Shutterstock/ Antonio Guillem
From falling sleep prior and during the interview, to coming up with ridiculous excuses for being late or not showing up at all, employers share the worst way a candidate messed up their job interview.
(Content has been edited for clarity.)
Shutterstock/ Adam Gregor
Her: 'Well, he like wanted me to come into the office every day.'
Me: 'Hmm. Was it a full-time job?'
Her: 'Yes, I guess so. Would you want me to work, like, every day? Because sometimes I just wake up and want to go back to sleep again.'
Me: 'Yes we would. And I don't think that this role is for you.'
I wasn't sure for a moment if I was on 'Candid Camera,' but she was serious."
"I worked as a supervisor at an ambulance company about five years ago. We had crazy turn-over, so we were constantly hiring new EMT's to fill open spots on the schedule. One of my (many) duties was to assist with the hiring process a few days a week.
The hiring process was as follows:
Come to the main office (HQ), take a written test, take a skills test (simulation), and then have a panel interview (HR + operations supervisor).
As an EMT on the ambulance, you should know how to map yourself and get to an address without much issue.
So this candidate (we'll call her Ding-Dong-Diana or 'DDD') called our dispatch about 30 minutes before her set appointment time and was flustered. She had no idea where she was and the dispatch supervisor was trying to keep her cool while doing her best to navigate her based on a vague description of her location. I get paged over to dispatch and the supervisor filled me in. I had never met this candidate before, so without introducing myself, I took over the call.
Me: 'Hi, I was told you're a little turned around. I'm going to try and--'
DDD: 'UM, EXCUSE ME! I'M LOST AND I'M RUNNING LATE FOR MY APPOINTMENT. I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THIS!'
Me: 'Don't worry, I've alerted the interviewing team that you're running a bit behind and--'
DDD: 'IT'S NOT MY FAULT! YOU GUYS DIDN'T GIVE ME THE RIGHT DIRECTIONS! I AM NOT FROM HERE! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHERE I AM GOING!?'
Me: 'Were you given an address?'
DDD: 'UH YES! [123 ADDRESS ST.]'
Me: 'That's correct.'
DDD: 'WELL THIS IS STUPID BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW WHERE I AM!'
Me: 'Don't you think as an EMT you'd be expected to know how to map yourself into situations?'
DDD: 'UH NO! THAT'S WHY WE HAVE GPS!'
Me: 'Not all of our ambulances have GPS.'
DDD: 'WELL THEN I WILL USE MY PHONE!'
Me: 'How's that working out for you?'
About 30 minutes later, DDD came stomping in, looking sweaty and frustrated. I greeted her in the lobby.
Me: 'Hi, welcome to [Name of Ambulance], can I help you?'
DDD: 'I had an appointment an hour ago, but your dispatchers are stupid! They got me lost!'
Me: 'Actually, that was me on the phone.'
Me: 'Here at [Name of Ambulance] we hold customer service in high regard. Your attitude on the phone was inappropriate and you have been excused from the interview process.'
DDD: 'Oh,' she said, and left right away."
"Back in the day, I worked for a non-profit organization that helped adults with developmental disabilities. Not my personal passion, but a job's a job, right? Almost everyone else was there because it was a personal passion, and I learned the basic etiquette of social work and dealing with clients.
Anyway, I got promoted to a higher position and had to hire my replacement. The executive director and I conducted interviews. Some were bad candidates, some were awkward, but one.
Boss: 'Do you have any experience working with adults with developmental disabilities?'
Candidate: 'Yes. My last job involved providing services at a group home.'
Boss: 'Great! What did you like about it?'
Candidate: 'I loved working with the clients. They are like little children!'
OK, on the list of serious 'no-no's, calling the clients 'children' or comparing them to children is a big faux pas.
My boss got quiet, his posture changed, his expression darkened. The candidate had no clue. My boss started speeding through the interview questions after that.
Boss: 'What would you describe as your biggest weakness?'
Candidate: 'Oh, I don't have any.'
Boss: 'Why should we hire you over other candidates?'
Candidate: 'I am the best candidate. I am hard working and the right person.'
Boss: 'Do you have any questions for us?'
Boss: 'Thank you for coming in. Goodbye.'"
"I interviewed a sysadmin for a contract job at my office.
He interviewed great over the phone. Seemed knowledgeable. We gave the go-ahead for the contract company to bring him on.
Three weeks later, he's moved cross country and came into the office. Something immediately seemed off about him. We got him all his accounts setup and his own PC.
A co-worker gave him a few simple tasks. The new guy said, 'Why don't you show me how you would do it, and I'll take notes.'
We soon learned he doesn't know what RDP (remote desktop protocol) is. Or ping. Or anything. All things he knew in the interview.
He had someone else phone interview instead of him.
We called the contract company and had him fired.
What was crazy to me was my coworkers were so afraid of confrontation that they continued to help this guy get his other accounts and such setup, even after they knew he was a fake, until he left for the day."
"I became the hiring manager for a mom and pop restaurant when I was 18 years old. I looked young, and most people put me at about 16 at the time. At any rate, I'd exchanged some emails with a woman wanting to become a server. I was planning on hiring her as she had lots of experience and seemed nice. So I scheduled her an in-person interview. Keep in mind that I had never seen her in person.
The day of her interview came and I just happened to be at the hostess station when she arrived. When I greeted her, 'Hi, welcome,' she cut me off with what had become one of my favorite instances of self-sabotage I ever witnessed.
'Alright, listen. I'm about to get hired here as a server. So what that means is that you, as a little hostess, are going to sit me with all the big tables and give me all the good regulars or I won't tip you out and I'll make your life miserable. Got it? Good. Now, run along and tell your hiring manager, [my name], that I'm here.'
I smiled back sweetly and said the most satisfying sentence.