I thought I’d capture a few of the funnier things that have happened in the interviews I’ve conducted. It is quite amazing what people will say under pressure! This isn’t meant to come across as laughing at other’s misfortune, but a light hearted look at what can happen in a stressful situation. I do genuinely appreciate the time that people put in to attend an interview and would like to be able to help everyone who I meet, but unfortunately that isn’t possible.
I was interviewing for a programmer in our support team and having asked them to describe something they enjoyed working on, I asked them for something they didn’t enjoy. The answer – working in support!
It seems this is a question that a few people don’t expect. Having asked someone else about something they didn’t enjoy they decided to tell us about the time they swore at their manager. They then swore at themselves in the interview for mentioning it!
One guy had mentioned he’d been having a bad week, but I thought nothing of it and didn’t ask further. Before the end of the interview he explained that having been made redundant a month ago he was enjoying his time off and wasn’t looking to rush back to work as he had plenty of savings. He then elaborated on his bad week – the day before the interview his wife had left him and emptied his bank account! He was now looking for work pretty quickly!
After one of the programming tasks, a candidate asked whether we set all our programmers the same challenge and whether any of them had completed it. Remember this is a 10 line program that most people should be able to write as quickly as they can type. When I told him that we do use the same challenge, he replied “Wow, you must have some clever guys working here!”. We do have some clever people, and hopefully my recruitment process will help keep and attract other clever people to join us.