Larry Polhill of Café Valley: News and Stories on Job Interviews Gone Wrong

Larry Polhill, consultant at Café Valley, has had several firsthand experiences on job interviews gone wrong; usually involving applicants who didn’t know anything about the position they are applying for, not paying attention to what the interviewer was saying, or the applicant’s dishonesty about details on their resume.

On paper, the applicant may seem extremely qualified but if the resume is the only basis for qualification, job interviews wouldn’t exist. As billionaire Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, mentioned during an interview with a business reporter, “A good CV is important, but if you were going to hire based on what they say about themselves on paper, you wouldn’t need to waste time on an interview.”

His favorite question? “What didn’t you get a chance to include on your resume?”

Mr. Branson is only one of the many successful CEOs and business owners who veer away from traditional interview questions. And while their non-traditional questions may throw off the applicant, the truly deserving ones will not only know how to answer these, but more importantly, will do so with poise and confidence.

During an interview, the applicant reveals a lot about themselves, usually unwittingly. Take a look at some of these interview experiences by some of the business world’s movers and shakers:

Brenda Della Casa, Founder of Badass Living

Badass Living is a website that features articles and information on career, finance, health and wellness, and other social topics. The site’s main focus is empowering women. When a position for a senior editor became available, Brenda Della Casa gave one applicant an assignment which she had to submit within a given deadline. When she missed the deadline, Brenda Della Casa followed up with the applicant upon which she was told that sharing her talents with Badass Living was actually more of a favor for the site than anything else. Suffice it to say, she didn’t get the job.

Chris Huntley, owner of Huntley Wealth & Insurance Services

An applicant was referred to Chris Huntley by a friend, and his resume showed that he was more than qualified for the position he was applying for, which was Marketing Assistant. During the interview, it was evident that the applicant was confident he was going to get the job because of the referral to the point that he didn’t even fake putting his best foot forward. When asked about his weakness, the applicant didn’t hesitate in saying that he didn’t feel motivated—that he just doesn’t feel “motivated these days.” Why would an employer hire someone who doesn’t feel motivated? Needless to say, he didn’t get that call to say he got the job.

There are lots of other horror stories like these; about applicants botching their interviews, and consequently losing their shot at landing the job. The interview process is your chance to seal the deal, so to speak. And unless you come prepared, and you display manners befitting a professional, don’t expect a call to hire you.

Larry Polhill of Café Valley will regularly update this page so make sure to come back for his latest news and other stories on job interviews.