Not all job interviews go over so well... And these candidates apparently didn't realize how they should and should not act in a workplace setting. (Content has been edited for clarity)
Something To Say About His Felony Conviction?
“I once had a guy come in for an interview with a ‘will explain’ written in the ‘have you ever been convicted of a felony’ line. Honestly, no red flags. We get that a lot. And the dude was clean cut and well spoken. It was probably some stupid thing he did when he was eighteen and naive.
He opened up not with, ‘Hello,’ but with how his conviction for assault a few years ago was bogus and only happened because his girlfriend’s parents didn’t like him. Er. Okay, dude. We push through with the interview, but every other question or so, he circles back to his assault charge, becoming more and angrier at his ex, explaining to us what she had said and how it wasn’t his fault he misunderstood. And when we wouldn’t participate in his rant, he began getting angry with us.
We went another direction with the hire.”
Doesn’t Seem Like She Understands Anything About Computers…
“I work in software development.
As part of the interview process at my company, our candidates interview over Skype using a code-sharing website for them to complete a small and relatively simple problem to help weed out candidates who are dishonest on their resumes.
In one of my interviews, I start with the usual introduction of myself, my role within the company, so on and so forth. I introduce her to the task and explain that it’ll be on a code-sharing website and that she’ll need to follow the link I would send her to access it. I paste the link into the text window and explain to her how to access it (some people haven’t used Skype before and don’t know how to access text chat in a video call). She smiles and nods and asks me when I’m done, ‘Will you be writing the link on the whiteboard?’
What whiteboard? I look behind me and remember that yes, there is a small whiteboard behind me, and this woman was expecting me to handwrite the (not so short) link and she would read it off the webcam to type it into her browser. ‘No,’ I explain, ‘I sent you the link within Skype itself. If you’ll just click…’ I’m forced to trail off as she reaches forward and picks up her webcam (which I’m assuming was mounted to the top of her monitor). I get a nice close-up of her eye as she peers inside the camera, then turns it on its side to observe it some more. I ask her what she’s doing. ‘Trying to find the link,’ she replies.
Dumbfounded, I once again explain that the link was sent over Skype and wouldn’t appear behind me nor on the webcam. She resumes the smile-and-nod routine as I ask her to follow my directions to access the Skype text chat window. I ask her to wave her mouse cursor over my face until she sees some buttons appear. She takes her hand off the mouse, raises it, and waves it over the screen. I explain to her again that she needs to use the mouse and she smiles and nods again.
After about 15 minutes (of a 30-minute interview), she did finally discover the link in the Skype text chat, but she proceeded to type it into her browser by hand.
She did not make it to the next round.”
She Was Too Busy Doing Other Things To Do A Good Job On That Phone Interview
“I did a telephone interview last night with a prospective candidate. She replied to the email I sent to schedule it and said 6 pm would be good. I am OK with interviews after work hours, so I agree and called at 6 pm. She answered and asked me if I could do her a favor and call back in 10 minutes. I suggested that if this wasn’t a good time, to let me know what is. I told her that I was already away from the office, so anytime before 8 pm was fine. She told me 7 pm would be perfect.
Strike 1. If you set a time, show respect for the interviewer’s time and be ready.
I called at 7 pm. No answer. I left a message to say I would call back in 10 minutes. She hit redial (I assume) and called me back in five minutes. We talked for five minutes and twice I had to tell her I was having a hard time hearing her because of background noise (I could hear what sounded like ‘dinner making’) and that her cell phone was cutting out. Then we lost connection.
I called her back after two minutes and she still seemed to be making dinner. We got to the part where I finish my spiel about our company and then, for my favorite trick, I said, ‘Forgive me if I am telling you things you already know. You might know all of this from your research before this call. Do you already know all of this?’
She said, ‘No. This is new.’
I asked, ‘What did you do to research before this call?’
She said, ‘I have so many interviews and applications out that I didn’t have time to do any research.’ Strike 2. Even if you have done zero research, the proper response is: Yes. I knew most of what you are telling me, but it is always great to hear it from someone within the company.
I explained that the role was a new one to add to a small team because we were expanding. I asked her if she was comfortable working with a team that size and her reply was, ‘Oh. I don’t mind.’
Ball 1. Even if it isn’t your first choice, you can say you are comfortable with that and ask me what the opportunities are with such a small team…make me SELL it.
After talking about her resume for a bit, I asked if she had any questions for me. Of course, she does and the first question out of the gate: ‘What would the salary be?’
Strike 3. Even if that is a deal breaker for you, ask me two or three other questions to show you are at the very least interested in the role before you cut to the ‘never to be asked in the first contact,’ question).
Overall, I guess this isn’t the WORST but it is a categorical ‘NO’ in terms of would I hire this person, so I thought I would share the thinking from a person in charge of hiring people.”
Everything You Should Never Do In An Interview
“A younger guy in his 20s was scheduled for an interview, which he arrived 40 minutes late for. Didn’t apologize or even acknowledge that he was late – just walked in like he was ready to go. I told him that the managers were getting ready for their next interview now and if he wanted to be considered, we would give him another chance to come in at a later date.
Fast forward to the rescheduled interview. He was five minutes late. Not acceptable, but we went forward with the interview anyway.
Then he opened his mouth and it got so much worse.