Worst Job Interview You Were the Inteviewer On

We did role-play job interviews for Graphic Design students, and helped them polish their portfolios.
One good ol’ boy had a Guns ‘n’ God poster, and we told him to take it out and throw it away if he wanted a job (few artsy design studios are run by rednecks). He got angry and said day-um he was keeping that in!

Lo and behold, we got a call from a cutting-edge computer games firm. He’d been in an interview for an awesome job, but when he showed that poster, the boss stopped the interview. She said “I don’t think you’d like to work under me. I support gun control, and my in fact my husband was wounded by a handgun. Oh, and we quit the church due to a scandal. Good luck with your future, I’d love to give you the name of a place you’d be happy, but I can’t think of one.”

“All right, now, in the final phase of the interview, our head of HR is going to toss a billiard ball, a lit torch and a chainsaw at you. Relax, it’s standard procedure here…”

Not a guy, no. :wink:

You gave him correct advice but the response from the interviewer was equally unprofessional. She should have just politely finished the interview and sent a rejection email.

Aiiieee, my mistake. I apologize.


De nada–but I believe a man with my particular cheeky email address would have had a rougher time of it! :smiley:

Yeah, “donating blood” is a strange hobby. The only way that one could fly is as part of a contextualizing sentence that said something like “I enjoy activities that give something back to the community, like participating in park clean-up days, donating blood, reading books out loud at the library “kids’ story circle,” and visiting senior citizens at the local nursing home.” But all by itself? Nuh-uh.

Maybe this person just really liked the needles. :astonished:

To be fair, I actually knew someone who found out about the need for blood donations in his 20s when a member of his family needed a transfusion. After that - he donated like clockwork - when I met him in his 50s, he had donated 10s of gallons between blood and platelets. He also volunteered for the blood bank (juice and cookie person), helped with signing up people to donate blood and give money to the local blood bank, etc. Given his personality, I can well imagine him putting down on his resume that one of his hobbies was donating blood. But it wouldn’t be the only hobby or interest there. And I think it would be less on the weird side in the interview. Maybe.

When you get down to the hobby section of your resume and you realize your choices are
“Donate blood” or nothing at all, putting “Donate blood” at least makes you sound like something slightly more public spirited than a couch potato.

As a genius said upthread:

That’s all I’ve got to put on mine. Damn glad I’m real unlikely to be looking for paid work again.

Could’ve been the free orange juice and cookies.

Side note: is it really all that common to include a “hobbies” section on a resume? I don’t think I’ve done that since my early 20s.

I worked with a few people who gave blood as often as possible. What they liked about it was that the state gave you a half-day off to do it.

I see it on occasion but I typically ignore it. But then I’ve never seen someone put something interesting like juggling to giving blood.

I’ve had an ‘outside activities’ section, but I tend to use it to highlight various civic activities (HoA Board, political and church stuff, etc) and not merely ‘hobbies’.

I’ve mentioned extreme gardening (OK, maybe just gardening) on a CV.

You’d be well advised not to list certain hobbies/avocations, like bear wrestling or your plan to climb all the highest, most dangerous mountain peaks.* Some activities are more prone than others to impair your productivity and drain the company health plan.

*Unsuccessfully but memorably climbing Everest doesn’t seem to have harmed the career of a fellow pathologist (see “Into Thin Air”).
**Listing a hobby because the interviewer or the firm’s boss are devotees can be risky too. In “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” an example is given of trying to suck up to the boss by casually mentioning one’s hobby of raising mongoose, only to have the boss insist on coming over to your place to see your setup.

Leaving off the backstory, when I was about 56 I was a cashier at a convenience store. An interview session was planned and I was asked to participate. My role was to assess candidates as a operations-knowledgeable interviewer. There was a HR person there as well as the store manager.

We had one young candidate show up appropriately dressed, articulate and with a smidgen of retail experience. At the conclusion the HR person asked the candidate where she saw herself in five years.

“I want to be the store manager.” I thought this an acceptable response but if it had been me I would not have said it. She got the job.

I asked the store manager weeks later what she thought at the time: “Nothing wrong with having a goal.”

Beats heck outta me. I’m one of the worst possible guys to opine on current resume practice.

I’ve got three:

  1. The in-house interviewee who decided to play it cool by pretending to read a magazine for the first 5 minutes because I was literally 30 seconds late (I was then supervising a team of 20 and something was always popping up). His main concern during the interview was how we would motivate him, and what kind of incentives we would offer, even though this was a per-hour position, not commission.

  2. The guy who said he was proud of his son playing high school football who had a real chance of making it into the college sports scene and then the NFL. This was good because someone had to pay for the interviewee’s wife’s boob job (btw this was also SUCH a south Florida moment)

Hi Opal!) The mature woman who was so painfully nervous during the entirety of the formal interview but then relaxed and actually was very pleasant once the interview was over and I gently let her know she wasn’t a good fit. I mentioned that my mom lived up in NY and she said, “Oh, mothers! My mom lives with me - I’d really like to kill her sometimes!”

Awkward pause ensues.


She was virtually in tears as I walked her back to the reception desk. I never did check the local papers to see if she went home and murdered her mother.

“Hobbies” is not a category I would ever use, but “personal” or “other” was pretty standard in my time.

As a person living outside my home country and applying for jobs with international organizations, my “other” section usually included my citizenship, languages and my level of fluency, and (as is common in some places outside the US) a terse description of my family status.