Job candidates who bombed their interview before it began

Some days are more special than others and a slip up can end in tears.

Job Interviews are a necessary evil. Nobody likes them but everybody has to go through them.

Between all the posturing, professional courtesy and poker faces one can walk away feeling rather confused. And then there’s the post-interview uncertainty.

But not all goof-ups occur face-to-face. We’ve compiled a list of real life examples of pre-interview show stoppers.

Here are some of the best;


Lack of availability is probably the most common cause of pre-interview bomb outs. “If a candidate has inconvenienced you or the team as a result of inflexible availability, it’s a very difficult handicap to come back from.”.

If you are not able to accommodate ensure you have an AWESOME reason, otherwise I suggest you move your plans accordingly.


“I don’t recall any instances when the candidate was underdressed and received a job offer.” Appearing as though you are passing by on the way to a coffee shop places questions on your character. Specifically, whether you will be the kind of worker who does not like to follow rules or processes. Conversely, candidates who have been over dressed compared to the interviewers have presented just fine, the effort has always reflected well.


“This only happened once but it was a definite show stopper. Even though the attire itself was appropriate the unironed shirt was almost hypnotic.” This look just screamed of sloppy – no matter what he said his appearance betrayed the words coming from his mouth. It was an impossible hire.


“I admit that I’ve been guilty of this one myself and, no I didn’t get the job. The interview was in the board room and everyone was inside waiting when I arrived 10 minutes late. All the apologies in the world would not have helped that day, I could feel the annoyance in the room.”


Presenting too tired or over excited make for a disastrous start. “One candidate must have just raided a coffee shop before the interview because he spoke at 100mph and he would not stop.” This kind of candidate presents as ‘hard to manage’. On the other end of the spectrum a candidate presented with a very low energy level, spoke slowly and softly and even shook hands very lightly. Rightly or wrongly it gave the impression of a lack of confidence and possibly even laziness. He was not offered the job either.


I was not personally present for this one but was told by a good friend. When a candidate was confronted with a difficult question he turned to sarcasm. Unfortunately, he managed to insult the managers who were actually asking him about an initiative that they had implemented. It was noteworthy enough to make it to our lunch conversation and you guessed it… no job offer.

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