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  • October's Theme Of The Month: Interview Woes!
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    Category: Job Seekers

    Not Dressed To Impress

    | Auckland, New Zealand | Job Seekers, Lazy/Unhelpful, Theme Of The Month

    (As part of receiving my state-run unemployment insurance I have to attend seminars on finding work. On one occasion, I’m in one where the topic of interview dress is mentioned.)

    Lecturer: “So, it really doesn’t matter about your experience, or whatever, just so long as you dress up for an interview. Now, we at [Government Department] support a charity group that can supply a nice dress or business suit for you ladies applying for a job – up to $1000 dollars worth of clothes for free! So, if you need to have something for an interview, then just apply!”

    Me:” What about men?”

    Lecturer: *pauses* “What about men?”

    Me:“Is there a similar scheme for men?”

    Lecturer: *confused* “I don’t get what you mean?”

    Me: “Well, is there a group supplying suits and ties and such for men to attend interviews in?”

    Lecturer: “Umm… why?”

    Me: “Well, guys might not have suits to go to interviews in either.”

    Lecturer: “Oh, no, mate, that’s your mistake there! A man doesn’t need a suit for an interview! Look, just turn up in your overalls and boots and stuff to an interview. That shows you’re all ready to start the job! Trust me, mate, you’ll ace the next interview if you do that!”

    (Given that I work in the scientific field, namely laboratory bench-work in the food industry, I doubted this but kept my mouth shut.)

    Killed It At The Interview

    | BC, Canada | Job Seekers, Theme Of The Month

    (I am hiring new special needs assistants to work with autistic kids. We run a small, friendly, love-based program, and say so in the ad. I pick out a few with good resumes and meet at a cafe for an interview.)

    Interviewee: “I can handle ANY kid. I used to be in the US Marines.” *whips out his VA card, even though we are in Canada* “Yeah, in 1982, I was in Libya and it was really life-changing watching my buddy’s head explode. I had trouble killing people before that, but not after seeing it just explode like a watermelon getting hit with a mallet.”

    Me: “… I bet you can’t watch Gallagher shows.”

    (Suffice it to say, I did not hire the guy who had no trouble killing people.)

    A Late Bloomer

    | Delta, BC, Canada | Job Seekers, Theme Of The Month, Time

    (I have a job interview at 2:30. Wanting to make a good impression, I arrive to the interview early, around 2:10.)

    Me: “Hello,.I’m here to see Mr. [Name], for my interview.”

    Receptionist: “Okay, he’s just right around the corner. Good luck!”

    (I go to meet my interviewer, who isn’t looking very happy.)

    Me: “Hi, I’m [My Name]. I’m here for my job interview.”

    Interviewer: “Nice to meet you. Now, shall we get started?”

    Me: “Really?”

    Interviewer: “Of course I mean really. Let’s get going!”

    (He takes me to his office and conducts the interview inside. Just as we’re finishing…)

    Interviewer: “All right, Mr. [My Name], thank you for taking the time to come here. Before you leave today, mind if I give you some advice? For future reference, if you have a job interview, try to arrive on time.”

    Me: “Sir, I do not know what you’re talking about. I was supposed to have an interview at 2:30; we started too early, if anything.”

    Interviewer: “Wait, YOU’RE my 2:30?!”

    (He begins to flip through a notepad and scans through his list of interviews. I took a quick peek, and saw my name on the 2:30 line.)

    Interviewer: “Well, okay then. This changes everything! Sorry about that!”

    (With some impeccable timing, the office door swings open, and a disheveled man rushes in.)

    Disheveled Man: “Sorry I’m late! I’m [Name Above My Name On The List] and I’m here for my interview!”

    (Since my interview was done, all that was left for me to do was leave. About two weeks later, I got a callback and I was hired! When I started working, I haven’t seen that other guy.)

    An Interview You’d Rather Forget About

    | Portland, OR, USA | Bosses & Owners, Ignoring/Inattentive, Job Seekers, Lazy/Unhelpful, Theme Of The Month

    (I am looking for a job after being unemployed for two years while schooling. I get a call back from a maid service and the woman schedules an interview at a coffee house. I’m 100% sure I’m at the right one as it is the only one in the area. I show up to the interview 15 minutes early and find an empty coffee house. I wait for a half hour and no one dressed professionally comes in and no one tries to approach me. It would be obvious to the interviewer when she came in that I am her prospect as I’m the only one at the tables and the only one dressed professionally. It’s extremely obvious that I’m waiting for someone. I decide to call the company.)

    Employee: “[Company]. This is [Employee], How can I help you?”

    Me: “Yes, I was scheduled for an interview with [Owner]. It was supposed to be fifteen minutes ago, but so far no one has showed up.”

    Employee: “Oh, wow. Let me try to call her personal cell phone to see what’s going on and I’ll make sure someone calls you back.”

    Me: *I make sure she has my number* “Thank you so much.”

    (I continue to wait for another half hour to no avail so I decide to leave. I never receive a call back about the missing interviewer so I email the service explaining I had an interview and no one showed and to enquire why no one ever contacted me as they said they would. I quickly receive a reply.)

    Co-Owner: “You did not get a call back because you were a ‘no-call, no-show’ at your interview.”

    Me: “No, I showed up 15 minutes early and waited an hour. In fact 15 minutes after the interview was supposed to start I called [Company] and talked to [Employee] and she assured me that she would figure out why [Owner] had not arrived and call me back, which she never did.”

    Co-Owner: “You were put down as a ‘no-call, no-show.’ That’s why we didn’t return your call.”

    Me: “So, let me get this straight. I call and try to inform you that I am indeed there for my interview while my interviewer is not, but you won’t call me back because I wasn’t there?”

    (It takes a while for the reply this time.)

    Co-Owner: “[Owner] says you never showed up. Are you sure you were at the right place?”

    Me: “100 percent positive. It’s the only [Coffee House] in the area and I was the only one sitting at the tables as well as the only one in professional dress. I do not appreciate the accusations when I myself called your company to inquire the whereabouts of [Owner]. I also have a receipt proving I was there 15 minutes early. [Owner] has wasted my time and money, both of which I have very little and could barely afford to drive to this interview.”

    Co-Owner: “I suppose I can set up another interview as long as you don’t ‘no-call, no-show’ again.”

    Me: “Don’t bother. Obviously you aren’t listening to me. I was not a ‘no-call, no-show.’ I have proof that I was there as well as a phone record of my attempted contact. I have no desire to work for a company that throws people under the bus before even receiving an interview. Obviously [Owner] forgot about my interview and lied about it.”

    (A couple weeks go by and I receive another email.)

    Co-Owner: “It turns out that [Owner] did forget your interview. Would you like me to set up another with her?”

    Me: “I have already expressed how I feel about working for your company. Please do not contact me again.”

    (I got two more interviews within a week of the first missed one and by the time I got that last email I had already been hired for a much better job.)

    Digging A Deeper Hole For Themselves

    | NV, USA | Job Seekers, Language & Words, Theme Of The Month

    (I’m standing in the elevator with a well-dressed but nervous looking young woman. She turns to me.)

    Woman: “Do you work in [Department]?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Woman: “Is the department head nice? I’m going to my interview right now and I’m really worried that he’ll be an a**-hole or something. This is my first job and I’m kind of freaking out.”

    (She giggles nervously. I blink at her a few times, then offer her my hand.)

    Me: “Hi, I’m [Department Head]. You must be [Name]. I promise I’m not an a**-hole.”

    (She turned red and started apologizing profusely. Luckily, I thought it was funny, and ended up hiring her. She’s still one of my best employees.)


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