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View Full Version : What were your Worst, Funnest, Craziest Job Interviews???



gary350
10-09-2011, 10:37 PM
When I was in college Job Recruiters would come to school to interview graduating Seniors. Some of those Job Recruiters were jerks with at attitude. I hated it when their first question was, "Why would our company want to hire you?" I learned to say, "Because I wear size 14 shoe." They would look at me like I was crazy then they would say, what does that have to do with the job, then I would bust out laughing. LOL. That was one of the recruiters favorite questions. If you didn't answer the first 2 or 3 questions with good answers the interview was over. I probably should have said something like, I think we will find out in a few minutes if you want to hike me or not.

When I was in college we were told the best way to move up the ladder and give yourself a raise is, Quit or threaten to quit. We were also told to work 2 to 3 years before changing jobs. When looking for another job I always told the interviewer it was fine to call my boss. When my boss found out I was shopping for a new job I was always offered more money to stay. It always pays to be one of the most valueable employees at work. Its funny how the boss thinks more money will solve the problem od long hours days 7 days a week like you never need any time off or the work conditions suck.

We were told in college to go to lots of job interviews. Go to interviews even if you don't want to work their it is good practice and practice makes perfect and be sure to ask for a tour of the factory it is educational. When I was young I went to about 50 job interviews every year and it was educational.

I had changed job a few times and was looking to move on. I went to a job interview and we were talking and I noticed every time I said the word AINT the interviewer would jump like he had just touched an electric fence or stick his finger in the light socket. After about the 6th time I said Aint the interviewer yelled out Aints not a word. I ignored that and kept talking. Pretty soon I said the word Burned or Burnt I don't remember which, the interviewer jerked like he had been struck by lightning and yelled, burnts not a word either. I told him, thats my own word I made it up. So the interviewer told me, you can't make up words you can't do that. So I told him, millions of years ago cave men were pointing and making sounds and all sorts of noises it all turned into words if they can do it I can too. That really got the interviewer all fired up, he started giving me a lecture on the english language. So I said, I must be at the wrong job interview I didn't know this interview was for a job to teach english. Well that make him mad and he said this interview is over. That was fine I had already gotten out of my chair and was headed to the door before he said that. LOL.

x39
10-09-2011, 10:53 PM
The interview for my first job in a machine shop was in 1977. A friend of a friend told me the shop he was working in was looking for a helper for one of their toolmakers. He suggested I apply. All I had for transportation at the time was an old Harley Sportster, and I was in the middle of doing the top end on that so I hitch hiked to the shop in a driving rain. I walked in, sopping ass wet and asked to see the foremen, told him I wanted a job.
Him: "You ever work in a machine shop before?"
Me: "Nope."
Him: "You ever been in a machine shop before?"
Me: "Yep, I visited my buddy down at (another area shop) while he was at work once."
Him: "When could you start?"
Me: "Tuesday."
Him: "What's wrong with Monday?"
Me: "I gotta go to court."
Him; "You gonna go to jail?"
Me: "I hope not."
Him: "Well damn it, if you don't go to jail I'll see you on Tuesday..."

gregl
10-09-2011, 11:01 PM
At the university we were interviewing for an administrative assistant (we don't call them secretaries any more). At the end of one candidate's interview, she said, "You'll probably kill me for this, but which job is this, anyway?"

Next.

Grind Hard
10-09-2011, 11:54 PM
Prior to this gig I worked at a copper-tubing plant. They turned all sizes and shapes of copper tubing into expensive scrap... every so often someone would accidentally make good product and parts would get shipped on time. Not very often though!

Anyway my interview for this place went like this... Mind you I was 23 at the time.

I'm at home reading a book... phone rings. I answer it.

"Hello, *name* speaking how can I help you?"

"Um... *shuffling of papers* do you know anything about acid?"

"Who is this?"

"It's uh... nitric acid. Do you know anything about nitric acid?"

"Is this a joke? WHO is this?"

"Uh... *papers* I can offer you $11.50 can you start Monday? We supply rubber gloves and all that just show up and say you're here for the acid-tank job."

"Ok sounds good but WHO IS CALLING?"

"Oh this is Robert, sorry."

"Ok Robert... where do I show up Monday?"

"Country Club road, come in the front door. See you Monday!"

*click*

...I showed up there Monday mostly out of curiosity. Ran the acid tank for three years. Learned how to work copper products and all kinds of neat things there. Sadly the company was VERY poorly run and we hit a layoff period.

The job interview for my current gig was MUCH better. Very professional. :)

Bill736
10-10-2011, 12:49 AM
Just out of college, I was offered a job at a large chemical company. They flew me up , and wined and dined and toured me around for three days. They were floored when I then told them I didn't want the job, because it wasn't the exact one they had promised. I went back home, and
my friend and I went on a cross country vacation by car , camping most nights to save money. About two weeks into our vacation, I was up in North Dakota and I called home. My dad said that the man from the chemical company had been trying to reach me, and that the job I wanted was in fact now available. They wanted me to start immediately. I told my dad to tell them that I was still on vacation, and I'd be back in two or three weeks. After that, I was going to paint my car, which might take another two weeks. Then, I'd be available.
I did paint my car, with the chemical company guy calling me nearly every day! I finally did show up for work , and it was a job that lasted over 20 years. Looking back, I was unbelievably arrogant about stalling them , and could well have lost that very good job. But, I was young, with an attitude, as many of us were !

winchman
10-10-2011, 01:00 AM
I went to school for several years on a co-op program, and I worked as a civilian government employee on a Navy base where they built missiles that went on submarines. I moved around through several departments, and worked with a lot of people.

I left the program to work for another company for about five years. That company closed up, so I went for an interview with Lockheed, who was the prime contractor at the Navy base where I'd worked. During the five years, many of the Lockheed staff had been rotated back to California, but most of the civilians I'd worked with were still there and had moved up in the organization.

A Lockheed supervisor came to the lobby to escort me back for the interview. As we walked down the hall, we ran into four people I'd worked with who were now supervisors and managers in the civilian side of the operation. It couldn't have worked out better if it had been carefully planned. Every one of them gave me a warm greeting, and appeared pleased that I might be returning to the base.

Seeing that I was already well-reguarded by the people I'd be dealing with, the supervisor's attitude immediately became very positive, and the rest of the interview was a piece of cake.

camperkn
10-10-2011, 02:23 AM
I had been on unemployment for about 8 weeks after being laid off from my job as a toolmaker. And I was enjoying my vacation, but my wife wasn't. Early one Monday morning my wife woke me to take a call about a job. I told her to have him call back later, and I went back to sleep. She was furious!

He called back and I went in for an interview as a tool designer. The manager took me on a factory tour and showed me what would be my first design project. It was for an adjustable gage to measure the correct length of lead wires. He said tolerances were between 1/4 and 1/2 inch, and they had too many rejects. After looking at the assembly process, I saw the reason for all the variation. I told the manager that he didn't need a gage, he needed a different assembly process.

He offered me the job on the spot, but I turned it down because it paid less that I was making as a toolmaker. We settled on the position of Jr. Manufacturing Engineer, when he found that I was going to night school.

I retired from that company after nearly 30 years of interesting engineering work.

DATo
10-10-2011, 06:12 AM
I worked a 3rd shift job as a maintenance machinist when I was about 22 years old. The shift forman asked me during my interview if I'd be willing to learn to weld as I had no experience in it and I said I wanted to learn to weld so badly that I'd be willing to do it on my own time. It never came to that however and I learned stick, heli-arc and gas welding on a broad variety of materials during my three year run with that company.

After three years there was a massive layoff based on seniority and I was second from the bottom so I was out. The economy was bad at the time as it is now and there wasn't much hiring going on so I decided to take a little vacation if necessary and draw unemployment as I had no family to support. I put in two applications and they both called me in for an interview. One was a dungeon job shop and the other was a beautiful scientific research facility with outrageously interesting work. The second was the job I truly wanted and to hell with the unemployment compensation idea. I went in for the interview but never heard back from them for a month and I figured I had not gotten the job. One evening I got a call from the forman asking if I still wanted the job and I said yes. He told me I had beaten out 88 applicants for the job based upon the fact that I knew how to heli-arc weld.

If there is a moral to this story it might be: Never pass up the chance to learn something new when the opportunity presents itself. I have worked with this company now for almost 37 years. It turned out to be the best possible job I could have ever hoped for. Unknown to me at the time, agreeing to learn to weld was one of the most important decisions I have ever made in my life.

Weston Bye
10-10-2011, 07:51 AM
I went for an interview with a company that made automated photo processing equipment. A lot of electromechanical and microprocessor content. After the usual preliminaries and tests I was shown into the CEO's office.

During the course of the interview, CEO took off on a rant about saving firmware files and how he could make life very unpleasant for the employee who failed to save files regularly and risked loseing days of work. (He must have had to deal with the problem recently.)

I thought how silly the rant was beginning to sound and thought what's the worst he could do, kill me? The thought was no sooner formed then it came out my mouth! We looked at each other for a silent moment, and I got the job.

Mcgyver
10-10-2011, 10:08 AM
Some of those Job Recruiters were jerks with at attitude. I hated it when their first question was, "Why would our company want to hire you?" I learned to say, "Because I wear size 14 shoe." They would look at me like I was crazy .

yeah that's telling them! dirty slimy recruiting bastards.


I had changed job a few times and was looking to move on. I went to a job interview and we were talking and I noticed every time I said the word AINT the interviewer would jump

its just special when someone says 'ain't' in an interview, a time when you're supposed to be putting your best foot forward. Throw in a few 'works good' and 'git r done's to cement the deal :D :D

vincemulhollon
10-10-2011, 11:50 AM
Some of those Job Recruiters were jerks with at attitude.

Sometimes they're nice guys, but its still bizarre. This was quite a long time ago... HR at megacorp inc. is advertising for an electrical engineers assistant and I'm right out of tech school so...

The ad was extremely vague, both about responsibilities and pay. Turns out they wanted (literally) a groundskeeper to mow the lawn, and help carry heavy equipment in and out of various remote radio sites to help the actual electrical engineers working inside. For about one quarter the pay I was getting as a bench electronics tech. Um, no. For this I took a day of vacation and drove 75 miles?

Well it wasn't a total waste because the boss and bosses boss were also ham radio nuts and we had a grand time talking for about an hour about our operating and constructing adventures, and we have mutual friends, but the HR rep kept interrupting us to ask me bladerunner type questions "so, Mr Vince you're walking in a desert, and you see a tortoise flipped over on its back, why are you not helping it, Mr Vince?" etc etc, eventually I respond back politely to her that I appreciate her interest but I'm not interested in such topics at this time. Politely, mind you. She stopped interrupting because the two managers start smirking and giggling every time she tries to ask me more "HR" questions.

Well somewhere between boasting about DX accomplishments on the 20 meters band and building my own amplifier, I notice the HR rep was 1) female 2) hot 3) very hot 4) about my age that being very low 20s at the time. So at the end of the interview I ask her out, and of course get shot down with the same line I told her "I appreciate the interest but I'm not interested in such topics at this time". The management guys snicker a bit on the way out.

Easily the craziest interview I ever went to. They want me to be a groundskeeper for peanuts pay, then its just like being at the bar at the local ham radio club meeting (without the booze) then a hot woman shoots me down in flames. Despite "wasting" a vacation day on this, it was actually kind of fun, although I was mystified how the right guy ends up in the right job with this kind of system.

EVguru
10-10-2011, 12:21 PM
The local branch of the 750 Motor Club holds monthly meetings and I've been irregularly attending them for many years.

They get some fabulous speakers along and not so long ago they got Adrian Reynard http://www.adrianreynard.com

He said that he wouldn't let his HR department do the first round cull of job applicants as they would remove all the best people because they didn't tick the right boxes (and didn't understand that their boxes might be the problem).

One French guy called Guillaume Rocquelin turned up barely speaking a word of English, but with a portfolio of pictures and sketches of motorsport projects, which he tried to explain with much enthusiasm and arm waving. Adrian sarted him off with a job in the model shop and he prospered at Reynard.

'Rocky' is now quite well know as Sebastian Vettel's race engineer.

Shuswap Pat
10-10-2011, 01:00 PM
I was finishing my college program, and went for an interview with company looking for a technician. On the way into the interview, I met another recruiter that I had worked for in my home town, as a summer job previously. I asked him if they were looking for another technician, and he said yes, do you want that job for the summer? I said sure. I carried on to the interview with company ‘B’ - In the interview they asked me what I knew about their company, and all I said was I thought they made rail cars. They didn’t – they built sawmill equipment – I figured I blown it. We talked about what I had done, and then I told him I had taken a temporary position with Lab, for the summer, and I wouldn’t be available until September. We thanked each other for the interview, and headed our separate ways. At the end of August they offered me the position again,:) for more money so that kicked off 35 years of working in the Forest Industry, and never looked back.
On another note – one company I worked for, when they interviewed people we would set up two teams of material ‘Experts’, and then have one of the office staff ( Admin Assistant), just add to the mix. We are interviewing someone for a sales position, and after the first round – the Admin Assistant said ‘I think he has been drinking’ ( this is 11:00 in the morning). The next round – someone challenged him on it on the way out, he said he stopped in for a ‘Quick One’ to settle his nerves :eek: – He didn’t get the job!!
Patrick

Bmyers
10-10-2011, 01:06 PM
I interviewed for a project engineers position with a small privately owned company. During the interview the president of the company fell asleep. I sat there in awkward silence for about 20 minutes. The pres woke up and picked up right where he left off. Mind you, he was not old by any means (mid 40's). I ended up taking the postion and the nap in the interview was not the strangest thing I saw him do in the 11 years I was there.

pgmrdan
10-10-2011, 01:51 PM
Back in college just before graduation we were all interviewing. IBM was coming in to interview so I signed up. The day after they interviewed we compared notes and everyone agreed that IBM wasn't there to hire anyone but only to spout off to all of us about how great and wonderful IBM was... <yawn>

What a waste of time.

KiddZimaHater
10-10-2011, 02:45 PM
My strangest interview was at the first Machine Shop I ever worked in.
I was just looking for a job to keep my dad off my back until I could move out.
My interview was much like X39's post.
"Ever worked in a machine shop before?"
"Nope"
"You know how to run a surface grinder?"
"Nope"
"You know how to read a micrometer?"
"Nope"
"Can you start today?"
"Sure"
"Ok, I'll show you how to run the surface grinder. Here's an apron."
...
That was the beginning of my machining career back in 1992.:)

PaulT
10-10-2011, 03:08 PM
Many years ago when I was fresh out of school I interviewed for a job at a small engineering company that did field work for oil companies.

The interviews went well and they told me I got the job and asked me to come in and fill out the final paper work.

The HR woman then took me in to meet the chief engineer in his fancy front office.

After we came in the room he was seated at his desk with his back to us and he made us wait a minute while he finished working on what must have been some very important paper.

Then he rotated around in the chair with his hands on the back of his head, doing his best relaxed bigshot style slow lean back in the chair as he started giving me his standard "welcome to the company" spiel.

Unfortunately for him (and this dates me) this was back before they made all the office chairs with 5 legs. As he was doing his slow leanback at some point his eyes started getting huge as he realized he had leaned back too far and then proceeded to do a flop over on his back in the chair.

It has extremely hard for me to not bust out laughing at this point but I knew that it wouldn't be a good way to start out with the company.

He quickly picked himself up and sat back down and the HR woman and I just pretended like the back flop hadn't happened.

TGTool
10-10-2011, 03:14 PM
This HR story isn't my own, but one of the toolmakers where I worked. He'd been working at another company in a not too great job and there was an ad for apprenticeship positions on tool and diemaking. He called and made an appointment for the following week. The interview was in the afternoon so he took half a day off from his job, went home, showered, put on clean clothes and appeared for the interview. When he showed up the HR receptionist apologized that the manager who would interview him had a birthday party for his kid and had left early to pick the the cake and ice cream. Could he possibly come back the following week? He said he could, took off another half day, interviewed and was accepted. Telling me this story many, many years later he said he was still pissed off that they'd wasted his time running him round the block again so any time he wasted on the job he felt was just getting his own back. I can only imagine how much the company lost in that bargain because of the jerk of an HR manager.

On another note, my uncle said that when he encountered a question on a college application asking for his church preference (this would have been in the 30's) he would put down "red brick". :D This was also the uncle who told people he planted his flower garden with salivas and spittunias.

Punkinhead
10-10-2011, 03:49 PM
Back in college just before graduation we were all interviewing. IBM was coming in to interview so I signed up. The day after they interviewed we compared notes and everyone agreed that IBM wasn't there to hire anyone but only to spout off to all of us about how great and wonderful IBM was... <yawn>

What a waste of time.Aurther Anderson's software consulting division had the same arrogance. A bit over 20 years ago they were on campus interviewing folks from my graduating Mechanical Engineering class. Most of the interview was some fat windbag in a $2000 suit telling us how awesome he was. I came from a poor family, worked my way through college, and didn't have two nickels to rub together come graduation time. I showed up in a presentable but fairly cheap off the rack Sears suit because it was all I could afford. Near the end of the interview the windbag offered me a bit of condescending advice - that I should read "Dress for Success". When they called me a few days later offering a second interview at their headquarters I declined.

My favorite interview story was from a lady in HR at the company where I co-oped as an undergrad. She was interviewing a senior and asked the standard "tell me about your biggest weakness". The kid answered, "I have trouble getting motivated."

Weston Bye
10-10-2011, 05:04 PM
My boss had me interview a prospective candidate for a manufacturing engineer job. After reading his resume and getting the pleasantries over with, I presented him with a hypothetical: a machine in the production line is currently producing excessive scrap. What would you do?

He answered that he would schedule a meeting to discuss the problem, gather data, and then allocate the appropriate resources to solve the problem.

Being that I was principal among the "appropriate resources", the last thing I needed was another "manager". I was hoping for someone a little more hands on.

"Thank you, that will be all..."

pgmrdan
10-10-2011, 05:25 PM
Back in 1986 I saw an add in the St. Louis Post Dispatch for a job at the largest employer in the state. I sent in my resume and cover letter.

A while later I got a call asking me to come in for an interview. The manager was a really nice guy and open about the information he shared. Great interview. At the end he asked my salary requirement and I told him. (I wasn't unhappy with my current position. I just wanted to see what was available and this was an opportunity to keep my interviewing skills hones. I wasn't going to leave my current position of 9 years without making it worthwhile so I just gave him a nice round number... I asked for the freaking moon!) He acted surprised and said it would probably take a week to 10 days to get something like that approved if they decided they wanted me. I smiled and told him to let me know.

He called me back in 5 days and met my requested salary. Honestly, I almost fell off my chair.

After I came to work for him he told me that I was the only person that applied for the job so I sort of had them over a barrel.

I had been working with an IBM product for about 6 years and that knowledge/skill was one of the requirements for the job. I had never met anyone else in the St. Louis area that knew anything about that product.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch has a very, very large distribution so I was very surprised to learn that I was the only person to reply to the add but probably not as surprised as my new employer was. :)

A few years later the company ran into financial problems. The best job I've ever had turned into the worst job I've ever had. The company no longer exists.

JoeLee
10-10-2011, 06:23 PM
I got a call for an interview about four years ago at a local plastics factory for a tool room position. Starting pay was $8.50. As I was talking to the guy doing the interviewing he says we just can't find any good help these days........ My reply was.....well,you can find good help......... you just don't want to pay for it. My interview ended abruptly.

JL.......................

The Artful Bodger
10-10-2011, 07:20 PM
I applied for a technical position in an air traffic control organisation. The interview went quite well in front of a panel of about 4 people one of whom was a real smart arse.

He thought he had me when he said "You say you are technically savy but I see your watch just changed days!" "Yes", I replied, "it is set to GMT".

The other three all laughed and I got the job.

aostling
10-10-2011, 07:33 PM
The other three all laughed and I got the job.

In Wellington in 1972 I interviewed for a position as an engineer at the head office of the Ministry of Works. I'd been in New Zealand for two months, bumming around while the country was mostly closed down during the summer Christmas/New Year holidays.

While I was responding to questions from the director a woman came into the office, pushing a tea trolley. She gave the boss tea, and I took (instant) coffee. When she had left I commented, "You sure have your secretary well-trained." As an American I had not then learned of the existence of tea ladies.

The director laughed, and I got that job.

mooney1el
10-10-2011, 07:43 PM
Not mine, but my wife's experience.

She travelled to SE Michigan from South Carolina for a job with a well known plastics manufacturer. After meeting with a VP, it was lunch time so he asked if she would like to join him and others for lunch. Of course she said yes. As they were walking out the door, another VP said something in Polish. After the VP answered in Polish, my wife said to him...in Polish..."be careful what you say, I speak Polish too". She was offered the job during that lunch time :) The VP later said he had not thought that anyone from SC would speak Polish and she replied that she had been born and raised in Hamtramck, MI.

John Stevenson
10-10-2011, 07:59 PM
Last place I worked at we needed a new engineer to work over two shops, all hands on.
Our Personal guy, it wasn't HR then was a right idle bastard and wanted to do as little as possible, so he called me in and asked me to help him go thru the applications. Suited me as I got to see if there was some good guys out there.

We had 88 applications and split the pile into two, he sat behind his desk reading these from cover to cover.

I sat there opened each one on page 4, read three of 4 lines and threw it on the floor.

After a couple of minutes when he's read three I'd rejected about fifteen.

Hang on he says, you can't read then that fast.

"I'm not reading them I replied, I'm looking at who they worked for last "

He asked what that had to do with it and I replied that if they had worked for Rolls Royce or BREL [ British Rail Engineering Ltd ] they were of no use to us.

He then said something along the lines of RR and BREL having some of the finish engineers but I told him they could only work to one set of standards and at one pace.

We had very specialised machinery that probably no one outside the piano industry had seen and anyone working for us would have to make radical changes in the way they worked.

Anyone brought up to a fixed regime would be too much hard work.

Ask them to put a bracket up and it has to be surface ground, had scrapped etc.
We finished up with an ex-industrial clock maker as in big tower clocks and he turned out to be a cracking guy as an engineer and fitting in.

I bundle HR in with estate agents, lawyers and H&S dumbo's

armedandsafe
10-10-2011, 08:04 PM
I had been working for IBM as a Customer Engineer for a couple of years when they decided to include Hanford Nuclear Plant to my customer list. I had carried a very high US security clearance for years, higher than that needed to visit the facilities on the area, but did not have the Nuclear endorsement. They set up interviews with the head of Plant Security, an FBI agent and a Federal agent.

The Federal agent was the appointed "bad cop," the FBI agent was the appointed "good cop," and the head of Plant Security was personal friend. At the end of the first day, I called the local FBI office and asked to speak to an agent.

To my surprize, I was connected to my "good cop" agent. Without identifying myself, I told him that I was interviewing for a change in assignment and one of the interviewers was threatening my job unless I revealed classified information to him. He recommended that I come in and fill out complaint and information forms.

The following day, the Federal agent started asking me again to tell him what I did on my previous jobs, in detail. He stressed that he could not only block my security clearance but get me fired from IBM. I turned to the FBI agent and asked if he had the forms we had discussed yesterday, so I could file a criminal complaint against somebody who was trying to get me to reveal government secrets.

That was the end of the interview, I got my clearance that evening and I was at one of the plants the next day.

I still chuckle at the look on that Fed's face, even after 40+ years.

Pops

Weston Bye
10-10-2011, 08:17 PM
You IBM guys: back in the mid 70's I interviewed with IBM. I was fairly fresh out of the Navy, but sported a beard from my Navy days, allowed under tradition at the time. I heard later that IBM didn't hire beards. Any truth to the legend?

Still bearded to this day.

armedandsafe
10-10-2011, 08:22 PM
You IBM guys: back in the mid 70's I interviewed with IBM. I was fairly fresh out of the Navy, but sported a beard from my Navy days, allowed under tradition at the time. I heard later that IBM didn't hire beards. Any truth to the legend?

Still bearded to this day.

Unless you are Sikh or Amish, no beard, in those days. I had to fight to get to wear cowboy boots with my suit. (There is a story there.)

Pops

spope14
10-10-2011, 09:28 PM
I went to an interview in 1987 about one week before graduating college. I was called put up for the night, given a meal and paid milage. Figured they wanted me.

Interview starts, did well. Head Poobah leaves (will not divulge company or profession) and one of the interviewers tells me "You don't want this job, you are way too good and this place sucks". Poobah comes back, offers me the job. I went out to dinner at Olive Garden that evening on the company dime, asked a few questions of the waitri, spent a few moments at the bar asking about, found that the place did indeed suck.

Poobah was fired a few months later, place never recovered and is now history.

A teaching job interview about two weeks later, arrived 15 minutes early. Saw a young man leaving the interview being glad handed by the interviewers and fawned all over. Asked the Admin Assistant who it was, and found out it was the Principles Son-In Law. Went in anyway, and was gruffly told "hurry up, show us what you got". I said what do you want to see and I will discuss it or show you a few pictures and plans. One guy gets up and says "interview over", they all leave.

38_Cal
10-10-2011, 11:49 PM
Interviewed at a previous employer for a "technical support" job, back when they still were a company to be proud to work at, and one of the questions I was asked was to name the most important tool in my shop. When I replied that it was my library, 'cause I couldn't remember everything in the business, but if I knew where to find the info, I could figure things out, the guy asking most of the questions threw his list of them on the floor, said "that's all I need to know, you've got my vote"...then proceeded to pick up his list and ask another couple of dozen more questions. I did get that job and stayed there for twenty years until the founder's grandson (with his bright, shiny new MBA) took over from his dad.

David

x39
10-10-2011, 11:54 PM
Another interesting one was in the early eighties after I'd gone to trade school and been in the field a few years. I replied to an ad for a machine operator (times were tough). I was in the waiting room with about half a dozen other applicants, was given a clip board with a test on it, asked to complete it and give it to the receptionist, which I did. About five minutes later a guy comes out, calls my name and ushers me into his office. He then told me I was the only applicant in the history of the company to get all the answers correct, he further said I didn't belong there and told me to go to the tool and die shop a few miles up the road and he was sure they'd hire me. I couldn't find the place he was talking about, stopped at another shop and got hired on the spot. That was a weird day.

saltmine
10-11-2011, 07:54 AM
I find it interesting that many of the guys had college or trade school experience.

I had a choice. I could go to college, and starve to death, or go to work and maybe afford at least one or two meals a day. I did attend Community College, but working long hours during the day, and trying to stay awake during night classes was soon a bit more than I could manage.

Then, I saw an ad in the local newspaper for welders at a local manufacturing concern. I took the day off and went to apply. I soon discovered they had plenty of "flunkeys" and they were looking for a welder to fabricate stainless steel parts. I lied, and got the opportunity to take the "hands on" test. The manager set down some pieces of 14ga stainless and told me to weld them together, with a TIG machine. Ah yes, I had experience with TIG welders....once, in my uncle's shop, when I was ten years old. I think the weld I made wasn't more than an inch long.
Well, it's too late to turn back now. I flipped the hood down and struck an arc. With a lot of luck, my weld came out pretty good, considering my vast experience. I got the job, and spent the next week teaching myself how to use the machines I was supposed to know how to operate. The plant manufactured mostly stainless steel hospital furniture and fixtures. As time went by, I was promoted to building jigs & fixtures, and doing all of the prototype work for the engineering department. (as luck would have it, I was the first welder they hired who could read blueprints) I worked there, for quite a while, before migraine headaches drove me to seek medical attention. Apparently, the rapidly changing light conditions and the UV emitted by the arcs was the cause of my headaches. I decided to quit before continued exposure forced me to lose my eyesight. To this day, nobody ever suspected that I wasn't truly a pro welder.

Euph0ny
10-11-2011, 09:29 AM
My day job (machining is a hobby) involves a certain amount of person-to-person contact and interaction with paying customers. It is important to dress correctly and to comport oneself correctly.

The best interview I ever had was with a company with a lot of far-eastern clients. I was taken to a fantastically expensive Japanese restaurant and left to fend for myself. They wanted to make sure that I could find my way through ordering a traditional Japanese meal and eating it with chopsticks without committing any gaffes or getting it on my tie. I couldn't have been happier - I love Japanese food and, at the time, I would never have been able to afford to eat in that particular restaurant. I got fed and got the job.

Another time, at another company, I was subjected to an all-day interview with several different interviewers, who wanted to see if I would fit in with their team and their "esprit de corps". By half-way through the morning, I had decided that I didn't want to fit in to their team, or their "esprit de corpse". When they took me to the obligatory "check his table manners" lunch, I ordered lobster and Champagne, which I enjoyed thoroughly. I finished lunch with dessert, coffee and Cognac, and then excused myself from the rest of the day's interviewing, since I had decided that their company was not what I was looking for. I left with a full belly, and they with the bill!

pgmrdan
10-11-2011, 10:40 AM
You IBM guys: back in the mid 70's I interviewed with IBM. I was fairly fresh out of the Navy, but sported a beard from my Navy days, allowed under tradition at the time. I heard later that IBM didn't hire beards. Any truth to the legend?

Still bearded to this day.

Yep, it's true. No beards and you had to wear white shirts with your suits and ties when meeting customers. They loosened up later. The first IBMer I ever saw with a beard was supposed to be so freaking brilliant that they made an exception.

I began working for a company in the 70's that required suits and ties. And several years before they still required dress hats. I think that changed after Kennedy.

It would be 110°F in the shade with 95% humidity in St. Louis and you'd have to wear suits and ties while going into or out of the building. It was miserable. But at least I could wear a beard! :)

lynnl
10-11-2011, 10:54 AM
It would be 110°F in the shade with 95% humidity in St. Louis and you'd have to wear suits and ties while going into or out of the building. It was miserable. But at least I could wear a beard! :)

Why on earth would you want to wear a beard in 110f heat and 90% humidity?

madwilliamflint
10-11-2011, 10:56 AM
As a contractor in financial IT I've had some awful ones:

The worst was the 5 hour interview that started at 9am. I left, exhausted and found my recruiter had left me a "ah well, better luck next time" voicemail at 10:05. I've gotten calls for jobs at that company (Bloomberg) for years since and just turned down every interview. Eff them.

One of the best was when I was in the peculiar situation of interviewing candidates for the position of my direct manager. The middle manager one level higher than that was sufficiently new that he deferred the responsibility. This Israeli guy walked in and sat down, I looked over his resume ('cause I guess you're supposed to do that) then asked him "So...herding cats? Why?"

I should explain that there's an industry expression that managing programmers is much like herding cats.

Without skipping a beat he said "...because they're evil." in a very matter-of-fact tone. We talked for another 45 minutes about embedded systems programming (nothing to do with the job. But a good measure.) I walked in to the middle managers office and said "hire him." He didn't even call in any of the other programmers (much to their annoyance.)


Well he was hired and became a good buddy of mine.

I since found out that he'd never heard the "managing programmers is like herding cats" expression. He was just winging it.

More like him please!

gary350
10-11-2011, 12:47 PM
I was called into for an interview once it turned out to be only a test of 186 questions. My wide range of work experience and college got me this interview.

They called me in for another interview in a room with 8 people each person asking their own type quesitons. First thing I was told was, I answered all 186 question right no one had very gotten better than about 150. One person was asking things about how well I get along with other people. One person wanted to know what I did in my spare time. Another person was only interested in my education. Another person ask me questions about my job experience. 2 other guys ask me specific questions about how I would fix or repair a certain machine or design something. My hydraulic experience is what got me the second interview. One guy ask me a specific question about Vickers Hydraulic Valves I told him the company I had worked for Pacific Press and Shear Corp had their own Valves the only thing they used that was Vickers was hydraulic pumps, filters, check valves and a few other items. The guy stood up and said, This Interview is over!!! It turned into a big arguement among all the others in the group, the interview is "NOT" over this is the best candidate we have!!! The guy reminded everyone of the rules if anyone in the group decides the inteview is over then it is over. I did not get the job with Nissan.

I ended up getting a great job as design engineer with another company and I really enjoyed the work.

KiddZimaHater
10-11-2011, 03:58 PM
Back in 1996 I was laid-off and unemployed for about 2 months and was out job hunting.
I got an interview with a Japanese Company that made electrical components. This company had their own tool & die and maintenence shop.
So I go to interview #1 ... all's well.
A week later they call me back for interview #2 ... all's well
Another week later they call me back for interview # 3 ... all goes well.
ANOTHER WEEK later they call be back to take a urine test... Ok, no problem.
In the meantime, I find a job at another shop, and start working there.
Week 5 comes up, the Japanese Co. calls and offers me the position....:confused: :mad:
"JESUS H. MAN!! I've already started with another company!"
I never did understand why their interviewing process took 5-6 weeks.:confused:

rkepler
10-11-2011, 04:58 PM
I don't have any good interview stories - since high school I've interviewed maybe 6 times and got the job (or an offer) all but one time (I may have missed a couple of casual interviews and there are some I never interviewed for after checking the company out). I'm not sure if that says I'm good or just "easy".


But for every "crazy interview" here I bet I could come up with a "crazy applicant" story. I did a lot of hiring over the years and came to only one conclusion: there are a lot of crazy people out there. I ended up having to put some filters in place to keep many of them out or interviews - the ones on unemployment looking to say they they were looking for a job (really? We asked for 2+ years of C and you offer one semester of algebra in HS? No, Spanish doesn't count as a computer language.), the occasional one just casing the place, some I just suspect were bored and wanted something to do (apply for a programming job is something to do?). I hired some top graduates from universities who were functionally useless, one who was living in his pickup truck who ended up being the best business partner I ever had, another who I resisted hiring as he was a friend but who ended up being the most loyal and dedicated employee I ever had.

But with all that I had trouble making up my mind on hiring as I knew that there was a finite chance that I'd have to fire them.

One woman I had to fire because she just couldn't get the point - when everyone else sent a 2 character command to a terminal to clear the screen she felt that she had to position the cursor to each position (3 character command) and print a space followed by a cr/lf pair (3 more characters). So 1920*6 characters taking 12 seconds to clear a screen vs. one refresh frame (1/60 of second) for the 2 character command. But she had 2 kids and was on food stamps at the starting pay. I worked with her for a while but finally had to release her as it just wasn't fair to the other developers - I sent her to a friend who was able to use her in a Cobol shop modifying reports.

Others were something of a delight to fire - the guy who kept blowing off work deadlines to work on his "home business" software, the top college graduate who had somehow failed to learn to work, the cokehead, the lush, etc. One guy partied so hard on weekends that his Mondays were hopeless - he finally figured it out after I sent him home every time he fell asleep at his desk and he was only collecting 80% of his salary.

I'm not sure what the point of all this is but maybe it's this: when you're asked to do something or to answer some silly question there might be a reason. Like when I asked everyone to fill out an application before the interview. Some would object, saying all that info was on their resume' or the like, some would say that it was a waste of time, some would just blow it off. None of then would even get the interview - the point of filling out the application was to see if you could follow directions, write legibly, finish a task. Work is like that and someone w/o the patience to fill out the application wasn't going to magically find it when needed at work.

topct
10-11-2011, 05:49 PM
I was hired to solve an internal theft problem by the person responsible for the theft. :D

The hiring process was not crazy until after the fact. To this day I don't know what they were thinking.

John Stevenson
10-11-2011, 06:30 PM
So what happens when you get past the interview and get the job ? A few years down the line do things start to wane ?

I got the job at the piano factory as it was easy, easy as in work I liked, decent people for the most part and just round the corner.
it was quicker to go by bike than take a vehicle.

Started as an engineer building and maintaining special purpose machines for the piano trade but as is usual in this type of company as they realise your worth you are promoted to get the pay rises.

Eventually you make management even if in my case it's only in name as I still kept doing my job but with added management responsibilities, most of which I ignored.

It's a little know fact though in the UK that you can't make a manager just by promoting him and another little known fact is some people are not management material and never want to be, I fell into this category.

Endless meetings that never sorted any problems out, higher management wanting things done that the grass roots people knew wouldn't work.

One senior manager took me on one side one and and in whispered awe said " We have never had anyone like you work here before "

I still don't know whether that was a compliment or not ?


One day in a production meeting in the middle of summer, no opening windows, no air con and in a tiny poky boardroom I fell asleep.
I actually fell off my chair and only woke up as I hit the floor, still totally out of it I shouted f#~k me ! then realised where I was and everyone was staring at me.

Mind you I made a quick recovery and sitting down again I said to the MD "Sorry David did I wake anyone up ?" not a murmur, some of these management types aren't real people.

The highlight of my career was explaining, in a meeting, in 4 letter words to the Engineering manager that he was a total asshole.

The story of my redundancy will have to wait for another time or public demand......

2ManyHobbies
10-11-2011, 06:40 PM
I'm not sure what the point of all this is but maybe it's this: when you're asked to do something or to answer some silly question there might be a reason. Like when I asked everyone to fill out an application before the interview. Some would object, saying all that info was on their resume' or the like, some would say that it was a waste of time, some would just blow it off. None of then would even get the interview - the point of filling out the application was to see if you could follow directions, write legibly, finish a task. Work is like that and someone w/o the patience to fill out the application wasn't going to magically find it when needed at work.Heh, I definitely understand the point for applicants but not so much for candidates that a company has sought out. Such a maneuver indicates a low-ball offer on the horizon.

My favorite to date was a company that insisted I fill out a form permitting them to run criminal background, income/employment, and credit checks at any time prior to employment, for the duration of any employment, and at any time in perpetuity after the end of any employment. They attempted for three days to calm that down and finally waived the requirement for the purpose of the interview -- to offer me the opportunity to take a pay cut from a more stable job with a larger benefits package. I just hear echos of "We just can't find highly specialized labor for minimum wage!" :confused:

lynnl
10-11-2011, 06:46 PM
The story of my redundancy will have to wait for another time or public demand......

I demand to hear the story of your redundancy! :)

aboard_epsilon
10-11-2011, 06:54 PM
I demand to hear the story of your redundancy! :)

it's this one

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksMGGtTLBeE

guess which one John is

didn't realize they have now couloured them

all the best.markj

rkepler
10-11-2011, 07:08 PM
So what happens when you get past the interview and get the job ? A few years down the line do things start to wane ?

I think the worst is when you work for a decent company and they get bought by one not so nice. I and the "best partner" were responsible for writing some code for a smallish computer shop that garnered some interest from a big shop (almost one of the seven dwarves, in fact). When they bought us they thought a lot of our talents - gave us "please stay" bonuses of 6 months salary and pretty high positions in their company, high enough that I was required to be at some interesting meetings. At one discussing some software development to be done at their site I heard a manager suggest that they "expected" 5000 software problem reports. I was off in the corner pouring coffee and I laughed out loud, when I turned around everyone was staring at me (newcomer, about 25, one of top 5 engineers in 25K employee company) in disbelief. Someone asked why I laughed and I explained that we'd written the same program in Z80 assembler instead of C on a 68K (8 bit machine vs. 16bit) with all the device drives integral (they were to run on Unix) and had gotten only 75 SPRs over a year (with several dups). I asked the manager if he was serious, suggesting that the code might run 30K lines and with 5K SPRs that meant about 4 bugs per screenfull of code. He confirmed and I then asked him if he'd told the programmers and he said that they had. It took about all the restraint I had to not call them dumb-f*cks but I'm sure it was on my face.

I think they hit 7500 SPRs before killing the project.

That was only the start. I was *really* glad to get out of that company, even though starting my own company meant that I didn't collect a paycheck (in fact, paid others) for more than a year.

rkepler
10-11-2011, 10:20 PM
Heh, I definitely understand the point for applicants but not so much for candidates that a company has sought out. Such a maneuver indicates a low-ball offer on the horizon.

I don't think I ever did that - the application process was from the response to local adverts. Some of them would come in with very nice looking resumes and not be able to fill out an application, or fill it out with very different information.

If I solicited someone directly I was doing it based on their performance and reputation, at that point there should be a need to run them through basic tests.


My favorite to date was a company that insisted I fill out a form permitting them to run criminal background, income/employment, and credit checks at any time prior to employment, for the duration of any employment, and at any time in perpetuity after the end of any employment. They attempted for three days to calm that down and finally waived the requirement for the purpose of the interview -- to offer me the opportunity to take a pay cut from a more stable job with a larger benefits package. I just hear echos of "We just can't find highly specialized labor for minimum wage!" :confused:

I would have walked, myself. I once had the president of a company suggest drug testing for software development staff. While it's appropriate for machine operators and forklift drivers I'm not sure that the company has any business in what someone does on the weekend as long as they're fit on Monday - so I agreed as long as we tested everyone for alcohol as well, and that we started that testing immediately. Since he frequently indulged in a 'liquid lunch' I figured that'd kill the suggestion, and it did.

As to the latter the right comment is "you pay peanuts, you get monkeys". I've had to try and fix the end result of that in my field, once having to tell management that the code wasn't anywhere near right and was pretty far from being wrong. I think they paid about 3x the original estimate I gave them with the 2x going to the original developers to generate some pretty awful stuff (I couldn't really call it code).

DFMiller
10-12-2011, 01:26 AM
The story of my redundancy will have to wait for another time or public demand......
The colonies demand full disclosure.

Dave

danlb
10-12-2011, 02:06 AM
My favorite job interview was one where a former employer recruited me to work at her new place. I was properly interviewed by 6 people, 4 of which I would be managing. Each one was supposed to ask technical questions. All were REALLY simple. All 6 people stopped after the first question was thoroughly answered. Looking back, it was a managment position, and I suspect the interviews were to give the people some confidence in me.

Worst interview? I was interviewing for a job at Clorox in the IT department. All the incumbents were leaving or had left. A temp guy did the interview. He showed me through the data center, which was not too impressive. Then I was handed to a VP who told me all about the many things they did there.

He asked if I'd seen the "Bug farm". Thinking server room and code debugging, I assured him that I'd seen much bigger ones in my current job. He gave me the strangest look. Only later did I find that that Clorox makes pesticides, and they test them there. There is a huge building just to house all the pests that they use in those tests. I'd not seen it.

I did not get the job. I did learn to question strange comments in future interviews.

Dan

MetalMunger
10-12-2011, 02:31 AM
The first IBMer I ever saw with a beard was supposed to be so freaking brilliant that they made an exception.



Would that " freaking brilliant " guy have been Superhog?

jugs
10-12-2011, 03:55 AM
Since he frequently indulged in a 'liquid lunch' I figured that'd kill the suggestion, and it did.

As to the latter the right comment is "you pay peanuts, you get monkeys". ).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgzEBLa3PPk

jugs
10-12-2011, 04:02 AM
The story of my redundancy will have to wait for another time or public demand......


The peasants are revolting & your public are demanding
http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-whacky084.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

malbenbut
10-12-2011, 06:37 AM
I had a job in a glue factory but I couldn't stick it.
I then had a job repairing typewriters they said I was the wrong type.
I then moved to a match factory but they went on strike.
I got a job as a trapeze artist but they let me go.
I went to a rubber manufacturer but they could not strech to the money I wanted.
I even started in a fish shop, I left when I got battered.
I wanted to be an astronaut If I had gotten that job I would have been over the moon.
Thank heaven I'm retired.
MBB

madwilliamflint
10-12-2011, 09:41 AM
The story of my redundancy will have to wait for another time or public demand......

The colonies demand full disclosure.

Dave

I second the motion!

John Stevenson
10-12-2011, 05:54 PM
So the redundancy, could be long, got get a coffee.

Shortly after calling the Engineering Manger a total arsehole we went thru another round of redundancies, we had already had two reasonably large ones 50 odd and 30 odd from a workforce of 240 down from 600.

It was announced that this time ten would be going, company policy was that they would be announced on the Friday morning, given their papers and escorted off the premises so nothing could be damaged or sabotaged, until then no one knew who was going only managers who had been asked to put someone forward.

This round of redundancies I hadn't been asked, mainly because my 3 shops were operating at the bare minimum.

The secretary in reception used to type the notices up but leave the names off which were hand written in by the MD so for 5 days no one knew who was on the list except managers who had put someone forward.

So this Monday afternoon I got a phone call from reception to call up, expecting a parcel, I went up and Louise took me to one side and told me she'd seen the MD putting the papers away in his drawer and my name was written in on the top one.

To be honest I was bit gob smacked as I wasn't expecting this. I was the only engineer who knew how some of the machines worked and lets face it we all think we are expendable. Louse asked me not to say anything as it might get her into trouble and she was a nice lass and never harmed me.

So I went straight down to the bottom of the factory as far away from my shops as possible and got talking to the spray guys. As expected the talk got round to the redundancies and they asked if I'd heard anything.

I said that people kept coming up to me and asking if it was true that my name was on the list but I was as much in the dark as anyone else.
So now this only rumour with any substance bounced round the factory and came back to me from all points.

Now people WERE asking if it was true ? :D
Louise off the hook here.

Early the following day the Engineering manager got called into the MD's office, presumably got a bollocking about it being common knowledge and then came straight to me and asked where the information came from. I said I didn't know and that people were asking me.
I told him I'd been looking for him on Monday afternoon to ask if it was true.

He denied all knowledge of my redundancy but I told him I knew how it worked and as head shed he'd have had to put me up.
He reckoned that this time it was done at senior level which was bollocks.

He then told me to get an apprentice and go down the wire shop and rip a big partition wall down, not really my job but we were all hands on and the labourers had long gone.

So sonny and me went down to the shop, got a skip and proceed to smash this large partition studded wall down and skip it. Took two days and all that were left was twelve 14' high steel H section uprights bolted to the floor and roof trusses.

On Thursday morning, Ken, the Engineering manager came to find me and asked if we had done and I told his yes, he then asked about the uprights and wanted them down, given all we had was a ladder, no scaffolding etc I asked him if it was true I was getting sacked on Friday, he again insisted he didn't know so I said well if you don't know you had better take those uprights down yourself, why should I risk breaking my legs if I only had a couple of days left.

Not a happy bunny.

In the meanwhile unknown to me the women had organised a petition to not have me sacked because they could see the problems it would cause. I was quite touched over this.

So Friday morning comes and Ken comes in to collect me, I walked out the shop and turned left to the offices but he turned right to go to engineering so I followed thinking perhaps the petition had worked and I was just going to get a bollocking about my attitude.

We went upstairs to his little office and on the desk, face down were two envelopes so I guessed the deed was going to be done here and not in the main offices. The second envelope BTW was for one of the apprentices as that had been announced even though they were told that their contract made it so they couldn't be sacked only for a reportable offence, keep their noses clean and they were in for 5 years.

Ken then said, hang on we need a witness to all this, went out onto the stairway and shouted the maintenance manager, Frank, up. Now Frank had been bricking it all week thinking he was for the chop so when he walked in he had no idea what was happening so I reached forward, took an envelope and passed it to him saying "sorry about this Frank "

Well I though he was going to have a bloody heart attack, he went deathly white and had to sit down.
Ken snatched the envelope off me and told me to pack it in, then undid it and started to read it out.

Only problem was ken was very dyslectic and didn't like anyone to know and was making a right pigs ear of it so I snatched it back and read it out.

"You have the right to remain silent but anything you may say pay be held against you in a cour.............

At which point Ken had had enough, he snatched it back, put it in the envelope and sealed it then gave it to me saying
"You need this"

At which point I got a brand new business card out my top pocket and gave it to him saying "And you will need this "

The redundancy notice was a farce, they didn't have the decency to to get a proper one typed up and had used one from another company because it said something like. If you have any problems see Mrs Smith in personnel, we didn't have a Mrs Smith and at that time we didn't even have a personnel !

The apprentice got made redundant, got paid severance then they had to reinstate him and the cheeky buggers asked for the redundancy payment back.

But that wasn't the end, because we were owned by a larger parent company and they had a shake up and our MD went as well. About 2 months after all this the MD, Bob, of the parent company came on a visit and when he got to my old shop he asked for me and was amazed that I wasn't there. He asked the production manager if he knew where I lived and got him to ring me and see if it was all right to call round.

Hour later Bob and the PM called round, first question Bob asked is why were you sacked, to which I replied "Surely someone at the company would have more knowledge of that than me ?"

He then asked if I wanted to go back but it's never a good move is it ?

Ironically they had to call me back in from time to time to sort out machine problems but it was always at commercial rate.

Toolguy
10-12-2011, 07:04 PM
Thanks John! What a great story!:)

DFMiller
10-12-2011, 10:08 PM
Thanks John,
I am looking forward to buying you a pint some day.
Dave

x39
10-12-2011, 10:50 PM
Another "memorable" interview occurred when I was jobless, broke, and living in my van in friend's driveways for as long as their wives would tolerate my presence. Once again, given a test (in this case, think trivial pursuit) which once again "for the first time in the history of the company" I got all the answers right but the filthy pig of a whore who interviewed me said despite meeting all qualifications, I was a bit too "rough looking" to fit their company image. Too bad, might have had a few laughs working there...;)

TGTool
10-12-2011, 11:48 PM
Another "memorable" interview occurred when I was jobless, broke, and living in my van in friend's driveways for as long as their wives would tolerate my presence. Once again, given a test (in this case, think trivial pursuit) which once again "for the first time in the history of the company" I got all the answers right but the filthy pig of a whore who interviewed me said despite meeting all qualifications, I was a bit too "rough looking" to fit their company image. Too bad, might have had a few laughs working there...;)

So they hired for looks? I can only imagine how good a business model that would be for anything other than a pimp.

Black Forest
10-13-2011, 01:50 AM
I wanted to work for a horse trainer in California when I was a young man. He was the best trainer that I knew of at the time. I had a great recommendation from a good friend of his so at least I got to talk to him. Every young man wanted to work for this trainer.

I show up for the interview and of course I have to ride a few horses. All went very well and so we went into the office. He told me I could have the job now lets talk money. He told me I would get room and board plus $250 a month.

I very quietly told him I could not work for that money. He looked a little surprised and asked what I wanted for pay. I told him I wanted $50 dollars a month plus room and board. That I would be the hardest worker he ever had and I was there to learn not make money. His jaw dropped and then he laughed and told me I sounded like him when he was a young guy.

I worked nearly two years for him and never took a day off in that time. After I was there for three months he called me in to the office and said we had to talk. I was a little worried. I couldn't figure what I had done wrong. I started work a 5am and quit working at 10pm only taking time for meals. He always told me I was doing a good job with the horses. So I had no idea.

Turned out he said he felt quilty paying me so little seeing as how hard I worked. I told him I thought I was getting the better end of the deal in that he was teaching me like I was his son and I felt lucky to be there. He laughed and told me either I would take more money or have to leave. So I took the money!

When I decided to leave and go back home he tried to get me to stay and take on more of the training duties. I told him it was time for me to leave. He understood and we stayed friends until he died a few years ago.

Rigger
10-13-2011, 08:11 AM
Thanks John,
I am looking forward to buying you a pint some day.
Dave

Dave.
It's well worth it but take some lessons in Brit humour first.

I have met John on a few occasions when I've been back over in the UK, our company is based in Birmingham.

The first time was a flying visit to collect a Boxford lathe he's sorted me.
Second time was more relaxed and when we were talking I said I'd like to meet Mad Arthur who he's often posted about.

So we got into his truck, Donald as it known, and went a short distance to Arthur's place which is an old coach house I suppose you'd call it where they used to keep the horses that dragged the barges.

Before we went in John warned me about Arthur as he's quite elderly and very religious and will not put up with any bad language.

We went in and there was this old guy stoking the stove up.
John shouts out

"Ayeup you old c%nt aren't you dead yet ?

To which Arthur replies with a string of obscenities.
After sitting there listening to these two carry on I realised when I was looking at Arthur I was looking at an older version of John.

Sorry John but it needed telling.

Rigger.

DFMiller
10-13-2011, 10:50 AM
Rigger,
Thanks for the warning.
I come from the colonies, I understand British humor well ;-)
I have been threatening to drop in for a visit for a few years. I was for a while having regular stopovers at Heathrow on the way to Joburg on business but we never managed a meet. :-(
Dave

aboard_epsilon
10-13-2011, 01:25 PM
Dave.
It's well worth it but take some lessons in Brit humour first.

I have met John on a few occasions when I've been back over in the UK, our company is based in Birmingham.

The first time was a flying visit to collect a Boxford lathe he's sorted me.
Second time was more relaxed and when we were talking I said I'd like to meet Mad Arthur who he's often posted about.

So we got into his truck, Donald as it known, and went a short distance to Arthur's place which is an old coach house I suppose you'd call it where they used to keep the horses that dragged the barges.

Before we went in John warned me about Arthur as he's quite elderly and very religious and will not put up with any bad language.

We went in and there was this old guy stoking the stove up.
John shouts out

"Ayeup you old c%nt aren't you dead yet ?

To which Arthur replies with a string of obscenities.
After sitting there listening to these two carry on I realised when I was looking at Arthur I was looking at an older version of John.

Sorry John but it needed telling.

Rigger.
I reckon John is the brother of Lemmy of Motörhead, not the looks or warts ,...their brains came out of the same mold or they were separated at birth ..i don't mean anything bad, when i say this .

ps he worked in the toolroom for Hotpoint in Llandudno junction

all the best.markj

jugs
10-13-2011, 05:35 PM
I reckon John is the brother of Lemmy of Motörhead, not the looks or warts ,...their brains came out of the same mold or they were separated at birth ..i don't mean anything bad, when i say this .

ps he worked in the toolroom for Hotpoint in Llandudno junction

all the best.markj

I thought it was a piano factory :confused:



I got the job at the piano factory as it was easy, easy as in work I liked, decent people for the most part and just round the corner.
it was quicker to go by bike than take a vehicle.

aboard_epsilon
10-13-2011, 05:50 PM
Lemmy worked at hotpoint !

All the best.markj

TGTool
10-13-2011, 10:27 PM
This probably explains a lot about recruiting and hiring in organizations.

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f244/TGTool/BrainDrain.jpg

Clark
12-18-2011, 05:11 PM
I was in a job interview in a the engineering conference room with a group of engineers and designers.

It was a laser gun sight company involved in the Iraq war. Everyone one in the room was a gun nut.

Some of the guys had looked up my name on the internet, and found all the guns I had blown up in handloading experiments.

The chief engineer, who decided if I got hired, was a very conservative handloader, almost black powder pressure levels.

I got no offer.

pturner
12-18-2011, 10:20 PM
When in college I interviewed for a job at at a local manufacturing plant. I was a shoein. The metalurgist wanted an engineering student for R&D work, and the maintainance manager wanted me becuause I could turn wrenches and weld, and he could see offloading light maintanance work from his hignly skilled/paid employees to someone he could at least trust not to get into trouble when the plant was shutdown on the weekend. The maint mgr says he'll hire me full time in his department if I don't get another offer. Latter the Ex VP/coOwner offers me the job. The Maint. Manager walks me to the personel office because he wants me onboard now, in case I want to work weekends in the meantime. So I fill out all of the paperwork, and eventually meet with the VP of personal. There was an obvious issue in that he thought I was applying for a job and I though I had one. He looked down at me and informed me that no one could extend an offer of employment but him, and if someone had told me different , he would deal with it. As he asked some typical questions did I have transportation, was I on parole, did I have a DL, he paused and asked who told me I had a job. I said John. John who? John Smith (the company was Smith Foundry.) He excused himself for a minute and we got along fine ever since.

Probally one of the best decisions I ever made. As a fairly cheap employee (but still more than most of the employees on the floor) they company was very free with my time. When my assigned projects were done, I was able to to work in the pattern shop, machine shop, or help/hang arround some of the more technical maintainance work going on. Most of the older guys were very patient with a young kid who paid attention, but didn't think he knew everything.

Errol Groff
12-18-2011, 11:22 PM
I was working at Connecticut Engineering and Manufacturing Co, now Spirol International, (I might be one of the few guys you know who acturally ran a horizontal shaper and got paid for it) when I got a call from a recuiter. I ended up interviewing for a job making prototype injection molds at Thermos Co in Norwich CT.

One of the questions at the interview was could I make injections molds. I had never seen an injection mold but I figured they would have prints for what they wanted so I cheerfully lied and said sure! Did that for six years until the great motorcycle wreck of 1980 and when, after six months, I was able to go back to work they decided they didn't need me anymore.

One of the designers I had worked with had left Thermos and started his own design company and he asked if I thought I might want to help out for a bit doing prototype and modelmaking for him.

We worked together for six years doing work that was so interesting I would have done it for free if not for the wife and kids wanting to eat! In 1987 I took the job teaching machine tool and worked for him for another six years part time. Some of the most interesting stuff I did in a career of 45 years.

Clark
02-18-2012, 07:11 PM
I was there, but it was not me.

There was an engineer who was an immigrant from a middle East country that was to be interviewed.

There was 100 acres of woods bought up by Rocket Research, with original farm house in the middle and Rocket Research on one side and the electronics company on the other. A couple of secretaries worked in the original farm house.

The interviewee got went to RR by mistake, so he left his car there and walked 100 yards to the electronics company, passed the farm house.

He stopped at the farm house and relieved himself on the lawn right in front of the secretaries.

So while the engineer was being interviewed by my boss, the boss got a call from Rocket Research that we had some kind of pervert in our building that was peeing in front of the ladies.

My boss said that was the turning point in the interview. The guy never made it to my cubicle to get interviewed by me.

It seems that toilet training is a big deal for being an engineer.

madwilliamflint
02-18-2012, 07:50 PM
Most of the older guys were very patient with a young kid who paid attention, but didn't think he knew everything.

Hell, I'm patient with ANYone who fits that description.

Someday, if I can manage to get this ego out of the way I might even fit the bill myself.

platypus2020
02-18-2012, 08:34 PM
Right after high school, I was in the middle of a job interview with a small local company, the guy excused himself to go get some other required paperwork, after about 45 minutes, he hadn't come back, I was starting to wonder if it was part of the job selection. After another 15-20 minutes a secretary came in and saw me sitting there, asked what I was doing, when I said I was waiting for the guy to come back, she said he had had a heart attack and was on his way to the hospital. I said, what do I do now, she said show up Monday morning and I'll find you a job. I showed on Monday, and became a maintenance technician.

john hobdeclipe
02-18-2012, 09:54 PM
In my case, it wasn't the interview that was funny, but the prelude to the interview.

I was working for Company Y, and had been contacted by Company A, across town (small town.) So I set up an interview for Monday at 4:00.

3:30 was quitting time, so I should be OK, but I got involved in something or other, and glanced at my watch at 3:45 and realized I had no time to spare. So I tore out of the grinding room and ran right into my boss, who was ineptly trying to set up an operation on a table saw. He asked that I stop and help him. I said "No, I gotta go." He insisted. I refused. He demanded that I stay. I said, "No, I can't. I gotta go, man, I've got a job interview." then I turned around and ran out the door. I made it to the interview with just a couple minutes to spare.

Well, his route home always took him right past Company A, and the next morning he came up to me and said he saw my van over at A and I wasn't joking, was I? And I said that I was giving my week's notice as of right now.

My timing was perfect, as one week later Company Y declared bankruptcy.

And the episode became locally famous, to the point that anytime anybody had to leave work early, including me, we were asked if we had a job interview.

wb2vsj
02-20-2012, 08:51 AM
We were hiring cop-op students for software testing at one of my old employers - early 1990's when the web was just really stating to take off.

Candidate sent in his resume and he had a website listed! Neato. I enter in his URL and up pops this guys photo, arms spread out and looking up at the sky with the sun silhouetting him. The caption, in large font was: "I AM JESUS"

Circular file time.

Walt

toolmaker76
02-20-2012, 09:40 AM
Had been working for company A many years and had grown quite dissatisfied. Got an interview for company B, of course, very secretive as rumors spread like wildfire in company A.

I show up early at company B, said they were running long on the interviews, could I wait in their waiting area- I go in, and it looked like company A's break area! Several other co-workers were also there for interviews!

The rumor mill ran rampant after that one! But I did wind up with the job, and it wound up being a good career move. Funny to think that I was not the only one who had grown dissatisfied!

KIMFAB
02-20-2012, 01:32 PM
I don't have any good interview stories - since high school I've interviewed maybe 6 times and got the job (or an offer) all but one time (I may have missed a couple of casual interviews and there are some I never interviewed for after checking the company out). I'm not sure if that says I'm good or just "easy".

I'm not sure what the point of all this is but maybe it's this: when you're asked to do something or to answer some silly question there might be a reason. Like when I asked everyone to fill out an application before the interview. Some would object, saying all that info was on their resume' or the like, some would say that it was a waste of time, some would just blow it off. None of then would even get the interview - the point of filling out the application was to see if you could follow directions, write legibly, finish a task. Work is like that and someone w/o the patience to fill out the application wasn't going to magically find it when needed at work.
Exactly. Sometimes the people that are hiring are looking for an answer to a question that is never asked.

When I was being tested for an engineering position at Bell telephone they gave a test that asked you to calculate the proper components for a computer system, order the components adhering to differing delivery times, and place the components properly in a scale room while following wiring constraints. Reasonably simple task.

Anyway, at the end when we are discussing my choices I kind of offhandedly said "according to your scale model that CPU is too big to get in that door."

The interviewer stopped and told me I had just passed the test, that was the answer that they were looking for.

konnon6
02-20-2012, 06:52 PM
My best interveiw was vary short.
he said did I like to work with my hands and use my head?
ah ya! Your hired!
My worst was an ineterveiw wth Boeing.
I was taken on a tour of the plant,my interveiwer asked if
I had any exsperience building planes? ya model planes!
Do you know how to weld-yes
Do you know how to run a crane-yes
do you basic shop tools-yes
can you be here ontime each morning-yes
can we run a credit check on you-NO
can we run a back ground check on you-no
can you sign this waver of rights -no
do you want this job? Now that I think about it no!

Weston Bye
02-20-2012, 07:43 PM
....
can you sign this waver of rights -no
do you want this job? Now that I think about it no!

Had an interview like that. I don't underestimate or undervalue my creativity. At a later job I assigned a patent - voluntarily.

Iraiam
02-20-2012, 08:53 PM
I was in printing for 20 years as a Field Service Technician, after a large layoff in 2009 I changed careers. I had sent resumes out to all the major manufacturers and it seemed like they disappeared into a black hole.

About 2 years later I got a call from another printing press manufacturer about a job. Apparently they had contacted my former employer and got references before they even contacted me. The job would have required me to move to another state so I wasn't interested, this was my shortest "interview" ever.

Then about a week later I got a call from a recruiter who had apparently submitted my resume (how did he even get it?) to the manufacturer I had just turned down.

Another one,

Many years ago I got a line on a job at a large complex here that is operated by the federal government, The job was in the GPO (Government Print Office), I landed an interview after jumping through numerous hoops, and it seemed to go well, until they got to the point about benefits. The interviewer told me about the on site day care, I was shocked! I said "wait a minute, isn't this entire complex a legitimate military target in time of war? He didn't answer the question and I didn't get the job. (nor would I have accepted it if I did)

Mcgyver
02-20-2012, 09:56 PM
Had an interview like that. I don't underestimate or undervalue my creativity. At a later job I assigned a patent - voluntarily.

depends on what 'rights' he was talking about :confused: 'Rights' doesn't mean anything, could be not to talk to the media, publicly disparage the company, intellectual property generated belongs to the company etc - all very reasonable in many situations. konnon6, what 'rights' where you asking to sign away that concerned you so much?

I've not asked for a credit check but if someone isn't willing to undergo a background check including criminal and drug testing they don't get an interview. Now, we don't as a matter of course do those things but saying in the posting you have to be willing to is a great filter on who rolls in the door.

2ManyHobbies
02-20-2012, 11:58 PM
depends on what 'rights' he was talking about :confused: 'Rights' doesn't mean anything, could be not to talk to the media, publicly disparage the company, intellectual property generated belongs to the company etc - all very reasonable in many situations. konnon6, what 'rights' where you asking to sign away that concerned you so much?

I've not asked for a credit check but if someone isn't willing to undergo a background check including criminal and drug testing they don't get an interview. Now, we don't as a matter of course do those things but saying in the posting you have to be willing to is a great filter on who rolls in the door.Binding arbitration is probably the first and biggest one these days. Next to that is any intellectual property created at any time during your employment -- even if it wasn't on company time, in company facilities, or with company assets.

Dr Stan
02-21-2012, 01:10 AM
Shortly after completion of my doctorate I was considered for a position at a university in Tennessee. A phone interview was scheduled and I dutifully waited by my phone at the appointed hour & day. Around 30 to 45 minutes after the scheduled start I called the dept in an attempt to find out what happened. They hurriedly assembled the search committee to conduct the phone interview and I was subjected to something I can only describe as an inquest or interrogation. To say the least I was less than interested in the position after this experience and wrote the dept head withdrawing my application.

TGTool
02-21-2012, 10:23 AM
Not an interview situation, but part of a buyout. The company purchasing ours wanted all the employees to sign an employment contract as part of the purchase. One feature was a non-compete agreement if we left the company which wasn't a surprising request. What raised eyebrows was the wording which would have practically prevented you from working for any company connected to fluid power in any way - competitors, suppliers, customers etc. The engineers balked and I consulted a lawyer for advice. In our state such non-compete requirements have been thrown out by the courts so it might have been moot, but after much huffing and puffing by the owner that section was finally deleted. It probably wasn't initiated by the company principals anyway but by the lawyers they hired trying to cast as wide a net as possible.

Lew Hartswick
02-21-2012, 06:07 PM
'Rocky' is now quite well know as Sebastian Vettel's race engineer.
Well Well some one here know who Sebastian Vettel is. I'm getting
anxious for the season to start. :-)
...lew...

Mcgyver
02-21-2012, 10:41 PM
Binding arbitration is probably the first and biggest one these days. Next to that is any intellectual property created at any time during your employment -- even if it wasn't on company time, in company facilities, or with company assets.

Binding arbitration (with a little phase in there that says 'without right of appeal') is a godsend to the employee. If you can get that it is really to your benefit vs the alternative, going to court. Got the T shirt :D

I think IP policy as you describe is fair but I've always been able to get the differentiator in there "provided that the IP is related to one's work or the company's business". If I hire you to design jet engines, there's just no chance you're patenting the latest new jet engine and claiming you thought it up and worked on it on weekends....otoh if you're paid to design jet engines and write a romance novel in your free time I would think it unreasonable I lay claim to it

Mcgyver
02-21-2012, 10:50 PM
One feature was a non-compete agreement if we left the company which wasn't a surprising request. What raised eyebrows was the wording which would have practically prevented you from working for any company connected to fluid power in any way - competitors, suppliers, customers etc.

There is interesting case law here on that, maybe in the US as well....remember we're both common law :) The case of the sharks out sharking themselves :D

Here, there are a few acid tests on employment non competes that if the non compete fails then the entire non compete is considered unenforceable. . One test is whether it essentially prevents you from working again during is time frame, which that one would given that jobs are somewhat dependent on domain knowledge and it locks you out of the only field you know (or so you could argue). You chose the smartest course, not agree to any - and why would you, no consideration was offered in return

Pete F
02-22-2012, 12:54 AM
In 2010, I was flown across the country for an in-person interview for a telecommuting position. Interview went great - the problem occurred when they had me fill out a formal application, which included salary at last position. Apparently, the notion of relative cost-of-living between California and, well, other places did not occur to them. Should have had me fill it out first - would have saved me the time, and saved them a bunch of money.

Worked out for me, though, because I subsequently came across my dream job, which has turned out to be the best job I ever had. :D

-Pete

panhead dave
02-23-2012, 04:08 PM
One place I applied to years ago didn't hire me because of my being a tattoed and bearded biker and they hired the cleancut guy and two weeks later they called me to hire me because the cleancut guy turned out to be a crackhead I ended up working there for five years until the jobs were moved to one of there other plants.