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    Wednesday
    Jul032013

    7 Most Embarrassing Interview Stories Ever

    Everyone’s had at least one less than perfect interview. Some of us have turned up dressed to the nines for a laid back office role; some of us have stuttered, blundered and shambled our way through an hour’s interrogation; however a few of us like these poor souls below have had an interview that’s best left as nothing more than a faded memory.

    For some step by step advice to help you prepare for interviews see our How to Ace the Interview eBook.

    For now, we’ve scoured the net to find a few of the employment horror stories to make your slip ups wholly more acceptable:

    I was asked, "If you could be an animal, what would it be?" I replied, "What sort of a stupid question is that?" Didn't get the job.  [shortlist.com]

    We’ve all been warned to expect this sort of question at one point or another when going to university or job interviews. There are plenty of rumours about what sort of questions interviewers like to ask to delve deeper into the psyche of hopefuls, and no matter how ludicrous you might find the whole exercise, being this honest is a little risky. Of course, just like the myth of the random interview question, someone is always going to say that they replied stating how pointless this was, and the company loved it, and gave them the job. This person is even less likely than the “if you were a newspaper, which one would you be”, question. It’s best just to go with it. 

    "Believe it or not, I did have a candidate who showed up without a bra -- wearing a silk dress. It was really obvious and made me worry that she would be an employee who didn't know what's appropriate.” [beautyriot.com]

    It’s always best to be overdressed, never, ever underdressed. Even if it is a casual environment, you’ll be respected a lot more for playing it safe. Read our Interview Tips: Dress for Success for more help with what to wear at an interview.

    As my potential boss was describing the job responsibilities I said, "That sounds really boring." [askamanager.org]

    Again, honesty isn’t always the best policy. If you do think the job description isn’t for you, nod along and agree, then weigh up your options after the interview. It’s best not to burn your bridges before you’ve even had an offer. There are plenty of stories about people who went for one interview, only to be offered a different role in the company. Stating how boring the job sounds is the end of the line, and you will never know what could have been.

    A guy is drinking coffee on the way to the interview and spills it on his pants. He gets to the company and uses the restroom to clean up. He ends up overflowing the toilet and goes into the interview with wet shoes. When he left the interview he opened the closet door instead of the office door. [indeed.com]

    This story from an interviewer just goes to show that we all really do have bad days. It might sound like your worst nightmare, but is it really that bad? Everyone’s had days when one disaster has just snowballed into the day from hell, including interviewers (who by the way are people too, and have more than likely been in a similar role, to that you’re being interviewed for). They will be much more interested in how you cope under stress, pressure and how productive you are on ‘off days’, - much more than they’re interested in embarrassing you. 

    "Wait, you don't have a Master's degree?"

    "No, I don't. I have a bachelor's degree." 

    "Oh… I'm sorry, this job is really for someone with a Master's degree. I'm afraid we won't be considering you." 

    She took my silence as confusion about what I was supposed to do, so she smiled and got up and said "Let me show you out." [askamanager.org]

    This could be seen as the fault of the interviewer, but it’s always best to check and double check the role description, person specification and essential requirements. For starters, it’s best to narrow the job market by only applying for those which you are qualified to do, and secondly if you have been offered an interview which requests a qualification you don’t have – call and check. It could be a driving licence, education, training or criminal record check, if you call and ask you either a) realise it would have been a complete waste of time, or b) they’re willing to be flexible on the requirement and you’ve made a good impression already. Win, win. 

    I turned up a week early... [guardian.co.uk]

    Check the date and time. Check it again. Never ever be late, or overly early. However, if you are running late, call and let them know – turning up late without calling to explain why will not make a great first impression.

    I realized later that I still had the price tag hanging from the underarm of the cute new dress I bought for the interview... [city-data.com]

    If you get to every interview 10 – 15 minutes early you’ll always have enough time to check your appearance before going in. This along with the fact you hopefully checked before you left the house means you’ll always be in tip top condition when you sit down. These sorts of mistakes are unlikely to lose you the job if you were the best candidate, although it could hint to a lack of attention to detail, but this type of post-interview shudder is not what you need. 

    Guest Post by: 

    Stephen Thompson, Managing Director of Forward Role Recruitment the first choice for Marketing jobs, Creative jobs, E-Commerce Jobs and Analystical jobs in Manchester, the North West and Yorkshire. You can find him on Google+

    More articles on handling job interviews:

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