Interviews can be daunting and first days on the job can be brutal.
Being well-prepared is the key to success, but the unexpected can happen even to those who have been rehearsing the potential questions the interviewer may ask for days. Anticipating obstacles is the best way to keep your cool in situations where a panic attack might happen otherwise. Before heading out to career fair interviews, remember to not be late, dress professionally and try to avoid repeating the mistakes made in these job horror stories.
Recreation, parks and tourism administration senior
“I had just gone to a workout class and was shopping at Costco when the manager of the hotel I had applied to work at called me. They wanted to set up an interview for an hour from when they called and I, for some reason, felt obligated to say I could make it at that time. I had to drive home and change my clothes so I ended up getting to the interview five minutes late and felt unprepared. I was applying for a hospitality position, but the manager who interviewed me was not hospitable. She even hustled me out the door when I went in for a handshake. I never heard back from them about the position, but for the next couple weeks and months I still saw flyers up around campus for the same position.”
Biological sciences senior
“I was interviewing to be a scribe at a hospital and arrived at the interview a little too early. I was sitting outside a room while the guy before me was being interviewed. His interview seemed to be going really well, the interviewers were laughing and it seemed like he totally was going to get this job. I had actually felt really prepared before hearing how good his interview was going and I think it shook me up a little bit. When I finally went in for my interview, I got a way different and kind of condescending vibe from them. I didn’t end up getting the job. I shouldn’t have let my nerves inhibit me.”
Graphic communication junior
“I had heard about an opportunity to work for the SLO Police Department from a guest lecturer in one of my classes. It was for a program called SNAP, which is a group of trained students who respond to noise violation calls that the police department gets. They basically give a first warning to parties. Well, during my interview for the position, they asked me what SNAP stood for and I didn’t know. It’s safe to say I won’t forget that it stands for Student Neighborhood Assistance Program.”
Communication studies junior
“It was my first day on the job at Häagen-Dazs and I was closing that night. I cleaned up the whole shop until it was spotless and I just was waiting for my manager to come back and lock up the building. Ten minutes passed, then 30 minutes … then after an hour and a half, my manager, one of my co-workers and another random girl showed up and they were all drunk. Apparently they had all been at a bar together. My manager knocked over all of the stuff I had cleaned and started eating the ice cream I had already put away. I wanted to make sure they all got home safe, though, so I volunteered to drive them home. The next morning my manager didn’t remember a thing and yelled at me because the Häagen-Dazs was a mess. It was definitely weird to continue working there for the rest of the summer.”
Child development junior
“I was applying to work at Wendy’s for the summer before college started and it was the first job I had ever applied to. I was excited that I got an interview so I showed up to the Wendy’s dressed really professional and was wearing nice makeup. But when I got to the restaurant, I wasn’t expecting the interview to be held at a table in the Wendy’s and the person who was interviewing me to be wearing their work uniform. This made me look extremely overdressed. The interview actually only lasted a total of five minutes because the second I told them I would be moving to San Luis Obispo for school in a couple months they asked me to leave.”