@MarkShaw has just tweeted a question:
Over the years I have had a lot of job interviews.. Most were professional, some were very amateur… What’s the worst job interview you had?
I tried to tweet my answer, but there was no way I could get it into 140 characters, so I shall give it here… (Context, as they say, is all!)
I once has a second interview for a job: I think I had basically got the job, and the firm I was going to work with were trying to work out which team I would work with, but I didn’t really know that at the time. I was being considered for two teams: this interview was with the team leader – a pretty senior manager – of one of them. There were no HR or other people in the interview: it was just me and him.
The interview consisted of this guy firing a list of activities or tasks at me as closed questions: “Can you do this? … Can you do that?” It was practically impossible to answer: I worried that saying “No!” might lose me the job.
There was no discussion – no real attempt to dig to discover whether my skills were compatible with his teams’, or whether I had behavioural fit. He wanted yes or no answers.
The first interview had been broadly competency-based, with a psychometric test and a presentation thrown in for good measure. This second interview didn’t seem to fit in at all.
The interviewer came across as a single-minded sociopath who couldn’t hold a proper conversation. Not as someone I would want to work with. It was a lousy advert for the organisation.
Fortunately, I had another interview with the other team leader and one of his team. This was completely different: an exploration of how we could work together, what he could expect from me and what I could expect from him. The difference pheonomenal: I came out of it really wanting to be part of this team.
I was offered the post in the second team. I wouldn’t have worked with the first team if they had offered twice – three times – the money: it would clearly never have worked.