We have heard all kinds of interview stories from job candidates ranging from scary to embarrassing on the scale. However, there is also another side to the interview. Read on to see a few hilarious interview experiences from HRs perspective.
Photo credit: wayhomestudio
Most candidates are usually anxious and excited to get to the interview stage of the job application process. After all, this is where the company gets to know them and vice versa to see if they are a good fit for each other, sort of like a first date. If everything goes well, the candidate will likely tell everyone about the experience, be it good or bad. It is simply human nature.
This is why it is always in the company’s best interest to create a positive job interview experience for every applicant. This allows them to feel welcomed and more comfortable expressing themselves appropriately and showing what they bring to the table.
Most times, interviews will go one way: the applicant comes in, answers the questions asked, hopefully, asks some questions back, and gets feedback from HR depending on how the session went. However, there will be one or two occasions where you have an unconventional interview with a candidate that leaves you highly impressed, disappointed, or even humored.
Let's see some hilarious interview experiences as told from the perspective of the other person in the room, HR.
“The candidate came in, we exchanged greetings, and they sat down. I asked my first question; the usual “tell me about yourself,” which I know most candidates aren’t particularly fond of. Ironically, I usually ask it as an icebreaker to help applicants ease into the interview but that wasn’t working for this person. They were very tense so I tried speaking in their native language to see if they would be more comfortable. They surprisingly opened up and started talking about their favorite hobbies and movies that they had seen recently; nothing related to their skills or education. I had to stop this person after about a minute of rambling to redirect the conversation back to the relevant questions.” - Michael, HR Manager.
“One particularly hilarious interview experience I had was with this candidate who handled the entire interview quite well. So when I asked if he had any questions for me, he had some good ones but I guess he felt a bit overconfident enough about the whole thing to ask me out on a date. He meant it in a sort of, “I am just doing this on the chance that I may not get this job anyway, so I have nothing to lose” mindset. I was flattered of course because that was a first but I had to politely turn him down.” - Karen, Recruiter.
“I had been interviewing 3 people for a specific position all referred to me by one of my good friends. None of them managed to move on to the next stage of the hiring process though. However, much later my friend told me that those candidates found my demeanor and presence too intimidating, so they were incredibly nervous during the interview. Of course, I laughed about it. Anyway, I learned to try to seem a bit less serious during interviews so I don’t put off any potentially good candidates in the future.” - David, HR Supervisor.
These hilarious interview experiences aside, this prompts the question, “What experience are you providing for candidates during job interviews?”
Candidate experience is how job applicants react and view your interviewing, hiring, screening, and recruitment processes.
When hiring for a certain role, companies aim is to find someone who will represent the company positively while being a great fit for the job. A company’s hiring process will give a first impression of what it is like to work there. So if an applicant has a positive hiring experience, this can make it easier to get more people enthusiastic about working there. When HR provides a good interviewing and hiring experience, it can get the company better applicants and hires. It also increases the chances of referring skilled candidates and even customers to the company.
Here are a few ways that HR can make interview experiences better for job candidates, so there are fewer occurrences of awkward and hilarious stories like the ones above:
Make it as easy as possible for the candidate to get to your office and provide an itinerary of the interview day beforehand. This helps them plan their day and do their research accordingly.
Ensure you are available to receive them or make arrangements to do so when they arrive at your office. Most importantly, be punctual for the interview and inform the candidate if there will be any delays.
Be respectful and friendly to the candidate without leading them on about the job. You can inform them of the various stages of the hiring process to know where they currently stand. Thank them for coming and bid them goodbye.
Research the candidate before the session, especially since they probably did their due diligence researching you and the company before the interview. This will also help you determine which questions to ask for each candidate to get relevant answers.
Give the candidate your attention and fully invest in what they are saying. Take their questions seriously and give the best possible answers. Give them the time and space to make final statements if they need to so that they don’t leave the interview with unsaid words.
Reach out after the interview and don’t ghost the candidate even if their interview did not go well and you have constructive feedback. If you are still deciding, reach out with a polite response and a time frame for your follow-up response, which you should honor. This helps the candidate know whether to move on to other opportunities.
There you have it!
Remember that one of those candidates may end up working closely with you as a possible future colleague, so it is always good to leave a positive impression from the start.
The candidate interview experience is vital for getting the best talent and establishing a positive brand as an employer. It requires any company to assess its recruitment processes and tweak them wherever necessary. Friendliness and respect can make a good impression, ease nerves, and improve the interview experience when interviewing applicants to avoid awkward and funny moments.