Got Tales from your interviews? Then send 'em on in!
The Easiest Interview Ever (from Adrian)
It had been many long years since my last job interview, so I was a little anxious about interviewing for a new job. So I studied. I prepped. I mock interviewed. I made sure that I’d be ready to answer every question that they could possibly throw at me, and I even came up with a long list of questions to ask them, just to make sure they knew I was interested.
Phew. When the day finally came, I wore my best suit and confidently strolled into their office. The ever-so-kind receptionist led me to a conference room and said that “Christopher” would be in shortly to interview me.
I waited. And I waited. And I waited. Thirty minutes later, Christopher popped in the conference room and said with a flustered tone, “you must be Adrian. I’m so sorry for being late, we’ve had a crisis and I’m trying to put out fires.”
“It’s okay,” I responded, “I know exactly how that—”
Before I could even finish my sentence, Christopher’s phone rang, and he immediately picked it up while gesturing “just one minute” to me. Ten minutes and a litany of “uh huh”, “okay”, “I see”, and “are you sure?” later, he hung up his phone and apologized again.
“Heh,” I nervously responded, “busy day, eh?”
“I haven’t even had time to—” before Christopher could even finish his sentence, his phone rang again. He rolled his eyes and picked it up, answering with a rushed “yeah?” This time, he rushed out of the conference room.
Another thirty minutes went by, so I walked back to the reception area to see what was going on. The receptionist also apologized and told me that “really bad things” are happening with the servers, and that it would probably be best if I just came back another day. So I left.
Later that week, an HR person called me back, but not to reschedule the interview. She was calling to offer me the job, and asked if I could start on Monday. Confused, I muttered, “uhh, wait, really? Are you sure?”
“Um,” the HR lady said, equally confused, “yeah? I mean, your name is Adrian, right?”
I replied affirmatively.
“So,” she paused, “can we expect to see you here on Monday?”
“Certainly,” I said without thinking.
“Okay then,” she said “we’ll see you Monday at 8:00; orientation starts at 8:15!”
It took a moment to sink in, but I was pretty sure that they had just offered the job to the wrong person. Was I supposed to call them back and tell them? Would they think I was dishonest and had a change of heart? Would they think I was an idiot?
Whatever the case, I decided not to call and just show up on Monday. I was half-expecting Christopher to cry foul, but when he saw me later that day, he simply said “you must be Adrian, welcome aboard!”
It was the easiest interview of my life and I’m still at the company to this day. I still haven’t had the guts to tell Christopher what really happened.
Work Hours (from Brian Gould)
I'm the CTO for a small company and we were interviewing for a new programmer to join the team. One of the candidates arrived at the office before I did, so the programmers that were there showed her around and offered her coffee.
She asked one of the programmers, "will we be allowed to work from home?"
The response was very clear: "Of course! You will be expected to work from home — after a full day at the office."
Forbidden Inter-office Romance (from Joe Barnum)
Long ago, I had an interview at a very small IT company. So small, in fact, it was only the two founders (husband & wife) and one other person. The company did reporting and data entry for some businesses in the area, and my job would be make small changes to a VB6 app, develop Microsoft Access reports, and fax various data to the clients.
Initially, my hours would be part time, as they wanted me to learn the job from the other employee as she was going on maternity leave in a few months. Once she returned, we would work side by side on a full-time basis. It was hardly a great developer job, but there wasn’t much else for a recent grad.
The initial interview process went just fine: I answered all technical questions, they seemed to be very nice, and the other employee looked forward to having some help. Then things got strange.
As I was getting ready to leave, the husband and wife sat me down in private and said they were very interested in extending an offer, but they wanted to make it clear that inter-office romances were absolutely forbidden. They went on to say that, if I were to have any inappropriate contact with anyone else in the office then that would be grounds for termination.
I chuckled, thinking that this was their way of playing a practical joke. The husband frowned and said that he didn’t see how that request was funny.
“I’m sorry,” I said, still unsure if he was joking, “there are only three people who work here, and two of them are married to each other. What, umm… were… uhh, you—”
I was grasping for straws, so thankfully he replied. “I’m sorry, I’d rather not get into any prior personnel issues with you.”
For the rest of the day, I tried to figure out what possibly could be the issue. Maybe that other employee got frisky with the husband and got pregnant? Maybe the wife was a little “curious” and liked to prey upon fresh meat?
Whatever the case, when they called me back to extend an offer, I politely declined.