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Job interview Disaster Stories

Posted by Jennifer Nelson

You’ve secured the interview, researched the company and dusted off your slickest suit ready to impress, but have you planned your journey? With readily available apps and technology tools at our fingertips, we no longer need to go through the hassle of google mapping, printing a map or even doing a trial run prior to the big interview date. With that said so many of us are still failing to prepare! These are some of the most disastrous journeys to interviews our team have encountered:


Back in the day when I was but a wide-eyed graduate eager to step into the 9-5 working world, I registered with a local agency who secured me my first ever interview for a notable financial services organisation in their Hampshire office. Leaving the house that morning in the slickest suit I could afford, a Filofax (I know right?!) and importantly the map the agency had supplied (this was way before smartphones!) I set out determined to impress with a spring in my step. 45 minutes into my journey I learnt I had made a grave mistake as the map had lead me through a wood complete with a bog-like marsh, finally leading me onto a golf course! I finally got to the interview 20 minutes late caked in mud with foliage in my hair. I didn’t get the job….

You Spin Me Round-Round     

My colleague once worked with a candidate who’d had a bad run of luck with interviews, however when an opportunity arose with a Top Accountancy Firm in their Leeds office he jumped at the chance and secured an interview instantly. Determined to put his best foot forward the candidate researched the firm and set out that morning confident his luck was set to change. However, he hadn’t quite anticipated the complexities of driving through a city centre and managed to drive around the roundabout nearest to the office 8 times before admitting defeat calling my colleague and sighing ‘I can see the office, but I just can’t get to it….’

Call the Doctor!!

A candidate I represented recently secured an early morning interview with a boutique firm and keen to be on tip-top form ate his breakfast on the train journey there. Arriving on the dot he went straight through to meet the MD mentally rehearsing some of his most impressive prepared lines. Walking into the boardroom he went straight in to shake the MD’s hand only be met by a completely aghast bewildered expression on the MD’s face. After an awkward introduction, the candidate dived straight into the interview finally coming to the end of the hour confidently asking if the MD had any questions. ‘Well yes...’ replied the MD ‘Are you alright? Do you need any medical attention?’ In his haste of wolfing down his breakfast en-route, the candidate had managed to spill most of his red smoothie on his shirt which appeared as a huge spreading blood stain…

I’m Just too Tyred

Sometimes it just doesn’t matter how much you prepare yourself, disaster can creep up at any moment. One candidate who had his sights set on working for a particularly big name in finance and keen to explore options regionally, secured an interview within their Poole office. With the added plus that he could flexibly work from his home in Stratford (East London), it seemed to be the perfect role. The candidate set out early that summer morning with ample time to complete the 150-mile journey; petrol tank full and excited for his interview. Halfway through temperatures had risen to 33 degrees and perspiration was starting to become an issue. All of a sudden, he heard a loud bang to discover his tyre had exploded. An hour later waiting on the hard shoulder for the recovery services he was near to giving up and turning around. However, in the face of adversity, his tenacity and determination to make it to the interview saw him continue his journey, eventually getting there 45 minutes late. Following a very flustered and unsettled interview, it was enough to put the candidate off the role, and perhaps going to Poole too soon again.

It just goes to show fail to prepare and you really can prepare to fail. For more tips on how to put your best foot forward at any level interview please take a look at some of our other articles here. Best of Luck!!





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