I always seem to stumble upon articles that give job tips where the focus is on helping the interviewee, so I’ve read articles titled- ‘How to conduct the best job interview and  ‘How to impress an employer’, but as I left an interview last week, I got to thinking that there are some things an interviewer should never do during an interview.  After allthe interview process is a two-way street; just as the interviewee is trying to leave a favourable impression and prove that they are worth hiring, the interviewer should make an effort to make the job and the company attractive to the interviewee.

And in no particular order based on my recent experience, here are things an interviewer should never do-

Don’t ‘bogart’ the refreshments, meaning don’t keep the refreshments to yourself

When I sat down for my interview, my two interviewers already had a jug of water and two full glasses in front of them.  Fast forward ten minutes and I still hadn’t been offered so much as a teaspoon of water.  I watched them take long sips of water whilst they asked me questions like, ‘tell us about your story so far.’  As I am not an infant, there was a work history to be told, but how could I tell it when my mouth was so dry it was spitting cotton?  At that point, I politely asked if I could have some water.  However, it should not have had to come to that.  Maybe in corporate interviews such tactics are used to see if the interviewee can be ‘broken down’ or to measure their ‘stones’, but this was a relaxed creative interview…or so I thought. 

Don’t flick through an interviewee’s portfolio at the speed of an Olympic sprinter

The interviewers then asked to see my portfolio.  Now I know that a portfolio sells itself and doesn’t need to be boosted by commentary and quips but as I was there in person, I didn’t think it would hurt if I told the background story of some of my editorials, especially as those stories clearly state my skills and ability to do the job.  After all, when I am doing a model casting, what really makes a model stand out for me are the ones who show their personalities by pointing out certain interesting facts about their editorials.  In my interview, I was not to be so lucky, as I was telling the story of a particular editorial, the interviewer would flick past it.  I got so frustrated that at one point, I held the portfolio page down so that she wasn’t able to zoom past it, road runner style.  I had a  relevant story to tell, and it was going to be told.

Don’t ask, ‘how old are you?’

Luckily, I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve been asked this mood-killer question at an interview.  Metaphorically speaking, it always sends me flying and crashing into the wall behind me, jarring my spleen. 

Don’t present yourself as ‘Slave Labour Central’

Now behind the two interviewers were three employees (or so I thought), so when I asked the interviewers how big their team was, I pointed to the three ’employees’ and asked if they were all part of the team.  The chilling response I got was, ‘No, they are all interns’.  So let me get this straight- the company is in its second year and was started by two of you and now the only extra people you have ’employed’ are the ‘ever disposable, don’t have to pay, plenty more from whence they came interns’.  If it looks like slave labour, quacks like slave labour, its….

Don’t wait till the 10th of Never to tell the candidate if they got the job or not

I still haven’t heard from the company regarding whether I got the position or not, and with all the time that has passed, I am thinking that I won’t have the pleasure of being their fourth work-donkey, I mean slave, I mean intern, no I meant slave.  Normally, after an interview, I write to my interviewer expressing my thanks for the interview, re-iterating my skills and so on, but this time around I will be doing no such thing.  As I said at the beginning of this article, interviews are a two-way street and this particular company did not sell themselves to me in any particular way.  And after the water episode, why would I want to work for a company where employees, I mean interns, I mean slaves are probably told to ‘BYOTR’- ‘Bring your own toilet roll’.

What have been your worst interview moments?

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