The worst job interview you have ever attended? Were there any lessons learned?

#61
Went for an interview in Manchester for a job that was in Lincolnshire about 25 mins from home. Interview went really well and I was offered the job.
Which is when it went pear shaped.
The interviewer decided to give me more information about the company and named the two managing directors. At this point and to his obvious shock I said I didn't want the job.
I explained that I was local and knew both of them by reputation and wasn't prepared to work for either of them.
Nice trip out over the Pennines though came back via the pretty route.
 
#62
Went for an interview for a contract position, 200 mile return trip.
It became apparent that it was for a permanent position which I had no interest in. Told that was end of interview then. I demanded and got expenses as they were to blame. Paid when it became obvious that I wasn't leaving the chief engineers office without it.
On a similar note the management team of one of my companies advertised an open rec. Interviewee turned up at the office in Canary Wharf having travelled in from somewhere in Kent which was an ok commute for him.

He only found out on the interview (not that this had been mentioned in the ad) that the position was actually to be based in the Maidenhead office which was an unfeasible commute for him. He left quite unhappy at this all, understandably really.

On the note of unhelpful interviews having gone to third stage interview with a retail organisation last December and not having heard anything yet I have struck them off my list, not that is matters as I start my new contract job next Tuesday at what is a very handsome day rate to me. 4-5 months will get me nicely to Summer for a few months break before I decide what to do next.

I have some training/certification in mind over that period that will help me on the next step. It is great to be in control over what I choose to do and learn rather than leave that to some corporation who invariably decide on things I don't really want.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#63
He only found out on the interview (not that this had been mentioned in the ad) that the position was actually to be based in the Maidenhead office which was an unfeasible commute for him. He left quite unhappy at this all, understandably really.
Ive had similar, post advertised for London or Derby, interview at head office in Derby. Offered the job in Derby turned it down. A mate took the role and lasted 4 years selling up and moving back to London!
 
#64
Not a worst, but a funny. Did almost 24 years in the mob (Scalley), so it was fairly prominent on my CV, got asked to go for an interview, attended with the Director in charge of the dept doing the questions, got the job.
About 4 weeks later all off to the Lakes (Borrowdale south of Keswick) for some team bonding, first thing on the agenda - abseiling - I say Ill go first and down the rope I wizz, others follow, all buzzing with the adrenaline rush, eventually the Director descends and says to me did I enjoy it, explained that I had plenty of previous experience including free abseiling (had to explain what that was), he then asked where Id done this before, 'In the Army' said I, 'oh you were in the Army then . . . '

He's the CEO now and Im taking early retirement in April.
 
#65
A few interviews where there wasn't a role and they were just sounding out potential. One I walked out of halfway through after they started to query my military experience and reason for being in the reserve (Chelmsford Borough, quite an antagonistic interview board). I finished the interview at that point. Thoroughly pissed off after travelling from Plymouth to Chelmsford but I did screw them for expenses before leaving. Next day went for a job with Hereford an Worcester, better position, pay. They gave me the job that day and they sent me to university on day release so Chelmsford was a great rehearsal.

Bear with me on this one: couple of years ago went for an interview as Interim Estate Director for a southern NHS board. Absolutely aced the interview. Really enjoyed meeting people. Offer letter received next day. Handed in notice. The day was full of blue birds and bunny rabbits. Looking forward to the role and had a few conversations with the existing director about strategy etc etc. The Friday before I was due to start I receive a phone call from me "new boss". Job was with withdrawn. Sorry. I'd been recruited outside the NHS protocol and he hung up. he was suddenly unobtainable. I went in to a flat spin of phone calls and also felt very sick telling wifey (who was really enthusiastic about my new job) that there wasn't one and I'd spoken to my previous employer who's said they'd love to have me back but they'd just started to restructure and make redundancies. In the end, through a few contacts I got a great interim role as I could literally start on Monday which lead to other things. I also eventually got through to the CEO of the trust and explained that her HR and Estates team were incompetent, that as a specialist non-medical role they didn't need to go through NHS protocols. She initially said I had been recruited without the HR team's knowledge and it was an error by the estates director and awfully sorry, never mind goodbye. I explained that I was interviewed by the estates director and HR director and named them and I would be sending them an invoice and raising the matter with the board trustees.... after of course speaking to an employment solicitor. She started to waffle and then told me to send in a claim, direct to her.
I eventually got three month's pay and expenses and by then I was in a better role BUT it was the worst interview because of the gut wrenching sickening result and then the hassle of getting some recompense.
 
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#66
A few interviews where there wasn't a role and they were just sounding out potential. One I walked out of halfway through after they started to query my military experience and reason for being in the reserve (Chelmsford Borough, quite an antagonistic interview board). I finished the interview at that point. Thoroughly pissed off after travelling from Plymouth to Chelmsford but I did screw them for expenses before leaving. Next day went for a job with Hereford an Worcester, better position, pay. They gave me the job that day and they sent me to university on day release so Chelmsford was a great rehearsal.

Bear with me on this one: couple of years ago went for an interview as Interim Estate Director for a southern NHS board. Absolutely aced the interview. Really enjoyed meeting people. Offer letter received next day. Handed in notice. The day was full of blue birds and bunny rabbits. Looking forward to the role and had a few conversations with the existing director about strategy etc etc. The Friday before I was due to start I receive a phone call from me "new boss". Job was with withdrawn. Sorry. I'd been recruited outside the NHS protocol and he hung up. he was suddenly unobtainable. I went in to a flat spin of phone calls and also felt very sick telling wifey (who was really enthusiastic about my new job) that there wasn't one and I'd spoken to my previous employer who's said they'd love to have me back but they'd just started to restructure and make redundancies. In the end, through a few contacts I got a great interim role as I could literally start on Monday which lead to other things. I also eventually got through to the CEO of the trust and explained that her HR and Estates team were incompetent, that as a specialist non-medical role they didn't need to go through NHS protocols. She initially said I had been recruited without the HR team's knowledge and it was an error by the estates director and awfully sorry, never mind goodbye. I explained that I was interviewed by the estates director and HR director and named them and I would be sending them an invoice and raising the matter with the board trustees.... after of course speaking to an emplotyment solicitor. She started to waffle and and me to send in a claim, direct to her.
I eventually got three month's pay and expenses and by then I was in a better role BUT it was the worst interview because of the gut wrenching sickening result and then the hassle of getting some recompense.
For my last permy role they wanted me soonest. I said that I was not going to hand in my notice till I had a job contract signed and countersigned. With so many of the "we have changed our minds", "the job never really existed" experiences I am not going to put blind faith into any employer.

Thinking of this it is now time for me to start poking around with LSEG, they did say they might have the role back on course in the New Year and so I would expect after three interviews that is so they will be wanting to talk to me.
 
#67
Company lost two major contracts within a couple of months and we were to be TUPE'd over to the new contractor.
Problem one, I did not want to work for the new contractor.
Problem two, refusing to attend an interview or accept a job meant that I had made myself unemployed.

Went for the interview.
Q Where would you rank yourself from a technical point of view on this aircraft type compared with the other applicants?
A Last on the list. I would not be doing cartwheels to work on them.
Q Would you accept a job on another of our bases?
A No.
Q You appear to have had a lot of jobs WHY?
A Because I was a contract engineer, my last job was 8 years and I am only here now because if I don't attend I have made myself unemployed.
Q You have restricted qualifications compared with the other applicants why is that.
A Because your HR can't interpret an engineers licence. I am not aware that any Boeing 737's are operating to offshore gas platforms which is where the restriction exists on my qualifications.


I think this would be read as taking a dive on the interview.
Unsurprisingly there was no job offer.
I returned to my existing employer with the sad news.
They offered me continuance of employment although they had no signed contacts. Still there after 9 years!!!!!

Result!!
 
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#68
For my last permy role they wanted me soonest. I said that I was not going to hand in my notice till I had a job contract signed and countersigned. With so many of the "we have changed our minds", "the job never really existed" experiences I am not going to put blind faith into any employer.

Thinking of this it is now time for me to start poking around with LSEG, they did say they might have the role back on course in the New Year and so I would expect after three interviews that is so they will be wanting to talk to me.
You are right. I had offer and acceptance in writing. CEO still tried to say they weren't valid because I had been recruited outside the protocols.

Good luck in your searching :)
 
#69
One of a few, wheeled myself in to interview panel of 4. The look on the faces of the two female members unsettled me. "Oh ! So you're disabled then" says senior male, could I give them a moment, wait here ,we will be right back.

Moments pass and junior male returns with a blanket ( a fire blanket ffs ) and a request to cover my stumps. I remeber word for word the following " the ladies are quite upset at the sight of your stumps " my immediate and quite witty (I thought ) reply of " not as upset as I am loosing the legs "
Interview resumes and surprisingly I wasn't invited back.
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#70
One of a few, wheeled myself in to interview panel of 4. The look on the faces of the two female members unsettled me. "Oh ! So you're disabled then" says senior male, could I give them a moment, wait here ,we will be right back.

Moments pass and junior male returns with a blanket ( a fire blanket ffs ) and a request to cover my stumps. I remeber word for word the following " the ladies are quite upset at the sight of your stumps " my immediate and quite witty (I thought ) reply of " not as upset as I am loosing the legs "
Interview resumes and surprisingly I wasn't invited back.
Did you rock up naked or something? :D

I have to ask, for all you free roaming contractor types, what sort of stuff are you all doing? I've always wanted to work for myself, but not sure where to start. I envisage myself as the sort of guy that roles into an organisation to review something and tell them it's shit, here's how to fix it, and rolls back out again.

A few of my qualifications from the job could be used externally such as crime prevention surveying for large sites and architectural liaison.

What quake should I aim for? I still have my ELC to spend, about £2k.
 

Helm

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#71
Did you rock up naked or something? :D

I have to ask, for all you free roaming contractor types, what sort of stuff are you all doing? I've always wanted to work for myself, but not sure where to start. I envisage myself as the sort of guy that roles into an organisation to review something and tell them it's shit, here's how to fix it, and rolls back out again.

A few of my qualifications from the job could be used externally such as crime prevention surveying for large sites and architectural liaison.

What quake should I aim for? I still have my ELC to spend, about £2k.
Well, boot sales man is out.
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#72
Well, boot sales man is out.
I may have already been asked by a brand that's passed through my hands but I honestly couldn't think of anything worse. KPIs give me the fear, as do any targets of any kind, especially a sales target.

Baulk.
 

Helm

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#73
I may have already been asked by a brand that's passed through my hands but I honestly couldn't think of anything worse. KPIs give me the fear, as do any targets of any kind, especially a sales target.

Baulk.
With you on that, my one and only sales job lasted 4 days, until a manager heard me say "You want to buy the F****ing thing or not!"
 
#74
Did you rock up naked or something? :D

I have to ask, for all you free roaming contractor types, what sort of stuff are you all doing? I've always wanted to work for myself, but not sure where to start. I envisage myself as the sort of guy that roles into an organisation to review something and tell them it's shit, here's how to fix it, and rolls back out again.

A few of my qualifications from the job could be used externally such as crime prevention surveying for large sites and architectural liaison.

What quake should I aim for? I still have my ELC to spend, about £2k.
Just a suggestion, I think I know the qualifications you refer to and there can be a slight challenge in getting them recognised/validated outside the job.
One way of doing so is using them and your experience to join a relevant society such as the Security Institute, That gives you MSyl after your name as I recall.
When you apply for posts you can then demonstrate accreditation and access to network of like minded professionals, continuous professional development and knowledge of good, best practice etc.
 
#76
I may have already been asked by a brand that's passed through my hands but I honestly couldn't think of anything worse. KPIs give me the fear, as do any targets of any kind, especially a sales target.

Baulk.
Calm your fevered brow, youth: KPIs are so vague that as long as Tuesday follows Monday a KPI-somewhere-has been met.
 
#77
Turned up for a security job, first question was are you related to WO2 *****, why yes I reply thats my dad, turns out the interviewer was a corporal under my dad and my dad had a habit of pointing out what a useless **** he was on a daily basis and no I didnt get the job
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#78
Calm your fevered brow, youth: KPIs are so vague that as long as Tuesday follows Monday a KPI-somewhere-has been met.
Unfortunately my experience of it during the dark days of Stephen 'I bum boys' House were that they were sought after pretty brutally and lots of hard times arose because of them, not to mention the large scale corporate fraud it all resulted in.
 
#79
A colleague and I were both invited to give a demonstration lecture as part of a job application.
The interview/demo was held in a hotel, booked for the day.
I put my demo on a flip chart, my mate did a very impressive PowerPoint.
That was the plan, at least.

Come the big day, the recruitment lady gathered all the candidates, announced there would be no electricity for the interview/demo, so anyone unable to continue could go home.

As a filter for recruitment, great idea :)
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#80
A colleague and I were both invited to give a demonstration lecture as part of a job application.
The interview/demo was held in a hotel, booked for the day.
I put my demo on a flip chart, my mate did a very impressive PowerPoint.
That was the plan, at least.

Come the big day, the recruitment lady gathered all the candidates, announced there would be no electricity for the interview/demo, so anyone unable to continue could go home.

As a filter for recruitment, great idea :)
And that is why you go prepared and cover all options:

1. PowerPoint (on four different media typea, five different cable types and a spare laptop).
2. OHP (along with suitable OHP).
3. Flipchart (along with a flipchart stand).
4. Laminated, sticky labels (with green felt board for attaching to)
5. Chalk and board (with suitable big duster)

That about covers all the bases. Only downside is your prep and rehearse time is now so long the vacancy will have been filled before you've finished laminating the last label.
 
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