Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Interview Nightmares: From Common Mistakes to the Very, Very Strange....


As a Recruiter we get feedback from interviews on a daily basis, in many cases you get some very interesting comments and stories, with the occasional strange ones. I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the interview nightmares that candidates can get themselves into.

Candidate Interview Nightmares:

Body Odour – It doesn't happen too often but I have had clients mention a candidate’s hygiene in their feedback.  If people can smell you before they see you then you are not getting the job!

Not knowing the Job Role – There can be no excuse for not reading the interview preparation and job specification prior to attending the interview; one candidate described a completely different position when asked what makes them right for the role.

Looking at your Mobile Phone – Mobile phones have no place in a job interview, it’s inappropriate and very rude to acknowledge your mobile phone whilst speaking to someone directly, let alone in an interview where you are being critiqued from the first second.

Smelling of Cigarettes – This is a popular comment among clients as a lot of smokers tend to have a cigarette prior to an interview to calm their nerves; this is totally acceptable to do so as long as you have given yourself plenty of time to freshen up afterwards. It can be a very off-putting for the interviewer who may not smoke themselves.

Drinking prior to an interview – everyone likes a little Dutch courage when their nervous and of course an interview can certainly be that but know where to draw the line.  

Inappropriately Dressed – When you dress for interview it is imperative you turn up looking professional and polished. We once had a client tell us of a candidate that turned up wearing a woolly hat.

Weird and Very Inappropriate - All of the above should be basics to understand when you’re going into a job interview but happen more than you would think, however they don’t come close to the following Interview Nightmares.

We had a candidate ask one of our clients out on a date which didn't go down too well as the client was happily married.

Even stranger than that was a candidate trying to switch the process around and ask the client why they should hire him and having been told at the end it would  not be going any further, proceeding to tell the client that the company were not a good fit for him.

And Finally….

Although most interview nightmares are candidate led, we do come across the occasional feedback regarding a client’s odd behaviour.

We had one recent example of an employer interviewing a candidate with their feet on the desk and texting on their phone whilst the candidate presented to them!  It came across as completely disrespectful and of course put the candidate off working for the company.


Written by Liam Oakes
Liam is the Sales Recruitment Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 4 years after having a career with the RAF; Liam has helped hundreds of Sales Professionals secure a new Sales role and ensures that Aaron Wallis runs smoothly.

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