The worst ways applicants tried to impress in interviews

The worst ways applicants tried to impress in interviews

When you arrange an interview for a candidate, the ball is really in their court. It’s up to them to make a good impression and showcase their skills as best they can, and hope it impresses you enough to secure them a new role.

However, some hopeful applicants scupper their chances as soon as they meet their potential employer face-to-face. Whether it’s bizarre answers to simple questions or unusual behaviours when they think they aren’t being watched, these candidates left a lasting impression on their interviewer for all the wrong reasons.

HR Grapevine scoured the internet to find the worst ways in which candidates tried, and subsequently messed up, in attempts to impress at interview.

Rotten Apple

Reddit user Illy67 knows someone who conducts interviews for a tech company – and they once interviewed someone with heaps of confidence, but no skills at all to back it up.

“Him: So, on a scale [from] one to ten, how good would you say your knowledge level about phones are?

Interviewee: Ten.

Him: Okay great, so tell me what you know about Apple products.

Interviewee: I'm not sure, I've never worked with an apple phone before.

Him: Okay...what kind of phone do you use?"

Interviewee: I don't even know. It’s some type of Android.”

Unsurprisingly, they were denied for the job.

Linguistic liar

It might seem like a fool proof CV lie – claim to be fluent in an unusual language and you might think nobody will be able to call you out on it. However, redditor dithecal got the chance to check out a candidate’s language skills and was hugely disappointed.

“Had a student applying for an entry-level IT internship,” they wrote. “His resume said he was fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin. Just for fun, I decided to check, as I'm a randomly fluent white guy. He did not, in fact, speak any Mandarin at all.”

Seeing red

Making bold choices with your wardrobe is always a big risk when it comes to job interviews. However, joaquinisadventuring once met someone in a job interview who decided they wanted to demonstrate their commitment to their potential new job with a brand-new style.

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“We were hiring for a teacher position and I was one of five in the panel,” they explained. “Our school colour is red. This guy, 22 year old, straight out of college, came in the colour red. LITERALLY in red.

“Red hair, red eyebrows, complete red suit and tie, red shoes with a red resume. It was difficult not to laugh.”

Rude dude

Eddyathome was filling in for his firm’s receptionist when he met a candidate who first demanded a drink, then started dishing out some unsolicited life advice. “He made several comments about how being a receptionist was a woman's job and how real men don't temp,” they wrote.

“The interviewer from HR comes out and knows something is up but not what, and the candidate was sweet as pie to them.

"When he left he pointed at me and said something along the lines of remember what I said about a real career.”

After they left, the interviewer asked Eddyathome what he thought of the candidate. “The HR guy [then] gave me the resume and said I could have the honours of placing the candidate in the blacklist file,” he said.

Absolutely flawless

“Don’t pretend like you don’t have any flaws,” warned __celli. “I will hire a flawed individual over a liar ten times out of ten.

“When I ask you ‘what is your biggest weakness in the workplace,’ don’t say ‘nothing’. And when I ask you about your relationship with previous managers, don’t talk about how sh*tty they all were.

“If you can’t recognize your own flaws, you can’t take steps towards fixing them. A person who thinks they are perfect will never move forward in life because they think they’re already at their best. And that’s a level of ignorance I won’t tolerate in a professional or a casual environment.”

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