I've nearly "died" to get jobs – died from embarrassment. These are my true stories – job interviews that ended in blood and disaster.
Story 1: Trapped In An Avalanche
Years ago, I interviewed at a major non-profit. The director's office was a bit cramped, filled with papers, stacked books and boxes. He gestured for me to take a seat in front of a tightly packed shelf.
The interview went well, until he asked that dreaded question: “What do you consider your weakness?”
I was fresh out of college, so it was one of the first interviews where I was asked that. Giving it some thought, I tilted my back and hit the shelf behind me.
Suddenly, the shelf collapsed. Books and folders tumbled on my head, covering me in paper chaos.
The director jumped up, "Are you ok?"
“Clumsy,” I said.
“What?” he asked.
“My weakness,” I answered. “Clumsy.”
I got a laugh from him… and the job.
Maybe the director was afraid not to hire me, since his office nearly killed me.
I worked there for nearly three years.
Story 2: Oh, The Blood
An Indiana ad agency flew me in for an interview. The morning of the meeting, I’m shaving in my hotel room and, of course, I cut myself just under my nose.
Either I've discovered a major artery just above my lip or I turned into a hemophiliac, because I couldn’t stop bleeding.
It took about 20 minutes to get the bleeding under control. And it made me late.
So I raced to the agency. Before walking in, I looked at myself in the rearview mirror.
There was a fresh, thin line of blood just below my nostril. It was nothing a little spit and my thumb couldn't wipe clean.
Or so I thought.
Panicked, I conducted most of my interview, striking an “intellectual pose,” with my hand slightly covering my nose. Somehow it left a blood stain on the cuff of my shirt.
I may have been willing to bleed for this interview, but not for the company. It wasn’t a good fit and I didn’t get an offer.
What's the scariest interview you've survived?