HR Series – The Worst Interview Ever – Bday Boy

In my HR career I’ve met several types of candidates. Some arrived in advanced, prepared and enthusiastic. Some didn’t. Some candidates just weren’t the right fit for the company or the role. The last group, and luckily the smallest, just didn’t want the job. I want to share some of the stories with you in coming weeks on the candidates I will never forget! For different reasons. Here is my personal no.1.

1. Birthday Boy.

Let’s call him Jason. I rang Jason on Thursday morning to arrange an interview for Monday. I’d received his CV from one of the colleges I worked with at the time. He completed Sales and Marketing course and was looking for 6 weeks of relevant work experience. At the time we were looking for a sales and support administrator. I thought: Great! Let’s give this chap a chance. We will train him in over 6 weeks and if he is eager to learn and proactive, we will keep him. Our phone conversation went something like this:

  • Me:  Hi, Jason, I would like to invite you for an interview on Monday, let’s say at 11 am. Would that suit you?
  • J: Monday? I don’t know, if I can make it…
  • Me: Do you have an exam? Are you still in college? 
  • J: Nope. It’s my 21st birthday this Saturday…
  • Me: Sorry, I don’t understand. The interview is on Monday…

We finally confirmed the interview.

Then the D-day came. Monday, 11 am, I am waiting. At 11.05 reception announced that my interviewee has arrived. I welcomed Jason. I could see he was slight nervous. He was wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I thought: not the best choice to impress. He actually looked wrecked and I could swear he was slightly shaking. The party must have been good. Way too good. We went to the meeting room. I explained the role and responsibilities, we went through his education history and interests. I would always check candidate’s company knowledge. At the end of the day you want someone excited by the prospect of working for your organisation and make at least a little effort to research it beforehand. Not in this case!

  • Me: What do you know about our company?
  • Jason: Yeah, good question, what does your company do?

I possibly should not have bothered with the interview after the initial call but I found myself in one of these “total disbelief moments”, when you think, that “it can’t be real…!” But people will always find a way to surprise you! As you can guess our Jason didn’t get the job.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment and share your own stories. 

More stories coming soon. Some with happy ending!

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