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Unbelievable Job Interview Fails

You won’t believe what some people get up to during job interviews! Our consultants have compiled their most jaw-dropping scenarios to share a slice of the behind-the-scenes world of recruitment. As a recruitment agency, we conduct hundreds of job interviews a year and while most people do an excellent job, not everyone gets it right (and some get it unbelievably wrong!)

A growing trend since the arrival of COVID has been video job interviews. Some candidates assume that video interviews will be more casual than face-to-face interviews, but this is not the case. Employers and recruiters still need to evaluate a candidate’s suitability for a role however the interview is conducted.

Candidates should put the same amount of preparation, if not more, into video job interviews compared with face-to-face interviews, due to the technical aspects of setting up video communications.

Think of this as a guide to what not to do during job interviews.

  • Start smoking
    Yes, someone lit up a cigarette during a video job interview! Our consultant turned around to grab some paperwork and when she turned back the candidate had lit a cigarette and was happily puffing away.
  • Wear a singlet and thongs
    One candidate turned up for a face-to-face interview wearing a singlet and thongs. No, it wasn’t for a job as a tour guide in Bali, it was for an administrative role. Needless to say, they didn’t get the position.
  • Make coffee
    One candidate popped into the kitchen to make themselves coffee in the middle of the interview. No, there wasn’t an agreed-upon break or recess, the candidate simply took their laptop with them and continued to talk whilst they added milk, sugar and coffee to a mug and stirred.
  • Bring your mother
    We’re not kidding, one candidate brought his mother along to a job interview. He applied for the job for himself but had intended to present his mother as the job candidate instead when they arrived. Whilst we understand the altruistic reasons behind this person's motives, it’s simply not a good look to lie or deceive your recruiter.

Whilst we can’t divulge every scenario for confidentiality reasons, we hope you enjoyed these few stories for a bit of a giggle. For further guidance, read our article about how best to prepare for online job interviews and meetings.