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

(339 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).


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 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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

YankTeeDoodleDanTee Mon 26-Nov-12 16:16:10

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



GoldenHandshake Mon 26-Nov-12 16:23:14

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 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

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