Worst Job Interview You Were the Inteviewer On

I have friends and acquaintances or have worked with people who are exactly like this. I hate to tell you, but they are the norm.

Yes, some people have a metabolic disorder. One of them means they can’t break down trimethylamine. They smell like rotten fish. There are others. Not always easy to track down either.

I was interviewing folks for Business Analyst positions. I came across one guy who had been to medical school but dropped out. My boss (director) was curious so we set it up. This guy could not stay on topic. But I did learn that he had been a neighbor to my cousins when growing up. I asked why he left medical school and he said he discovered that being doctor wasn’t for him and left it at that. I recommended against hiring him because he was so scattered.

The next day, the guy calls the managing director to ask about the company and mentions he’s been following the stock and the business news about the (now defunct) company. He tells me that I must hire the guy. I explained why I recommended against him but the company put forth an offer. My boss just said “Do what you can with him. Take the challenge.”

Shortly thereafter I was hijacked into a different aspect of the project and a different BA manager came in to take my previous position. After 8 months of working with Mr. Scattered, he was let go. In all that time, he never produced a single, usable piece of work and there had been a great deal of discussion about drugs or alcohol. I really felt bad for the guy as he clearly had some serious issues, but when I heard the news, I just bit my tongue as my boss said, “We should have listened to you.”

But did his boss, the MD who actually made the mistake, ever know about the time and money he pissed away on a stupid decision?

Over 8 months the guy probably consumed one other worker’s worth of everyone’s time, and thereby prevented 2 workers’-worth of work getting done. So 16 worker-months at probably ~50K-$70K/yr is approaching a $100K mistake. Plus 30% for overhead.

Ought to have been a firing offense for the MD.

There are other reasons the MD should have been fired as well, but no, he didn’t ask.

Good answer: I love organizing a team so we can accomplish more than anybody can as an individual.
Bad answer: I like to tell people what to do.

The latter sounds like a control freak or someone on a power trip.

The woman who kept interrupting to ask about the dental plan because she needed “thousands of $$$ of dental work”

You may be amazed to find that some people would have a problem with it and might even say so.

You are correct, and a surprising number of them are themselves women.

It didn’t get as far as an interview. My boss was going through some resumes for a Customer Service job and one yahoo had a contact email of “2Sexy4You@hotmail.com”. Was weeded out of the pile with that.


I got to interview a former co-worker.

I was on a panel interviewing for a tech school teaching position, and a familiar face showed up. Great guy, we’d gotten along great at Big Company, Inc. And I knew he’d have the skills we needed to teach.

But as an interviewee, he was… well, intense. He locked eyes with the head of the committee in a stare-down contest, and gave answers that were way too succinct. Clipped and almost aggressive.

And then came the “Hypotheticals”… a series of questions like “You have a student who’s having trouble at home, and he tells you he’s living in his car. He asks if he could have an extension on a project, and if there are any other accommodations available. What would you do?”

Well, his answer to every single one of the half dozen or so questions was “That would never happen.” End of reply. Next question? “That would never happen.”

We just had to ask why… “Because that would show a lack of control over the student on my part. Which would never happen. MY students would be on time every day, as would their projects.”

Thirty seconds after the door slammed behind him, all chairs swiveled toward me: “You must have worked with him! My God, is he for real?”

The need to maintain separation between your work life and personal life did not begin with TwitFace.

And here 30 years later people are still flunking this massively every day. Idjits.

On the other hand, if your offices most reliable connection suddenly ‘disappears’ and never comes to work again, go ahead and search the resumes for that rockin420@geocities.com address you originally dismissed. :wink:

If this guy had just separated after having been a platoon sergeant I could imagine that response. In the service, misbehavior by a subordinate is almost always viewed as a failure of the supervisor. But given that you say of the rest of that guys history that excuse doesn’t wash.

Some people are totally good being worker bees but would flunk supervising a crew of themselves plus one. Much less a classroom-full.

I think you’re onto something. I never really articulated this before, but I think his guy was a military wannabe. Never served, but would wear camo and “tactical” gear.
Was very excited when his wife left him because then he could buy a truck “because ya know, guys and trucks, am I right?” (He assumed I’d agree… knowing I drove a tiny two-seater hybrid)

As a veteran who wasn’t Army but who worked closely with the Army for several years, I gotta say the “wannabe tactical non-veteran” is one of the more pathetic forms of humanity this country seems to encourage.

I bet he thought he was awesome at playing Call of Duty or some such as well.

Sometimes this works out though–I have two main email accounts, one is my current username here @ISP.com, and the other is Firstname.Lastname@ISP.com. The SmartAleq one is on my resume and I told the people interviewing me that the stodgier email address existed but I didn’t use it much so it didn’t get checked regularly. One of them asked if I didn’t think that maybe I should use the more professional one instead and I replied that any company that wouldn’t hire me based on a slightly cheeky email address is probably a bad fit for both of us and I wouldn’t enjoy working for them either. A little sense of humor is necessary for any place I’m going to work to be successful for both parties. They hired me. :wink:

I almost forgot about Larry (not his real name…) (that’s Lawrence).

He rose to the top of a stack of 100+ applications with the last line of his resumé…
Personal interests:
Prowling small town antique stores for mid-century pop furniture… to the extent that my house is starting to look like Pee Wee’s Playhouse.

The stodgy Vice-President waved his resumé around and said "He may not be the strongest applicant or have enough experience, but damn, we have got to meet this guy!"

(Luckily, he balanced that quirkiness with a very professional interview, and got the job!)

I think this is where a lot of militia members and their ilk come from.

It’s been my experience that rather few infantrymen with combat experience play FPS games. They might have the skills, but it’s Just. Not. Fun anymore.