Interview Disasters & Tips

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It seems, no matter how well a job interview goes most people leave the interview mainly remembering the mistakes and hiccups in the interview process. That awkward silence in the middle, that fumbled answer they gave, or something that should have been said but was forgotten at the time. We all tend to do it, being self-critical in stressful situations. We just need to remember that while we make mistakes, it helps us in the future – live and learn as they say. But also remember, it could have been much worse. Here are some of the more amazing interview blunders reported from those in the field:


A candidate did very well throughout a telesales interview, only to stun the interviewer at the end by stating “I do not do cold calling.” TIP: Know the responsibilities of the position you are applying for and fully understand what the company does. Being unprepared is a major blunder which can easily be avoided by simply doing a little research on the company and the position beforehand.


Some interviews can be a bit more casual feeling, and allow you to loosen up a bit more than others. One candidate felt things went really well during the interview, and ended the interview by asking the hiring agent out on a date. TIP: Always keep it professional, and no matter how well you hit it off, it is never a good idea to do this at the time.


At the end of an interview, the candidate was told she could ask a question – but only one question. After giving it some thought, she asked the hiring agent, “Are you going anywhere nice on your holiday this summer?” TIP: Most interviews have a time where you can ask a question; be prepared with a professional, job or company related question. With a little research, and just common sense about your field and the job opening, you should more easily be prepared with a few questions ahead of time.


A candidate spent a part of the interview time complaining about his previous boss, only to discover that the hiring agent was related to that previous boss. TIP: While that is probably a worst case scenario, it is generally never a good idea to bad mouth any former employer or employee.


A common interview question is to be asked “what is your biggest weakness?” One candidate answered with a startling response of “My dishonesty.” TIP: This can be a tough question, but it is common enough that most of us know it is most likely coming, so be prepared. Answers like “I am a perfectionist,” or “I work too hard,” may sound like good responses, but they are not. You need to pick something that is true, but that will not damage your chances for the position. Someone applying for an admin role would hurt their chances if they state their weakness was being unorganized or erratic at paperwork; but that same weakness would have little bearing on someone applying for a sales role.


Do a little research before going on the job interview, and be as prepared as you can with details about the job and company. If you go to an interview in an attempt to just “wing it,” it can be a root cause that lands your responses on someone’s interview blunders list in the future.


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