the interview in French only, much the horror of the other interviewers and refused to speak English!!!! Totally mad.

MincePiesTasteBetterHot Mon 26-Nov-12 16:51:13

Just laughed out loud at Mutt's setting off an alarm and causing the building to be evacuated.

I have two offerings: First, I was waiting to go into the interview room, waiting in the staff room next to the coffee machine. Someone that worked there came in and poured himself a coffee, somehow tripped as he turned away and threw the coffee all over me. (He was very apologetic and at least coffee must have been sitting around a while in the pot as I didn't get scalded). I was called into the interview room almost immediately after, with no time to do more than a bit of ineffective dabbing with a tissue, had to go in looking totally shellshocked and dripping in coffee. I didn't get the job.

Second time, I had a horrendous ear infection (had been awake the whole of the night sobbing with pain) and was effectively completely deaf during the interview. Had to ask for each question to be repeated numerous times while I squinted desperately trying to lipread the interviewer. Probably answered the wrong question more than once. I didn't get that job either.

HazleNutt Mon 26-Nov-12 16:51:51

Not mine but this thread reminded me of Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential.

So he has an interview at a steakhouse. He feels extremely confident, chats away, job is his and then the owner asks him, “What do you know about me?”

He is confused and thinking that is he famous? Should I know something? Should I pretend to know?? panic!! And then decides to go for the honest approach and says "Absolutely nothing!"

Interview panel laughs uncomfortably, interview is obviously over.

Only a while later Mr Bourdain realises that what they actually asked him, for a position of chef in a steakhouse was: “What do you know about MEAT?”

dontaskforthe99 Mon 26-Nov-12 16:55:56

Interviewing a candidate for a web design position in local government: candidate offered to show me his designs on his laptop but should probably have deleted the soft porn image on his homepage before beginning his demonstration.

MollyMurphy Mon 26-Nov-12 16:57:58

Lol! Love that HazleNutt

MmeGuillotine Mon 26-Nov-12 16:58:20

I once got asked 'When was the last time you showed initiative?' in an interview and honestly couldn't think of anything so there was a LONG long silence before they moved on to the next question. They came back to initiative a couple more times but I was still stumped so in the end they let it go.

At the end, they asked me if I had any questions for them. 'When was the last time YOU showed initiative?' I blurted out straight away. They couldn't answer either.

Weirdly, they offered me the job. I'm now self employed but have a rehearsed and ready to roll story about the last time I showed initiative all prepared just in case I ever have the misfortune to do an interview again. smile

RuleBritannia Mon 26-Nov-12 17:02:16

I knew a young man who had studied Russian O level at school and gone on to do A level Russian Studies and other allied subjects. He had an interview at the Foreign Office and the interview panel said something like, "Sell youself to us." Engaging his phenomenal brain cell, he asked, "Right, who'll start at £1000?" He got no further.

jeanvaljean Mon 26-Nov-12 17:05:34

I interviewed at the BBC a few years ago. It was going ok when they asked me "What do you think of XXXX XXXX [BBC Celebrity]?" I replied that I wasn't really a fan, and thought he was unfunny, childish and a misogynist. Silence from the panel until "...Oh well that's unfortunate because in this role you would be working alongside him on his team".

Didn't get the job grin

ihearsounds Mon 26-Nov-12 17:07:36

Went for an interview a few years back. Nervous doesnt quiet cover it. Hands were trembling, missed the chair, got the person who arranged the interview position wrong, forgot my name, forgot several of the questions, babbled on about totally irrelevent things. Spilt water over myself because hands were trembling... Thought it was a wind up a few days later when I got a call offering the job. The interviewee was able to look past the goofs, and offered me a trial.

Mutt Mon 26-Nov-12 17:08:55

MincePies - Yes, I can look back and laugh now but for some time I felt quite sick whenever I thought about it!

I remember very well standing at the assembly point, surrounded by strangers asking each other what had caused the alarm to go off, and couldn't bring myself to own up blush

I'd love to see the CCTV footage of me forcing open the alarmed door of a company that hadn't opened up yet. I was so convinced I was in the right place and determined not to be late for the interview so really gave it some welly!

Fortunately I was never confronted with the evidence grin

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Mon 26-Nov-12 17:09:12

The person interviewing me had never conducted an interview before, as a result they were unprepared, with no real questions and couldn't tell me anything useful about the job, other than the days/hours neglected to say that you had to do a solid 8 hour shift with no break among other things

I ended up interviewing myself.... Still got the job smile

Stropzilla Mon 26-Nov-12 17:16:03

I forgot to blend my foundation in properly, and spent the interview with an orange ring around my mouth. I didn't get it. Not too worried, it was an interview set up with an agency desperate for their fees and I really was unsuitable for the job, and both the interviewer and I knew it from the moment I walked in and we both wondered why I'd been sent for it!

Today I witnessed an interview in McDonalds of all places! Seemed to be textbook, if a bit rehersed with her asking his strengths and him answering oh, teamwork. I expected him to tell her his weakness was working too hard! As they left, he went out the door first, and his trousers were hanging so low off his hips you could see his hairy butt crack! She noticed and couldn't take here eyes off the atrocity!

Stropzilla Mon 26-Nov-12 17:17:33

Oh and the person I interviewed who got back for a second interview. Gave her a trial week, after which she turned out to be completely the wrong person for the job. As she stropped out, she growled "so this has been a complete waste of my time then! You should at least pay my petrol!". Attitude was only one of her problems.

dotnet Mon 26-Nov-12 17:17:51

I was interviewed for a job editing the mag of the National Union of Seamen, about thirty years ago. 'Seamen' was a tricky one, I kept having to say 'seafarers', which sounded oddly jack tar-ish, but 'seamen' would certainly have made me laugh or blush.
It was going OK - just one chap; then John Prescott walked in.
He seemed positive at first; he liked that I'd studied for my degree 'externally', at a second division college, not at London University itself. But then I was asked what I'd do to improve the existing NUS mag.
I came up with something about using a lot more pictures. John Prescott said something like 'This is a union magazine not a vehicle for social chit-chat' (which hadn't been what I'd meant at all.)
He also went on to ask if I was likely to jack it all in when I got married! (Marriage wasn't on the cards then in any case.)
I wasn't offered the job, but was mightily offended when the nice first interviewer rang me afterwards to say 'Athough you're not being offered the job, John Prescott asks if you would like a secretarial position?'

QOD Mon 26-Nov-12 17:21:24

I walked into a building and as my foot went over the threshold the fire alarm went off... Turned round and walked right back home again.

Rang the job agency and explained .... Went back the next day, interviewer was my mates god father who I knew well! Got the job, love him dearly still even though we were all made redundant about 14 yrs ago.

JuliaScurr Mon 26-Nov-12 17:21:52

no preparation, went to interview without even application form, agency just called them. I'd been clearing a basement at my voluntary job, knew I had no chance of the new job, rocked up unprepared and filthy. did the IT test badly, casually chatted through the interview, didn't return the phone calls telling me Ihadn't got it. Of course I had got the 10 week temp job which lasted 5 years. I got it because I was the only applicant who could decipher the boss' writing.

Ginandtonicandamassageplease Mon 26-Nov-12 17:23:04

Someone I know left the interview room and found herself in a cupboard!! She still got the job!

turkeyboots Mon 26-Nov-12 17:30:03

Once had a horrible local government interview where I had studied up on them and their plans, only to spend 20mins being asked about a recently published book about the local football team. Which I hadn't read of course. And didn't get the job.

Worse thing is I complained to my mum about it and she told me off, as her brother features heavily in the book as the teams most committed fan!

DreamingofSummer Mon 26-Nov-12 17:33:13

I went for a job some years ago in a corrupt London borough. One of the other candidates was a former councillor called Fred. I heard later that the selection meeting was the simple sentence "all those in favour of Fred raise their hands"

Melty Mon 26-Nov-12 17:35:00

Have never had a really bad interview, not to say I always got the job though.

I had one interview where the interviewer clearly had not read my CV at all. I had a specific qualification, that I had worked really hard for, and in my opinion was a pretty important qualification in order to do the role.
Anyway, she said to me "not many of our team have this qualificaiton, in fact the people we meet who do are pretty much up their own arses". I said "really"?

I then got offered the position but based out of a completely different office to the one I applied to work in.
I said no. We wouldn't have got on if they all thought I was up my own arse. grin

ajandjjmum Mon 26-Nov-12 17:40:46

I reckon I got my first job because the other girl applying was gorgeous, and my boss had a very jealous wife! grin

snuffaluffagus Mon 26-Nov-12 17:41:29

This got a genuine laugh out loud -

" I fell over a potato on the way out the room after an interview. Im surprised the job offer they had just made me wasn't retracted on the spot."

FakeGingerbreadHouse do explain!

Darkesteyes Mon 26-Nov-12 17:43:37

While signing on in December 2005 i got an interview at a building society in the town that is half an hours drive away. Interview was at 1pm so i thought that catching 11am bus should get me there in plenty of time. Bus didnt show up Neither did the next one.
So i went into the Job Centre which was right across the road directly across from the Job Centre so the fuckers could see that id been standing there waiting all that time!
Yet when i went into Job Centre and asked if they would help with train fare they said no and the silly cow on the front desk who had clearly SEEN me waiting at bus stop all that time shouted out that I had MISSED the bus.
So had to take the money to get train instead out of food budget.
Phoned through to interviwer and apologised for the fact i was going to be late.

Darkesteyes Mon 26-Nov-12 17:46:38

Posted too soon (have to Talk talk) got to interview and duriing interview she accused me of getting the sack from two jobs because i got made redundant twice in the space of a year. Once was due to illness and the second time was because the business i worked for went bust.
She wouldnt have it though. I didnt get the job.

Darkesteyes Mon 26-Nov-12 17:47:48

Sorry i meant the Job Centre was directly across the road from the bus stop.

Darkesteyes Mon 26-Nov-12 17:49:06

And i couldnt apply through the Travel to Interview scheme as the building society only phoned and asked me to come in the day before so there wasnt time.

Euphemia France Mon 26-Nov-12 17:54:01

I recently had a pool teaching interview (i.e. the Council interviewed a bunch of people then decided which schools to allocate them to) where neither of the interviewers had read the job description or the person spec. hmm

I was offered a post, but I declined as I subsequently had a better offer from a school nearer home. I'm quite relieved now, as who knows what job I might have actually been interviewed for by the other lot?! Refuse collector?!

IvantaOuiOui Mon 26-Nov-12 17:58:59

About 12 years ago I was living in a small local town for local people place and I had an interview with a small firm for a job. I was treated as greatly exotic, not having lived there for long. I knew it wasn't for me when the man interviewing me asked me if it was true that 'they let the blacks run things' where I was from (midlands).

MammaTJ Mon 26-Nov-12 18:05:11

My friend went for a job as a Social Work assistant. Every scenario they gave her to suggest how she would deal with it got 'Well I would make a cup of tea.....................' in response, as if making tea could cure every ill she would ever come across. She realised this was ridiculous and I still tease her about it, never moreso than when she went to uni for her interview for her dream career training (not social work).

Nancy66 Mon 26-Nov-12 18:08:29

when I was about 19 and still studying I went for an interview for a part-time job as a general office dogsbody.

The man interviewing me came towards me, stuck out his hand and said 'Hello. I'm Willy Gubbins' ....and I just burst out laughing and then couldn't stop.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Mon 26-Nov-12 18:08:29

For the love of the little baby cheesus fakegingerbreadhouse will you not explain about the potato?

PimpMyHippo Mon 26-Nov-12 18:09:02

When I was a student I went for an interview at a supermarket. I left a lecture early to get there on time, paid out for a taxi because the alternative was taking two buses and I was worried one of them would be running late, and borrowed a smart outfit from my housemate including shoes that made my feet bleed shock (I'm a trainers or wellies girl normally!) When I got there the first question the interviewer asked was "are you a student?". I said yes and he said "oh I'm sorry, the HR people were supposed to tell you before, we're not considering students for this position" and that was that. I was in there for less than five minutes! I thanked him politely and left, got on the bus and then missed my stop and ended up riding around the city for an hour. blush That was not a good day.

WillyGubbins Mon 26-Nov-12 18:10:35

Ahem Nancy.

EggNogRules Mon 26-Nov-12 18:14:03

I remember thinking 'spit, don't fail me now' (it did) and then 'what the feck am I supposed to be talking about?'. Total short term amnesia. I might as well have taken my own potato to the interview (to trip over). I agree FakeGingerbreadHouse, for teh sake of baby cheeses, please elaborate.

I'd also like to know what DownTheRabidHole 'There is a word to describe my function at the time which is the same as a famous "perfume shop". The fuckwit thought I meant I'd worked in a fucking make-up shop' means.

Since I have been home I have vomitted about four times and feel truly awful. It could have been worse timing. I feel a bit better reading some of these. thanks

THIS job would have been perfect and I know I can do a cracking job. I had another interview last Friday and have got through to the next stage.

Some of your experiences have been awful/unlawful. I succesfully interviewed for a MOD position in which a panel member asked me about marriage and babies. I told him I didn't want to answer and he said blustered something along the lines of 'that wasn't really part of the interview' hmm

Nancy66 Mon 26-Nov-12 18:18:36

Willy....i'm so sorry!

(tee hee)

journoem Mon 26-Nov-12 18:21:33

I had an interview a few weeks ago with a company I really loved for a job I thought I'd love, and I was really looking forward to the interview...I wasn't cocky but thought I was in with a chance, especially as they had about 20 positions going. When I got there , the interviewer was the rudest person I think I've ever met. She kept interrupting me, talking over me, kept looking around/yawning/rolling her eyes and was playing on her phone the whole time I was trying to answer her questions sad it completely put me off and I didn't get the job, which was hardly surprising... It really knocked my confidence, it was awful.

Another awful interview experience...when I was 18 I got lost on my way to an interview, turned up an hour late and missed all the group activities but still got the job grin

BridgetBidet Mon 26-Nov-12 18:27:01

I went for an interview for a fairly junior admin job with a big famous accountancy firm. One of the biggest in the UK.

I went in to the interview and they started asking questions and I started answering them appropriately to the job. To start off these are just for example talking about how good I was a data entry and how happy I was to muck in with the team doing as much of it as I could and how fast and accurate I was. And they were giving me funny looks and saying 'Oh it's only once a year you'd have to do anything like that' which made me think it was a bit odd as the agency had told me that it was primarily a data entry role. Then they start asking me about pricing matrixes and budgeting and I'm saying I have an idea what involves and would be happy to be trained up to be doing that type of work and the interviewers start giving each other funny looks. Then they started asking me about staff management and I told them that I hadn't been aware that the role was supervisory but that was something I'd always been interested in and would be happy to pursue.

I think I'm giving all the right answers and can't understand why the interviewers are looking more and more outraged at me and am feeling quite upset.

Anyway eventually I have to turn round and say 'Say, look, I've been told one thing by the agency about this job, but it's not chiming at all with what you're saying, could you please tell me exactly how you see the job and what it entails. And they slide me over a bit of paper and they're only bloody interviewing me for a senior management level job.

Turns out a woman with the same first name as me was being interviewed for that job but she'd gone into my interview when they came out and called 'Bridget' and I'd been in the bathroom checking my appearance. I'd gone into her interview when they'd come out and called 'Bridget' again and I'd gone into her interview. This other Bridget, poor cow, had gone to uni and got years experience and then gone into an interview where they were asking her how fast she could type and if she minded doing the coffee run.

The worst thing about it though was that they blamed it all on me (even though she'd gone into the interview first) and took the attitude that I had wasted the time of all these senior managers who were far too important to have their time wasted by some jumped up little admin assistant. And it wasn't my fault at all.

I was mortified at the time, I think it's funny now but it was horrid at the time. They made me feel awful but I think judging by that I had a lucky escape not working for them.

Anyway, makes a good story for down the pub.

singaporefling Mon 26-Nov-12 18:27:26

For some reason a recruitment consultant thought i would be suitable to send along for an interview to a huuuge corporate-type printing company who needed a new marketing manager... i HAD worked in business print and was a very good sales person but that was as far as it went... dc2 was a month old, i had severe sleep-deprivation/breasts simply BURSTING with milk and was still wearing maternity clothes! i literally suffocated my body to stuff myself into a (once) loose-ish black dress, even my shoes were tight. you can see where this is all going... i left newborn with grandma, drove for 90 minutes boiling hot with fear, expressed into the washbasin etc etc (had to take the dress off completely!) And the interview - am sure its what they make you do when you go to hell. A four-strong panel of be-suited smug men asking me questions, the answers to which I knew nothing. they might as well have been speaking in Klingon - it was mortifying for ALL concerned but they were 'polite' enough not to rush me and it was 30 minutes of the most bottom-clenching/cringe-making time of my life. at the end i presented a very clammy hand to shake and of course when i got to the loo afterwards, there were rather fetching damp patches on the front of my dress

2kidsintow Netherlands Mon 26-Nov-12 18:27:52

For a job as a teacher, I once had to play the piano in front of the governors; interview panel. 2 pieces I had taken in. 2 pieces sight-unseen. One of which was proudly described as "the school anthem".
I did my best, but it completely threw me for the questions part.

Didn't get that job!

zgaze Mon 26-Nov-12 18:28:53

Many years ago I had an interview for a charity which raised funds for cancer research. I had only a few weeks before lost my dad to cancer, really traumatically obviously. I did quite well in the interview right up until the question 'so have you any personal experience of people suffering from cancer?'. Of course I burst into uncontrollable sobs and just couldn't stop. I'm not sure I even managed to get them to understand why I was crying. I just couldn't control it and in the end managed to get out 'can I go now?' and just left!

It was the sort of thing that would really have made my dad laugh though, he would have called me a daft old thing, and now all these years later I can laugh too.

EggNogRules Mon 26-Nov-12 18:29:30

Nancy/Willy what a coinkydink grin

BridgetBidet Mon 26-Nov-12 18:31:06

Oh and my names not actually Bridget, but you know what I mean.

EwanHoozami Iran Mon 26-Nov-12 18:34:14

Where's the MNer who turned up pissed at an interview and lit a fag halfway through? That made me howl

Euphemia France Mon 26-Nov-12 18:43:20

Isn't Willy Gubbins the male equivalent of Gynaecology?

mirry2 Mon 26-Nov-12 19:02:06

Fryonefat good for you.
The previous intervew was running very late and so my interviewwas at least 30minutes late in starting. The interviewer started my interview by statin that as the prvious interview had taken so long, mine would be very short and there would be no time for me to ask questions at the end.
I should have left at this point. I presented the powerpoint presentation that they had asked me to prepare but was hurried along because, as the interviewer said, they were short of time. Clearly I was not going to get the job - and I didn't.

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Mon 26-Nov-12 19:04:16

Journoem - we have to do that in our interviews! The candidates have 3 interviews and in one the whole point is to destabilise them and see how they react. I've even been told to get a friend or DH to ring me and to have a personal chat.

But it is linked to the job we do and how to remain professional with clients who are inappropriate...

I had to go for an interview in the university department where I already worked. My fixed term contract was coming to an end and there was no more funding so I had to find something else. I knew all the people interviewing me and had managed one of them on a previous project.

It was the worst interview of my life! When I went into the room, no one smiled, or stood up or put their hand out to shake. I was already in interview mode so thrust my hand forward with a beaming smile anyway. Sadly it was the hand holding a glass of water which I pretty much threw over the desk and the knees of the interview panel.

The hr guy handed me a pile of those shiny napkins that are non absorbent and I ended up just pushing a puddle round and round the table while the panel stared at me in horror.

The new professor decided to start the interview as they were short on time so I had to start answering questioning about how excited I was about their waste of taxpayers money project while I was failing to mop up the water.

The guy I used to manage barked his questions at me while staring at the floor which really wrong footed me. It was like talking to an angry wall.

Oh, and to top it all off, I was twenty weeks pregnant and draped in a waterfall cardigan hoping they wouldn't notice!

I got the job.

NotAnArtist Mon 26-Nov-12 19:38:21

Bartimaeus - what is the correct way to react when your interviewer does that? It probably wouldn't happen in my line of work, but I'd still like to know!
Do you sit patiently? Tell them they're being rude? Whip your own phone out and start a game of tetris?!

almapudden Mon 26-Nov-12 19:39:34

I'm a teacher. I went for an interview a couple of years ago where, instead of referring to lower-ability children, I talked about stupid children. Repeatedly. It was like my brain was frozen - I knew I was saying something wrong but I couldn't work out how to fix it.

I didn't even realise until I was halfway home and thinking how well the interview had gone.

I didn't get the job. Luckily I got a much better one a few weeks later, but I still cringe thinking about it.

BillOddiesBeard England Mon 26-Nov-12 19:52:02

Many years ago I went for a promotion interview within the area of criminal justice I was working at the time.

Interview was going well and the then they asked me to discuss "the peace process". As the Northern Ireland troubles were still in the headlines at the time I whittered on about the troubles trying not to be too political (not the done thing to be too "political" in a job interview within the civil service) obviously not picking up on their hmm faces.

They quickly wound up the interview and thanked me for my time and I spent the next 2 weeks telling any one who would listen about the very odd question they ended the interview on...my, then, boss finally, very kindly, took me to one side and told me they had asked me to discuss PACE process - the core framework of police powers and safeguards around stop and search, arrest, detention, investigation, identification and interviewing detainees.

Yep that made more sense.........didn't get the job grin
I am still cringing typing this 15 years on blush

We're never going to hear about the potato.

It's the bits of fabric in the wedding invite all over again...

Arithmeticulous Mon 26-Nov-12 19:59:29

I have also burst into tears at the beginning of an interview - oh the embarrassment blush

I have been interviewed by someone who spent the entire interview ranting about the unfairness of a recent industry takeover and how he'd rather employ people made redundant in that, than new inexperienced graduates. Like me.

I went on what I thought was a quick hour interview only to find it was a whole day, multiple interviews and presentations, lunch with senior staff jobby ... again [cringe]

YouBrokeMySmoulder Mon 26-Nov-12 20:07:48

YankTee i think without any more specific information the take home message has to be - be wary of office that use potatoes as doorstops.

pleasestoparguing Mon 26-Nov-12 20:27:47

This is a great thread and has had me PMSL esp the potato and the fire alarm - thank you for ceering me up - i applied for a job last week and haven'e been invited to interview I'm thinking now that I've been let off lightly!!!

I think you may be right, YouBroke.

bialystockandbloom Mon 26-Nov-12 20:36:17

I had an interview for an editorial job at the National Trust magazine years ago straight after graduating - absolute dream job at the time. First time I'd ever worn a suit, and even put on some pearls in keeping with the organisation.

Interview panel of three, including unbelievably posh triple-barrelled guy who I think was the editor-in-chief, a HR lady bedecked in Laura Ashley, and the lovely but very genteel and ladylike editor.

I'd written some bs on my cv about how I was planning to launch a new type of magazine pretentious 21 year old twat. Obv was asked about it and I waffled on about how it was a new type of magazine aimed at a more thinking young women, going against the grain of stuff like Cosmo which was all (and I quote):

"feminism on one page, then how to give your boyfriend a blowjob on the next"

The silence must have lasted 5 minutes. Genuinely, no-one knew what to say.

blush blush God almighty that was 20 years ago and I still go hot thinking about it.

cantfindamnnickname Mon 26-Nov-12 20:37:01

I went for a job interview as a newly qualified Solicitor working in a large legal 500 commerical firm.
I sat down and was interviewed by the partner and HR woman and almost as soon as I sat down he started arguing with everything that I said. He would ask me questions and then not like my answers and would say i was wrong.
HE then told me i should be grateful that i would be seconded to Scotland for weeks at a time - I thought id blown it by this point so told him i wouldnt be going anywhere as i had a young child.
I then managed to insult him and implied that he was really old at which point the HR woman was in hysterics.
I left the interview thinking id blown it but i got a call from the agency saying i was the best candidate that theyd ever interviewed - they wanted me to argue - i was after all going to be a lawyer in a commercial firm - they wanted to know what i was made of! Told me not to worry about Scotland I wouldnt have to go.
I declined the job preferring to accept something closer to home but it was an experience

cantfindamnnickname Mon 26-Nov-12 20:38:44

And another interview i went for the interviewer was harassed as nobody had turned up for work and the phones were ringing and ringing. She answered 1 call and they were still ringing - I answered the other one and took a message from their most difficult client who was really arsey.

I was offered the job on the spot!

Never fallen over a potato though?

noblegiraffe Mon 26-Nov-12 20:45:24

Oh god I am actually crying with laughter about the teacher who went on about stupid children. The rest of the thread got me warmed up though. Brilliant.

notjustamummythankyou Mon 26-Nov-12 20:46:03

Over 20 years ago, I went for a job as office manager for a privately run museum. The interview was conducted by the owner's accountants.

It was awful.

Three suits sitting opposite me, one smoking a pipe all the way through and not a smile between them. After being quizzed about my experience, they asked me if went out during the week. Did I have a boyfriend? Did I realise that I would have to work late sometimes, and that my social life may not be able to come first?

This was the early 1990's, not the 1970s. I was absolutely dumbstruck and, as a mere youngster with less than worldly experience, I didn't know what to say and couldn't wait to leave. I was sooo disappointed, because I really wanted that job.

How times change . . . thank god. And how I'd like to go back there now that I'm older and gobbier, and leave with a cutting comment or three.

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 26-Nov-12 21:00:17

I love this thread, especially as that garrulous eejit who impersonates me and turns up in the interview room instead of me seems to be in good company!

Dotnet, sounds like you had a lucky escape - we all know about John Prescott and his secretary...

LongStory Mon 26-Nov-12 21:02:47

I turned up a day late to a two-day civil service assessment centre. It was in the middle of my uni finals, to be fair.... am still cringing...

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 26-Nov-12 21:05:41

My worst experiences? One interview where I went round in circles with my answer then petered out and said "I'm sorry, that was rubbish, can I try again?"

And the one where the interviewer started with the usual questions about whether you are ok to proceed, and said "nothing you need to tell us, your cat hasn't died this morning or anything, eh?". No. But one of my former colleagues had passed away that morning... I decided not to tell him (imagining the tumbleweed that would roll through the interview room)

neuroticmumof3 Mon 26-Nov-12 21:08:31

Never mind the potato, I need an explanation about the 'perfume shop'. I'm baffled.

In the 80s I worked as a secretary and at interviews I was often asked when I was going to get married/have children, or as one put it 'you won't do anything silly like go and get married will you?'. One wanted to know if I was good at making tea, I said I was better at coffee. I didn't get the job.

oldsilver Honduras Mon 26-Nov-12 21:26:03

Well where do we start.

The first ever job interview I went to, I go into the Head of HR's office and there are pictures of naked women all over the walls. I was 17. He then proceeded to ask me why I wanted that job cause soon I would be married and pregnant, and not even in that order shock I got into an argument with the interviewer as to why any of that was relevant as I was only 17 and didn't even have a boyfriend yet grin

Then there was the one where even though I check and double check and triple check my CV, for some reason I got my date of birth wrong and it made me 1 year old hmm

Followed a few years later by having to interview for my own job due to company merger. So, I thought it would be a good idea to go out the night before, just for a couple, where I managed to get totally ratarsed, fell over in the local late night take-away and got taken to A&E, in an ambulance, to have my head stitched together. I got home in time to have a shower and get to work about an hour late. Full-on black eye, four stitches and I'm not completely sure I'd sobered up by this point.

Disclaimer : I have no idea what came over me, I am NEVER this irresponsible.

Two of the jobs I got.

oldsilver Honduras Mon 26-Nov-12 21:32:49

Oh and forgot the one where I turned up and hour and half late cause I got lost. I had to ring up DP to come and rescue me in absolute tears. I couldn't phone them as the only number was an office number and they were interviewing elsewhere and there was noone in the office to answer the phone - got that one two grin

oldsilver Honduras Mon 26-Nov-12 21:39:20

hmm too that should be.

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Mon 26-Nov-12 21:39:48

Not me, but a friend. One of those mass interviews where they put all 60 candidates in a room together and fire questions at them one by one. Friend was asked why, given that her degree was in Religious Studies with Theatre Studies, she was applying for work as a science editor. She told them - in front of the other 59 candidates - that 'yeah you're right I think science is really boring but my degree taught me how to pretend to have an believe in almost anything'... and out of all 60 candidates, she got the job...

hk78 Mon 26-Nov-12 21:46:09

ha yes oldsilver i had a similar nightmare. i had been out of work for a while and was forced to attend 'jobclub' lol remember that?! anyway, they very kindly offered to re-do my cv for me as it would be the answer to all my prayers, yes I soon got a phone call asking me to interview...

To gales of laughter the interviewer said 'well we had to see you hk78 as you are obviously so clever.....all these qualifications and you are only 3 weeks old" yes, the jobcentre had improved my cv no end by putting my date of birth as being that year instead of 20 years before. cheeks burning just at the memory. no, I didn't get it.


babytrasher Mon 26-Nov-12 21:48:10

Many horrors to report, but still cringe at:

**Striding confidently into interview room, going for instant eye contact with guy in the centre of the table - and not seeing a low table of company brochures. Shouting "Fuck!" as I hit the floor probably did not help. No job sad.

**Initial interview with a US Govt agency across a secure video link (don;t worry, nothing spooky!!). After staring at a blank screen for 15 minutes while a technician frantically prodded buttons, I expressed the opinion that this particular organisation was made up entirely of self-abusers who would not be able to lay on an orgy in a brothel. Whereupon a disembodied voice announced, "Ma'am, the video may be fritz-ed, but the audio works just fine!". No job sad.

**(This happened to brother) Walked into interview; whereupon panel member leapt to her feet and shouted, "You! What are you doing here? Have you no shame?" (or some such), then stormed out. He swears he had never seen her before ... No job for him either sad.

NewRowSees Mon 26-Nov-12 22:01:33

OK, how about this:

I went into a final interview feeling pretty confident - I was pretty much over-qualified and had got on really well with all the people I met in the early stages. So when the MD asked me 'so you're a bit of a Trekky then?' I was happy to prattle on about the relative merits of The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine for a few minutes.

I realised as I went on that he'd actually asked me if I was much of a techie, which would make much more sense in the context! I didn't hear anything for the rest of the interview, and backed out of the room beetroot red. Never heard back from them, and I was glad of it too!

brimfullofasha Mon 26-Nov-12 22:37:08

I once got asked in an interview for a Christmas job in a shop 'if you were a piece of furniture what would you be and why?' I think I said 'a table' - I can't remember why!

I interviewed a candidate recently for a support worker type job and he said he couldn't give any examples of his previous work as he didn't want to break confidentiality. He meant well but it was pretty hard to assess his experience!

chunkythighs Mon 26-Nov-12 22:41:01

As a teenager I was working in a shop for a pair of knobs. I HATED this couple but couldn't afford to leave unless I had another one lined up. I landed an interview and asked one of the bosses <aka mr knob>if I could attend a 'doctors appointment'.

So off I trot to the interview, all was going well......right up to the point where mr knob walked into the interview and sat beside the interviewer. faced with a situation i was unable to bullshit my way out of, I started to laugh- and couldn't stop. To the point that mr knob got annoyed and left the room. When the interview finished, I grabbed a swift vodka and went back to my old job as if nothing happened.

Funny enough he never asked me about it and i never brought it up either. I worked for them for another few months before I got another job. I would chew my arm off before I would work for a family run business again.

WeezyPeezy Mon 26-Nov-12 22:46:21

Oh MsFanackerPants I cannot stop laughing!!!!!! grin

sleepneeded Mon 26-Nov-12 22:49:23

My one - I got asked to speak about my current work arrangements and another office that I had done work with - and so without outing myself let me just say that due to nerves instead of saying

"as well as working with the London office I work with the Nairobi office"

except it should not have been Nairobi - I should have said

"as well as working with the London office I work with the Nebraska office".

Total nightmare and I kept repeating the error and the person who was interviewing knew where I worked and knew the geographical locations and just thought I was a nutter as even when he tried to correct me and say don't you mean Nebraska not Nairobi I kept going on about Nairobi and the challenges of Nairobi....there was and never has been a Nairobi office.

I didn't even get the cities and continents correct. grin

I can laugh about it now but I didn't get the job!!! Such a funny thread.

BrittaPerry Mon 26-Nov-12 22:57:10

Potato and perfume - answers required! grin

YouBrokeMySmoulder Mon 26-Nov-12 23:12:06

I am going with apothecary. Or she was employed as a lush. confused

YouBrokeMySmoulder Mon 26-Nov-12 23:14:47

Also cheapsmells.com or dutyfreeperfume.co.uk Am I close? Am I?

WeezyPeezy Mon 26-Nov-12 23:28:50

My auntie was really late for an interview with a genuine but ridiculous sounding excuse and amazingly got the job. On her first day she went out at lunch time and was run over!! (Luckily mostly hurt pride). She told nobody as she didn't want to sound like a drama queen and spent all afternoon with ripped tights and a muddy suit pretending nothing was wrong. She's now the boss. grin

freddiemed Mon 26-Nov-12 23:53:13

I once interviewed a candidate for a junior finance job, at the end of the interview I asked her what her notice period was, she told me and then added that she actually wouldn't be able to start a job for about six weeks as she was having a boob job and would be a bit sore! confused

RobinSucks Mon 26-Nov-12 23:59:45

As a teen I saw an ad in Blockbuster's window saying 'apply within', so I popped in and they said to come back at 5pm or whenever to interview. I said 'oh, have you got the time now?' as in, what time is it, trying to be polite though. The woman got really annoyed, saying 'no I don't have the time, I just said come back later'. Of course I made it worse.... pointing at my wrist, 'no, I mean, have you got the time now', anything rather than seem rude just saying what time is it! After asking about 4 times (this was before mobiles and I've never worn a watch!) I eventually got it from her and wondered off to sit on a bench for 4 hours. Didn't get the job, surprisingly!

Once an agency called with details of a nanny job, in central London so 90 mins travel from me- which is a lot when the job is a 12 hour day!- I eventually met the mum in a coffee shop after spending about £15 over tubes, trains and 2 buses to get there. turns out the job was pretty much a check list of things I'm not looking for in a job- shared care, nannyshare, older children, having to get a taxi between two family's homes each day, half the pay the agency told me, a driving role.... essentially the worst job possible. that one was the worst, but if I was to list every agency job I've been sent to which was unsuitable (or I was) I'd be here all day!

Oh and there was the babysitting I turned up for when after being there 5 mins the mum waltzed out of the bathroom starkers, graciously asked if I needed anything then slowly walked back in..... not an interview as such but unexpected! I never sat for the family again!

RobinSucks Tue 27-Nov-12 00:05:27

Oh OH! I forgot this one. I worked in a nursery with the managers office located in the 3-4 room, it had windows on each wall facing the room so barely separate. Very, very high staff turnover (awful place) so there were often interviews going on. Once an older woman came in, manager took her though and closed the door. Suddenly this woman started sobbing! No idea what manager had asked, was very soon after they got in so must have been question 1 or 2. With the door shut you can't hear speech but we could all hear this woman becoming more and more hysterical. We took the kids out, they could hear her and it was very weird. Woman was gone when we got back, no idea what happened as the manager never spoke to any of us but 'the chosen ones'. Ah, what a fun place to work that was!

Want2bSupermum Tue 27-Nov-12 00:10:10

Interviewed with huge investment bank in NY that I had previously worked after graduation. The lady accused me of lying on my resume because I had the bank listed as a previous employer and she insisted I was only a temp and should list the agency, not the bank.

I had been offered a perm graduate position which they rescinded due to the crash in 2001. Instead of a payout I asked for 6 months of paid work. They agreed and sent me an employment contract didn't say anything about me being a temporary employee or my term of employment being limited to 6 months. My pay came from the bank and were directly deposited into my bank account and I was paid a bonus.

While others might have been a little shy, I went nuts and walked out of the interview. I already had her business card so I sent her an email with the employment contract attached and a note to say that I expected an apology for her attack on my integrity.

I still cringe when I think back to my reaction. I shouldn't have lost my temper.

Silibilimili Tue 27-Nov-12 00:41:39

I went in for an initial interview soon after graduating at a massive multinational. It was an aptitude test.
The office they put me in had lights that operate by movement. So in this 30 mins or so test, every 3 mins the lights would go off and I had to wave about to make then work again as they were operated by motion sensors.

I spent most of my time operating the light and getting irritated. I did not pass the test.

sausagesandwich34 Tue 27-Nov-12 00:49:23

I went for an interview nearly 9 years ago when DD2 was 10 wks old so I had massive sleep deprevation and baby brain

the open comment from the interviewer was

'I'm don't have time for long drawn out bullshit interviews and I'm sure you don't either so I'll ask you a question, you have 3 seconds to start talking or I move on to the next question'

he then proceeded to rapid fire questions at me talking at a million miles an hour

in my sleep deprived manic state I answered the first couple and then started randomly firing back questions at him

'do you carry out all your interviews like this?'
'do many people turn you down if you offer them a job?'
'if the interview is bullshit, does that mean the job is too?' -yes really

he then laughed, told me I was fiesty and that's what the business needed -when could I start?

I didn't give him an answer there and then but accepted the job 2 days later I was desperate as DP got made redundant while I was on mat leave but I'm still there now

he's still a prat though grin

I went to an interview when I was about 18 and all the way through, the woman was looking at me like >>>hmm

I got out and nipped the toilet only to discover I had only put mascara and eyeliner on one eye in my rush to get out to the interview... I looked like a prize knobber! I did get the job though...

Chottie Tue 27-Nov-12 03:25:11

I am someone else who suffers from major interview nerves, so I have loved reading all your posts.

Morloth Tue 27-Nov-12 04:15:35

My worst interview was when I had a really bad case of strep throat. I was having the most violent reaction to the anti-biotics. So I dosed myself up with panadol and ibuprofen and immodium and hoped for the best.

I got there early and spent as much time in the loo as I could, blagged my way through the interview while mostly thinking, don't poo don't poo don't chuck don't poo and then as soon as we had done the whole handshake and see you out thing, I ran to the bathroom and was violently and explosively ill (both ends).

Got offered the job, so I probably deserve a Oscar for the interview. I ended up with a better offer though which was probably just as well because I probably wouldn't want to ever see that bathroom again...

LadybirdsAreFab Tue 27-Nov-12 05:36:37

3 come to mind.

I had one interview and the interviewer fell asleep. I walked out and never heard a thing back. I have seen him at social occasions and he doesn't remember me.

Another one where the interviewer stood up mid interview, opened the window and lit a cigarette. This was about 3 years ago, didn't ask me if I minded. At the end of the interview he said, I would love to offer you the job as you are perfect for the job but everyone here is a different nationality and I really need someone of the same nationality (I live overseas where there are no laws about discrimination).

I have also been interviewed for the wrong job, I had the time and location correct they had sent out the wrong times to everyone. I was the first to be interviewed so they corrected it for everyone else. They asked if I wanted to come back but I was offered a better job the next day.

firefliesinjune Tue 27-Nov-12 06:49:14

I used to work in a fancy dress shop. A man came in and requested to try on a "batman" outfit. I got the costume and showed him the changing rooms. A moment later he called me over and flung open the curtain to show me his "amazing" manhood. I was totally used to being "flashed" in this job. I just politely asked him to put it away and he did. He left quietly.

I left this job a few months later and applied for a job in Dorothy Perkins. When I got called in for the interview it was the Batman flasher doing the interview.

I asked if he remembered me. He didnt. I told him I was changing jobs to avoid dirty flashers like him so obviously I would not be needing the job.

He was a bit blush

LadybirdsAreFab Tue 27-Nov-12 06:56:15

Just remembered another one, this one was in the UK. I was being interviewed for an Admin role at a company that produced pallets. Towards the end of the interview he asked me what I liked to do on holiday but before I could say anything he said he liked to look for pallets when he was abroad and take pictures, he then took out his photo album of pallets to show me. He was almost drooling over the photos. I humored him but when I was offered a second interview, I declined.

Euphemia France Tue 27-Nov-12 06:59:33

babytrasher those are gold! grin

mortimersraven Tue 27-Nov-12 07:00:01

Another vomiter here blush

I hadn't realised it's such a common thing to do! Mine wasn't through nerves but thanks to food poisoning.

I still got the job - Skype interviews hide all manner of sins grin

Flossiechops Tue 27-Nov-12 07:07:06

Oh god, I know a perfect job is gong to be advertised soon in my organization (nhs) it's a high level and I know I can do the job well BUT I hate interviews!! Glad to hear its not just me grin

Euphemia France Tue 27-Nov-12 07:13:08

I'm bloody relieved that after four years of trying I finally have a permanent post! No more interviews ever, yay! grin

DownTheRabidHole Tue 27-Nov-12 08:03:50

fireflies shock

Just remembered another one, I had an interview during one of my manic bipolar phases - I was a bit Spud from Trainspotting and I kept looking around his office and seeing things I wanted to take home. So I simply said "I like that, can I have it?" - and left with a bulging handbag.

Needless to say I didn't get the job - and whilst we shouldn't laugh at the mentally ill -even I think that's funny.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Tue 27-Nov-12 08:55:01

Awake in the night, puzzling over the perfume shop - pleeeeeeeeeeeeease reveal the job title?

Chopsypie Tue 27-Nov-12 09:00:42

I had to re interview for my own position last year during a period of redundancies.It was the 3rd roundwe had been trhough, and our client had form for making them push it through as quickly as possible. I was called in whilst on Maternity leave (baby was 2 months old) and had the interview with HR and the contract manager.
I proceeded to rip everything about the process, their attitude and the contract to shreds. Almost made the HR lady cry and I could see the contract manager getting angrier and angrier. In the end I walked out.

Luckily, the contract manager liked 'that I was prepared to fight to see things done properly' and offered me a new position on more money, more hours and working directly with him. So it worked out well. He still teases me about it.

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Tue 27-Nov-12 09:10:09

DownTheRabidHole did you give the stuff back afterwards?!

I worked for a recruitment agency for a few months after uni and there were a fair few shocking candidates but the worst was a man who called me over to help with his paperwork because he had too many criminal convictions to fit into the allocated space, and should he start with the most recent or the most serious? He then described each one in rather horrid detail. I was sitting next to him feeling more and more creeped out and my colleagues were looking on like this shock We did not put him on our books...

The same man came back a couple of weeks later with a plaster cast on his arm. I asked what had happened and he quite cheerfully told me how he'd hit his girlfriend so she threw him out and he needed a place to sleep so tried to climb up the outside of an empty house to break in through an upstairs window but fell off and broke his wrist. I didn't know what to say to that!

FakeGingerbreadHouse Tue 27-Nov-12 09:19:35

The Potato story for those who have been wondering....

I was going for a job at a shop (which didn't sell potatoes, just to add to the mystery). It was quite a quick interview and they offered me the job on the spot. I was delighted because I would be able to get out of the horrible job I was currently in. We did the whole standing up/shaking hands thing and the manager opened the door for me to leave his office.

I walked out and suddenly felt myself sliding about 6 feet across the corridor. All comedy arms flailing and trying to keep balance. After the epic skid I thought I had avoided falling completly on my arse but no, at the last second I went down. Hard.

I did the very british laugh it off thing and jumped straight back up. The manager was just kind of standing there with his mouth open looking at me then the floor where there was a large, partially mouldy (and now pretty squashed) potato. One of the other staff ran up all apologies and "i don't know how that got there". I made some joke about getting off to a good start before I scurried out of there.

I worked there for 2 years and the potato was never mentioned, nor did I see one anywhere near the building. My theroy is now that one of the other staff had put it there to trick the (not very liked) manager.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 27-Nov-12 09:21:57

grin I'd started worrying you routinely carried a lucky potato and had dropped it on the way in.

veinsofredbull Tue 27-Nov-12 09:26:13

I went for a promotion and was interviewed by colleagues I knew fairly well. There were a few tricky questions around how to handle discounting and my mind went BLANK. Couldn't do anything in my head, couldn't think, started to sweat and stammer, it was awful. One of them took pity on me and said "so in this case you'd just offer half of the usual 16%" and I said "so you'd just give 9%?". shock I couldn't even halve 16.blush
And the job? Commercial manager in a major multinational. I was a shambles. Didn't get it, but they were kind about my feedback and said that perhaps a less pressured role might be better...

dolcelatte Tue 27-Nov-12 09:27:39

I have had two interesting experiences. The first was when I applied for a position as a Crown Counsel in Hong Kong, some years ago. I Was advised that a young girl like me couldnt be considered as there were too many rough Australians in HK.

More recently I interviewed someone for aa job as a solicitor. I think he meant to say that he had not had an opportunity in his current position to impress the partners with his work by working closely with them. However, he kept saying that he had not Ben given sufficient opportunities to expose himself to the partners. I had to pretend I had to take an urgent call and cut short the interview as I couldnt stop laughing.

He didn't get the job !

BumBiscuits Tue 27-Nov-12 09:42:53

I'd left in plenty of time for my interview, but stopped for some breath mints on the way there. Got to the multi-storey carpark next to the interview location and all the pay machines on my level were broken. The car park attendant told me there was a working machine on the ground floor. I didn't have time and offered him the cash to do it for me, explaining I had an interview. He said don't worry, don't pay, I'll not ticket you the star good luck with the job.

I got to the reception at bang on the interview start time, not good. Then the bloke at reception had no idea who my interviewers were and so couldn't find them, and had no interest in trying to do so. I was in a real fluster by now. I called the agents who'd sent me and they found him. The other person doing the interview was from a different office/company.

I explained at the start of the interview that I'd been there in plenty of time but reception kept me waiting for ages blush . I still got the job.

NiniLegsInTheAir Tue 27-Nov-12 09:43:11

I've had a few bad interviews over the years, normally when I've been added to the list just to 'fill numbers'.

After graduating I attempted to get a job as a trainee librarian at my local library. Ended up sat in front of a panel of 10 very tight-lipped stereotypical librarians, in a massive hall, where they made me read a kids' book aloud. They told me I didn't 'project my voice enough'. hmm Then mentioned they were interviewing 30 people for this job and not to expect a phonecall as I wouldn't be getting it.

Then there was the interview for one of the large government departments where I was told they were tight on time so when the fire alarm went off, they made me carry on with my presentation (trying to talk through the noise is impossible, obviously). The whole situation was made even worse by the fact that this interview was for a job in their health and safety team...hmm

BumBiscuits Tue 27-Nov-12 09:44:50

When I lived in Oz I went for an interview and was told at the interview that although I was a good candidate he wanted to employ an Australian not a foreigner.

EwanHoozami Iran Tue 27-Nov-12 09:47:04

grin at fireflies batman.

I did once sit in front of a panel including the man I'd just yelled at for not indicating as he turned into a nearby road nearly running me over.

BumBiscuits Tue 27-Nov-12 09:50:01

I had an interview about 20 years ago. While I was waiting the receptionist said to me "just a wee warning, Mr Smith who is interviewing you is massively fat, letting you know so you don't get a shock when you see him".

He was indeed, vast. He could hardly put one foot in front of the other, it was a real shame.

Halfway through the interview, I thought about the receptionist and her earnest warning, and took a fit of the giggles. That was it, I struggled to answer any more questions, tears were rolling down my face and my shoulders were shaking.

I didn't get that job.

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Tue 27-Nov-12 09:56:25

^Bartimaeus - what is the correct way to react when your interviewer does that? It probably wouldn't happen in my line of work, but I'd still like to know!
Do you sit patiently? Tell them they're being rude? Whip your own phone out and start a game of tetris?!^

They call this interview the "role play" where you explain to the candidate the role play and then you get really arsy and see how they react to their "client". However, we've been told to start the whole thing earlier without the candidate being warned.

The idea is that the candidate should remain calm and polite. Be able to engage in small talk and stay smiling. The personal phone call won't last more than a couple of minutes, so afterwards the candidate needs to keep the conversation going.

So when I had this interview, my interviewer came to fetch me from the waiting room, then walked off really fast so I was literally running after him. Then he took the stairs instead of the lift (again I had to run) and all the time he was moaning about this being a waste of his time. I just sympathised saying it must be tough and asking what project he's working on at the moment etc. Afterwards he told me that was really good - you've got to be able to keep the conversation going basically.

During the role play, if the "client" starts answering his phone/emails etc. you should politely ask if you should come back at a later time when it's more convenient. But you should never get arsy.

DreamingofSummer Tue 27-Nov-12 09:57:26


a slight digression, but a very good female friend of mine was once driving back to work after lunch and was cut-up and sworn at by a young, gobby, sexist lad in a young, gobby, sexist lad's car.

My friend's first job after lunch was to meet a sales rep who turned out to be young, gobby, sexist lad. Unsurprisingly, he didn't get the sale and his company was told why.

Finally the potato mystery solved! Sort of... grin

boaty England Tue 27-Nov-12 10:21:20

My first ever interview for a job was in 1985 aged 18, I had applied for a civilian clerical post on a Army base, I tripped over the step into the room and landed in a heap before the panel of 3 interviewers....I then babbled away like some sort of demented idiot! They asked why I wanted the post I replied because my step father says if I don't get this job I have 2 weeks to get out!I still cringe thinking about it! blush

senoritachiquita Tue 27-Nov-12 10:23:26

When I was about 20 I went for a job as an office manager. I was wearing trousers and the guy told me 'of course you'll be wearing a skirt to work - I want a woman to look like a woman!'
Oddly, I turned it down.

I also several years ago, after studying Arabic at uni, got an interview for a dream job at BBC Arabic World Service. I was so nervous in the interview and was supposed to display lots of cultural knowledge about Islam and the Middle East.
They asked me 'Why is today significant for Arabs?'
I racked my brains but all I could think of was 'Today is George Bush's inauguration as President'
They looked at me like hmm
Afterwards I realised it was Eid that day (only the most important religious festival in the entire Muslim calendar)
Mortifying. Didn't get the job.

snuffaluffagus Tue 27-Nov-12 11:34:46

I've just remembered the interview I went to when I was about 21 for a PR job. It was only afterwards that I realised the shirt I was wearing was rather see through.. I only checked after wondering why the woman who was interviewing me's eyes kept darting down. I didn't get that one (even though I have a very fine pair).

God I hate interviews!
I once went through 5 stages of interviews for what was, at the time, my dream job.. not cheap as it involved the train from the further side of Kent into London each time. at each point was told how suitable I was; great insight, contacts, viewpoint, expertise.. I sooo thought it was in the bag...
got to the final stage, the interview with one of the founders.... the one thing I had chosen to ignore about this company is that they all do strong man/marathons/dangerous ironing/charity sahara yomps in their spare time.. he took one look at me, made small talk for all of 5 minutes, wished me luck in the future and left.
I am a size 16, there is not a sporty/get fit/run a marathon gene in my body

Cheryllittle1 Tue 27-Nov-12 11:55:11

I stopped off at the petrol station on the way to my job interview. i must have not put the nozzle in the hole properly because a massive gush of petrol squirted out and completely soaked me. The whole of the front of my clothes and my suit were covered. I was dripping petrol. No time to go home I carried on to my interview. Luckily it was an hour away so I had time to dry before I got there, I was pleased to see that the petrol was invisible on my grey suit but I absolutely stank of petrol.

They did ask me back for a second interview...

oh, and the making up numbers one too...
about 10 years ago I was invited to apply for an event managers job, well within my abilities (I thought at the time) but this was just to make up the numbers.
the 20 minutes or so in the interview was spent with the entirely male panel talking amongst themselves not listening to the responses to questions asked, I did also get the chestnut about plans to start a family, attitude to maternity leave etc
did also get a comment on leaving about being dressed like a proper girl (I had a dress and jacket on....)
I am now a board member of this charity, all those on that panel have gone and the man who got the job? well I'm going to see him at 1 today about the cock up he is making of another event..
revenge is sweet, even from 10 years ago
I will be nice, I promise

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 27-Nov-12 12:03:18

I've just had an email asking about a job that I do freelance. I presume that the new job would be full-time - he didn't link to the job but I've found it on their website, and there are two rounds of interviews as well as a presentation.

I can't do interviews. I always mess them up. I look younger than I sound, so people expect someone older, and my talent is not talking.

These stories have made me ten times more nervous. Arrrggghhh!

Chery - Some people like the smell of petrol - maybe it made you stand out?! The grey suit sounds like a fantastic buy!

PlaySchool Tue 27-Nov-12 12:07:37

I once had an interview at a local authority in Cheshire. I was working in Liverpool as a Town Planner. The interviewer said "I don't suppose you have much experience in the private residential sector as everyone in Liverpool lives in Council houses."

I was so shock that I couldn't take the rest of the interview seriously. I didn't get the job.

chocolatesolveseverything Tue 27-Nov-12 12:41:38

I've worked in HR for 9 years so have seen some hilarious interview moments, but my own embarrassing moment was as follows:

Going for an important job interview, I arrived early and was busting for the loo so tried to find one before reporting to reception. But a helpful member of staff caught me and ushered me to a seat before I had chance and I was too nervous to say anything. I was then asked to fill out a load of forms whilst waiting, and hadn't finished when somebody walked over, shook my hand, explained they were the lead interviewer and said they were ready for me now. I was just about ready to wet myself so my only response was to stammer out, "can I go to the toilet first?"

I got the job and that lead interviewer was my boss for a happy 4.5 years :-)

Mu1berries Tue 27-Nov-12 12:56:54

I onnce said that my interests were astrology and the supernatural. i didn't get that job.

minifingers Tue 27-Nov-12 13:36:30

Sometimes a bad job interview can be a blessing - if you're being interviewed for a job you really shouldn't have applied for in the first place.

I got called for interview for a high pressure teaching job I knew in my heart of hearts I probably wasn't up to. I went to the doctors and got beta-blockers to help with my nerves, and then performed like a champ in the interview (which involved two separate sessions with the interviewing panel, plus being observed teaching an A-level class. The kids got to give their opinion as to which teacher they'd like best). I got offered the job, which I accepted. And then lasted only 5 weeks before crumbling into an incompetent heap and opting to leave.

There was also the internal job where my manager had already clearly made up his mind to employ the other internal candidate, (who I'm willing to admit was better than me - I would have employed her over me too!), and did every thing he could to put me off my stride so I'd make a mess of things. He was ostentatiously looking at his watch all the way through (or at least when I was talking) and asking stupid open-ended questions which invited me to waffle (of course I obliged!). Horrible. I was traumatised by the experience for about two years.

niceguy2 Tue 27-Nov-12 13:50:13

This one wasn't myself but one where my OH recently was the interviewer.

Candidate comes in, slightly ruffled but noone really bats an eyelid since nervous candidates are common. She has to do a short computer test at the end of which OH takes her to the interview room. On the way she noticed the lady only had one shoe on. Assumed she had some sort of medical/foot issue.

Anyway, during the interview the other interviewer asks "Do you mind if I ask you why you've only got one shoe on?"

The lady replies "OMG! I've lost my shoe! Where's my shoe???"

She didn't get the job.

EggNogRules Tue 27-Nov-12 14:00:21

DownTheRabidHole were you a Penhaligon(er), Liberty(ine)? <making financial functions up>

CajaDeLaMemoria - this thread should make you feel better. Lots of people have felt like they have messed up and yet have got the job. Go to the loo, check your mirror and leave your potato (and other tripping hazards) at home.

I am giving serious thought to taking larrygrylls's advice and getting in touch with a 'what was all that about?' and asking for another try. In the meantime I am checking my phone every minute.

JuliaScurr Tue 27-Nov-12 14:04:13

grin arf @ willy gubbins

leave your potato at home

Howling so loud I woke the baby! hmm

Kendodd Tue 27-Nov-12 15:20:31

I fear this might out me but...

A friend of mine went to an interview with his toddlers poo in his pocket (he didn't know it was there). He was in reception waiting to be called in when he smelt something, he tracked the smell down to his pocket, put his hand in his pocket and there it was, now all over his fingers. Just then the person interviewing him came out and held out his hand to shake hands. My friend had to confess that one of his kids had pooed in his pocket so he couldn't shake hands. After sorting himself out a bit he went into the interview and the panel of three were just trying their best not to laugh the whole time.

He got the job!

chocolatesolveseverything Tue 27-Nov-12 15:24:11

kendodd that's hilarious!

Haven't read all the thread yet - but will go back once I've typed this because this is a great thread.

My worst interview was yet another agency interview for a completely unsuitable role. The agency insisted on sending me to jobs, describing them as perfect for me, and then when I actually turned up for interview, it quickly became clear that neither I nor the client were suited. I'd usually cut the interview short and apologise for wasting time. For some reason a couple of them still tried to get me to work for them even when I'd said no.

But that's nowhere near as bad as an interview my colleague had. It was for a union organisation that shall remain nameless. This organisation believed in complete fairness, so whilst sat outside the room, waiting for the interview to start, my colleague was handed a sheet of paper with a list of questions. He had to go into the room, in front of a panel of three people, and answer each question in turn. The people in the room did not speak to him, not even to say hello, in case they ventured off script or made the interview biased in some way. He ran as fast as he could!

Selks Tue 27-Nov-12 15:50:06

Loving this thread!

Potatos, poo in pocket, lost shoes......chortle grin

Bearface Tue 27-Nov-12 15:50:45

This is such a funny thread.

Well, let's see . . .

There was the time I spilt my coffee all over the reception desk (receptionist was in the loo) and not being able to find anything to clear it up with used my hand to sweep it onto the floor. Just at this moment the CEO who was interviewing me appears and I have to tell him I can't shake his hand because I have coffee on it. Not as bad as the poo one from KenDodd.

Then there's the one where in response to something I'd asked the interviewer said, 'Look, I'm asking the questions, not you!' I can't even remember what it was I said, but I know it wouldn't have been crazy aggressive.

The one where my bra came undone at the back in the middle of the interview. That must ahve been funny to witness. I was very blush because I was so young but now, I would have trouble keeping a straight face.

The one where my underwire came out of my bra and I had to pull it out and discard it when they weren't looking. Dodgy bra central in my house . . .

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 27-Nov-12 15:56:11

Bearface - I wore an old school shirt to my first interview. I had bought a new bigger one, but managed to iron a hole in it.

School shirt burst just after the interviewer sat down. The button over my boobs popped off, and my shirt bulged open - and the button bounced around his desk. He gave it back to me. I was mortified.

(EggNog - Thank you. It looks like I might avoid an interview! I've just been asked about salary/start dates. Very nervous!)

complexnumber Tue 27-Nov-12 16:23:40

I went for an interview at a Uni to study a Chemistry degree. I don't really know why I was so startled when I was asked a question about chemistry, but I started my answer by stating that the chemical formula for water was
H O two. It all went downhill from there.

(I ended up doing a maths degree)

bitsnbobs Tue 27-Nov-12 16:27:27

My worst interview was for a job at a bakery. On the way off the bus the driver shut my face in the doors! So I had black lines down either side of my face. I then proceeded to fall down the subway steps and laddered my tights. When I got in for the interview I went to wait in an empty room I thought it would be a good idea to take tights off, on doing so I saw a CCTV looking down on me. Then the actual interview was done by a total perv of a man and I never got the job. So yes that was my worst interview EVER blush

Bearface Tue 27-Nov-12 16:43:36

Oh Caja and bitsnbobs - I'm roaring with laughter on my own here!

I've just thought of another one from not that long ago where the three interviewers couldn't have been less interested in me. It was for a teaching related job but in a high profile private company. One interviewer in particular was rolling her eyes, yawning and looking at her watch on several occasions, cutting short my answers, making rude, snotty, offhand comments to put me off, that kind of thing. Another bloke said at the start,' Don't worry, you just start without me. I'm going to get a drink. I've heard it all before.'

So, I thought, you're not getting away with this, making me come all this way (an hour and a half from home) and go to this trouble and expense and then treating me like this. So, having cottoned on fairly early on, I answered every question as fully as I could and ignored the woman who was cutting me off by interrupting her as politely as I could in order to extend my answers. Then at the end when they asked me if I had any questions I asked, 'What are your individual backgrounds then?' and they each had to tell me what qualified them to do their job, which as it turned out wasn't that much and I managed to make the interview overrun just to spite them. I know I should have left and it's a bit petty, but I wanted to make them squirm a but, which they did. Needless to say, I didn't get it, but I knew that within ten minutes of being there.

Bearface Tue 27-Nov-12 17:11:36

I'd forgotten the one where someone who interviewed me had odd shoes and her top on inside out. When she realised she laughed and apologised and said, 'That's what happens when you get dressed in the dark!'

YouCanBe Tue 27-Nov-12 17:44:49

I thought I had done Ok in the interview then looked down on the tube to see my shirt had popped open, two buttons, revealing my cleavage and bra to the world. They offered me the job and I decided it must have happened after I had left. Then four years later at my leaving do my perfectly respectful manager made an unexpected and unwanted very-drunken pass at me and said he would always remember my tits at the interview and my lovely underwear. I hope that wasn't why I got the job.

jen127 Tue 27-Nov-12 17:54:46

I was being interviewed for a job by two engineers - one I knew. I was about 23 and they asked me did I plan to have children? I asked if they asked the men they were interviewing that same question - they said no ? That the men were all single. I asked were they virgins ??
I didn't get that one !

goralka Surprisingly, no. Must have objected to their office smelling of puke or something?

chipping Aaaah well. I'll laugh next month grin

Silibilimili Tue 27-Nov-12 20:56:14

What a brilliant thread!

Lol at the poo in the jacket. How !?

ImperialBlether England Tue 27-Nov-12 21:16:04

I fell asleep in an interview when I was about 20.

It was a secretarial job, working for a large computer company, back when computers were the size of a warehouse. I made the mistake of asking him what he did in his job and I swear to god it was like a sleeping pill.

You know when you're on a train and you fall asleep and your head keeps jerking? And you drool and wipe your mouth with your hand? That was me.

ninah Tue 27-Nov-12 21:43:13

I had a teaching interview for a job I really wanted. I decided to do my lesson on shape and to hide all kinds of everyday shape objects in the outside environment so arranged to go in earlier and set up. Just before the interview started a dinner lady came through into the foyer clutching cuboids of custard powder and a toblerone box etc mutting I don't know how all this stuff gets in here

mummyonvalium Tue 27-Nov-12 21:47:51

My worst interview answer:

Interviewer asks me: "so do you know much about our firm, tell me what our specialty is?"

Me in a blank moment: "something beginning with e - got it employment law!"
(it was all I could think of beginning with e)

Did not get that job. Shame it was a really good one.

thecook Tue 27-Nov-12 22:09:50

I went for a job as a secretary/PA in a really posh club in London. Members included royalty. Early on that morning I had to drop two small cats I had found abandoned off at the vets to be neutered. Why I decided to tell the interviewing panel that one had done a poo in the taxi and how it stunk the taxi out I will never know. I didn't get the job.

FobblyWoof Tue 27-Nov-12 22:32:18

When I was 17 I went for an interview at a high street clothes shop. The questions weren't hard but I just couldn't think of anything to say, waffled on for a while and said "and things like that" after every bloody sentence.

What made it worse was that I knew I was doing it and cringed every time but just couldn't stop. I'm blush just thinking about it now

EggNogRules Tue 27-Nov-12 22:40:25

This thread is top of the discussions of the day on my luffly new Android app. That is going on my cv; don't they know who I am? grin (I suspect they dowink ).

They must let me down soon. Looking shoreward to their feedback. Things could have been much, much worse. I didn't have poo in my pocket; undies on show; a potato; the wrong date or time; a bucket of sick, etc... Off to bed. smile

Poo in my pocket;
Undies on show?

littlemrssleepy Tue 27-Nov-12 22:45:01

I once interviewed someone and started off the interview with the normal question "what appeals to you about the role". To which they replied, "To be honest with you, I was a bit surprised to get called to interview. I didn't apply for the job. I think my mum must have done it for me".

I went for a sales job when I was fresh out of University and anxiously asked the whole way through if it would be a problem if I wasn't very good at selling.

I mean 10/10 for honestly but how did I think that would come across? And then I was so gutted when I didn't get it! It took me a few years to look back and go "Ah, yes, I probably could have played that a bit differently". Yes I am a bit dense like that. blush

Silibilimili Tue 27-Nov-12 23:07:13

I have another one.

It's not an interview but a networking opportunity. So, after work, I go off to a talk by the institute of which I am a member to a swanky London venue. The talk goes nicely and it was fascinating. The guy doing the talk was a very distinguished person in the field. Old, bold (this is relevant) and not so tall. Nothing distinguished about his looks.

So after the talk there is a networking opportunity, a glass of wine and canapés.

I spot the speaker on his own. I make a beeline to go have a chat. Introduce myself. Say how great the talk was. The guy looks more and more confused. Then I see a light bulb moment happen with him. He say, 'you g lady, I think you think you are talking to the speaker'. blushblush
So by then there are 2 or three other blokes in our group, laughing. I've just had a glass and my reaction is to laugh and be embarrassed if that is possible.
I still cringe. Have not told anyone this in rl.

Silibilimili Tue 27-Nov-12 23:08:55

The speaker was actually talking to someone else in another corner. They both looked so different but for the short height and bold head. :-D

Marzipanface Tue 27-Nov-12 23:09:12

Interview in London for a research position. A large part of the role was being up to date with current affairs. This was before the days of smart phones/twitter and facebook btw.

I spent hours travelling up on train and when I arrived I was greeted by the director who would be interviewing me. He informed me my interview would be delayed and he was surprised I had still attended what with all the events taking place. Literally no idea what he was talking about...

Spent some time watching everyone panicking buzzing around on pcs and phones, staring out of windows at the nearby government buildings and generally being twitchy.

Still no idea...

I then had to convince them I was up to speed on current affairs despite having no fucking idea that the Twin Towers had gone down. I was told part way through the interview.

Mynewmoniker Wed 28-Nov-12 00:33:19

blush Blatently marking my place till I'm ready to confess about my interview.

Lavenderhoney Wed 28-Nov-12 05:38:45

Just rememebered one at a very smart private security company. Bloke interviewed me but really just wanted to tell me all about himself and how fab he was, and how the ladies threw themselves at him. he was not in anyway an adonis so I could feel myself starting to laugh inside but clearly he felt he could give George clooney a run for his money. He was awful, even telling me he would not sleep with the staff, so I if i had interviewed expecting that, I would be disappointed.. Just clamped my mouth shut. I was shaking with laughter and he didn't notice. He offered me the job as I was so understanding of his situation. I hardly spoke throughout the interviewsmile

Euphemia France Wed 28-Nov-12 07:18:00

Come on, Mynewmoniker, it's the end of Page 10 - no-one will even see it. wink

HardlyEverHoovers Wed 28-Nov-12 07:26:18

Fake, where was there a potato on the floor?

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Wed 28-Nov-12 10:04:18

Form the other side, DH once interviewed a woman who had "National karate champion" written on their CV under hobbies.

What a coincidence! DH is a 2nd Dan black belt and despite a heavy workload still managed to train 2 or 3 times a week this was before DS arrived

So he cheerfully asked her if she still does it. She proudly replied that she can't because of work commitments and how no-one could possibly juggle both. DH is polite but hmm saying he went last night.

Poor woman must have realised it was going to go wrong and he eventually discovered that she'd won a kata competition when she was 12 and hadn't done anymore in over 15 years! Yet still put it down as a hobby hmm

It got worse because she'd blagged her CV to make her role in her previous company sound better than it was...and unfortunately for her, DH knows exactly how the promotions pyramid works in that company because I work there! She did admit that she'd exagerated her CV slightly.

DH was very blush for her and tried to be as nice as possible, it was just her bad luck to be interviewed by him and not someone else who hadn't a scooby about karate or her previous company...

AlexanderS Wed 28-Nov-12 10:47:53

I once told an interviewer I'd had an STI blush.

It was years ago and due to my tendency to take things literally (think I'm on the autistic spectrum). I'd had the interview, for a job as a nursing auxiliary, and it'd gone really well - the panel said I was the first person they'd interviewed all day who'd actually understood what the job involved. After the interview my prospective new boss took me back out into the waiting room, asked me to fill out an occupational health form and stood there whilst I did it. The form asked had I ever had to visit a hospital and technically the answer was yes, because whilst I'd never had any operations or anything I'd gone to the GU clinic a few months before, but I knew it might mean had I ever stayed in hospital.

I could kick myself now for being so stupid, I should of course have just put no, but instead I said to this woman that I'd been to the GU clinic and should I put that down? Her answer? 'No. We've all been there, love'. She said it without thinking, I think, and then we were both completely embarrassed and unable to look each other in the eye. I couldn't get out there fast enough and, it goes without saying, didn't get the job.

That's the worst interview I've had, but some others have been not much better (including one out in the middle of nowhere where I left my purse on the bus and had to borrow money off the interviewer to get home).

Mu1berries Wed 28-Nov-12 10:52:08

omg!!! lol at borrowing money from the interviewer to get home!!

Mu1berries Wed 28-Nov-12 10:57:21

One from the other side of the desk here as a pp said. My brother interviewed a woman and she was really well qualified but a bit of a sheldon cooper. she said to him 'your glasses are awful'. He hired her and got new glasses.

Goldchilled7up Wed 28-Nov-12 11:03:49

Go on Myne I'm curious now smile

Jingleflobba Wed 28-Nov-12 11:04:11

I was once interviewed by a man who had read up on weird interview techniques and asked me to tell him a joke. Honestly my mind went blank and I couldn't remember a single clean joke! I goldfished at him for a minute before confessing that the only joke I could think of was unbelievably rude, he made me tell him anyway, laughed for ages at it and told me I would fit in perfectly! Got the job smile

StackOverflow Wed 28-Nov-12 11:21:33

As a new graduate, I attended my first interview for a software development position. So there I am, sitting in front of two senior tech guys. Typical graduate interview ensues - until guy no. 1 asks what had attracted me to software development in the first place.

I tried to explain, only to be interrupted by him: "But you're a woman!"

Obviously, I didn't get the job - but his behaviour did briefly make me consider why indeed I'd want to work in an industry, where such people might be the norm (which, luckily for me, they aren't).

Sallster Wed 28-Nov-12 11:36:38

Didn't even make it to the interview stage - I once made an appointment to meet a Recruitment Consultant at a small regional Agency to discuss senior management roles. I arrived, was made to wait for 20 minutes before some spotty herbert (fresh out of school) then apologised that the person I had agreed to meet with couldn't see me for another half an hour "because she wasn't back from lunch yet" but that I needed to complete the typing and computer tests first anyway.

I pointed out that I had over 20 years business experience and had just left a well paid position (ironically in a recruitment role) with a Global Consultancy firm. I mentioned that I wasn't interested in "temp work" or anything that required me to have a WPM score, but I was asked to do the tests anyway. I was so furious I left.

OhGood Wed 28-Nov-12 11:42:38

stack that is shock

I have had the full-on dry mouth, shaking hands, blank mind, impossible nightmare interview for a job I really really wanted. I have not forgiven myself for saying, when they asked what I was reading at the moment, 'Ummm..... Ummmmmm....' and literally not being able to even make something up. Like I could not read. When actually I was reading Scott's letters from the Pole and his son founded the organisation I was applying at and it was a total total gift of a question.

My friend was interviewing someone whose tooth fell out and into a glass of water.

firemansamisnormansdad Wed 28-Nov-12 11:44:22

I had a job interview at a PR agency. I was then employed as a book publicist and was at the Edinburgh Book Festival looking after authors. I updated my press cuttings file on the floor of the B&B I was staying at, then flew straight down to London for the job interview. The plane was late so I was 2 hours late for the interview. I then chatted animatedly about how good I was and then opened my press cuttings file to see a bloody great GINGER PUBE on the page.

I didn't get the job.

firemansamisnormansdad Wed 28-Nov-12 11:44:43

I have brown hair BTW. so it wasn't even mine.

Pyrrah Wed 28-Nov-12 11:44:50

I once went to an interview where the owner of the company asked me my star sign...

I said I was a Leo.
So, you're a bit of a tigress are you?
No, I was just born in August.
But I bet you've got claws haven't you. Grrrrrr!

The rest of the interview was in similar vein. At the end, he asked if I has any questions. I said that I hadn't, but that I was very grateful for the interview as it helped to remind me what a company I would never want to work for in a million years looked like. The owner then said he was sorry I didn't want to work for them, but did I fancy a drink sometime!

It was not a UK company.

Worst I did here was to whack myself in the face bending down to fix my tights while putting heels on. By the time I got to the interview 2 hours later I had a fabulous black eye.

Couldn't decide whether to hit the cover-up or try and do eyeshadow to match on the otherside. Also couldn't decide whether to tell them and demonstrate major lack of coordination or stay silent and let them assume I was a victim of assault. I didn't get the job!

BurnedTheToastAgain Wed 28-Nov-12 11:57:42

Tricky job interview after 2nd child. SQUEEZED into 'best interview dress'. Could walk (just) without being too uncomfy. Then the interviewer showed me to the interview sofa. SOFA! No hiding my too-short-too-tight dress behind a desk in a proper chair. Tough to come across as casual and hip whilst looking like an overstuffed powder blue sausage (that hadn't slept for 8 months straight)!

Could have been worse - with nightmare periods and a light blue dress - but luckily the super plus extra plus maxi-maxness pad held out. Still, was majorly distracted throughout. Soaking through would have made a better story though....

stormforce10 Wed 28-Nov-12 12:04:44

When I was just 21 an agency sent me to interview for a job as a word processing operator (typing pool by any other name). Without consulting me the agency changed my CV to add

"I've always wanted to be a typist in fact its my dream job"

When asked why this role was my dream job I said "well its not but I know I can do the job and I quite enjoy typing"

I didn't get the job or use that agency again

ShamyFarrahCooper Wed 28-Nov-12 12:09:48

I had an accident the day before an interview. I'd fainted at work and smacked my head on a wooden ledge, leading to stitches in the middle of my forhead - between my eyebrows - and two very fetching black eyes.

I went to the interview intent on letting them know what had happened, but totally forgot through nerves. Right at the end I remember, realised why they were looking at me curiously and blurted out 'I wasn't in a fight honest'. blush

ShamyFarrahCooper Wed 28-Nov-12 12:10:10

Should I add the stitches were proper black ones, I looked amazing.

rockinhippy Wed 28-Nov-12 12:40:30

I once had an early interview & having had no sleep at all due to my cat taking seriously ill in the night & needing a vet hospital dash, so I was in no fit state for an interview, but wanted th job so went anyway.

I made a complete pigs ear of answering questions, mixed up words, mind went blank & even accidentally sworeblush - in the end I stopped the interview & said I am really sorry, I wont waste any more of your time, as I know I am making a complete mess of this, I've had no sleep at all as my Cat had to be rushed into hospital in the middle of the night - turned out I was being interviewed by mad cat woman with 12 cats - I got the jobgrin

MrsReiver Wed 28-Nov-12 14:15:45

I've never had an interview that's gone atrociously wrong, I've had the dry mouth, mind going blank experience though and I blush like mad when I'm stressed so I've spent many an interview resembling a sweaty beetroot.

However I do have a job hunting related experience that makes my toes curl when I think about it. When my son was 18 months I decided to start looking for a job, I sent out my CV and covering letter in response to loads of adverts, and speculatively to a few organisations I would have loved to work with. I was a bit miffed not to even get an acknowledgement from any of them. This went on for a while, so I decided I'd have another look at my CV and see if there was anything I could do to make it stand out. It was then that I spotted it.

The very first bullet point "Excellent attention to ditail."

I'm self employed now.

Lovecat Wed 28-Nov-12 14:21:44

Back in the mid-80's I lived in the North but was applying for an accountancy job in London - the agency decided that it would be a good idea to send me to FIVE interviews in the one day to maximise their chance of a fee my chance of getting a job. I was only 19 and the job situ in the North was shite at the time so I knew no better and said yes.

First interview was for a firm who had lots of showbizzy clients. All the receptionists looked like they'd fallen out of a nightclub (I was in my suit and sensible shoes feeling well dowdy) and the bloke who interviewed me did nothing but name-drop - asked me precisely one question about accountancy the whole interview.

Second interview was a small firm on London Bridge. I was interviewed by a senior partner who bore a disturbing resemblance to Gollum in pince-nez, who began the interview by scanning my cv with the air of a man looking at a cat crapping in his hat and saying "Oh! You have very good qualifications for someone who went to a comprehensive school..." He started talking terms and conditions (I had already decided there was no way on God's earth I wanted the job) and said there were 15 days holiday a year. I must have looked aghast, as he asked me how many I currently had. I said 20, he sniggered and said 'Oh, we have been spoilt, haven't we?'

Third interview with another small firm in offices next to David Bowie's telephone box off Regent Street (I was more excited about that, tbh). The interviewer asked all the usual questions then leaned forward earnestly. "Why do you want to leave your home and family and move to London? Are there any problems in your life?" shock I asked him why he thought that was relevant and he gave me a lot of bluster about being a family firm who cared about their employees' welfare and if his daughter had wanted to leave home at such a tender age and move so far away he would find it most distressing...

Fourth interview was for a medium sized firm in Covent Garden, the bloke made no eye contact but interviewed my boobs, then asked if I was seeing anyone at the end of the interview!

By this time, thinking all Londoners were slightly crazy, I went to the last interview, which was for the job I wanted, and was seen by a scary HR lady who pre-interviewed me and then took me to the bloke I'd be working for - he was about 3 years older than me and had a Burne-Jones print in his office - cue half an hour's chat about the Pre-Raphaelites and Medieval poetry whilst the HR lady got more and more visibly pissed off and tried to steer the convo back to questions about balance sheets...

I was offered all five jobs!

picketywick Wed 28-Nov-12 14:32:36

A woman interviewr said "could you work under a woman?" Collapse

NewKateMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 28-Nov-12 17:15:52

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

NewKateMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 28-Nov-12 17:16:46

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

NewKateMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 28-Nov-12 17:18:01

Hello everyone,

Just to let you know we're going to move this thread to Classics, as you all deserve it for sharing your cringe stories plus we all want to laugh at them forever


I had to describe a pen to an interviewer once, from the point of view of selling a standard Bic to a customer. Fucking mental.
I really enthused about the plastic hard casing being soft and easy to grip for ease of pleasurable writing blush. So basically, I made a Bic sound like a sex toy.

Funnily enough, I got the job though, and had to avoid the boss in the lift who used to take the piss out of me for it the whole time I worked there.

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Wed 28-Nov-12 17:29:38

MNHQ broke the rules shock Definitely Classics!

EggNogRules Wed 28-Nov-12 18:10:49

Job offer = no sad
Thread started by me in Classics = shock and grin

Did NewKateMumsnet share her interview shenanigans for mumsnet and hence the two deletions?

Anyhow, feedback did not mention lack of saliva and goldfishing (nods to Jingleflobba). I explained my servere attack of nerves and have asked to be kept in mind should anything else come up. I really wanted this job and know I could do it really well. In the meantime I have perfected my CV and sent it off to register with a couple of Agencies.

Thanks thanks and keep them coming. Great advice on what not to do. wink

MrsMarigold Wed 28-Nov-12 18:40:55

I've had so many bad interviews when I was younger and jobs were plentiful.
I once told the interviewer I would rather drive a bus than work for her company because it seemed so boring. Amazingly they still asked me to do an exercise after that, I declined and left.

Another time I wore on a silk blouse with a pussy bow and the obligatory pencil skirt and heels. The interview was fine, but when I got into the lift to leave I noticed that the bow had come undone, the blouse was actually very low cut and my boobs were spilling out. I got asked for a second interview and said jokingly that it must've been my lowcut top that did it. They cancelled the interview.

I also once went to an interview when I was sick off work (genuinely) got more sick and they paid for a taxi to take me home (About £30).

MrsMarigold Wed 28-Nov-12 18:45:21

I also once had to tell a joke and the only thing that came into my head was "What do call a French five breasted nun? Cinq-titty of course!"

Dreadful but I got a second interview which I then missed because I was in hospital with a ruptured ectopic pregnancy.

MrsMarigold Wed 28-Nov-12 18:52:57

Also once went for an interview where all applicants had to be assessed by a psychologist - I turned up and the psychologist was a girl I'd last seen at university stoned out of her tree walking on a roof. We recognised each other immediately and I knew there was no chance I would ever get a job there.

EggNogRules Wed 28-Nov-12 18:56:30

Mrs Marigold, I loved your joke but probably won't add it to my interview prep.

AViewfromtheFridge Wed 28-Nov-12 19:37:22

I went for an interview for my first teaching post at a school where the Head had a reputation for being a right bitch. During the interview, she said "Of course, if I had my way I'd just bulldoze all these horrible houses to the ground," gesturing grandly at the council houses all around.There was a pause, then I said, "My grandma lives in one of those houses." (She did, as it happened, but I probably would have said something like that anyway.)

At the end of the interview, when she asked me if I was still a firm candidate and I said no, she took me outside away from the rest of the panel, grabbed my arm, leaned right in so her face was inches from mine and hissed, "I wouldn't have offered you the job anyway."

Stupid cah.

Then there was another job when I was asked what I thought equal opportunities meant. I said it was treating everybody the same which, of course, is exactly what it isn't!

Merinda Wed 28-Nov-12 20:18:43

No cringe stories, but in an interview for a strategy manager job at an industrial multinational I was asked by some idiot-recruiter whether "as a woman, I was strong enough to work in business" WTF? I have an MBA degree, and had 10 years of business experience at that point!

Another recruiter was asking me whether I was prepared to take a lower salary, considering the position they were looking to fill was in a "slightly different industry". I firmly said no, at which he got very offended hmm

OrbisNonSufficit Wed 28-Nov-12 21:48:23

OP I wouldn't worry so much. I've interviewed people and made a decision within 20 minutes that I like them and I think they can do the job better than the other candidates. It really depends on the role and how formal the selection process is.

EggNogRules Wed 28-Nov-12 22:46:02

I know this was a job I could excel at and I would have fit into the team well.
The morning before the meeting was stressful, dealing with a badly behaved 6yo, rushing like a lunatic and getting drenched with rain didn't help. I was so nervous because this was the job for me. Feedback was ok and they said I did well and was a strong applicant. They didn't say I was good at interview, because that would have been a lie. Vair diplomatic though, good on 'em.

Wheresmypopcorn Wed 28-Nov-12 22:47:53

I went for an interview for a position with a large public transport company in London ( let's just say the company names begins with T). I arrived about 10 minutes early (12.50am) due to the tube actually working so thought I'd give my name at the reception, then wait and collect my nerves. office was all watching World Cup or Euro England game (think it was ending off) when I arrived and no-one was working. Hence man I was meeting storms through shouting : "you're 40 minutes early!" I was extremely embarrassed, apologized profusely and told him that our mutual agent had given me that time, was obviously mistaken and that I would go outside and come back at 1.30 pm which he had deemed was the time of my actual interview. Getting more red by the second, he waved me through to his office and put me through a bog standard interview, his voice seething with resentment and anger. I tried to be as polite as possible but felt like the hugest idiot in the world for messing up the interview time and wanted to run out of the room and cry. At the end of the interview he's showing me out with annoyed gestures and looks down at his clipboard at our interview details and says: "oh, I see it was actually for 1pm". no apology followed. Wanker sad

Wheresmypopcorn Wed 28-Nov-12 23:08:14

I have also had a no show. you know, when you lie like crazy to get off work early because you have an interview for your dream job, rehearse like mad, have a sleepless night, only to pitch up to find out the person you were meeting just felt like going home instead of meeting you.

gremlindolphin Wed 28-Nov-12 23:27:59

These are fab!

I have had two memorable ones - one where I had a nose bleed and basically bleed all over the interviewers office! I don't know why I didn't ask to stop and sort myself out, I just tried to keep going and stuff tissues up my nose. Makes me laugh to think about it now.

Awful one was where I was down to last 3 people after a long process of interviews, group exercises, etc and it was all going really well. The panel asked me what I thought my current colleagues would say about me if asked which I thought was a good question.

I then decided to be a smart arse and ask this same question back at the end to the main person I would be working with - he was really not amused and wouldn't answer the question - very bizarre, the atmosphere completely changed and I didn't get the job, still makes me cringe!

Silibilimili Wed 28-Nov-12 23:32:19

Not a cringe story but the women who interviewed me made me feel so small and inadequate that I thought I'd share another one.
I applied for a summer job during uni. You know how tight money is. I took a train to get to the location. A wary wary swanky store.
As soon as I walked in, the women said, oh, we've already filled the position. (Then why the -f- duck did she not call me to let me know?! ) then she went on giving me advice on finding a job saying I don't need to work in a store. She was vary posh. Double barrelled name, accent to match...! Went on to advice me that I can make people's cvs for a living as my cv was so good. hmm
But she wasted my money and time to tell me this and somehow made me feel inadequate.
Still makes me angry that I did not respond to her then. I was polite and thanks her for the advice!

zzzexhaustedzzz Wed 28-Nov-12 23:48:37

A manager at Pizza Express when it just started out and I went for a waitressing job asked me in an extremely sleazy manner what 'oral communication' meant. On my application form as part of GCSE English. Horrible slathering perv. I was so innocent!

MumsKnitter Wed 28-Nov-12 23:55:19

I had a horrible interview when I was about 18. It was near a tube station that seemed to have about 20 different exits. I have little sense of direction above ground, and none at all when underground. I kept popping up at the wrong exit, like a demented rabbit out of a warren. I could sometimes see where I needed to get to, but there were crossing points above ground - all railed off and at least three lanes of roaring London traffic between me and my goal. I was 45 minutes late and feeling very tearful on arrival, but managed to make the best of it and recover somewhat. Interview actually went ok and the guy seemed friendly and sympathetic about my journey. Then at the end he was driving in my direction, and offered me a lift. I was just so mentally exhausted I hit a wall, and couldn't chat in the car. I was monosyllabic and very hard work to talk to. Didn't get the job!"

MumsKnitter Wed 28-Nov-12 23:56:47

there were no crossing points...

MrsReiver Thu 29-Nov-12 09:11:07

Oh MumsKnitter I've got this fantastic vision of you as some kind of tube based whack-a-mole. I'm wondering if there's a board game in it!

PlaySchool Thu 29-Nov-12 16:54:21

MumsKnitter That tube exit thing sounds like one of my nightmares. I have a recurrent dream that I am trying to get somewhere important and wherever I turn it is the wrong way. It is horrid.

RibenaFiend Fri 30-Nov-12 08:43:41

Congratulations Euphemia! thanks

I had a interview a few weeks ago. I route planned it and it was a 30 minute drive. I left myself 90 minutes and took my knidle to relax when I got there.

Traffic was pretty poor but that was ok, I'd left ample time. There was an accident but that was ok, I'd left extra time. There were roadworks that had sprung up overnight (I'd bloody practice driven the route!) and now I'm squirming in panic. There was ANOTHER accident and I'm practically crying with stress. I don't do late. I called them when I was still 20 minutes prior to my interview time because it was just spiralling into bad times and I just kept calling them to keep them informed. I arrived 30 minutes late but god love them they still saw me.

I have never been so stressed in an interview in my life. One of the questions (after my grovelling apologies) was "If you do get the job, what is your planned commute? Would you look to drive?" Thank GOD I'd prepped and knew how I would commute to them. blush

I have a 2nd interview for them on Thurs grin It's at a different venue and it's in the evening. I've taken the whole day off work and will be leaving 5 hours to get there!!!

MrsSalvoMontalbano Fri 30-Nov-12 11:28:18

Ribena, best of luck! And loving that picture of MumsKnitter as a demented rabiitgrin

HipHopToDude Fri 30-Nov-12 11:44:05

I had had an OK 2nd interview and was responding to a phone message left by the manager who interviewed me.

I got her voice mail & I started to leave a message which involved leaving my landline number. It was around time time the numbers had changed from 0171 to 020 in London. Just as I started to leave my phone number a man I did not know appeared in front of me in my living room. I was very shock. He was a delivery person my flatmate had let in on her way out of the house. hmm His appearance completely threw me.

I was STILL in the process of leaving a message on the voice mail. I have now completely forgotten my phone number. WHAT THE FUCK DO I DO?? I had no idea. I blabbered, said the number wrong several times, apologised, I must have sounded like an absolute loon rambling on forever, wanting to hang up but thinking that would probably be worse (I doubt it). I left the longest, most rambling and WORST ANSWER PHONE MESSAGE EVER, which clearly showed I was incapable of passing on my very own phone number.

I did not get the job! (this turned out to be a great thing though as I got the next job, at a competitor and they were much more my thing and the other company is actually a bit nastily managed anyway & I don't think I would have been happy there)

EggNogRules Fri 30-Nov-12 13:40:36

Have a Scottish smiley for Good luck RibenaFiend grin.

I just remembered an awkward telephone conversation I had in relation to a contract I was trying to get. Despite being prepped throughly DS (then 3) to be quiet and being set up to give me 5 mins, he started singing 'mummy, I need a poo' over and over. The very woman I was negotiating with could not have been kinder. She laughed and asked me to call her back at home when he went to bed. She is a classy lady.

RibenaFiend Fri 30-Nov-12 16:06:40

Thank you grin

"Mummy I need a poo" hysterical!!!

EggNogRules Fri 30-Nov-12 17:01:42

I meant to say professional and inspiration woman. She was understanding and took it in her stride; she asked after his bowels when next we met. grin

'mummy, I need a poo' is a cheeky little rock number in this house. Wee ratbag. blush

TheQueensChristmasDinner Sun 16-Dec-12 19:17:07

Love this thread!

I'm normally very capable and confident but I just go to pieces during interviews.

I was interviewed by my DH's boss and the HR person and when asked to talk about my previous roles, my mind went totally blank and I had to ask if I could have a look at the copy of my CV he had. Cue horrible embarrassing silence.

I felt so bad for DH when I had to tell him how it had gone. He was mortified. I couldn't even just write it off as a terrible interview, safe in the knowledge that I'd never need to see the interviewers again as I had to socialise with them at work events with DH afterwards.

EggRules Sun 06-Jan-13 11:08:13

I have had another interview. I did not goldfish, trip over a potato, flash my pants. I did have sufficient saliva to talk and could recall what I put in my cv.

I have a new contract. They don't have an IT budget and so I have been given a calculator instead of a laptop. confused I don't care grin

Congratulations OP!

EggRules Sun 06-Jan-13 11:31:30

Thanks HoratiaWinwood thanks. I see you liked the potato at interview too. I would love to hear more about that; it would make me feel so much better about making an absolute fool of myself.

reggiebean Mon 08-Apr-13 16:45:41

I'm just discovering this topic but I just had to contribute. Once, I had given blood in the morning before I went for an interview. Gave blood, got my bandage, went home and changed for the interview. Nice white cardigan, pretty light blue skirt, etc. Very professional.

Mid-interview, my arm starts to go cold, and I see the interviewers face go pale, and I look down, and my entire cardigan was dripping with blood (all over her desk, floor, chair, my clothes, etc.) while my arm is just gushing blood (like something out of Monty Python). In my panic, I figured the only sensible thing to do would be to shout, "I'm not on heroin, I promise! I just gave blood this morning!" (why drugs needed to be mentioned, I'm not sure???)

She had to have her entire office professionally cleaned, I had to go to the hospital and funnily enough, I didn't get the job. blush

vladthedisorganised Tue 09-Apr-13 14:49:20

My favourite was a few years ago when I had mobility issues (thanks to some amazing surgeons it isn't the case any more).
Was pleased to be offered the interview, and when I accepted I let them know that I wasn't able to walk unaided and therefore they might want to arrange the interview on the ground floor or somewhere near a lift.
No problem, said HR.
I called a week before the interview just to remind them, and HR said no problem.
I turned up on the day and was collected by one of the interviewers: who then revealed that the building was listed (so no lift) and they didn't have any meeting rooms on the ground floor.However, there was 'no need to rush' to the fourth floor and I could 'take my time' on the spiral stairs.
Crutches didn't fit on the spiral stairs so the only way I could go up them was to crawl.

Interviewer takes my crutches to the top of the stairs and 20 minutes later I joined him on the fourth floor. I went into the room a sweaty, limping mass with my hands and knees covered in dust and coughed through the first few questions.

Didn't get the job....

deleted203 Tue 09-Apr-13 15:07:01

Makes me feel better to read some of these!

I once had a horrendous teaching interview for a job I really didn't want where I couldn't get brain and mouth to co-ordinate. Chairman of the Governors started the questioning with 'How do you think of the Governors of the school. Do you think of us as critical friends?' and I looked completely blank and said, 'I mostly think of you as irrelevant, TBH. I don't think I could name any of the governors at my current school. As a classroom teacher I have absolutely no contact with them'...She was extremely po-faced.

After that I went on to tell the Head who'd told me he hated Dickens what I would say to him and my answer was, 'Don't read him them'...

Halfway through the interview half of my brain was screaming, 'Shut the fuck up!' at me....and half of my brain was laughing and saying, 'Go on - just tell it like it is'. Needless to say I went with the second option.

I was brutally honest about all the things you should not be honest about in teaching, refused to come out with the crap they like to hear, and by the end of it when they asked me 'Do you still consider yourself a firm candidate for this job?' I simply laughed and said, 'I can't possibly imagine that you do'.

I got disapproving stares and the Head said, 'That's not very reassuring. What would you say if we offered you the job?' and my answer was, 'Why would you want to do that?'

I laughed like a drain all the way home. I was like a hideous video of 'How NOT to conduct an interview'...

(Didn't get the job, thank God! Although the Deputy Head who rang me to tell me I hadn't been successful kindly said, 'We very much enjoyed meeting you...you were very honest!)

whokilleddannylatimer Thu 11-Apr-13 17:29:28

I can think of three.

One, interviewer takes his top off to show me his scars from an extreme sport accident and makes the comment while shirtless that the previous girl had not wanted to advance her career enough. (found out later he was sleeping with her but she stopped it when she found out about his wife and child).

Two, sent by an agency to a so called established successful business. Got to building, buzzed in, no one has heard of this company, both floors empty that its meant to be on. (other companies on other floors)

Rang agency and they rang company. A man came down to meet me, his successful business comprised of his tiny box office, no other staff, he wanted a pa for ALL his needs.

Job 3 interviewee before me clearly knows five of panel, they all have a good chat about each others dc, up coming nights out, they are then awful with me.
I finish up and head out as we were told to wait for an answer and my mum phones so i walk outside, I tell her they are a bunch of stuck up tossers, its obvious who's got job and they can fuck off for wasting my time. Just as head of panel heads out to ask me to come inside , they are offering me the job...

YoniSoprano Thu 11-Apr-13 17:34:04

Really?! Wow. Did you take it?

whokilleddannylatimer Thu 11-Apr-13 17:56:11

Me? Took job one as desperate but made it clear I was there to work only.

Job two no.

Job three yes but they left me running entire business inc managing seventeen staff, lied about wage and paid me everything on nmw so didnt stay.

Promotedbymailinglist Thu 11-Apr-13 18:05:00

I was asked for interview for a masters that was paid for by a company Network Rail who were going to employ all masters graduates afterwards. They had two versions of the course, and candidates could select, one 'people management in projects' one 'project planning and management' - the second was the practical reporting stuff.

I said on the pre telephone interview that I thought I was better at the people stuff already, so had chosen the hard-edged practical course. Stupid duffer on the phone put me down for the wrong course. What fluffed it was that I guessed on the way in because one of the interviewers was from the 'people' course. Instead of saying 'I was expecting to be interviewed for the other course' and describing that I just kept saying 'I don't know' when they asked me what the course was about blush I told them on the way out but not before making an arse of myself..

The interviewer said I had done a good job,.. what a liar! grin

Promotedbymailinglist Thu 11-Apr-13 18:14:03

OOh also i went for a temp to perm once and the stupid interviewer/team leader asked where I was from (a village just outside the town) then said 'you are all inbred out there aren't you, all weird and web toed'. I was feeling pretty pissed off, so I said 'ha ha and you wonder why all you townies get stabbed by people from x' - er I didn't become perm...

Greenball Wed 17-Apr-13 12:15:10

I once interviewed someone who was wearing mules and tights and had a toe ring pushed on OVER the tights.

She didn't get the job.

BlastAndDalmatians Wed 17-Apr-13 13:26:50

I had an interview at a mobile phone shop. The woman who gave me my "pre interview" told me they liked people to do their research on the company and advised me to get on their website and read as much as possible. Unfortunately my internet started playing up and I couldn't get near the website until the next morning about an hour before I was due to leave for the interview. I scribbled down some quick notes on things that looked good at read through them on the bus. Bus was rerouted so ended up ages away from where I should have been, trying to find my way there my new shoes rubbed my feet so much they bled and I had to call in to a chemist for blister plasters. Fortunately I had left early so none of this made me late.
I was interviewed by a lovely lady and thought I was doing well until she asked me what I knew about the company. My mind went totally blank and rather than being honest I just spluttered out half remembered bits of info: "ERM..you were recently bought by..um..another company...who have a funny name...you made profits of..something billion last year.." She just looked amused while I twittered on.
And then I asked if they would mind me having brightly coloured hair (it was blue black with a pink section at the time), she pointed out her own hair which was blonde with a red streak and said "they let me do this!" To which I replied "well I thought I'd ask anyway because it might be different for YOU" meaning of course that as she was the manager it might be OK, but it sounded like I was implying she was involved in dodgy goings on...

No I didn't get the job. They gave me feedback on it and it was apparently because I didn't have enough experience of target led sales. That and the fact I was a fool maybe!

MacaYoniAndCheese Mon 22-Apr-13 23:11:08

My first job interview after Uni required that I do an administrative tasks test. After sailing through the interview portion I was ushered into a small office (belonging to another person, who was present) and was given a disc (this was in the days of hard discs) with a list of tasks to complete. I sat down at the work station in the corner and attempted to insert the disc into the computer....but I couldn't find the slot. I don't know what kind of computer it was but it was very different from anything I'd encountered before and I couldn't figure out where the disc was supposed to go. I tried every orifice that looked even remotely slot-like but nothing worked! After 5 minutes I began to panic, sweat pouring down my carefully made-up face, all the while aware of the drone office's occupant spying on me working away at his desk in the middle of the room. I did not know what to do, I couldn't even read the list of tasks, let alone complete and print them out. So I did the only thing I could think of; grabbed my 'urban professional' bag, stuck out my chin and tottered on my brand new heels marched right out of that office without a backward glance.

I've never told anyone this story (I got a job offer the following week)...it's taken me 13 years to be able to even think about writing or speaking about it blush blush blush.

FuckYouCystitis Mon 06-May-13 14:36:55

After an all-day interview I was shattered but thought I had done well, I was just about to stumble into the street and call DP to tell him how it had gone when one of the guys from my presentation came over to say goodbye.

I meant to say "Thank you, lovely to meet you" etc but in my distracted nervous/adrenaline fuelled state I think my brain thought I was already talking to DP and I said, "Thank you baby, I love you."

He frowned, said, "Er, thank you" and walked away. I was absolutely mortified!

I got the job. grin Guy from presentation has NEVER mentioned it.

Midlifecrisisarefun Mon 06-May-13 19:08:37

My first ever job interview when I was 18...I tripped over the step on the way in and landed in a heap in front of the panel of interviewers blush ....I didn't get the job!

Boomerwang England Wed 08-May-13 20:27:34

When I was about 21 I went for an interview after applying for a job as an 'IRC operator'. I'd been using IRC (Internet Relay Chat) for a long time and knew a lot about scripting and commands. The job description didn't seem that vague to me. It was about moderating channels, being friendly towards users and having knowledge of IRC to help others.

The interview was in an industrial estate and was difficult to find. When I finally got there I was interviewed by a guy with long hair and doc martens on, along with a girl wearing a nose ring with jet black hair and scruffy clothing who didn't say a word but played with her hair.

It slowly began to dawn on me that the position wasn't quite as advertised when they asked how I'd deal with 'dodgy punters'.

Turns out they wanted someone to work on a sex line, using IRC as a pick up point.

Whether to my credit or not, I said I'd probably do quite well if they gave me a chance. They looked at each other, then at me, and then said they'd be in touch.

Nope, I didn't get it.

imaginethat Sat 18-May-13 22:52:12

Interviewer v nice but for reasons unclear, I decided to stand up and walk over to the full length windows and look out at the view. Only it is double glazed and the internal glazing is so clean I misjudge the distance and bang my face on the glass. Leaving a full imprint of make up.

Doughnutmaestro Sun 19-May-13 09:47:51

Love it! I'm terrible at interviews but one was particularly bad, I got every question completely wrong, stood at the back and occasionally barked orders at the rest of my team (build a bridge from straws...) I was totally anxious and when they said "why do you think you would like to work here (kids tourist attraction) I said and still cringe my boyfriend works here and he could give me a lift to work-- didn't get the job, good thing too as they laid off all the staff a few months later (the week before christmas) and hired students who were cheaper. Kept the boyfriend though and 13 years later is my dh.

Campari Fri 07-Jun-13 01:30:48

My most embarrassing experience was when I was the interviewer.
At the time I was working at a riding holiday centre, & it was a live-in job so I had a small flat next door to the main office. A lot of people actually mistook my flat as the reception door unfortunately.
One afternoon after finishing work for the day, Id gone into my flat to shower and have a glass of wine..when lo & behold, the door pops open & a girl walks in as Im standing there in pyjamas, towel on head & me drinking my wine..she says "hi I'm here to speak to Campari, Ive come for my interview sorry I'm late..."
Well, bugger me sideways!!! shock. I was in such a fluster, totally offguard...so I ended up reading the riot act to her about waltzing into private staff residences & that it was after hours & us staff have lives outside of work.

It was years ago, but to this day I am mortified with how I reacted...must have been the Sauvignon Blanc.

estrella79 Thu 27-Jun-13 18:44:14

I did what I thought was a good interview for a journalism position on a local newspaper - I really wanted the job, so much so I would have been prepared to relocate to take it. I was told I'd hear whether I'd been successful within a week. A fortnight later I'd heard nothing so telephoned them - they denied all knowledge of ever meeting me! Eventually I learned through the grapevine that instead of recruiting anyone they'd decided to spread the work between existing employees to save money. Cheers for telling me!!!!

Another journalism interview I have to confess I deliberately sabotaged, because the editor seriously gave me the creeps. "That's a nice dress you're wearing" he said as I entered the room. "It would look even better on my bedroom floor." Yuck!! When he asked me: "What newspapers do you read?" I answered: "None, they bore me, I prefer to watch the news on TV." I was overjoyed when I didn't get the job...

JambalayaCodfishPie Fri 12-Jul-13 18:37:16

Thank you, everyone who contributed to this wonderful thread.

I had, what I thought was a bad interview today. I searched the boards and..... well, I feel better now. grin

Pawprint Sun 04-Aug-13 17:29:25

This thread is fab!

I went for an interview for a PR company that represented women's magazines. The guy who interviewed me suddenly grabbed my hand to 'check there isn't a wedding ring'. He also interviewed me over a glass table because he said he liked to look at women's legs through it.

I was so shocked by all of this, I started to nervously giggle. He then told me I had a good chance of getting the job but I later heard that he hadn't even invited me for a second interview.

The only good thing was that he gave me a massive stack of magazines to take home with me!

Another time, I was interviewed by a lady with a rather odd accent. She asked me if I'd had any experience of shifts. I thought she said 'Chefs' so I babbled on for ages about how I'd organised a large cocktail party for some clients in my previous job. The atmosphere was uncomfortable and I didn't get the job.

I have been for so many interviews and cocked so many up. Funnily enough, the one time I sailed through an interview and was employed straight away was for a job I didn't really want. I felt I couldn't turn down the job so accepted it. I worked there for a miserable year before finally resigning.

mirry2 Sun 04-Aug-13 17:38:16

Fryonefat -well done. I wish I'd doent hat on a few occasions but never had the presence of mind.

mirry2 Sun 04-Aug-13 17:40:27

Just realised I've just responded to a post written in november 2012!

ongoingjourney Fri 20-Dec-13 03:25:54

i had the worst job interview today... for a key holder position.. everything was going well until I the interviewer asked what were my strengths and weaknesses.. mind you, i practiced this answers the whole day prior to the interview.. I got through my strengths fine, but when asked my weakness .. i was honest and said "i can be a bit emotional" .. he asked me to explain, so i did, but once i started the water works also started.. I tried so hard to hold back the tears.. we continued the interview, but I have no clue if i got it sad ..

QueenTea33 Mon 27-Jan-14 09:58:49

I went for a job in a shop when I was about 18. The interview went pretty well, but they had lost my application form and asked if I would fill another one in. I agreed and the boss put me in the staff room because she had other people to interview. The staff room was tiny, it only had a table and chairs and staff lockers in it.

Anyway, I was filling it in and one of the staff members came in for something, but on her way out, she locked the door.

I didn't realise until I finished the form and went to open the door. I'm claustrophobic so I ended up freaking out, banging on the door, shouting, screaming and eventually crying. I was only stuck in there for 5 minutes, but I was an absolute state when the boss opened the door. I ran passed her, legged it down the stairs and flew out of the shop for some air.

She came outside to me and calmed me down, but I felt absolutely mortified. She offered me the job, but I couldn't take it after all that. I never set foot in that shop again.

Humpyrumpy Mon 27-Jan-14 11:57:57

Oh my cheeks are burning. This is recent and still raw.
Short listed for v much wanted senior role. Had stinking cold at the time and was having trouble speaking. One Weeks notice of interview and a heavy workload, not to mention the pre Xmas prep that all Mums do, meant I finished my presentation at 1.30 am the morning of the interview, and then stupidly answered my phone at 7:00 for a work related call that I had to follow up, and so had to rush my hair and make up.
Pulled safe interview suit out of cupboard, only to discover it didn't fit. I has lost weight, but not realised just how big the trousers were. Decided to wear it anyway and keep jacket on.
Struggled to speak through presentation, made worse by having to compete with trains noisily rumbling past, and struggled to make myself heard.
Finally got to interview, and was so ill and exhausted that I just couldn't say anything coherent or sensible, so waffled on like I had a death wish. The cues from the panel told me I wasn't giving the answers they wanted, but still I carried on waffling, looking and feeling like death warmed up and attired like a sack of spuds.
And no I didn't get the job.

DP interviewed for the JET scheme (teaching in Japan) at Uni.

Q - what books would you recommend to Japanese students to get a feel for modern Britain?
A - er...A Year In Provence? Oh and Dickens. Definitely Dickens.

Needless to say, he didn't partake in the JET scheme.

GwenStacy Mon 27-Jan-14 12:56:48

I had an interview in a record shop and was asked what my favourite album was. I answered, and the interviewer asked what my least favourite album by this band was. I answered and then elaborated on how I hated the production on it, that I thought it was really over produced and that I tended to listen to live versions of the tracks instead.

At the end of the interview he revealed he was a producer on the second album :-(

A friend of mine went for an interview at a well known large company. They asked at the end "do you have any questions for us?"

Now the question she was meant to ask was "do you find there are any elements of nepotism at XXXX?"

What she actually asked was "do you find there are any elements of necrophilia at XXXX?"

Amazingly, she still got the job!

LaceyLitch Fri 04-Jul-14 22:18:44

Had the worst interview of my life today so google searched to read other peoples stories and have been laughing at this for hours.

So I am entering into a new industry - I have a lot of transferable skills but no obviously no first hand experience of what the job really entails in depth.

Interviewer was 30 mins late with no explanation or apology, I would have probably left at this point as I was already not getting a good 'vibe' from the office IYKWIM, but as a recruiter set it up for me I didn't want to give her a bad rep or for her to stop helping me.

Anyway it was a 2 person interview with 2 blokes who seem pissed off that I was there taking up their time. One was sighing rolling his eyes, looking round the room in boredom. They kept asking me really obtuse questions and when I took more than 2 secs to answer would repeat it aggressively and then when I did reply would cut me off or talk over me. Basically mocked my previous experience and made me feel totally stupid.

I am usually a confident, thick skinned person but I just lost it and started crying, that sort of crying that you can't stop no matter how much you want to, tears keep coming out. Excused myself and left and cried on the tube all the way home!

It has made it much easier to get over knowing that stuffing up one interview isn't the be all end all.

When I spoke to my recruiter later she told me to fuck them off and forget about it as I have been asked back for a 3rd interview with the company I really want to work for! Here's hoping it goes well!

Marcelinewhyareyousomean Wed 09-Jul-14 13:49:01

Good luck.

I was the OP. I've just passed my probation and I love my job.

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