What The Interview From Hell Taught Me

Whilst searching for a placement I had a few different interviews with a variety of companies but one stands out to me the most within the process. I left the interview feeling confused, frustrated and disappointed that the position had not been all it cracked up to be. On paper it seemed great but when more details were revealed and once I got a feel for the company culture and the people I would be working with I knew it wasn’t right for me.

I had a telephone interview with the company and the position sounded great, allowing me to learn a lot whilst getting training and hands on experience. I was able to explain my placement year and discuss how I was made redundant but was ready to get stuck in to a new position. I was looking forward to my interview however it didn’t go as I expected.
During the interview I was honest about my degree, the subjects I covered and what I thought my degree hadn’t been able to provide. I told my interviewer how a placement within their company would provide me with more knowledge, experience and confidence however I felt continuously criticised for the lack of marketing within my degree even though I explained it was only my pathway and there were numerous other core subjects I had to study.
I realised I had made a mistake when preparing for my interview when my interviewer asked if I had looked her up on LinkedIn. I was honest and told her I had looked up the company on LinkedIn as well as their website but had not looked into individual profiles. This was met with a comment which I brushed off as I knew  I had not taken full advantage of the information available.
As the interview wore on, I felt more and more patronised. My interviewer told me their partner had never been to an interview and not been offered the job because they take along criticisms and recommendations for the business as well as a SWOT analysis. After telling me this, I was asked if I knew what a SWOT analysis was. (For anyone who has studied business or works in a business knows this is a very simple and commonly used tool.) I had already completed two years of my business degree but felt consistently patronised about the knowledge I held.
However some good came out of that interview. Firstly, it showed me the position and company was not right for me and allowed me to carry on my search. I also learnt a lesson, ironically, about marketing – in particular, self-marketing. The experience showed me you are only as good as you show you are. I had made silly mistakes and should have prepared different examples that I could have given for various questions demonstrating my skills and past achievements.
It also made me consider what people would see if they searched my name on LinkedIn, Google or social media sites. At that moment in time I didn’t have a blog or any other online presence apart from my personal social media pages and it spurred me on to create this blog and improve my LinkedIn. Companies will not recognise your value or know if you are right for the position unless you show them you are right for the job.
Have you had bad interview experiences? What would people find if they searched your name? 

14 thoughts on “What The Interview From Hell Taught Me

  1. That’s scary! I usually like to be positive about my experiences and when I was doing entry level jobs (this interview was at a grocery store) they asked if there was anything bad that I didn’t like about someone and I said no I try to stay positive and the woman was so snippy and said “Well think of something, there has to be something.” like lady if there was I wouldn’t dwell on it?? ugh def not the right job for me!
    x Kenzie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You definitely have the right idea, there is no point focusing on negatives. It’s crazy how people can be so rude when you first meet them but you’re right, at least it showed you it wasn’t the right job for you! 🙂


  2. I interviewed for a job that had me go through a third-party screener. She was about 20 years younger than me, and so patronizing that I had to grit my teeth to complete the process. I have marketing experience in non-profits and with community relations in local government but this was small company I was interviewing with. She flat out told me that non-profits and government positions are “gimme” jobs, that people get from their relatives. I was so insulted. She was very full of herself. I was glad I didn’t get the second interview, but sort of wished I had told her my opinion of corporate shills.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is unbelievable, how someone can be so rude and disrespectful when trying to interview you is beyond me. Hindsight is a great thing, when I was driving home from my interview I kept thinking up different things I should have said when I was continuously patronised. But at least we found out, all be it the hard way, that we definitely weren’t right for the companies and would not enjoy it there!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing your interview experience. Interview always makes me nervous, too. I think private companies are more profit driven than government positions and no-profits, because understandably they need to balance the spreadsheet year on year to avoid going bust.


  4. You know sometimes it doesn’t matter how well set up or prepared you are. Clearly he or she was very blinkered and not a very good listener/or interviewer and there’s not much you can do about that. I experienced something similar recently when the person I met acted on some preconceived ideas she had about me. She thought I’d be okay for a bit of shallow gimmickry surrounding a community project basing her opinion on the work I do now, and she could not for the life of her see where my past experience fitted or see what an asset I could have been. It was a complete waste of my time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess sometimes it can be a blessing in disguise when things don’t work out! Just know it is there loss and carry on moving forwards I guess 😄


  5. Hi Chris,
    Great post you have here, I definitely agree, I have been to some interviews where I feel my experience matches up greatly with the role but end up finding out that the role wasn’t as it cracked up to be. As students it’s such a learning curve for the future.

    I look forward to your future posts.
    Daniel (themaninthesuit.com)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess the only way to learn some lessons in the recruitment process and in terms of your career as a whole is through the hard way! Oh well, a good lesson nonetheless!
      Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!

    It’s the little changes that make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


  7. You’re too good for those people anyways! The moment I began the interview process for the job I hold now, I changed my Facebook name and tightened my privacy settings. I don’t want future employers to see embarrassing photos from 2007! Great post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a really good idea! I’ve been considering changing my blog name to my name in the future but I can’t decide because it will mean it’s easy for employers to find! Have a great day! 😄

      Liked by 1 person

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