Re: Fun Interview Stories

Subject: Re: Fun Interview Stories
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2003 19:31:11 -0700

Over the last eight years, I've contracted or been employed by thirty companies. That means that I've probably interviewed at over a hundred. So, I probably have the dubious distinction of having more interview experience than most people on the list. This thread has reminded me of some of the good and the bad ones:

The Bad

- I'm in a suit. It's a hot, humid day, and I'm counting the minutes until I can get the tie off and into a pair of shorts. The interviewer shuffles in wearing sandals so old that they're turned black. He's got on a ripped T-shirt and ragged cutoffs, and part of his last meal is still in his beard. He leans back in his chair, and puts his feet up on the desk. I'm less than a yard away, and his feet are literally caked with dirt. I can see his toe nails, and they are long and filthy. I can also see and smell something on his shoes that wouldn't get past the spam filters if I gave its proper name.

- I follow the interviewer up a narrow staircase to the office. We pass through what I can only describe as a cubicle gulag, with partitions taller than the cubicles are wide, and about a meter of space down the main aisle. We enter the meeting room, and, before we sit down, the interviewer immediately asks to see my portfolio. He stands as though getting too close to the portfolio might endanger his health, and starts flipping pages over with a sneer on his face. I try to start some conversation about the contents, but he cuts off each remark with an abrupt reply, and the little he does say shows that he has a very half-baked idea of layout. After about five minutes, I mutter that I have to leave, snatch my portfolio, and walk out after the briefest of courtesies. As soon as I'm around the corner, I phone the recruiter who sent me, and tell her tha there is now way that I will work for this person. She tells me that he just phoned and wants me in for another interviewer, so I guess I passed some sort of sophomoric test, but, needless to say, I don't feel flattered.

- I arrive at the interview, only to discover that I'll be talking to three people separately. Not only does each one ask questions that the other one asked, but each interview is over 90 minutes long. By the last one, I can barely talk above a whisper - then I have to go teach for four hours in the evening. I have to dismiss the class early because I've lost my voice. I later learn that I didn't get the job. just as well, since an arch-enemy works there, but I'm steamed just the same.

- The interviewer has no idea what to say or how to say it. I try to be patient, but her nervousness is starting to make me nervous, too. As tactfully as possible, I start making suggestions about what she should ask next, then answering my own questions. I end up explaining what should happen next. Later, I hear that she has used my suggestions while interviewing other candidates.

The Good

- As I sit down in the interviewer's office, I notice a playground for cockatiels. After we shake hands, I ask the interviewer if he has birds. He does, and so do I. We spend the next half hour exchanging cute bird stories, then realize that we haven't said a thing about the job. We exchange a few sentences, and I walk out hired.

- While doing an interview for a journalistic piece, I hear that a company is hiring on the other side of North America from me. The person I'm interviewing promises to pass along my resume. He does, and I talk with the company over the phone a few days later for twenty minutes. I hang up with my largest contract ever.

- A company calls me for an interview. I've never heard of the company, and haven't applied to it, but I agree to come in. It gradually leaks out in the interview that the company owners are starting another company to which I did reply. After ten minutes, the interviewer notes that we seem to get along, and that it must be "God's will" that we met. Abruptly, I find myself hired.

Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177

"Comes a heat wave, you can go down to the shore,
Comes a summon, you can hide behind the door,
Comes love, nothing can be done."
-Lew Brown, Sammy Stept, and Charles Tobias

RE: Fun Interview Stories: From: Lorraine Kiewiet

Previous by Author: Re:
Next by Author: Re: Semicolon Survey
Previous by Thread: RE: Fun Interview Stories
Next by Thread: RE: RE: Fun Interview Stories

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads