I’ve always disliked interviews. Let’s be honest; pretty much everyone does, as they are:

  • Stressful
  • Unpredictable
  • Decided by God-knows-what-criteria
  • Peppered with idiotic and irrelevant questions (see below)
  • Likely to include “tricks” designed to trip you up
  • Nearly always handled by imbeciles (and / or recruitment agencies)

The whole experience is disgusting and foul and generally a waste of time.


I’ve had the misfortune of having three interviews in the last few months. I’ll detail them below:

Briggs of Burton

Arrived at the interview, held in a board room, and it turned out that none of the idiots had any clue how to operate the conferencing software (as another idiot wanted to be there in a virtual sense). It was a complete farce that lasted about twenty minutes. Various staff members attempted to troubleshoot what might be wrong. It was quite hard for me not to just say, “fuck it, I’m off.” Eventually, they sorted their shit out and I was subjected to some really stupid questions that were completely irrelevant to actually performing the mediocre job they were hoping to fill. A few days later I was told by the recruitment people (and I quote) “They’ve decided to give the job to a woman because she’ll take less money.”

Terex Pegson (Coalville)

Interviewed by some bloke called Bryn Winkwart (or something similar). Had an hour with him asking mostly sensible questions in a conference room, but he looked a bit lost as the HR person was not there. He spent most of the time saying he was looking for someone to take over his role when he fucks off. The recruitment outfit called James Grace Associates didn’t even bother to inform me of their clients “decision.” I had to email an Elliot Bellend Beldon to find out that “they’ve decided to give the role to someone with more heavy industry experience.” Yeah, figured that out already, Bellend Beldon. I had no intention of travelling to Coalville every day anyway.

IG Masonry Support (Swadlincote)

In this interview, I was told that they were trying to replace a lovely woman who had left to go back to a company that was nearer to home and paid her more money (but they would miss her). Idiotic, obviously. They also told me that they had offered another woman the job, but basically, she’d told them to fuck off as she had found a better job paying more money.

As soon as I got there, I knew I was dealing with idiots (you get a sense), and sure enough, some geeky kid, James, dutifully asked a load of idiotic HR questions. Really stupid, most of them. His boss appeared about ten minutes into the interview with a clipboard and pen and some stupid questions of his own.

Had a tour around their small factory, and to be fair I could have added a lot to their pretty amatuerish setup. Incredibly, I got an email from the recruitment outfit, Stafflne, that they didn’t think I possessed enough 9001 / 14001 experience. That was a lie, they knew they couldn’t afford me was the honest answer.

The Wrong Way to Interview

All of these companies think they know how to fill a vacancy, but they’re deluding themselves. Most of these jobs have had to be re-advertised which I think proves how ineffective their approach is.

Below is what you should stop doing immediately

Stop asking stupid questions which have no bearing on the role advertised. If I go for a job in let’s say, Customer Service, does anyone care (including me) where I see myself in five years. And to the idiot who asked what I’d do if I won the lottery: stating that I don’t do the lottery is a perfectly valid answer to your idiotic question.

What’s my greatest success at work? Who cares?
What is the biggest failure? Who cares?
What things about yourself could you improve? Who cares?

And so on.

Just cut all the crap out. No. One. Cares.

The Correct Way to Interview

Two words: competence testing.

Q. You’re looking for a quality inspector?
A. Great, get them to check a part against a drawing.

Q. Recruiting for an administrator?
A. Get them to do some data entry.

Q. Need a manager?
A. Take them to a department with problems (you’ve probably got loads of them) and ask them what their ideas are to improve it.

Spend five or ten minutes having a chat about your company, the job you’re trying to fill, and then get to testing if the applicant is competent. That way you aren’t wasting everyones time.

The Future

We need an accreditation that lets applicants know if the interviewer is competent to conduct an interview. Just think about how much time is wasted by incompetent and ineffective interview techniques. The savings would be enormous!