I have conducted quite a number of interviews in my career. A rough estimate so far would be about 300 so far (wow, didn’t think they were that many!). I have interviewed candidates for CEO positions, Receptionist positions and everything in between. But my largest experience has been with senior management candidates who are looking to climb up the corporate ladder. Which makes my experiences with them quite weird. Weird? Yeah, weird.
- A candidate was asked to describe his greatest weakness. He said that he is very scared of snakes. And that approaching ladies was an activity that really scared him. His friends told him that those were his weaknesses.
- Another candidate was requested to role play and present to her family a topic that she was passionate about. After one sentence of ‘We need to go back to loving each other…..’ she burst out crying and we had to look for tissues for her to wipe her tears. Then she continued crying for about 5 minutes….
- When your mother tongue affects your English and you keep on switching your ‘l’ with ‘r’, your ‘p’ with ‘f’ and vice versa, it doesn’t help when 2 friends are interviewing you, in our case, we started snorting. Then your start saying, ” ‘I am the ‘p’acking manager at the ‘f’actory and I work closely with the ‘p’acking assistants e’l’ected to work with me”.
- When you ask someone to tell you about how they have assisted / worked with people at their workplace and they say ‘I helped my colleague beat up her husband who was cheating on her on a daily basis. I mean, come on, cheating once a week is okay, but daily? He had to learn his lesson’
- A candidate who comes in late and when requested to explain the reason why he was late says, ‘I was on my way here and I am here now, can we get the show started’. He got the panel tongue tied and he got the job.
- Someone who is invited for an interview and after mutual introduction says, ‘I know you said we have an hour but before you start, I have a PowerPoint presentation for you’ and goes ahead to make a 30 minutes presentation on why the organisation is not making money and which blunders the media have been able to find out about and which ones they haven’t….
- A dude who 20 minutes into the interview asks ‘Please remind me, which position are you interviewing for?’