Blanking on the recruiter’s name or forgetting to bring copies of your résumé may not endear you to a prospective employer.
However, you can take heart in the fact that your error wasn’t so horrible it will be remembered (and shared) for years to come.
Not all interviewees are so lucky.
Here are five job interview tales of awesomely awkward moments as told by the employers who were there:
1. Let me Finish this GameWhile most candidates are ready to move mountains to please an interviewer, some are not so willing to accommodate. Ann M. Larson, managing partner for The Interview Experience, flew from New York to Los Angeles to conduct an interview, only to have the applicant ask her to stand there and wait in the hotel lobby so that she could finish the game of solitaire she was playing since it looked like she was going to win.
“I politely told her that I had a very busy agenda and that I didn’t really have the time to watch her play a card game,” Larson says. “The interview was short and awkward. I remember flying home thinking, ‘Thanks for taking a day of my life that I’ll never get back.’”
2. Never Let Them See You (or Your Hair) SweatExecutive recruiter and career counselor Bruce Hurwitz was delighted to find an applicant that seemed perfect for one of his clients. The fact that the man was bald wasn’t an issue, until he showed up for the interview having used “hair-in-a-can” to paint his head black.
“It was a warm day,” Hurwitz remembers. “As the interview progressed, he started to perspire. The paint started to run down his forehead — not a lot, maybe a quarter of an inch. I did not laugh even though I thought I was going to do myself personal injury by keeping it in!”
At interview’s end, Hurwitz told the man he wanted to submit him to the client but couldn’t because of his “hair.”
The man smiled and said, “You mean my toupee?”
Hurwitz mustered, “Yes. Promise me you won’t wear it, and I’ll submit you.”
All ended well.
3. Putting Your Assets on DisplayShara Senderoff, co-founder and CEO of Intern Sushi, was none too happy when she entered the lobby to greet an interviewee and discovered the young lady was wearing a mini-skirt and an extremely transparent shirt.
Senderoff gave her an appalled look.
“She clearly noticed my disgust and apologized profusely as she thought she was interviewing with a guy because my male assistant was scheduling the interview time with her,” she recalls. “Instead of focusing on her intelligence or the skills she could bring to the table, she thought a push-up lace bra would seal the deal.”
“It didn’t,” Senderoff says.
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