It's good to learn from your mistakes, but it's less painful to learn from other people's.
The real life interview story of the prime candidate in restaurant marketing who believes “the world is a dirty place.”
A recruiter's client had already identified the candidate they wanted for the Marketing Manager position in their consumer company. The candidate had a stellar reputation as a successful Marketing Manager for a large restaurant chain. The recruiter found it slightly off-putting when she refused to fly in for an interview, but he agreed to fly to her location. He quickly saw that she was everything the client was looking for. When he asked if she'd come to the client's headquarters to meet with more decision makers, she agreed, but only if they could meet at one of their local outlets of her restaurant chain. When he asked why, she said, in part, “Because the world is a dirty place. I don't trust cleanliness anywhere but in one of our restaurants.” As qualified as she was, the recruiter realized it wouldn't be a good fit for his client and he recommended not hiring her.
What's the lesson learned? Looking good on paper is only part of the story.
What else can you learn from this story? It's a waste of everyone's time for a candidate to interview for a job that he or she doesn't want and can't accept. Why did she even interview? Instead of applying for every job you see, you should ask yourself, “Do I want this job?” Narrow your search and you'll be interviewing for jobs you really want, and it will show.
Two real life interview stories that include a life lesson as well.
A hiring manager was in the men's room when he observed another man leave without washing his hands. Sure enough, the dirty-hand-man was there for an interview. The hiring manager made up an excuse why he couldn't shake hands. They went ahead with the interview, but the manager knew before it started that he wasn't interested.
A man entered the elevator on the way to an interview and struck up a conversation with an attractive woman next to him. She soon decided to ignore him, but he got angry and began to berate her and brag about the job he's interviewing for and the big money he'll be making. Another man chimed in, “Is your interview with Brian?” The man replied, “Yes. It is.” Brian said, “It's canceled."
Lesson? From the time you walk out of your door until you get back home, be the professional you want the employer to see. Don't just turn it on when you walk in for your interview. You never know. Besides, it's habit forming.
The very short but real life interview story of the crumpled-up resume.
You know where this is headed, right? The guy showed up for his interview but the employer didn't have a copy of his resume. She asked if he had a copy with him, but the only one he had was crumpled up and stained from his morning cup of coffee.
What's the lesson? Be prepared. Bring two copies of your resume, (one for each of you), any non-proprietary examples of your work and your references. They should all be clean and pressed.
Any time is a good time to clean up your resume. There might be more serious problems than a coffee stain, but how can you know? A good first step is to turn to an expert resume company like LiveCareer. LiveCareer's Resume Builder offers multiple templates, job-specific text examples and an easy step-by-step process to build a job-winning resume in minutes. If you want to have a positive real life interviewing story, start with a great resume.