Tales from nightmare interviews

Tales from nightmare interviews

The CEB has revealed that nearly one in five jobseekers have stopped purchasing from a brand entirely as a result of bad candidate experience - it tur

The CEB has revealed that nearly one in five jobseekers have stopped purchasing from a brand entirely as a result of bad candidate experience – it turns out that nervous suited candidate in front of your interview panel is not only a potential employee, but also a customer, and poor candidate experiences during the recruitment processes can badly damage perceptions of an organisation’s overall brand. Plus,  the case of some nightmare interview situations can lead to some seriously embarrassing stories.

According to the latest research from talent acquisition and management consultancy, Alexander Mann Solutions – your very own assessment processes may be sabotaging the candidate experience – based on in-depth interviews with some of the UK’s and US’s biggest employers. In fact, your assessment must always be robust enough to provide the right people for the right role, it must also offer a positive, professional, appropriate and understandable experience – or a ‘consumer-grade’ candidate experience.

Commenting on the report, Jeremy Tipper, Managing Director at Talent Collective, the consulting division of Alexander Mann Solutions, notes:

“Many organisations are now investing significant resources in the development and communication of their employer brand, which is undoubtedly essential to attracting top talent, however, actually engaging and hiring that talent is proving to be difficult for organisations which have failed to make the connection between how the interview and assessment process impacts a candidate’s continued perception of the brand, and therefore, their experience.”

“Consequently, HR Directors, internal communications teams and other leaders are failing to harness the power of the interview and assessment process to shape perceptions of their organisation. Assessment needs to feel fully and logically embedded into the overall candidate experience – not a distinct, standalone part of the process.”

So – what counts as a bad experience?

James Reed, chairman of reed.co.uk – who published the second edition of his book, Why You? 101 Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again – said the stories showed that candidates needed to prepare for all eventualities. He said: “It’s great that people were so candid in revealing their worst interview experiences – and it just goes to show the importance of being prepared. “There’s lots you can do to avoid an interview nightmare. Doing your research beforehand is vital and practicing interview questions is the best way to calm nerves. We’re all human though, and sometimes things just go wrong. It’s great that candidates are able to laugh at themselves – or sometimes their interviewer – then pick themselves up, dust themselves down and get on with finding their dream job.”

Here is the full list of the 20 worst interview experiences ever compiled by Reed. Which is the worst for you? 

1) I’d had a one night stand with my interviewer. Pretended not to recognise her.

2) The interviewer’s name was Siobhan and I pronounced it the way it was spelt. Realised my mistake two minutes from the end.

3) Arrived wearing a Celtic FC tie only to be shown into an office festooned with Glasgow Rangers memorabilia. Did not get the job.

4) I went for an interview to work in a museum. They gave me an artefact to look at which I immediately picked up. Then I noticed the pair of cotton gloves on the table that I should have put on first.

5) I threw up in the middle of the interview.

6) Bumped into my current boss while at lunch with the interviewer.

7) Tripped up the interviewer by treading on her flip-flop.

8) Was unexpectedly interviewed in Welsh.

9) The interviewer reached over the table and went to shake my hand. Nerves got the better of me and I inadvertently winked at him.

10) I burst into tears during the interview because my dog had just died.

11) I spilt coffee on my shirt and tie moments before walking in.

12) The chair broke, I fell off it and started crying.

13) I burped in the middle of an answer.

14) The interviewer was an ex-girlfriend’s dad

15) Passed out during a second interview and woke up in an ambulance.

16) Went to the loo in the disabled toilet. Pulled the string thinking it was the flush rather than the alarm. Every employee arrived to help me. Worst day of my life.

17) Walked into the interview and the person interviewing me was someone I

18) I sneezed all over the interviewer. It was so embarrassing

19) The traffic was awful, I was very short of time and got ready in a rush. It was only during the interview that I looked down and realised I was wearing odd shoes.

20) Interviewer had a heart attack and I had to give him CPR
Jeremy Tipper comtinues:

“It is crucial that jobseekers understand why they are being asked to do something. Questions and tests which are not directly relevant to the role or organisation in a way which the candidate understands and buys into will be, at best, considered a waste of time or, at worst, acutely damaging to the brand. And at a time when 83% of job applicants admit their perception as to the attractiveness of a potential employer is heavily influenced by the quality of an interview, balancing robust assessment and a positive candidate experience is business critical.”

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