Young Professionals Share Tips On How Not Immediately To Tank A Job Interview
Young Professionals Share Tips On How Not Immediately To Tank A Job Interview
With more and more people entering the labor force, it's important to have great interview skills. Let's be honest, though, a lot of articles about how to give a good interview are kind of boring. This article ain't that.
One user gave Reddit a challenge:
Your task is to ruin a job interview in the first 30 seconds. What do you do?
Reddit responded like they do to pretty much all challenges - and stepped up to the plate in a big way. We've got some suggestions that made us cringe and laugh, and some stories that convinced us some people shouldn't be allowed in public without a chaperone. Have fun!
Keep referring to the interviewer as "tough guy." Works equally well for both genders, works even better if the interviewer happens to be younger than you.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich - No Cheese
I can tell you what one young woman did when I was a hiring manager. She had a perfectly positive phone interview for a business casual, sit-down sales type job with our non-profit, so we scheduled a time for her to come in.
I arrive in the lobby to find this young woman wearing a stained, oversized wifebeater t-shirt, a pair of yoga pants in what I can best describe as an Arizona iced-tea can fake desert pattern, and crocs.
And literally the first words that came out of her mouth were, "I bet I don't look anything like I sound on the phone, do I?"
I was so stunned, I just took her in for her interview with me and my boss. The interview lasted all of five minutes during which she displayed all the personality of a grilled cheese sandwich missing the cheese.
She was not hired.
Ask the interviewer how qualified they are to be taking your interview, and as a bonus, ask for their salary.
I work in a call center as a supervisor. I had this rep who could have been amazing but she just was a miserable person and didn't want to be coached or told what to do.
A few months go by, she had stopped talking to me or even looking at me by this point (literally would not look at me as she walked by and I said "good morning").
Her performance continues to suck and I finally put her on a performance plan. As I'm administering I have my team lead present because at this point I refused to be alone with her with concerns of allegations (for the record....I'm gay, so not that kind of allegations). As I'm administering the plan I'm stating how my team lead will be helping her through the process. The rep interrupted me and starts asking my lead what qualifications she has to be a part of this. My lead being taken aback started to answer. I quickly shut that down and moved on.
She essentially failed on day 1 because she said "I have worked in call centers for many years and I know what I'm doing to take a good call. I'm not going to change my actions just because you think otherwise."
She didn't make it past 30 days after that meeting.
"I Don't Have A Boat"
I once interviewed a guy who was unbelievably high. A few minutes in, he stops and stare out the window and says "Hey is that my car? I think someone is stealing my car. Oh wait, no, there's a boat on that one. I don't have a boat." Job offers are contingent on passing a drug test.
"Hi, I do not want to work with black people, do you have any of those?"
In For The Hug
When he goes for the handshake, step in for the hug. Refuse to move until he reciprocates, and throw in a "mmm," in his ear.
They might go ahead with the interview anyway as a professional courtesy, but you're not getting that job.
I used to be a hiring manager and was having a hard time finding a decent employee for the office. I had a phone interview with a guy that seemed really legit. At the end of the phone interview I set up an in person interview with him and ask him to please bring a copy of his resume to the interview. After hanging up I send him an email confirmation of the interview and state "also, please remember to bring a paper copy of your resume."
Day of the interview, he shows up with a briefcase and in a full suit. A little overdressed, but whatever, I'd rather someone over impress than under impress. We go in to the meeting room, he puts the briefcase on the table in front of him and opens it so that he can see in and I can't. He doesn't close it....
I start by asking him if he has a copy of his resume, he responds with a quick "I'm sorry I forgot!". I tell him it's no problem, I'm thinking as long as there are no other red flags it doesn't matter too much. And I proceed with the interview.
Literally every single question I ask him he responds with "well if you look at my resume you will see..." Or something along those lines. I reminded him about 4 times I didn't have a copy because he didn't bring one (ya I had one on the computer but he forgot it and should be able to answer basic questions without referencing it). When he continues referencing it, I give up, finish the interview, thank him, and say goodbye.
One thing still really bothers me... If he forgot his resume... WHAT THE HECK WAS IN THE BRIEFCASE?!
The Birthday Present
you can do what my brother did and have a hip flask of whisky in your jacket pocket and let it fall on the floor as you take your jacket off
BTW he is not an alcoholic, i had given him the hip flask as a birthday present two weeks before
Passing On A Question
Most mind blowing interview I ever note took went something like this
Interviewer: Right well we're going to start with 6 standardised questions. Take your time and think about your answer. Tell us about a time when you exceeded in the workplace, what results did you get and how did you achieve them?
Our Hero: thinks for about 5 seconds and then says ... pass
Attendance Not Required
I actually once got a job that I ditched the interview for.
I was in my early 20s, submitting a ton of applications because why not? Got a call for an interview, said I'd be there, went out partying the night before and slept through the interview time.
I figured that job prospect was shot, so I just gave up on it. The next day, though, I get a call from another manager saying they found my application and it said my interview date was yesterday so they'd like me to come in to fill out all the new hire paperwork. It must've been a miscommunication between all the staff, or something. Either way, I thought it was amusing.
Turning The Tables
Bring a starter kit from each of my five MLMs in, and "answer" every question by weakly tying the content to at least 3 of the "great opportunities" I have. If called out, admit cheerily that I never wanted the job, I just want to help the interviewer quit theirs, or would they like to host a party for free product??
That's The Stuff
"Got any pictures of your kids?.... Yeah, that's the stuff."
Establish Dominance Early
Walk in and go straight for the handshake while making direct eye contact. The second the handshake is engaged let out a nice long fart while maintaining eye contact and don't let go of their hand until your done.
Screaming At The Hiring Panel
Was on a hiring panel, called a candidate in, the boss asked him, "so, why do you want this job?" Candidate screams "YOU CALLED ME" we all looked at each other, went around the table, questions? no, no, no. Okay, we will contact you, if there is ANY interest.
Ask That Guy
After going thru the high level interview process , as hiring manager I was brought in to interview someone
I like to break the ice and get a feel for someone's comfort and how they conduct themselves by asking "tell me about what you do now"
Now I have their resume n in front of me so it's not like I can't read it , it's just an easy question that usually gets people talking
So I lob my softball to this candidate ..
And his reply ...
"Man why don't you ask that guy !? " (the hr person who first interviewed him)
"I already told him everything..."
It was at that point I looked at my phone and said "oh no I have an emergency"
And walked out of the room
Blow It Before You Even Show Up
I've seen 2 situations where someone blew an interview before they even came in for the interview.
-One person got called about an interview for a job they applied for where I was working. They asked what the starting pay was because they didn't want to waste the gas driving across town (10-15 minutes) if the pay wasn't high enough.
-A guy got offered and interview and asked if he was offered the job if they would allow him to wait 1-2 months before taking his drug test.
Both people were told not to bother showing up for the interview.
How to blow one in 30 seconds when you're there? Ask if they test for marijuana because that's not really a drug right?
The Honest Answer
I did this one time lol. I don't think was quite 30 seconds. Their first question was "so do you think you have any skills that will help you with this job?" I said "I don't think so." That was pretty much it lol
Don't Wait To Be Offered An Interview
Do what my favorite interviewee story did and show up without being offered an interview.
2 hours later he left (usually a 30 min interview) shouting that he's a team player and that he'd be back.
I had the pleasure of being in the interview process for other resident advisors in college in year 3. A guy sat down and said "Gotta be honest here. I really don't like black people." Quickest interview ever.
Failing A Drug Test
I had to tell a guy his application was unsuccessful because he failed a drug screen. he test positive to marijuana.
Conversation was like
Me:"Hey Mate, just wanted to let you know that unfortunately you were unsuccessful with your application due to failing the drug and alcohol test"
him: "Oh really ? but i don't understand, i only had like one or two puffs of a joint the day before the test, surely only a few puffs doesn't show up"
Spent the next 20 minutes explaining to him that if you smoke weed, you will fail a drug test.
He just didn't understand
Have you ever found yourself in an argument so stupid and/or pointless that you were sure you were being punked? Like you keep looking away from the other person to check your surroundings for places Ashton Kutcher and a camera crew could come popping out of?
You're not the only one.
u/Anti-hollowkid asked: What is the dumbest argument you've ever been in?Brace yourselves, folks. Some of these arguments are breathtakingly bonkers. The sheer number of people who are willing to argue with someone over provable facts and what that other person likes or doesn't like is just ... stunning. It's stunning, you guys. Just not in a good way.
I Know What I LikeGiphy
My wife and I once argued over whether or not I liked mustard on my hot dog. I was for me liking mustard, she was against me liking mustard.
The argument lasted way longer that you could ever imagine it would.
A Stair Step
My brother and I argued if our staircase had 13 or 14 steps, based on an argument about if the floor of the second floor counts as a stair-step or not. We still have no solution.
My dad is a stairbuilder and I spent many summers working at his warehouse, so I can clear this up. 14.
My husband and I have this thing where we only say "I love you" on Saturdays. Every other day it's "I love you, but only on Saturdays." I don't know how it started, but it's been going for 11 years now.
We're both shiftworkers, so sometimes we have to stop and think what day it actually is. We had an argument recently over whether it was Saturday or not. I said it was Saturday, he said it was Friday. It was Monday.
I remember when I was about 13 my parents had an hour-long shouting match that ended with them almost getting divorced. The issue? Whether or not the nation of Iraq has a coastline.
My mother arguing that Iraq had a coastline, while my stepdad argued that it did not. This was back in 2004, and they are still quite happily married to this day. That incident is something they look back on and laugh about, and both of them admit it was really a pretty stupid thing to argue over.
With an ex:
"I owe you $80 for the bills of ours that you pay, and you owe me $40 for the bills of ours that I paid. Here's $40 in cash; we're even."
She did not understand this.
I literally had to go get another $40 out of the ATM, and hand the $80 to her. Then I had her hand me the $40 she owed me.
"Now how much do you have in your hand?"
She still didn't understand.
She somehow has a college degree.
When we were kids my brother and I got in a physical fight because he said I like mini wheats and I insisted I didn't. His argument was that I always sang the mini wheats song and I was deeply offended that he wasn't aware that it was just stuck in my head but I hated the cereal. I actually did like the cereal I'm not sure why I was arguing with him about it but I remember how genuinely angry I was.
I'll tell you about the only legal trouble I've ever been in, the fight that got me arrested. It started over whether we should return a box of crayons or not, and to this day I don't have any idea how it escalated to the point of the cops being called, but they were and I was the one taken in.
My boyfriend insisted that when two people are in an argument and one makes a point so reasonable and logical the other one can't disagree with it - it's unfair. I tried, logically and reasonably, to explain several times why that is just winning the argument, proving your point thoroughly and is completely fair.
His answer was that I was being unfair.
How the ch in masochism is pronounced. My friend caught me saying "masoKism" while he would say "masoSYism."
To be fair, he grew up speaking French, in which the ch in masochism is pronounced in "his" way. But he insisted that I was the wrong one here and that was just infuriating.
A woman was adamant that looking at the big solar eclipse on the television was unsafe unless you were wearing glasses. She wouldn't believe us and insisted on emailing NASA to check.
A Non-Standard Ruler?
I worked for a company that made signs. We had a customer ask for signs that were 7mm wide that were to go on a door. Our sign makers figured the order meant inches because 7mm is pretty small, so made them 7 inches. I got a phone call from the customer who went mad at me for making them the wrong size. So I put a reorder through for 7 mm.
Argued with the sign makers over it but they eventually agreed to do it after I shown them the order in writing. I even had the customer put her complaint in writing, reiterating the size they wanted.
7mm signs went out and a day later I get the customer on the phone literally screaming at me.
Cue the dumb argument - we ended up having an argument over how big a millimetre is, and obviously everyone in the office were laughing, but this customer just wouldn't accept it and said we must be using a non-standard ruler to measure.
Ended up being escalating to the sales department manager who refused to issue a refund. We still don't know what they actually meant.
This Unusual Vegan Argument
Was in a pub with a few friends, and some random Dude dropped an ear, and somehow figured I'm vegan. Well, people like him are the reason I usually avoid mentioning it. He came up to me and insisted on starting a discussion about veganism. He claimed that by the end of it, I would be eating meat again.
He listed some stupid arguments, I told him I was not convinced and then tried to keep on drinking beer with my friends. He followed me, and wanted me to "try to convert him to a vegan." I stupidly listed some of my reasons thinking it would make him go away. He told me he still was not convinced, so I was like whatever. Again, I really just wanted to drink beer with my friends.
That dude followed me all night and expected me to try make him vegan. Doesn't matter what I said, and all the reasons that for me are obviously good enough to be vegan. He'd be just like "No, that doesn't convince me, therefore your argument and how you life is stupid."
Didn't matter how often I told him that I honestly don't care; 5 minutes later he would come up to me again "I'm still not vegan, so veganism is stupid, all your arguments were stupid, now give me a good reason to become vegan!" At one point, I was literally yelling at him that I don't give a single flying f about what he eats and why, that it's in no way my responsibility to "turn somebody vegan" and in no way his business what I eat.
Honestly, for that dude, I would have bought a whole ham, just to shove it up his stupid annoying face.
In college my roommate and I argued about a line in Monty Python & the Holy Grail. The scene with the Black Knight where the line "Alright, we'll call it a draw" is uttered. We argued about who said that line, whether it was King Arthur or the Black Knight.
It went on for hours longer than it should have because I was stubborn and refused to admit I was wrong.
Albert or ArnoldGiphy
Whether Albert Einstein or Arnold Schwarzenegger would be more useful to have around during a Zombie apocalypse. How on earth would Albert Einstein come in handy!?
Below Sea Level
I live on an island and when you go upland and you look out the sea looks like it's higher than or on the same level as the land. It's just a weird perspective thing because of the horizon. One day some kid says that it's because the island is under sea level.
I'm like wtf bro all of us would be with the fishes. He argues that no that's not true and if I just go upland I'll see. We then spend a good 5 minutes of my time arguing about it until I decided to leave this kid in his stupidity. He even said we shouldn't believe everything adults tell us and sometimes we need to think for ourselves.
This kid was older than me and was going to a good school. Lost my respect for him ever since then.
Someone tried to fight with me over how to spell my name.
Now, my name is in a lot of languages with slightly different spellings. I would have accepted any of those spellings, but this one was just... Not even close. It didn't make any logical sense.
An analogous example is if my name was Thomas and someone was insisting it was spelled Tomash. And not just the name Thomas in general, but that me specifically, on my birth certificate, was named Tomash. I know how to spell my own name.
I swear to god, it went on for like an hour.
Whales Are Mammals
I was in an online chat room one day, and we were talking about whales. I commented on how whales are mammals and the next thing you know, someone was arguing with me and trying to convince me that a whale was a fish.
Stupid microwaves. Having a man child talk down to me about how microwaves work only for him to google it and prove me right. He slept on the sofa that night.
My friend keeps telling me that the norm is that a person should shower once a week. This has been going on for years. I'm almost convinced he's trolling me.
No Balloons For Grandma
My cousin and I argued over a balloon going to Heaven. We were at his big sisters prom send off and he let a balloon go and it went high into the sky.
He then said this balloon will go up past space and go to Heaven and reach grandma (God rest her soul). And I was like no it's not and it's probably not even gonna reach space. Releasing balloons is terrible for the environment and kills/harms so much wildlife.
He got really mad and defensive and started telling me to google it and do my research and I'm like I don't have to google it you idiot. He was mad at me for a good week.
Spontaneous Dolphin ExistenceGiphy
How dolphins reproduced. It took me a few solid minutes of explaining to her that dolphins have reproductive organs and that they did not just pop into existence. The argument began with her saying she wanted to work with sea creatures.
Personally, I hope she was messing with me cause I lost a little faith in humanity that day.
I repeatedly had the argument with a friend over whether roosters were chickens. She was convinced that only the females were chickens (hens). We were 18 at the time.
Me and my friend were drinking underage, we ended up in an argument of whether lightning McQueen's eyes were blue or green. Somehow throughout the whole thing both of us never thought to straight up google a picture.
But ... Ice Floats
Woman wanted ice on the bottom of her drink.
Now read that sentence again and try to imagine arguing with that particular brand of stupid.
Time Zones Exist
Coworker claimed that it was the same time of day and the same season on the whole globe. Had to get 4 coworkers to confirm to him that time zones do in fact exist.
My brother is colorblind. And he CONSTANTLY tries to correct me on what color things are.
"Hey could you hand me that red _____?"
"no, it's red"
"YOU CANT EVEN KNOW"
It is the base of our most common and heated arguments.
I'm late, but I saw this question and instantly remembered that I was booted from a Facebook group because I called someone out on a lie that was not only bull, but extremely pointless. She was friends with the moderator and they made the case that my argument over such a little lie was more of a problem than the lie itself (though they didn't refer to it as a lie.)
The woman said that she used to babysit for Andre 3000 and that his name was Andre 2000 - but he changed it after the year 2000 had passed. This was so easily disproven it was ridiculous. Their debut album came out in 1994 and he was already going by Andre 3000 at that time.
The argument wasn't a huge long drawn out thing, but the fact that either of us were on Facebook at separate times meant that the responses were over a long period of time so this argument lasted a few days.
It was stupid.
Stars Like Our Sun
I was arguing with my grandpa about stars he didn't believe that there are other stars like our sun. Basically he thought there is only the sun, the moon and the earth.
I have a degree in history. I mostly focused on nationalism. Wrote a 50 page paper on it and Richard Nixon with around 50 100 sources. Looked at micro film for hours on end. Part of the paper focused on how Nixon being chair of the house committee of Unamerican Activities was used as a powerful weapon to use against political enemies. It also inspired Joe McCarthy. Have had people tell me I was wrong and Nixon was never elected to a position besides the president and Joe McCarthy came before Nixon. I stopped trying to talk history to people.
I also know quite a bit about the history of the Balkans its amazing how many Serbs refuse to believe Tito did anything wrong.
Wrote 100 page paper on nationalism in Israel. Its frustrating to talk about because for some reason a lot of people think Palestinian firing rockets randomly into Israel is ok but if Israel retaliates the people get up in arms over a targeted air strike that kills 3 people.
Balloon to Heaven
My cousin and I argued over a balloon going to Heaven. We were at his big sisters prom send off and he let a balloon go and it went high into the sky. He then said this balloon will go up past space and go to Heaven and reach grandma (God rest her soul). And I was like no it's not and it's probably not even gonna reach space.
And he got really mad and defensive and started telling me to google it and do my research and I'm like I don't have to google it you idiot. He was mad at me for a good week.
I got into an argument with a co-worker over how we were attaching two pages of a letter together: small binder clips or paper clips.
He felt that paper clips would leave a "dent" in the paper when removed, but binder clips won't. He refused to staple them together. I felt that binder clips would also leave a "dent", so we might as well just use the paper clips.
It ended with him saying: "Do what you want [me], I don't care!" and storming off.
Once got accused of faking being Jewish. Why? I have no clue. We argued over the course of a month, any time I'd bring it up and she heard about it, she'd begin going after me for "faking it".
My mother's side is ethnically Jewish. Grandparents were practicing.
3 friends and I once got into an argument about how to pronounce Nutella. It lasted for about 3-4 months. It was hilarious how serious we took it, it'd get heated but never for real serious.
I think someone even called the company that made it to check, or that may have been for the Cheetos company. We were really bored in high school.
Late to the party, but there it is.
I'm a manager at a small store. We're only 4 working there, so my team and I grew very close and we joke around a lot. Once during a slow shift, my employee and I had an argument because we were looking at the lingerie boxes, and I thought that two specific boxes had the same woman on it, but she was 100% positive they weren't the same person.
Looking back, I don't know why it was such a big deal to us at the time, but we even called another employee who lives across the street to come and tell us what the heck was up with that. Turns out I was right, and she was pretty salty about it. It was a great night.
Wicked Witch of the West
I almost got into an argument with an old girlfriend over Glinda the good witch from Oz. She insisted that Glinda was manipulating Dorothy to assassinate the Wicked Witch of the West and convince the Wizard to leave to create a political void she could fill.
I conceded the issue when I heard the whole premise because I thought it was too damn stupid to get worked up over.
Keep Your Hands to Yourself
Just the other day I legit got in an argument with my co-workers on why I don't like my butt being grabbed by anyone (I'm a guy). Seriously.
They went on about "I don't mind it. Mike and I do it all the time and we don't care." Yeah, that's nice dude, but I'm not you, and there's something called "Keep your hands to yourself" (which was taught to a good portion of us growing up). Just like how Karen wouldn't like it if I touched her boobs or her grabbing your crotch or frankly ANY area you wouldn't like being grabbed, keep away. In general, you should not be touching me in any areas after I've told you not to several times before.
So unless you're sleeping me or dating me, keep your damn hands off my toosh.
My best friend and I argued over whether or not telekinesis was possible. Her argument was that humans don't yet know what the human brain at 100% usage was capable of, and that telekinesis was inside the possibilities.
I said the brain does use 100%, just at different times.
We didn't speak to each other for four days.
How dolphins reproduced and whether or not ghost existed (back to back with the same person). It took me a few solid minutes of explaining to her that dolphins have reproductive organs and that they did not just pop into existence (the argument began with her saying she wanted to work with sea creatures).
How it shifted to the existence of ghosts is a solid and reasonable question to ask (I don't remember why). I had to then proceed to tell her that ghost hunting TV shows do not constitute as undeniable evidence.
Personally, I hope she was messing with me cause I lost a little faith in humanity that day. This was in high school SO... hopefully she was kidding.
Dogs and ChocolateGiphy
I told this stupid woman that chocolate is toxic to dogs. She went on to tell me how a little bit will just make them hyper and then they will calm down. I told her to google it. Her and her bf shut right up. Now they have a kid. Good luck, Jeremy and Andrea. morons.
I should also add that this argument started because Jeremy was giving his tiny dog chocolate and I told him it was toxic.
Is water wet?
My roommate and I have a recurring argument over whether or not water is wet l, and whether or not a person is considered wet underwater.
For the record, it is no to both questions.
A kid a church telling me about the mission trip I went on. Not only was I not on that trip, but I had never been on any mission trip. We were good friends, so it's not like he would've mistaken someone else for me.
He insisted I was there as if an entire week long trip would just fall out of my memory. He even had stories of things we'd done together. I'm not sure if he thought I was lying, joking, stupid, or crazy, but I was pretty sure he was some combination thereof.
One time I got into a shouting match with my mom and little brother in the car. The issue? The names of the two-headed dragon from the PBS kids afternoon show Dragon Tales. I swore it was Zack and Macie.
It was actually Zak and Wheezie. I don't even remember why we were yelling about it.
Green Or Yellow?
When I was about 15 or so my mother and I spent about 20-30 minutes arguing about the color of a shirt. We agreed it was blue/green, but to me it was just a shade more blue, while to her it was just a bit more green.
Turns out, your eyeballs yellow as you age and hers were 24 years yellower than mine, so I think that skewed her color vision.
Stars In Their MultitudeGiphy
I once got in an argument over whether or not a line from the song "Stars" in Les Mis says "...but mine is the way of the lord" or "mine is the way of the law".
I didn't even really care what he thought but he was so adamant and cocky that it got me heated. By the end of it we were shouting at each other and I had to apologize, which I think is what he wanted the whole time.
My brother is colorblind. And he CONSTANTLY tries to correct me on what color things are.
"Hey could you hand me that red _____?" "that's orange" "no, it's red" "orange" "YOU CANT EVEN KNOW".
It is the base of our most common and heated arguments.
About five years ago, my girlfriend (now wife) once had a very intense argument about whether or not hot water cleaned things better than cold water.
She genuinely believed that water temperature didn't matter. This is someone who has not one, but two masters degrees.
We argued for something like 2 hours, and we seriously almost broke up over the whole thing.
I had an argument with a girl IN THE MIDDLE OF A BIOLOGY CLASS in high school about how humans are not mammals. She thought a human was a human and we are not mammals because "mammals are animals and humans are not animals"
I tried explaining to her the difference between reptiles and mammals and how humans fall under the mammal category to try and educate her... but she just wouldn't listen.
I still have no idea why the BIOLOGY teacher did not get involved...
Solid Or Liquid?
Some classmates and I got into a heated debate as to whether or not the human body could count as a soup, salad, or sandwich. The teacher got mad at us, but hey! All we were doing was watching a movie.
For the record, my logic lays with soup- Liquid contained within a solid, at a hot temperature.