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Did She Just Say That?!

March 7, 2011

Lately I have been reading tons of articles about putting together resumes and getting through the interview.  It really got me thinking about some of the interviews I have conducted in the past. People sometimes will surprise you with what comes out of their mouth. Here is just a couple of the stranger things that I have come across.

The first interview I conducted was as a Manger Trainee at a department store. There was about 30 people there for the interview and 4 managers. One of the candidates we had some concerns with since he listed 5 retail jobs in less than 2 years on his application and was at each job less than 4 months. So the first question that we asked was “tell us about your past retail experience.” Immediately he began talking about working in the women’s department and how great he was at sales since all you have to do is “get them in the fitting room when they are naked and give them more cloths. The best way to sell to them is when they are naked…” Red flag number one. He went on to tell us about how he helps women but instead it came out as “I have done a lot of women.” Talk about Freudian slip. Very few people caught what he said, but the manager who was training us heard it and had to excuse himself for a minute.

Lesson to learn: Talking about how you harass customer’s and use fitting rooms as your personal peep show will not get you hired.

During the holidays we were always looking for seasonal help and with the ample amount of applications that we got it would take us about a week or so to sort them out and then call back to set up interviews. One day I got a phone call from someone demanding to know when she was going to start work. The conversation went down hill from there. When I asked her name to check with the schedule she became violent. After demanding to speak to someone higher than me (which would be my store manager who wasn’t there), threatening to call corporate to report me, calling me every four letter word in the book, and telling me that I had no right to tell her what to do (which was hilarious since not only would she have to report to a department supervisor but they reported to me so I was her boss’s boss) I finally figured out that she had just put in an application 20 minutes ago and just got home from doing so. Needless to say the HR Supervisor deleted that application.

Lesson learned: Don’t scream at the person who you want to hire you. They wont.

I was in the position where I needed to hire a Coordinator for my intimate apparel department. Since it was an internal position I was looking for someone who had shown leadership abilities in the past, willingness to learn, someone who I knew was reliable and I could work with easily. Several great candidates applied as well as some wild cards, but all were interviewed. One of those happened to be some one who knew the department better than anyone, but her attitude, customer service skills, and ability to work with others was well…lacking. She was called into the interview because I wanted to see why she wanted the job and try to determine if a switch in position might be what see needed to get her to perform better. After all her knowledge of the department was something I came to depend on. From the start her fire was evident. I asked “Why should I hire you?”

Her answer “Because I don’t sit around like the other Supervisors do. They are lazy and rude. I don’t understand why they get 40 hours while the rest of us hard workers hardly get any hours at all.”

Lesson learned: While honesty is appreciated editing is appreciated even more.

Finally the last didn’t happen when I giving in an interview, but when I was waiting to do one. I was sitting in the waiting room with two other people awaiting an interview for a large retailer for the position of assistant manager. I struck up a conversation with them and found that they were also being interviewed for the assistant manager position. That’s when one decided to confide in us that she had no idea what the position was for and that she was hoping to at least get a position in HR. The other guy in the room replied he didn’t know either, but he though it had something to do with maybe unloading the trucks or being on the registers. Thankfully I was called in for my interview at that point and wished them both luck.

Lesson learned: Know what you are going for prior to the interview. Just google it if need be.

Have you or anyone you have known made a faux pas during an interview?

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 7, 2011 10:55 am

    Ohhh my…That is so interesting especially the last story. Its strange that both of those people didnt know what position they are applying for. Happy Monday, sweetie

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