Job Interviews That Suck | UK Contractors

Recruitment Consultant
Recruitment Consulant for Contract Agency

Job Interviews That Suck and Why


Have you been to any job interviews that suck?

Here are the experiences of a contractor who has been to many.

It appeared on Aussie contractor site

Contractor Interview

You get your hopes up that this could be the big one. Finally, a job you can enjoy.

The agent sold it to you so well that you’re hungry for the interview. Apparently you’re by far the most qualified candidate put forward.

You just have to jump through the easy hoop of the interview, and you’re home free. You walk into the interview room confident and excited.

An hour later you walk out again, completely dejected. A shell of the person you were. You’ve stared into the eyes of evil itself and come out to tell the tale.

Now you understand how those before the Salem witch hunts and the Spanish Inquisition felt. We’re talking about interviews that suck. Here are some of the worst.

Oh, the horror, the horror!

The impossible technical test

  1. Draw a detailed network diagram showing how you might link the 5000 staff in this building to email, printers, the internet, and file servers.
  2. Name every method and parameter of the class java.util.SoObscureNoOneEverUsesIt.
  3. How would you recover from a major security breach at your site. Use no more than 2 sentences for your explanation.
  4. Write a short program that might be used to monitor a nuclear reactor.
  5. etc.

The sadistic interviewer

The interviewer is already angry at you. He was half-way through pulling the wings off a fly when his secretary reminded him about this interview. He’s warming up to it now though. It’s not often in modern life that one gets the chance to humiliate an intelligent professional. As a matter of fact, you’re starting to look a bit like that fly.

The job requirements you were never been told about

Didn’t the agency tell you that this job requires fluent Japanese? I know that this is a helpdesk job, but we also want someone who knows how to design microprocessors. Do you have a helicopter pilot’s licence? We often need our network engineers to fly out to client sites.

The person who simply won’t interview you

You say hello and then sit there – and sit there, and sit there. You try to kick things off, but the interviewer simply won’t ask you any questions. So. you go into a bit of a spiel about your work experience, but he interrupts to ask you if you saw last night’s game. No matter what you do, this person simply refuses to interview you. Fifteen minutes after walking out, you get a call from the agency saying that you didn’t have enough experience for the job.

Questions to make you squirm

  1. What are these gaps on your resume?
  2. What has been the most humiliating moment of your existence?
  3. You’ve exaggerated slightly here, haven’t you?
  4. Tell me about three times you really screwed up.
  5. What are your ten greatest weaknesses? And I mean real weaknesses not made up ones like “I’m a bit of a perfectionist.”
  6. You’re coming across as a bit emotional, are you sure you’re up to this job?

Ten hoops to jump through before winning the prize

First the agency interviews you, twice. Then you are interviewed by the direct manager. Three days later, her manager wants to interview you. This is followed by a technical test one week later. Then a psychological and intelligence test. Then they get you back so HR can interview you. Then the previous direct manager has been replaced, so now the new manager wants to interview you. Then the business client wants to interview you etc.

The technical guy who wants to make you look stupid

This is usually someone the manager has bought along to gauge your technical skills. This guy only bothers to learn stuff so he can bludgeon others with his encyclopedic knowledge of the obscure. He won’t let you leave the room until he’s made you look like a lying idiot who knows nothing about your claimed area of expertise.

Can you add any job interviews that suck to this?

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