Scary But True: Interview Horror Stories

September 30, 2019
Author: Tyran Saffold Jr

A job interview is the courting before a major commitment and ideally, applicants show up prepared to impress. Unforuntately, not all do. And when it comes to most hiring situations, fortune usually does not favor the bold......or the unprepared.

Here, HR professionals sound off on some of their more memorable interviews.

Interview Horror Stories

Interview One: My Name is Titan

“I would say the most significant problem is when the interviewees are not prepared for the role, or know anything about the company,” said a Vice President of Operations for a Dallas software company. “It comes down to a lack of preparation.”

He called himself Titan,” she added as she shook her head. “I was interviewing for an executive position at one of my previous employers and this guy was unaware of how to connect with people. He spent the whole time talking about his intelligence and flaunted his membership with Mensa. It was all very odd, to say the least.”

Interview Two: My Differentiator is....I Work When Required

During another interview, this same Vice President asked the applicant what separated her from the rest of her peers. “I am willing to work when required. That is what she said. I smiled and nodded my head, hoping there was more, but that was it,” she said as she recollected the past interview.

HR professionals encounter these peculiar interviewees at high clips. To help cut the bad culture fits, one interviewer uses an extra set of eyes during the process. “I will send one of my employees to see if the candidate needs anything, then have them report back with how they were treated. Generally, that tells me what I need to know about the person.”

Interview Three: A LOT of Honesty

Olivia Lozoya, HR Professional at Dollar General in Beloit, Wisconsin shares a story of a memorable interview.

“There was an interview I had with a young lady. She told me that she was accused of stealing, so she got into a fight at work and that is why she was fired. I mean, I appreciated the honesty, but that is not something that you should tell the person interviewing you. Either that or just find a better way to word it.”

Interview Four: Business VERY Casual

Vercedes McCain, the former recruiter for ResCare, recalls a time her interviewee showed up in unprofessional attire. “She wore biker shorts and a tank top. Lime green. I was literally so surprised by that. There was another time when a man showed up, reeking of marijuana. My director turned him away instantly. My opinion (of them) is that they have a lack of experience. They don’t know how to show up for interviews or prepare for them. I can’t count the number of times people did not have resumes with them.”

A successful interview and hire hinges on the ability of HR reps to identify skillset and culture fit. The task is usually quite difficult, but when HR reps are presented with these types of memorable experiences, the decision usually becomes an easier one.