Back to News
Article Headers Merje (26)
Share this Article

​Interview Horror Stories and How to Avoid Them

  • Publish Date: Posted over 2 years ago
  • Author:by MERJE

Are you ready to be frightened by the most spooktacular interview horror stories our cauldron could conjure up?

The scariest day of the year is nearly upon us and we can’t think of anything more terrifying than a bad interview.

For some, a potentially knee trembling encounter with a would-be employer can definitely be more trick than treat, should it all go hideously wrong.

Given that we specialise in recruiting, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to lift your spirits and give you ‘pumpkin’ to talk about, namely the most weird and wonderful real life interview horror stories we’ve ever heard.

We’re also giving you the lowdown on how to creep it real and avoid making the same deadly mistakes, so you can avoid having to ghost your interviewer on LinkedIn afterwards for all eternity.

After all, if you’ve got it, maybe don’t haunt it…

Cautionary tale 1: Speaketh not of your enemies

Before an interview with Yahoo Maps, one candidate spoke to HR, who asked if he needed directions. He replied: “No problem, I’ll Google it.” The response from HR: “You mean you’ll Yahoo Maps it?” He didn't get the job.

Cautionary tale 2: Avoid the kiss of death

When an interviewer got to the room, she reached her arm out to close the door behind them. The candidate thought she was going in for a hug and returned the favour with an added peck on the cheek for good measure. Surprise, surprise, she failed to land the role.

Cautionary tale 3: Beware the wardrobe malfunction

When the interview was over, one candidate stood up to shake the interviewer's hand and realised that a shirt button had come undone, revealing her bra. She was so embarrassed, she just turned and walked away without saying a word.

Cautionary tale 4: Don’t channel the walking dead

During a final interview, one candidate got so nervous that he fainted. When he came to, he was slumped in his chair with one of the directors standing over him in a panic. Not the suave lasting impression he was going for.

Cautionary tale 5: Pride comes before a fall

When walking through the front door of the building, one candidate’s high heel got caught in the metal floor grate. The grate went with her as she fell into the foyer, while it simultaneously jammed the doorway. Somehow though, she got the job so at least one of our tales has a happier ending.

Cautionary tale 6: Burn baby burn... but leave out the inferno

A rather more laidback interviewer asked one candidate if they smoked, which she did. They went outside for a cigarette and a chat. He handed her his Zippo lighter, which she’d never used before. When she sparked up, she set her hair on fire. He advised her to go take some time to sort herself out but mortified, she fled the building instead.

Cautionary tale 7: Keep your cool and carry on

On one particularly hot day, a candidate arrived at his interview sweating profusely following a long ride on public transport. He didn’t cool down in time for the interview and the director shut it down after the first couple of questions. The feedback? The sweating was too much of a distraction and displayed a nervous and unreliable disposition.

Cautionary tale 8: Avoid a deathly silence

One candidate made sure she practised interview questions in preparation, so as not to be caught off guard. At the interview itself there was a panel of three people and the main interviewer asked her to tell him about herself. She froze and couldn’t speak for a good 20 seconds, forgetting everything she had prepared.

How can you avoid a horror story interview?

As we’ve seen, gruesome interview mistakes are just a moment away, so here’s what you can do to prevent them from happening to you…

Build a rapport with your interviewer

Make sure that all communication, before, during and after the interview and including via email, video conference meeting or phone call, is professional, polite, and friendly.

Preparation is key

Take the time to learn about the company, its values, what it stands for, its challenges and what the culture is like so you can give the interviewer a sound idea of how your particular skills and abilities can positively impact their organisation.

Put the tech on pause

Turning off your phone is a simple hack that will eliminate any distractions and allow you to impress a future employer.

Watch your body language

Body language comprises a big part of how we judge and understand each other so pay attention to your posture, eye contact, handshake, etc.

Ask the right questions

Take the time to ask your own questions, showing that you’ve done your research, are invested in the business and genuinely want to know what it can offer you.

For more information on how to have a fang-tastic interview experience or to unearth the talent you need for your business, please contact our devilishly friendly team here.