I would like to share with you the story of one bad job interview that I had a couple of years ago in the hopes that you can learn some things about what not to do at job interviews. I know that you might be thinking, “of course, everyone knows not to do that!” But this is a true story and you would be surprised how many people make similar mistakes.

The interview did not start well as while the candidate was waiting in the waiting area, he was listening to his iPod. This is already bad because candidates appear to be uninterested and selfish. But soon, he closed his eyes and started tapping his feet to the rhythm. That’s not so bad I hear you think but then he started singing. It was just a couple of lines before he caught himself and looked around to see if anyone had noticed. He thought no one had but the centre that I managed was made of glass. Someone notices everything in a centre made of glass.

At one point during the interview, I asked why he left his customer service job and he replied that he didn’t like working with people. I asked if he knew that teachers need to work with people too. He changed the topic.

The worst part though is that the candidate chewed gum throughout the entire interview. Maybe he thought he wanted to have fresh breath but when that gum fell out of his mouth while he was speaking, it became the nail in the coffin. It was at this point that I decided that I could not possibly offer this person a job based on his performance in this interview.

After the bad job interview, I was in the staff room and one of my staff asked me if he would be getting a call-back. I never answer this question as you never know what will happen but in this case I gave a confident no. The staff member asked me if I had noticed that he had been wearing white socks with black pants and black shoes.

The moral of the story is; if you want the job, be interested, don’t chew gum, dress properly and choose a job that suits you.

  • Candidate- a person who is being interviewed
  • Slumped posture- he did not sit up straight
  • His true colors- his real personality
  • The nail in the coffin- the last chance is gone
  • Get a call-back- to be invited back for the next round of interviews


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