job interview

Job Interview Horror Stories: Reader Email

Last week I posted Job Interview Horror Stories: AT&T Ret(hell), a brief look at one of the most uncomfortable job interviews of my life.

In response, I received some fantastic reader email. People sharing stories, feedback, and ideas.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Andy in California shares an enlightening trick from the interviewer’s perspective:

Receptionist-Male

One time I moved my secretary to my desk and when the interviewee walked in I greeted him and told him to have a seat. He proceeded to ask me all about the joint, how the pay was, benefits and all that stuff you don’t ask. Then he mentioned that he’d tried sales once and really sucked and hated it but was desperate for a 3 month gig or so.

Then the phone rang and I answered it, “Andy, can I help you?” I’m not kidding, his skin tone changed like four different shades and ended in a ‘I’m gonna puke white’ look.

I stood up, shook his hand and opened the door and said, ‘Best of luck on your job hunt!’

Thanks, Andy! I’ve heard of scenarios like this, but I never knew anyone to actually try it. Kudos.

Here’s a hectic tale from Bethany in New York: 

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Job Interview Horror Stories: AT&T Ret(hell)

“I’m a customer,” she says. “Approach me.”

I hate role playing.

“I just walked in,” she says. “I’m looking at phones. Okay. Come over.”

If I had to choose between job interview role playing and polishing a trumpet while the trumpet player is trumpeting, I would choose the trumpet. Every time.

“Hi,” I smile, but oddly, like someone is holding a shiv to my side, “can I help you?”

“I’m looking for a phone,” she says. Her name is Sally. “Something new. Something really cool.”

“Do you like iPhones?”

“Okay. Stop right there. Ask what she currently has.” This is Sandra. She’s watching from the side, a few feet over at the table we were all just interviewing me at. “Meet them where they’re at.”

It’s always wise to learn from mistakes.

“What phone do you currently use?”

“The Dell Aero.”

“Oh.”

Some mistakes I’m happy to leave behind.

“But I don’t want the Dell Aero anymore.”

“Right,” I say. “Do you like iPhones?”

ikea-job-interview

My job hunting and interview history has left me with many regrets. Like, for instance, the time I applied to AT&T as a retail representative, somewhere in Washington state, circa 2010.

It didn’t start off very well either. (more…)