What Are Examples of Failures in Interviews?

July 7, 2023
Posted in Questions
July 7, 2023 Terkel

What Are Examples of Failures in Interviews?

We’ve asked co-founders and community managers to share their worst interview experiences and what made them a complete failure. From an unprepared interviewee who ruins the interview to an overextended interview losing focus, here are the top four interview disasters they’ve encountered. Their insights will help you understand what to avoid in your own interview process.

  • Unprepared Interviewee Ruins the Interview
  • Unprofessional Environment and Bias
  • Lack of Transparency Derails Interview
  • Overextended Interview Loses Focus

Unprepared Interviewee Ruins the Interview

As an experienced HR professional, I once conducted an interview that went completely off the rails. The interviewee was unprepared and didn’t seem interested in the position. He struggled to answer basic questions and showed a complete lack of knowledge about the company.

It was clear that he hadn’t done any research beforehand. To make matters worse, he interrupted me multiple times, and when I asked him about his salary requirements, he responded with an exorbitant figure that was way above the market rate.

The experience taught me the importance of proper preparation and research before an interview, as well as the value of clear communication and professionalism.

Samuel FletcherSamuel Fletcher
Co-founder, SupplyGem

Unprofessional Environment and Bias

I applied for a translator’s position at a local company. The invitation to the next stage made me happy as the job seemed promising. However, the interview turned out to be a minefield of big red flags from the moment I entered the office.

First, it struck me that all the women working there looked VERY similar. They were slim, tall blondes wearing short skirts. I couldn’t help but feel disturbed that the employer had clear visual expectations toward female employees. As a short, curvy redhead, I started worrying that my excellent education, relevant work experience, and skills might not be impressive enough.

Although I arrived on time, I had to wait an hour for my interview. The boss was an arrogant man with a big ego. He sat at his enormous desk and pointed (literally, with his finger!) to a table standing 20 feet away, where I was supposed to complete the practical task. He didn’t make eye contact and spoke to me in a very unfriendly manner. I felt terrible there. It was a total disaster.

Agata SzczepanekAgata Szczepanek
Community Manager, MyPerfectResume

Lack of Transparency Derails Interview

Picture this: the job posting promised a fully remote position, so you applied. But during the first phone call, the interviewers mentioned the occasional office visits, which I found acceptable. When I thought I had the job in the bag, the main interview revealed that they require a candidate to appear in the office weekly. The catch? The office was over 100 miles away from where I lived.

This unexpected change meant added travel time, expenses, and sheer inconvenience that didn’t align with what I had anticipated. This inconsistency in the job posting and the actual expectations created confusion and disappointment. Trust and transparency were shattered, leaving me questioning the company’s honesty and integrity.

I made the decision to withdraw from the recruitment, despite the company’s return to initial promises about occasional visits. But the damage was done. This experience taught me the importance of clear communication, transparency, and being true to what is advertised.

Nina PaczkaNina Paczka
Community Manager, Resume Now

Overextended Interview Loses Focus

A long interview can cause the candidate to lose focus, become uncomfortable, and perform poorly. Additionally, a long interview can reflect poorly on the company and suggest indecisiveness or disorganization. For example, in one job interview that lasted over 2 hours, the candidate became increasingly anxious and struggled to answer questions clearly.

The interviewer did not seem to have a clear direction for the interview, which made the candidate unsure about the opportunity and the company. Overall, keeping interviews focused, efficient, and respectful of the candidate’s time is essential for success.

Roy LauRoy Lau
Co-founder, 28 Mortgage

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