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Interview Nightmares

By Kristine Penning, Creative Marketing Specialist


Stranger than fiction? We asked our followers on social media to submit their interview horror stories. Here are a few that made us cringe. Take note and don’t make the same mistakes!


Keeping it Clean


“I went to an interview for a Food Safety position at a produce farm. I arrived in a nice top, cream pants, and my riding boots. After the interview the hiring manager asked if I wanted to tour their facilities. I said I would love to, which she looks me up and down and asks was I aware that I might get my white pants dirty. I told her I was wearing my boots and would be fine, and she made comments the entire time about me being careful about getting dirty. It was really uncomfortable and I think she thought I had no idea what dirt was.”


Haven’t We Met Before?


“In the middle of a job interview during lunch with one of the owners of the company and the HR manager, the owner realizes he had met me before through my ex-boyfriend. In the middle of lunch he calls my ex and says that I had put him down as a reference for a job with the company and what did he have to say about me. Luckily, the ex said positive things but I was mortified and was happy when I was told I wasn’t what they were looking for weeks later.”


Stuck in the Mud


“I had planned the perfect outfit for my interview: black slacks, black boots, a tweed black and white blazer with a white shirt and pearls, simple but  professional. It had misted enough that morning for my rickety front steps to be slick. I usually take my extreme incoordination as a comic relief, but that day I did not have time to laugh: I hit the first step and crashed into the following two steps. My black slacks had gained a tinge of mud, so I cleaned myself up and made it to the interview. But afterward, I got lunch with my  boyfriend who pointed out that my back pant legs were still covered in mud.”


The Tell-Tale Time Zone


“Time Zones should not be a struggle for me. Living between Pacific Standard Time, and as the locals call it “Boise Time” or Mountain Standard Time for most of my life should have made me a pro at determining time zones. Communication led me to believe that I had scheduled an early afternoon interview. To be exact, I “penciled” 1 p.m. into my phone…1 p.m. Central Standard Time. That really meant 11 a.m. Pacific, with an 11:30 a.m. start time for this interview. When my phone reminder tone went off I thought it was a mistake, there was no way. I made a call to an understanding HR director who laughed at me, and told me to be in Pendleton by 1:30 p.m., PST. My mom drove me a little over an hour to my destination. We had plenty of time to spare, but I was sweating like I had run the past 65 miles. Lesson learned: make sure you check the time zone setting in your phone. Always. And I got the job!”


Commitment Issues


“I once interviewed someone who was trying to make a big impression to get the job. I asked if he was sure he wanted the job, as the work was very strenuous. He said, ‘Look, I want this job and I am willing to give you 150%.’ Then he paused and said ‘No wait, let me change that, 110%!’ You can’t really commit more than 100% to any job, but it’s never a good idea to reduce your commitment in an interview.”