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worst tactics for trying to get a job

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Now going to gossip about an alleged incident that took place where I work.

My team is trying to expand so they’re often interviewing people. Allegedly, there was one interview which went so-so, but after the interview, as the candidate was being escorted out, he basically went down on his knees and begged for the job. According to the guy who was interviewing, if they’d had any thoughts of hiring him before, he had officially blown it.

I don’t know whether I’m abnormally sensible, but I just can’t see myself ever thinking that would be a good tactic to get a job. No employer wants to see my desperation (if I’m desperate), which handily saves my pride somewhat. Behaving well at a job interview isn’t really that hard. Do what is asked. Be a sensible, normal person in habits (fake it if you have to). They might not hire you, but you’re giving yourself the best chance.

I could do with a laugh, does anyone else have any awful tactics that they wish to share?  Can you beat begging on your knees as ways not to get a job? Let me know in the comments.

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17 comments for “worst tactics for trying to get a job”

  1. That’s terrible - makes me feel a little sorry for the guy, must have been incredibly desperate, or incredibly stupid. Or both.

    Posted by Rob Lewis | May 21, 2008, 1:16 pm
  2. Plonkee, check out nothired.com for laughs about the job application process.

    People are crazy.

    Posted by A.J. | May 21, 2008, 2:10 pm
  3. That makes me sad. He probably really needed that job, but what the heck was he thinking. You pretty much lose all respect for a person who does that. If I did that I would feel awkward if they did give me the job afterward.

    Posted by David Carter | May 21, 2008, 3:45 pm
  4. Hi Plonkee!
    Excuse my insensitivity, but I found that incredibly funny. I have a festoon of bad experiences interviewing in London! (and heard from my bosses the worst things a candidate has done). Some of the best(worst) things I have heard:
    1) One candidate was so nervous that they prattled on endlessly while the interviewers tried to get a word in. This did not go down well.
    2) A candidate that chose to mention he was impotent and that his wife was considering adoption. The interviewers were baffled and, without trying to appear insensitive, asked what the the relevance was to the question.
    3) I interviewed for an ‘account manager’ role at a PR company. Thinking this was going to be all about accounts, I praised my experience and interest in finance and accounting, only to be told to go home and do my research next time!

    I would say the worst thing is not to do your research, or to appear in any way that you do not take the interview seriously. I always try to pick up an interesting nugget from the website and introduce that at some point in the interview. i.e. “I think it’s so admirable that you have your own Gender Advisory Council!”

    Good post Plonkee. x

    Posted by Kerstin Doe | May 22, 2008, 5:47 am
  5. @Rob and David:
    When I heard the story I felt bad for the guy, but you just can’t demonstrate that you’re a liability like that.

    Aaah so very funny. I love them all.

    Posted by plonkee | May 22, 2008, 8:46 pm
  6. Oh dear. I’ve read some stuff online about crazy things people have done but that just seems so sad. I can understand feeling like it, but unless it’s showbiz, he probably shouldn’t try it.

    Firefox’s spell-checker recognizes “showbiz” as a word. Sweet.

    Posted by Mrs. Micah | May 23, 2008, 9:30 pm
  7. It’s good to show your interest in a job, however that’s crossing the line. The companies not a social assistance office. They’re in business to make a profit.

    When I’ve hired people, I’ve been interested in those who have showed a strong interest in working for my company. That didn’t include begging though.

    Posted by Monty Loree | May 24, 2008, 6:21 pm
  8. ahh jeez! Poor schmuck. Whatever you do, don’t hire that one.

    I’ve not had any applicants do anything that colorful (yet). Mostly it’s people who a) apply for editorial jobs with cover letters full of grammatical & spelling errors and b) apply for jobs that don’t exist in my organization.

    The latter, no doubt, complain that they sent out 87 gerjillion applications and didn’t even get one job offer, & so that must prove how bad the job market is….

    Posted by Funny about Money | May 24, 2008, 9:16 pm
  9. Oh this is so sad, I feel very bad for him - I wonder what is happening in his life for him to be desperate - maybe bankrupsy or illness etc.
    Stories like this make me very emotional, wondering if things have gotten better for them, imagining what it must be like. Being empathetic is hard because it’s so tough to just see it as a silly thing to do! Poor guy!

    Posted by Frugal Trenches | May 26, 2008, 12:20 pm
  10. p.s. Happy Bank Holiday weekend :)

    Posted by Frugal Trenches | May 26, 2008, 12:28 pm
  11. I was recently recruiting for WordPress developers. One person emailed about the position. They started out by telling “from what I see from your website you really need my help.”

    I couldn’t delete that one quick enough. It still blows me away when I think about it.

    Posted by A Niche SEO | May 27, 2008, 1:08 am
  12. @Frugal Trader:
    Yes, I feel bad for him, but I think he might be a bit of a liability to the company, and when you’re hiring for better or worse, that’s who you represent.

    @A Niche SEO:
    Yes. Whilst solving a problem might help you get recruited, saying that your potential employer is not very good probably won’t.

    Posted by plonkee | May 27, 2008, 4:48 pm
  13. It’s a pretty extreme technique, which leads me to believe maybe he was using it as a technique. He may do it at every interview, knowing that it will work extremely well on the right person. You just never know.

    Posted by Colorado Online Mortgage | May 28, 2008, 2:27 am
  14. Hee. I just heard from a friend that a job candidate told a group of post-docs that only reason he/she didn’t pursue a Ph.D. was because it was EASY. Impressive.

    Posted by Msminiducky | May 28, 2008, 10:59 pm
  15. All I can say is wow. Desperation is never a pretty thing.

    Posted by sara l | June 4, 2008, 10:36 pm
  16. It’s understandable that money makes us independent. But how to act if one has no cash? The only one way is to get the business loans and just bank loan.

    Posted by RichardsElvira | March 6, 2010, 3:13 pm

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