Red Wine & Taco Bell In The Afternoon

My friend DeadRobot is currently bemoaning the fact that he is having to go through a huge stack of resumes. People who are proudly including dead links, links to sites with spelling mistakes, really weak portfolios and demonstrating glaring junior mistakes. It’s causing him pain.

I know the pain. I have reviewed thousands upon thousands of resumes. I have interviewed hundreds of people for jobs ranging from receptionist to Technical Directors to work with me, for me, and for others.

Painfully often, I have interviewed people who were unable to communicate, unable to shut up, unable to listen, unable to understand and/or form coherent responses to basic questions about the work and their own experience. You know the ones.  You are unsure if they even understand what their resume says and wonder if they just cut and pasted hot topics and companies into their resume.

But there is something worse than interviewing them. It’s being them. 

Today, I was one of “them”.

Yup, I went on an interview today.  It was horrendous. No. Take horrendous, add humiliating, multiply by ridiculous, sprinkle in a pinch of degrading, and just a splash of WTF and you might be getting close.  It was, truly awful..

I couldn’t demonstrate any knowledge of the field. I babbled on when I should have said “yes” or “no”. I didn’t do my research so I wasn’t able to use the current language of the job… but truthfully that wouldn’t’t have helped much.

The interviewer even pointed out words and companies on my resume and then leaned over and said “tell me what you think ‘interactive’ means?”

Seriously, near the end when he was about to tell me I couldn’t do a job I used to hire people to do for me and THEM, he said “why don’t you tell me what my colleague told you about us? No, hold on… why don’t you tell me what you THINK my colleague told you about us.” He said it slowly, enunciating each consonant To MaKe Suure I UnDerStooD.

Now if that’s not someone saying “you are a moron”, I really don’t know what is.

I haven’t had an interview this bad since I interviewed with Microsoft, and then I was too junior to know what a fool I was making of myself.

This time, I at least wasn’t surprised when he offered to bring me into a junior role instead of the senior one I was interviewing for.

On my way out, I even pulled the infamous and oh so mature “Well, I’m not all that interested anyway.  I have another venture that’s doing really well.  I just came in to check things out.”


So next time you are interviewing a complete maroon, remember, some day in the embarrassingly near future, it could, just possibly, with bad timing, bad planning and bad luck, be you.  (or even me.)

So try and be nice.

Oh, and for those of you wondering, I really was there just to check things out.

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

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