Over the last 14 years at b3 jobs we have arranged literally thousands of interviews, always providing helpful guidelines to our candidates on how to prepare, how to behave and also useful questions for them to both answer and ask. Whilst we believe that these are quite comprehensive, there some scenarios that you can never predict. So, here are my top five worst things that have happened during an interview…
- Don’t turn up with your family. One candidate took along his wife, mother, father and three children to an interview. Rather than wait in the car, they all came into the company reception and sat down. The company was slightly taken aback but was good natured enough to give them all a drink in their canteen. He didn’t get the job.
- Don’t turn up drunk. A large client of ours was looking to fill a senior management position and we had several interview arranged. One of them turned up about 20 minutes late and it seemed that they had just stepped out of the pub. Apparently they stank of booze and cigarettes, although they were eating cough sweets to try and disguise the smell! They didn’t get the job.
- Don’t answer your phone. This has actually happened more than once. If you forget to turn off your mobile, then, should it ring, apologise but do not answer it! One candidate actually answered the phone and asked the interviewer if he could please give him a moment! He didn’t get the job.
- Don’t ask the interviewer for a date. No matter how well you feel an interview is going, it should always remain on a professional and business like basis. One candidate decided he was doing so well, and that he liked his potential new boss so much, he actually asked the interviewer if she was free after they had finished for a drink! He didn’t get the job.
- Don’t start pleading to be given the job. No matter how much you want or need a job, don’t stoop to pleading nor crying to try and gain the sympathy vote – it won’t work! My heart went out to this one candidate who was so desperate for a job they were almost begging on their knees with tears streaming down their face. They didn’t get this role but, after a little interview technique refresher, we got them another and they’re still there to this day!
Life throws curve balls at us all the time, so I’m sure that it’s just a matter of time before something else of the above magnitude goes wrong…perhaps you have other stories to tell?