We all know that mixed feeling that comes over us when we walk into that room our destiny awaits us. Inside that room sits an interviewers’ panel that gets to decide whether we are fit or unfit to meet our destiny –our destiny being the job we applied for some weeks before.
Unless invited for the interview at short notice, it is obvious you’ve prepared yourself adequately –I mean, you’ve studied everything there’s to know about the company and the advertised position, built up your confidence by rehearsing in front of friends or family and chosen the right attire for the interview. With this kind of preparations, the job is yours for the taking, right? Wrong. Anything could go awry and turn the journey to landing your dream job into a nightmare.
For starters, you might come up against a member of the interview panel who is not having a good day and thinks that the bad mood he/she is in should rub off on you. As nightmerish as this sounds, it’s not always the interviewer’s fault when things go south. There’re many other instances of interview fails including arriving late, or finding yourself clueless about a question – hands up if you’ve experienced the latter scenario. However, there are numerous job interviews fails that border on comic relief – as tragic as they were for the interviewees, they provided some respite from the stressful feeling that permeates most job interviews; and what do they say about laughter? Right, it is the best medicine. So, read along and laugh away your job interview misfortunes.
1. Hey you! You Look Familiar
What better way to put yourself out of running for a vacant position by letting everyone know that you know the interviewer at a personal level? This would be a guaranteed way to do that, especially if you consider the complaints of favoritism that might crop up if you were to be chosen for the job. Well, this is exactly what a young woman did when she applied for a job at a company where she was in familiar terms with the interviewer. This young woman thought it a good idea to greet the interviewer a bit too familiarly when the latter came to pick her up from the company lobby. That’s not so bad, you might think, well yeah, it wouldn’t have been if she hadn’t been sitting with the rest of the applicants at the lobby. What’s more is that the woman didn’t just call the interviewer by her first name, rather she went one step further. Imagine you’re a bit mini size, would you like to be called ‘shorty’ in front of other people? This is exactly what the young lady did as she rose up to meet the interviewer, the rest of the people stared at the latter in pity and embarrassment. Maybe the words ‘Well, Hi there shorty’ were a coded way to say ‘I don’t need this job, thank you’.
2. Desperation Is Never Attractive
Desperation is never a magnetic trait and this extends to job interviews – not just relationships. A job applicant wanted a staff accounting position so badly that she decided that her phone interview wasn’t enough – she had to see the interviewer in person and add a personal touch to the interview. Woe unto the unlucky interviewer who had to sit through a sleep-inducing monologue from the desperate job applicant outlining how she was the perfect candidate for the job. Frankly, the interviewer’s limits of generosity had been stretched to their limits; he had cut short his lunch to listen to the applicant who had dropped in unexpectedly, despite the fact that a phone interview had been scheduled. As if boring the poor guy to death wasn’t enough, the job applicant thought it a great idea to browse through the documents on the interviewer’s desk. This was the last straw that broke the camel’s back; she was ordered out of the office. That shouldn’t be a surprise; this kind of assertive and desperate behavior has psychotic written all over it. Who would want have such a person for an employee?
3. Donuts and Espionage
Employers be warned: next time a job applicant comes in with a box of donuts, think twice before deciding to interview and give him the job. A background check on him might just tell you that he’s a competitor keen on taking business away from you by spying on how you do things. This sounds like stuff that you see in the movies but for an organization that was looking for a new intern, it is something that remains vivid in everyone’s mind. A job applicant walks in with donuts while they are busy sorting out the job applications sent by others; he says that he wants to be interviewed for the vacant position. As he had donuts with him, nobody wanted to break his heart, so the job applicant was told to wait for a phone call, but he insisted on being interviewed right there and then. The boss agreed to the interview and so, the interview began; and that’s when the truth unfurled like a blooming flower. The ‘job applicant’ was the company’s competitor and wanted the job so as to steal clients for his own business. Wow! What a genius plan; donuts, a good heart, plus a good resume sure works wonders. Then again, why did he have to confess his real motives? It’s not like he was in an interrogation room with the feds.
4. Honesty Is the Best Policy…or Maybe Not
Honesty is the best policy but not always. There is a time when hiding the truth might not be such a terrible idea. I’m not saying that you and I should lie, but if it determines whether or not I’d get a job that would put food on my table and clothes on my back, then I definitely would consider not being entirely truthful. Too bad this is not the same thing that an ex-con was thinking when she applied for a clerical position. Ticking yes to a felony conviction was a sure way to give her prospective employers 101 doubts about her suitability for the position. At least in her case, they were kind enough to invite her for the interview and listen to her side of the story – she had indicated in her job application her willingness to explain further. Unluckily, her contact with her prospective employers ended the moment she walked out of the interview room. I guess any faint hopes of employing her were dashed by her revelation that she went to jail for hiring people to murder her husband, who has since divorced her – talk about paying the price for being brutally honest.
5. Too Much Information
You’ve been taking these dance classes lately and feel that you’re in a great shape, physically and psychologically. You just wanna tell somebody – even shout from the rooftops – about how your life has undergone a huge transformation ever since you started these classes. That’s great; you should be proud of yourself and let everybody know the happiness dancing’s brought to you. Just be careful not to extend it to your job interview as some lady did when she was asked about her hobbies. Dancing around the interview room – in a bid to show off your dancing skills – is not what your prospective employers mean when they say they want to know more about you. Safe to say that the embarrassment that filled the room when the applicant got up and started dancing was so loud that she had to stop.
Some of these scenarios are so bizarre that one would not quickly believe they happened at job interviews. They however depict the beauty and oddity of people’s differences. What they become when they are nervous and under pressure. How very edgy people get when they are expected to present themselves in a certain manner. The profound revelation is that interviews are not popular, or easy to hack. Not by a long shot.