When attending a job interview, it is normal for a candidate to feel overwhelmed as the pressure starts to mount. Yet, while they may do everything in their power to wow the hiring manager or recruiter, interviews aren’t always plain sailing.
But, candidates, it seems that you aren’t alone.
Jobsite Adzuna has collated some of the most shocking job interview horror stories – and some helpful tips for turning around a seemingly bad interview.
Treading on toes
A PR director from Leeds explained: “I turned up for my interview and was directed to a meeting room upstairs by a member of the team, who said they were waiting for me in the room.
“I walked in full of confidence, only to realise I’d walked into the middle of someone else’s interview! I quickly retreated and waited awkwardly outside while the other candidate finished and then walked past me on the way out (sic).”
‘Can’t get this interview out of my head’
“I remember having to sing Kylie Minogue I should be so lucky at one! I left my dignity and the job offer at the door! I was fresh out of university interviewing for a sales and marketing role and eager to please, otherwise I would have walked out,” a company director from Winchester recalled.
Two in a bed
Helen from the North West revealed that she once had a retail interview which was hosted in a hotel. “When it was my turn, the interviewer beckoned me into the interview room apologising profusely because the conference suite had been double booked. We did the whole thing in a twin room and I had to sit on a bed!”
“We were hiring for one role at my company and I was already running late due to a significant amount of roadworks,” recalled company owner Lee.
“I took a detour to try and bypass the traffic and at one T-junction, a couple of miles away from my office, I admittedly jumped out a little hastily which aggravated an oncoming driver who was going faster than he should have been.
“The driver in question proceeded to beep, flash and tailgate me to show his annoyance for the rest of my journey into work, until it became clear we had both just pulled onto the site car park,” he continued.
“It got more awkward when I got out of the car and he just sat in his.
“I went inside and a couple of minutes later was told our first interviewee had arrived. Yup – it was him. It was an awkward interview, particularly when I asked him how he managed pressure or stress. And no – he didn't get the job!”
While these interview stories are comical to read and recall, it seems that, at the time, some of the candidates may have completely scuppered their chances of a job.
So, to help jobseekers prepare for future interviews, Adzuna has provided some interview tips for when an interview starts to turn sour.
Having pre-prepared responses for potentially awkward questions will ease anxiety and boost confidence throughout.
For example, if asked about the reasons for leaving your current role keep answers vague and focus on the positive of contributing to your personal career progression by moving on.
With all of these curveball questions, there is no right or wrong answer so don’t panic about the answer that you decide to give.
Before going into the interview, do as much research about the company as possible as this will help you form questions for the hiring manager too.
Not only will this help you explain why you are interested in the role but having quick access to that information is a good conversation filler as well.
It may sound bizarre, given that most people hate interviews, but try and enjoy it as this is when your true personality will shine.
Andrew Hunter, Co-Founder of Adzuna concluded: “Interviews can be intimidating, but it’s important to remember that no one in that room wants you to fail.
“Remaining calm and professional while showing your personality are the key things to bring to the meeting – but always do as much preparation as you can."