May 13, 2008

"Offered food before the interview, he declined saying he didn't want to line his stomach with grease before going out drinking."

Interview gaffes.
• Candidate answered cell phone and asked the interviewer to leave her own office because it was a "private" conversation.

• Applicant told the interviewer he wouldn't be able to stay with the job long because he thought he might get an inheritance if his uncle died - and his uncle wasn't "looking too good."...

• During a phone interview the candidate flushed the toilet while talking to hiring manager.

• The applicant took out a hair brush and brushed her hair.

28 comments:

Meade said...

I'm sorry, I can't provide a comment about this post because all of my commenting has been for the CIA and it's all classified.

Pogo said...

I was once interviewing candidates for an ancillary health school training spot, and one guy had a gap of about six months in his resume.

Asked what was going on in that interim, he broke down and cried, telling this shaggy dog story about a divorce and a reunion with his son, etc. etc.

Holy buckets. Our team of interviewers just stared at each other. Awkward.
Oooookay. And so what made you consider our school? said I, but inside I was thinking I need to run away very quickly.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Is it possible this could also be a reason why we outsource?

Lawgiver said...

One of my pet peeves is people talking on their cell phones while using the restroom. I hate it. Airports are the worst.

Ron said...

The toilet flush one wasn't an error but a critique! They didn't really want that s--- job anyway!

George said...

Took a guy to lunch with other people. Fancy restaurant. Time to order. He went last, ordered white wine. Said that was all he ever had for lunch.

Oops!

rhhardin said...

The point of an interview is to find out if you want to work there.

If the interviewers are all frightened at the slightest thing, I'd look elsewhere.

They're likely to have annual consciousness raising seminars too, more's the irony.

Pogo said...

The point of an interview is also to find out if they want you to work there.

From the 'hiring' side, my take is that an interview is only useful insofar as it weeds out the obviously nuts/incapable/stupid/rude/boneheads who only look good on paper.

It is not good at weeding out sociopaths, however.

Ann Althouse said...

I should think that sociopaths are absolutely the best at putting on a show of conventional normality. They already know this is useful and necessary. Actual normal people have to remember not to show their individuality in this setting.

Pogo said...

You're quite right.

For this, reliance on your limbic system is essential. If someone gives you the creeps, trust that feeling.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Hoosier has it right. If I could outsource I would. The young people that I see by and large have no idea of how to interview for a job or what to wear to an interview. They have zero job skills, zero interest in really working,zero initiative or reliability.

It is a sad sad reflection on the inadequacies of our public school system and on a great many parent's lack of involvement in their children's lives and lack of parenting skills.

We should insist that our schools teach some basic living skills, such as: how to balance a check book, how to handle credit, budget, shop for food, interview for a job. I suppose that would be too much to ask since they don't even teach the basics of reading, math, science or history.

Palladian said...

"I should think that sociopaths are absolutely the best at putting on a show of conventional normality. They already know this is useful and necessary."

This is absolutely true; I've absolutely aced every interview I've had.

rhhardin said...

``The point of an interview is also to find out if they want you to work there.''

It's a poor interviewee that can't put an end to this misconception very quickly.

Roger J. said...

I can't provide a comment either because I am monitoring Meade's comments for the CIA.

Trooper York said...

When I was in a bigger accounting firm I was invovled in interviewing some prospective hires. One guy came in and he really knew his stuff but had an outsize personality. The boss goes to him "You know you are awfull cocky." He laughed and said. "Cocky. I'm not cocky, I'm
pee-pee."

I was the only one that thought we should hire him. Go figure.

Pogo said...

It's a poor interviewee that can't put an end to this misconception very quickly.

It cuts both ways. It's a date, really. Should we go steady? Do you like me? Like it or not, the ball is not entirely in the interviewee's court, except when they have a skill or star power unique among men.

You can always be replaced.

MadisonMan said...

Dust Bunny Queen, you make it sound like you are entitled to very excellent candidates! If you are interviewing people who have zero interest in the job, you should be working on your interview screening techniques. Why on Earth would you interview a slacker for a job? What a waste of time!

I dunno, maybe I'm missing something.

Trooper York said...

Well Madison Man, you can't really control who comes into interview especially if you are using a headhunter or even more if you place an ad. You sort of have to interview the people that are sent to you or show up. The head hunter might send 10 idiots and 2 really great prospects. You have to go through the rejects in hope of getting a winner. It's hard.

PatCA said...

I was on a panel interviewing people for a government position. We asked the "why do you want to come to work here" question of all of them. One woman leaned back in her chair and said airily, "Because I'm tired of working so hard."

She didn't get the job!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

When I was working in management in a bank we had to interview everyone who applied for a job opening who was even remotely qualified. People would flat out lie on their applications about their qualifications even though you specified the required job skills and background needed. Or they would completely ignore the requirements, as if they were just a whim on the part of the employer (the bank).

You don't get to choose who applies for the job and to avoid legal actions we had to interview almost everyone lest we be accused of discrimination based on race, gender etc etc etc. So tiresome.

Wheat and chaff. And yes.....I AM entitled to good candidates and AM entitled to hire the best. Unfortunately there is a lot of chaff out there with very little wheat. In my business, I hire part time office/clerical help. It is incredible that someone could graduate from high school and be unable to alphabetize files. Even more incredible that someone could graduate from college and be unable to compose a business letter.

Trooper York said...

Try to hire sales people at a women's clothing store. I wish I could put in the ad; "Women and gay guy's only."

At least Craig's list lets you be a little more selective. I would recommend that to DBQ. Put out an ad and have them email a response. They will be computer literate and you can get a sense of the level of the reading comprehension. Helps sort out the lunatics.

John Stodder said...

I once asked a potential intern candidate for some writing samples. She gave me some sappy love letters she had written to her ex-boyfriend after he'd broken up with her.

hoof_in_mouth said...

Lousy interviewees? Same as it ever was. Please, someone send me on an interview that 1) isn't a fake for their H1B program stats 2) isn't someone swinging their d**k in the air to see if my eyes follow it 3) knows the difference between the job skill and their business 4) isn't selecting for compliance instead of performance 5) understands that their lousy job is as unique as their lousy coffee.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

At least Craig's list lets you be a little more selective

Good point, Trooper, about the computer literacy. Another thing that keeps the lunatics out is that my employees have to be fingerprinted and subject to a background check. :-) SEC Rule 17 C.F.R. 240.17f-2

I actually have a fantabulous office employee now!

chuck b. said...

I heard about a candidate at my last job who got up to spit in the trashcan during his interview with the HR manager. Ha! I still laugh about that.

During the interview for my penultimate job I could hardly understand anything the hiring manager said to me because her jaron was so dense. It was an obvious red flag, but the work sounded interesting and I was desperate, so I took the job anyway. Never in the whole year that I worked for her did I feel any sense of rapport. Meetings only resulted in confusion no matter how specifically I tailored my questions and remarks.

Regardless, I learned a tremendous number of new skills (not the least of which was how to take charge of my own training), I performed my work effectively, and I gained confidence.

I dunno...I feel like I can work with anyone who is not psychotic (most people are not). I try to convey competence, but I also want to put ME front and center so the interviewer can make a decision. As far as I'm concerned, people can take it or leave it.

Works for me because I've gotten every offer I wanted to get.

Getting the interview is usually the hardest part for me.

Joe said...

Been performing a few interviews lately. I'd love to have someone do something wacky. It would be way better than wondering why you're even interviewing this person.

blake said...

I prefer no beverage or food as an interviewee. Too many opportunities for disaster.

As an interviewer, I like to forced jelly-filled donuts, sloppy joes and dribble glasses on prospects.

matthew said...

I'm with hoof_in_mouth. I've been involved in a number of interviews where the interviewer was considerably less than prepared (that's an over-statement). Spare me until the interviewers get their act together.

I've had multiple interviews at different law firms where the interviewer hadn't read my resume - often where I was going to another city to interview. I root for these firms to lose their cases. And my favorite is when I asked interviewer at a large firm how many positions had open. They said, well, we haven't decided if we're going to hire anyone at all. ..