What to do about embarrassing experiences at interviews and making interview mistakes

WHATEVER INTERVIEW MISTAKES  YOU’VE MADE  pales in comparison to the embarrassing experiences of the poor job candidates who you are about to meet.

A job hunter in England used the disabled toiled in company’s bathroom before the interview and pulled the string thinking it was to flush the toilet rather than an alarm. “Every employee arrived to help me,” the candidate told the Daily Mail Online. “It was the worst day of my life.”

Other interview mistakes made by job candidates include the person who interviewed for a job in a museum. He picked up an artifact that was given him to examine. That proved to be a big interview mistake. The candidate picked it up without noticing the pair of cotton gloves on the table that he should have put on first.

And the job finder who was mortified after bumping into her current boss while having lunch with an interviewer from the competition.

Then there was the job candidate who was stunned to see that interviewer was someone he had fired in another position.

Needless to say, none of the above candidates got job offers—except for a job candidate whose interviewer  suffered a heart attack during the interview. The job candidate successfully applied CPR until the ambulance arrived.

While there might not have been anything the toiled-flusher could have done to have prevented his embarrassing experience, the museum candidate  might have prevented his interviewing mistake had he requested a job description before the interview. Then he would have known that knowledge of proper handling of artifacts would have been one of the requirements for the job.

How about the person who bumped into her boss while lunching with a competitor? She could have handled the situation by saying hello and introducing her boss to her lunch date then quickly indicating she needed to get back to her conversation by saying, “Nice seeing you! Enjoy your lunch here.” People will understand that you’re in the middle of a conversation and need to return to it.

Another way to handle a boss or coworker who interrupts your conversation with a competitor is to be specific about the relationship when you make introductions: “Philip, this is my boss Irene. Your interviewer—Philip— will understand the situation and be discreet. Again, your goal is to quickly get back to your conversation.

How to Avoid Making Mistakes During a Job Hunt is the title of another helpful post on Your Career Service that you might be interested in reading before interviewing.

Our readers would love to hear about interview mistakes you’ve made and especially how you reacted.  Feel free to enter your comments in the space provided below.

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RANDY PLACE is a career strategist and author of Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach, the perfect companion for both job hunters and careerists.

Copyright ©2017 by Ransom (Randy) Place

About the Author

RANDY PLACE IS A JOB-FINDING and executive coach, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of yourcareerservice.com. For twenty-three years, he helped thousands of employees who had been let go from JPMorgan Chase find jobs. And he coached executives at CBS Television, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding techniques, communications skills, and selling strategies. An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on interviewing, telephoning techniques, job-search writing, and sales training nationwide. Randy's groundbreaking nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations across the United States. And his articles on career topics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. A former broadcast journalist in New York, he has also been a commercial spokesperson for an array of national and regional advertisers. In addition, Randy was a sales executive at NBC Radio and the New York City sales manager for syndication at Wolper Productions. He holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master's in Journalism from New York University.