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I like posting interview stories. They give me a sense of security that some of us are actually out there, stopping some of them from getting in. Of course, we all know they will eventually find a job ... but try not to think about that. No, just consider this nice collection of interview stories submitted anonymously by a forums member named CPound. Ironically, that's the same name as one of my favorite interview stories.
This guy waltzes into the interview wearing an open shirt with a gold chain. I don't mean rapper gold chain, I mean Leisure Suit Larry style. He was exposing all sorts of grotesque hair on his chest. And he had the pimp swagger down too.
He lounges in the interview chair and fields the various questions from the panel of interviewers. Most of his responses are along the lines of "Nah'mean?" (know-what-I-mean?) Finally, one of the interviewers gets the guts to ask the question we all want to know the answer to.
"You realize that this was a formal interview? You can see we are all wearing suits and ties?"
He just leans back in his chair and responds with "Man, this is what I'm used to. Nah'mean? I dress like this all the time!"
I don't have to tell you that he never made it to the second interview.
This was a board interview. In case you are unfamiliar with the concept, it's where a large panel of people (from different departments) sit along one side of a giant table...and the candidate is on the other side. Sounds pretty scary? Well, apparently this candidate didn't think so.
It was typical practice for the candidate to be in the room way ahead of time. He was in there long before any of us arrived. As we started to filter in the room, we said hello and took our seats. There were about 7 of us in total on the panel side and we were still missing 2 members: the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) and his second in command (just a systems guy, but he had the longest tenure and therefore some of the greatest clout).
While we were waiting, there was no idle chit-chat or talk wih the candidate. He was just sitting there with this really goofy look on his face. I remember thinking to myself that he was way too relaxed. After all, this was a senior programming position he was interviewing for. This was not just another random interview.
In comes the CTO and his 2nd-in-command. They were chatting quite a bit walking in the door and were laughing to themselves about something. Even as they took they're seats they were still chuckling. Then, out of the blue, the candidate speaks up and asks, "So...which one of you is Beavis and which one of you is Butthead?"
The room went completely silent. I would have laughed had I not been so shocked. Everybody was in complete awe. Apparently the candidate thought this would make a funny "ice-breaker", but he was so wrong. The CTO's face turned bright red. He was so angry he couldn't even speak...then he just got up, picked up his folder, and left the room. No one knew what to do. Finally, the receptionist came in the room and asked the candidate to come with her. We never did hear from that candidate again. Boy was that a stupid thing to say at an interview!
At a completely different company, in a much smaller work environment, I had to sit in with the all-in-one President/CTO/Systems Admin and interview a potential candidate. I was the lead programmer and we were interviewing the candidate for a web programming position.
In walks the candidate and shakes both of our hands. It is a small office, so there is not a whole lot of room to move around. On the side of the candidate is a dry erase board where we would usually spec-out our stuff. Anyways, the interview is going along, and we notice that the candidate is quite animated. He's using a lot of hand gestures and sitting forward in his chair. Then, he starts to get excited when telling us about one of his past projects. He leaps up and starts to erase some of what's on the dry erase board...without asking. He's excitedly drawing some diagram on the board, and I look over to the President and you could see the steam coming out of his ears. Surprisingly, this goes on for at least a minute or two. Finally the candidate turns around and exclaims, "It was such a great project! We sure nailed that one!" and he tosses the marker back on its slot.
The President just about screamed, "Would you please SIT DOWN!!!"
Now you have to picture what happened the instant he said this. The candidate sat back in his seat so fast that you would have thought it was military. I mean, he sat down. It was instantaneous. I had such a hard time keeping from laughing and actually had to leave the room!
I never did go back in there because I couldn't keep myself together. It wasn't shortly after I left that the candidate was escorted out. The President wasn't upset that I left the interview early because he had absolutely no intention of hiring the guy anyway
This story isn't that exciting, it's just an illustration of what not to do during an interview.
The candidate walks in, looking quite normal. He approaches the main interviewer and he extends his hand. The candidate then proceeds to do this "Whassup Dawg" handshake. You know, it's the one where you shake, then grab, then kind of grab again?
However, the candidate didn't expect the interviewer's response of "Ok, Ok! Please, that's enough." He didn't say it in a mean way, just so that the candidate would stop. The candidate looked a little shaken by the interviewer's reaction, so he shook my hand normally.
The interview ended up being okay, and there were no further incidents. But because of his weird "Whassup Dawg" handshake, he didn't make it any further in the process.
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