Bad Job Interviews

First the good news: I finally got a job today: system admin at a medical related non-profit (w00t!). Good pay, excellent benefits, yada yada. About freaking time, too. While interviewing at various companies, I had the following bad start to an interview:

I pull up to the place that I’m supposed to interview at, park my car right in front of the door, and get out. My suit coat is on a hanger in the back seat. Leaving the front door open, I open the rear door of my car, put my suit coat on, dropping my keys in the process. I bend over to pick up my keys, and hit my forehead on the tip of the top of my front car door, right between the eyes. Hard. Looking in the side mirror of the car, I can see a little dent in my forehead, but it doesn’t look like I’ve done any real damage. I continue on to my interview.

I walk into the office, and the lady I’m supposed to meet is waiting for me. I introduce myself, while the lady looks at me funny. She says “Do you know your bleeding?” I touch my forehead, and blood starts to spurt everwhere, getting onto the lady’s clothes, the office furnature, and the carpet. I rush to the bathroom nearby, and I look like I should be dead. Blood all over my forehead, running down my nose. I clean myself up, wad up a handfull of toliet paper, and do my interview holding the tissue to my forehead like I’m Karnak guessing what’s inside of an envelope. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job :( .

My question is: what’s your bad interview story, or, if your a supervisor, what’s the worst interview you’ve seen?

EDIT: edited the title after Stroker’s post

When I saw the subject header, Bad Interviews, I thought it was going to be about something like this*.

Great story, Brandon! However, you should have used the opportunity to pull a Fight Club moment at the interview:

Q: “Is that your blood?”

A: “Yes, some of it.”

 -Tom
  • I am not responsible for any mental trauma sustained while reading that interview, particularly from the stuff in the “His Love Life” section.

lol one time voltaic claimed this was gmicek
and i believed it.

Tom, that is possibly the gheyest. interview. evar. In the entire history of language.

“[LadyGamers]: You’re one of the creators of Quake 1, a community that has turned into a monster with the series of titles that have been released since then. Back in that day, what do you feel was more unique since it was so new?”

I can’t get passed this question. And it’s the first one. Was Romero’s answer: “What?” Because that’s the only answer that makes sense to me.

Oh… and congrats Brandon!

[LadyGamers]: What percentage of the women you date would you say are somehow involved in the game industry?

[Romero]: None. And I would love to find a woman in the industry to be with. Yeah, totally. A little deathmatching chick would get me crazy pretty quick.

What the hell? Killcreek was a free blow and a boob job?

That is just plum awful.

Here’s the intro to the other interview:

Nate first started playing games through some friends he had working in a school district. Back then they would all work a bit, then during work hours a massive LAN party would explode through the oh-too-expensive networks. Nate is now currently known as the guy dedicated to OGL and Quakecon. He’s very sweet, not just because he’s a cutiepie, but from his mature attitude in the gaming community. He loves joking around so beware of his charming smile, it could mean he’s up to something!

Good Lord I’m still shaking.

I think I’ve had maybe four job interviews total in my life. The only one I didn’t succeed in (that is to say, I didn’t get the job, not because I interview great, I think it’s more because I was kinda a shoo-in) was with Ensemble Studios. That was a crazy experience. Those guys are pretty cool though. First company I been to where you quite literally interview with everyone in the company, everyone votes whether or not to hire you… and if someone votes no, you’re not in. Guess I had some “no’s” :)

— Alan

I think I said it is his desktop, i.e. his wallpaper. Not that it is him. For the record that hasn’t been his desktop for at least 6 months now.

It is funny as hell though. Hehe. :P :P :P

My worst interview was an interview I had at school. Companies would come in and do interviews of people that were going to be graduating soon. One company the interviewer was very confrontational. The first question he asked, “If I wanted to hire someone to put up widgets, why should anyone hire you for the job?” I responded, “Well if they needed to be put up high then I could do a much better job.” I stood up and pretended to be hammering something into the ceiling (being 6’ 5" has some advantages). I then looked at him and cracked a big smile. He scowled and responded, “So you think this is a big joke?” In spite of my best attempts to remain cordial, the interview just kept getting worse.

I decided that he was an asshole and that I would never work for his company.

The funny part of the story is that I was in computer lab the next week talking to another student about job interviews. He started ranting and raving that he was never going to go on another job interview. He had been to one and it the worst thing he had ever experienced in his entire life. Questioning him further, it was the same company but a different interviewer. This stupid company apparently decided to be rude and confrontational on purpose!

I’ve only had one job which I think actually cared about the interview. Of course, since my other jobs had been warehouse goon, McDonalds’ slave, warehouse goon again and then working with a third-party company to walk around on subway trains where no one really seemed to care about what our job actually was, maybe it’s not that surprising. For this last one they had to invest in ten weeks of training, after all.

My worst interview:

I was being interviewed by this cretin at a retail chain, right before one summer. He was asking rather inane questions to which I gave all the “correct” answers to and the interview was really dragging on. This was just a retail job and I was really shocked at the length of time this was going on and the sheer audacity and stupidity of the questions.

Then he dropped “the bomb” question on me, the big one, the one that would decide my ultimate fate as an ass-kissing retail lackey or not: if I could be a bird, what bird would I be?

Peregrine hawk. Soaring majestically above the other birds, contemptuous of their presence, but occasionally diving down on them, talons outstretched viciously at the last second to snap a wing, a back or a neck. (note: at this time, I got up from my chair, started looking down and poised my elbows at shoulder height with the rest of my arm and hands pointed down with my fingers outstretched as claws, making vicious stabbing motions. My face was clearly animated with what I hoped looked like sadistic glee as I explained the process of tackling a bird five times the size and driving it into the ground and flying away at the last second). At some point during this display I made it a point to explain my loathing for the fat, lazy, overweight eagles who think they’re the kings of the sky.

It was just one of those classic moments where I caught the guy totally off-guard. He looked very shocked and not a little confused… I can imagine him checking through his notes to see what this oh-so-subtle question implied about my deep subconscious leanings.

My worst interview:

I was being interviewed by this cretin at a retail chain, right before one summer. He was asking rather inane questions to which I gave all the “correct” answers to and the interview was really dragging on. This was just a retail job and I was really shocked at the length of time this was going on and the sheer audacity and stupidity of the questions.

Then he dropped “the bomb” question on me, the big one, the one that would decide my ultimate fate as an ass-kissing retail lackey or not: if I could be a bird, what bird would I be?

Peregrine hawk. Soaring majestically above the other birds, contemptuous of their presence, but occasionally diving down on them, talons outstretched viciously at the last second to snap a wing, a back or a neck. (note: at this time, I got up from my chair, started looking down and poised my elbows at shoulder height with the rest of my arm and hands pointed down with my fingers outstretched as claws, making vicious stabbing motions. My face was clearly animated with what I hoped looked like sadistic glee as I explained the process of tackling a bird five times the size and driving it into the ground and flying away at the last second). At some point during this display I made it a point to explain my loathing for the fat, lazy, overweight eagles who think they’re the kings of the sky.

It was just one of those classic moments where I caught the guy totally off-guard. He looked very shocked and not a little confused… I can imagine him checking through his notes to see what this oh-so-subtle question implied about my deep subconscious leanings.

In my university days, I was interviewing for a job and the interviewer had a thick Scottish accent that I simply could not understand. Being young, and inexpereinced at real job interviews (as opposed to answering questions for a McJob), I didn’t dare aks him to repeat himself. I’m not at all sure if I answered anything correctly since I’m not sure of the questions. I also didn’t get the job.

Not really me,

When I interviewed for Incredible Universe, a new chain store of mammoth proportions that has since crashed and burned with epic loss of money, we had a bunch of tests.

This included a scantron/fill-in-the-bubble “integrity” test. This asked questions like:

How much money is the OK amount to take from the register if you will pay it back tommorow?

A: $0
B: $10
C: $50
D: $100

Any person with integrity, or any person that just knows how to lie could score high on this test. I passed. Phew. A few months later my manager was looking at people to hire. I managed to glimpse the “test score” of one of the applicants , and it was 30%. I mean, come on. How can you fail an integrity test? You have to have a criminal mind AND be stupid.

I once interviewed this guy for a programming position. After taking him around the office, we ducked into the meeting room to chat. Once the door was shut, he immediately started asking about all the women who worked there. Were they single? Was dating other employees allowed? Specifically, he asked about that cute little number who was managing one of our projects. Turned out he was talking about my wife.

D’oh!

Similar thing happened to one of our newer programmers a few years back, a guy who turns out couldn’t figure out a GOTO statement if his life depended on it.

Anyway, he makes a similar pass on a young woman at a Christmas party. “She’s hot.” The artist’s reaction: “Dude that’s my daughter.”

I also strongly suspect the guy threw up in my trashcan and never owned up to it, and I had to clean up the mess (he missed initially). Oh yeah, I don’t have a sweet spot for him.

— Alan

Did he get the job? :wink:

When I was a managing editor for a legal pulishing house, we were hiring a new attorney editor and I got the stack of resumes from HR. One of the resumes had listed on it a “date of availability” that was a couple of months in the future. Wondering what was up with that, I looked at the cover letter. The return address was a prison.

Did he get hired?? :)

— Alan

Of course! He obviously had all the qualifications you look for in a lawyer. :)

Brings new meaning to the term “jailhouse lawyer” :)

— Alan

Kind of off-topic, since it wasn’t a job interview, but…

I was in the Israeli army, and when they try to figure out where to assign you, you have to take a battery of tests, including a psychological profile. In the profile were questions like:

Do you often feel others are plotting against you?
Do you feel that other people are controlling your thoughts?
Do you think that inanimate objects talk to you?

And I’m thinking to myself, if someone is so paranoid that they think these things, what are the chances they’ll answer truthfully on the test? And I’m also thinking how scary it is that they have to depend on something like this to figure out if you’re stable…

Slightly more related, in Israel you generally have to do a psychometric test for any serious job, which includes graphology (really!), rorschach ink-blots (really, really!), and so on. So one of the things they make you do is they give you a sequence of big circles (about 10 IIRC), and ask you to draw in them. Due to a mix-up, I thought you had to fill in all the circles, and so I drew a little comic strip about a guy called the “Casual Hero”.

After this, there’s an interview with a psychologist. She asks me a bit about the drawings, and then she asks me “So, does this casual hero talk to you?” I just stared at her. “Does he make suggestions to you in your daily life? Do you treat him like a friend?” At that point, I just laughed at her–I realized that she was pretty much asking me point-blank if I’m a lunatic. Good thing I didn’t want the job anyway :)

Gav