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Born Dull?! Interview nightmares

21st Jun 2005
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The Born Dull?! team received news this week that a boss in Glasgow recently held a job interview naked in order, he says, to satisfy his boredom. Since his unveiling he has been given three years probation and placed on the sex offenders' register.

Neil Gouldson, employment law expert at Manchester law firm Rowe Cohen says the case should serve as a stark warning to employers: "Although this is a very unusual case, bosses should still beware of trying to make any jokes during an interview. Employees are becoming ever more litigious so it's vital that employers tread carefully when interviewing."

So you guessed it this week we want to hear about your interview nightmares (hopefully not as weird as above). We have devised an 'interview nightmares' top 10 to get you going. Post your nightmares/amusing anecdotes at the bottom of this article.

Born Dull?! team's top 10
1. One of your interview panel members falls asleep in the middle of the interview.
2. Your candidate attends the interview wearing inappropriate clothing for example a tuxedo, humorous Homer Simpson tie and musical socks. (Incidentally, tuxedo candidate explained that he was attending a wedding so he just hired the suit for an extra day!)
3. You recognise your interviewee/ interviewer from a wanted poster in the post office/ Crimewatch/ flashbacks from a very drunken night...
4. Your cocky candidate takes control of the interview with: 'And just what are your qualifications to interview me?'
5. You have to get through the interview avoiding breathing through your nose as your candidate/ interviewer has the worse case of body odour you have ever encountered'help!
6. Candidate/interviewer leaves mobile phone on during interview which he answers all the way through (complete with appropriate ring tones depending on who calls e.g death march for boss etc).
7. Twenty minutes into the interview you realise you are interviewing the candidate for the wrong job' whoops!
8. You ask your candidate what they do in their spare time and they demonstrate their passion for you by singing some awful song out of key, start to tap dance complete with jazz hands or prove their magic skills by pulling coins out of your ear.
9. Your candidate arrives complete with child and dog.
10. You spend the entire interview mesmerized by your candidates huge nose and can't remember a thing they said.

Dawn-Marie Dart

For more amusement see the Born Dull?! humour page

Replies (5)

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By Welling
22nd Jun 2005 16:41

It Happens on Both Sides
One partner interviewed me in his office to show me the "nerve centre" and started by going to get some drinks for us to show how there were "no egos here". On his return, he promptly dropped a cup of coffee onto the edge of the desk infront of me thereby showering both me and several piles of paper in scalding liquid. We then spent the next 15 minutes mopping up and rescuing as much paper as possible while he apologised over the state of my suit. After that, he seemed at a total loss as to what questions to ask and we agreed the best course of action was to go straight to arranging the 2nd interview with one of his colleagues.

On the other side of the fence, I was about to go in to interview a candidate when I was told they had come with their mother. I turned round and told a lady who looked to be about 40 that we would get her a drink and she could wait in reception. I then heard a whisper from the receptionist behind me saying "that is not the mother, that is the candidate".

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By a.nesbitt.forrester-boyd
21st Jun 2005 11:28

Surely not designer stubble?
Many years ago I attended an interview in Nottingham where the interviewer had a hairline that came very low down his forehead. This in itself wasn't an issue. The fact that he had evidently shaved the bottom inch off a couple of days previously, leaving a line of stubble at the top of his forehead was.
I'm still not sure whether he did this as some sort of cruel interviewing technique to gauge candidates' ability to deal with clients with weird hair, or whether he actually thought that it looked OK. Either way I was completely put off my stride and never got the job.

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By AnonymousUser
21st Jun 2005 11:35

Interview nightmare
I once travelled from Manchester to interview several candidates for a position at our Birmingham office, narrowing the selection down to two.

My final choice was offered the job by post, and accepted. Some weeks later I returned to Birmingham to check on his progress and found I'd appointed the 'wrong' bloke. He stayed in the job for fourteen years!

(The chap I'd meant to appoint got a senior job with another Manchester firm, so I met him quite often. I never got around to telling him I'd changed the course of his life by an administrative error)

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By omar1957
21st Jun 2005 12:41

Dirty Habits
I remember my personnel manager moaning about the interviewee who picked his nose continually throughout the interview and then insisted on shaking hands when he left.

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Rebecca Benneyworth profile image
By Rebecca Benneyworth
21st Jun 2005 20:00

Those were the days!
I married during my degree course, so when I applied to chartered firms for a training contract, I applied as a married woman. During an interview with the senior partner of a then sizeable mid tier firm I was asked how I would manage to study for my exams when I would be looking after my husband, cooking his dinner and doing his ironing in the evenings? I remained polite but needless to say did not accpet the offer of a training post!

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