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  1. #1
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    How to Behave During a Job Interview. Not!


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  3. #3

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    Wow, I once witnessed question/answer #9 on this list, word for word, in an interview. I'm kind of scared that there is more than one person wandering around out there who thinks this is an acceptable answer to that question....
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    #36 should be more concerned about the fact that he asked an illegal question.

    #14 is my favorite!

    I'm in HR and have run across some less than professional interviews. One time I was interviewing a candidate with an "in". The candidate's father had asked the Ops Mgr to consider his son for employment. Needless to say this kid assumed he had the job already. He refused to answer my questions, saying "that's a dumb question" and basically being rude for the 1st 10 minutes. I ended the interview right then and there and told him we weren't hiring him. His jaw hit the floor. He said, "You can't do that! My dad knows (insert name of Ops Mgr)". I sweetly told him that I make the hiring decisions, not the Ops Mgr. He learned a hard lesson that day.

    My favorite is a 19 y/o applicant that I labeled "Soup Boy" in my memory. He had only one previous job working in a grocery store stocking shelves. I asked him to give me an example of when he was confronted with multiple priorities and how he made a decision about which priority was the most important. He proceeded to tell me about a day he was working at the store, when a bunch of his friends came in. They were planning to go see a movie. He wanted to go see the movie too, so he went in the stock room, opened a can of soup and poured it on himself. He then told his Supervisor that he had just thrown up and was feeling ill and had to go home.

    I usually can keep a poker face when confronted with odd answers, but this one made me smile for all the wrong reasons. I told him he wasn't going to be hired. He asked me why in a very sweet and earnest way. I told him it was a bad idea to tell the soup story. He wrote that in his notebook and thanked me for the feedback!

  5. #5
    Fearless Musher
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    #5 : at least she's honest and doesn't present herself as someone she's not . The number of people I've seen who presented themselves as unshakable rocks and who collapsed like a house of cards after the slighest hassle... I'd rather hire someone who tells the truth straight away !
    "I missed the view and viewed the mist..." ©

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    An interview I went on many years ago:

    I walked into this office and I had a bad feeling that I wouldn't like it there. The people all looked sad, the equipment looked out dated, just blah in genearl.

    The woman interviewing me had me sit across from her desk where she proceeded to conduct the interview. Behind her was a window with the brightest, most glaring sun coming through her opened blinds, so much that I could barely keep my eyes open. She must have noticed me squinting and shielding my eyes.

    After a few minutes, when I realized either she was clueless or just being a bitch, I asked her if she would mind tilting her blinds a little bit. She seemed aghast that I would make such a request and then responded that she would not. And proceeded with her questions.

    I finally got up, didn't say a word, and left.

    If that was supposed to be a test or a powerplay or how well I handled "pressure", then I guess I failed.

  7. #7
    I <3 Kozuka
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bostonfan View Post
    #36 should be more concerned about the fact that he asked an illegal question.
    This.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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    I once walked out of an interview for a medical technologist position. I was with the lab manager, in her office, when her phone rang. It was clearly a personal call, but instead of saying she was busy and would call back, she chatted with someone about what they were going to do over the weekend. I twiddled my thumbs for about 15 minutes, then got up. The woman paused from her call and said "Wait, where are you going?" I said, "I don't want to work here" and walked out.

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    Last year my boyfriend of 4 years and I moved to a new province because he got a new posting (he's military). When I started looking for jobs I had an interview at a company for an accounting position and the interviewer said "I see all your other work experience is out of province, what brings you out here?", which didn't bother me, so I explained my SO had been posted here. The interviewer than asked how long we'd been together and whether or not we were planning on getting married. The question caught me off guard and I said excuse me, and they replied that if I wasn't into long term relationships then there's a chance I also wouldn't be into long term employment and could be a risk. I was speechless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KikiSashaFan View Post
    Last year my boyfriend of 4 years and I moved to a new province because he got a new posting (he's military). When I started looking for jobs I had an interview at a company for an accounting position and the interviewer said "I see all your other work experience is out of province, what brings you out here?", which didn't bother me, so I explained my SO had been posted here. The interviewer than asked how long we'd been together and whether or not we were planning on getting married. The question caught me off guard and I said excuse me, and they replied that if I wasn't into long term relationships then there's a chance I also wouldn't be into long term employment and could be a risk. I was speechless.
    I grew up near a large military base, and heard many stories about the unwillingness of businesses to hire military wives. The reasoning was, that they would soon move, so why go to the trouble of hiring and training them.

    The lesson - don't tell them you've got a military connection until after you have the job. I knew many who did that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by znachki View Post
    I grew up near a large military base, and heard many stories about the unwillingness of businesses to hire military wives. The reasoning was, that they would soon move, so why go to the trouble of hiring and training them.

    The lesson - don't tell them you've got a military connection until after you have the job. I knew many who did that.
    Oh I know. The place I did end up accepting a position guessed I was probably a military wife (there's basically nothing here except the base, and they said since I didn't move for school that had to be it), but they simply asked the length of his posting, which I thought was fair. It was just the way the other place worded it I found really strange.

  12. #12
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    I once interviewed where I had an acute attack of vertigo - and I mean an acute attack. I couldn't walk straight, when I went to shake hands of the interviewer and the head of the department, I missed their hands completely. Every time I turned my head to go back and forth to the interviewers I became more and more disoriented, trying to not vomit. I couldn't wait to leave the interview. And in my disorientation forgot the questions I had prepared for them about their expectations. As I left, I heard them say - "it is only 8:45 and she is this impaired"?

    I was so embarassed and only want to leave that I never corrected the assumption.

    Another one, I was so over the top about being pleased to meet the team members and thought the manager had selected a great team, that I would be thrilled to work with the team, yada yada yada.

    Sometimes the advice given in the "how to act in an interview" is vague and not helpful. Some of those people might have thought that they were adhering to the suggestions on how to interview - like being honest about their last job, or try to fit in with the team, or ask the interviewer to tell you more about the company.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cholla View Post
    #5 : at least she's honest and doesn't present herself as someone she's not . The number of people I've seen who presented themselves as unshakable rocks and who collapsed like a house of cards after the slighest hassle... I'd rather hire someone who tells the truth straight away !
    I agree. In interviews, you seem to be punished for being honest. Being able to act is good for many jobs, such as sales or public relations, but it seems that interviewers for all types of jobs are punishing candid candidates and then are upset when a "good interview" candidate doesn't turn out to fit the canned answers.

    Seriously, for some of the items on the list, I think the interviewer is a bigger jerk than the interviewee.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KikiSashaFan View Post
    Oh I know. The place I did end up accepting a position guessed I was probably a military wife (there's basically nothing here except the base, and they said since I didn't move for school that had to be it), but they simply asked the length of his posting, which I thought was fair. It was just the way the other place worded it I found really strange.
    At least in the US, the way the other company phrased it is pretty much as illegal as the question about having children. AFTER they hire you, they can ask when you're filling out things like insurance (if you need family coverage, benficiaries on life-insurance policies, etc) but you can't ask a prospective employee if they're married or if they plan on having children as it's not legally relevant to most jobs.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by cholla View Post
    #5 : at least she's honest and doesn't present herself as someone she's not . The number of people I've seen who presented themselves as unshakable rocks and who collapsed like a house of cards after the slighest hassle... I'd rather hire someone who tells the truth straight away !
    Did they change the list around? I'm seeing #5 as the guy who spilled coffee on himself.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
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  16. #16
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    One of my husband's friends, who is actually a really bright and well spoken guy, said during an interview, "I communicate well orally and writtenly."

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    I once interviewed where I had an acute attack of vertigo - and I mean an acute attack. I couldn't walk straight, when I went to shake hands of the interviewer and the head of the department, I missed their hands completely. Every time I turned my head to go back and forth to the interviewers I became more and more disoriented, trying to not vomit. I couldn't wait to leave the interview. And in my disorientation forgot the questions I had prepared for them about their expectations. As I left, I heard them say - "it is only 8:45 and she is this impaired"?

    I was so embarassed and only want to leave that I never corrected the assumption.
    I've had people come in for an interview and realize they were suddenly too ill to be there. Those who've told me that they were ill, I've rescheduled without prejudice.

    While I'd imagine some employers might be less flexible, most are willing to do things in unusual circumstances. So - for others reading this - if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, stop the interview, tell them the basics of what's up (I'm sorry, I'm suddenly feeling very ill), and ask if you can call them to reschedule.

    If they say yes, you're in great shape. If they say no, then you didn't want to work in such a place, anyway.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

  18. #18
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    at #18.

    at #27 - She'd never cut it at my job. I carry tasks from my own original position as secretary, plus Accounts Receivable (I'm my boss's assistant in that dept. - she's the Credit Mgr. and her assistant left for another job back in April), while functioning as the company's receptionist, so being able to sluff off job stress is a must. When the Billing/Inventory or Accounts Payable clerks are absent I carry their jobs as well, and there were 2 days over the summer when they were both out, so I was performing tasks for a total of 5 different positions at that time.

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