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What’s the biggest c*ck up you’ve made in an interview?

lukegarrigan profile image Luke Garrigan Updated on ・1 min read

A few years ago now, I was interviewing for an internship as a Computational Biologist in my second year of university. I had a pretty shoddy CV so I had a google and copied/pasted a Software Engineers template and put in my skills.

In the interview, everything was going perfect — I was interviewing well — I think — met the team, met the boss, text-book stuff.

Then LateX happened. One of the interviewers asked me about LateX — at the time I knew nothing about LateX so I was honest and said "I don’t really know much about it".

”But you have it down as one of your skills”

“Is it?” Was my reply.

SHIT, I’d copied and pasted this CV without removing all the skills they’d put. I panicked, I started to make up some nonsense about when I’d used it but didn’t feel very confident with it.

The whole interview was downhill from that point, I was shaking, embarrassed and just wanted to crawl in a hole.

So yeah, that’s my biggest cock up in an interview, I’d love to hear yours!

Oh yeah, I got the internship in the end, a bloody miracle if you ask me.

Thank you, if you like my rambling check out my personal blogging site at https://codeheir.com/

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johannesjo profile image
Johannes Millan

Oh and I remember another one:
I interviewed for a month long project in a hip agency. They had all sorts of gaming figures, rc cars and cool plasma screens everywhere on the walls. I felt like I was in silicon valley.

The boss seemed to like me and we quickly came to an agreement. To celebrate he invited me to shoot at each other with the nerf guns which - coming from a pacifist household - I never used before. But I knew egoshooters so instinctively I aimed for the head. I shot him right in the eye and he screamed in agony and rolled himself on the ground. Fortunately there was no serious damage just a bright red eye and maybe a tear of sorrow and surprise or two.

I apologized a thousand times before they sent me home. I still got the job but despite our previous arrangement it was suggested that I should work from home instead which I gladly did.

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lukegarrigan profile image
Luke Garrigan Author

Hahaha!! I love this, shot him in the eye and still got the job 😂😂

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antonrusak profile image
Anton Rusak

I wish all bosses were like that.

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patricnox profile image
PatricNox

Glorious 🤣

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gc_psk profile image
Giancarlo Buomprisco

Interviewer: where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Me: right where you're seating!

Interviewer: what!?!

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antonrusak profile image
Anton Rusak

That guy wasn't expecting any career growth. Sheesh!

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lukegarrigan profile image
Luke Garrigan Author

Haha brilliant 😂

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joeattardi profile image
Joe Attardi

Do people still actually ask that horrible question?

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gc_psk profile image
Giancarlo Buomprisco

TBH, this was on my first ever interview 7 years ago :)

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lukegarrigan profile image
Luke Garrigan Author

Well, 7 years later, are you in their seat? 🤣

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gc_psk profile image
Giancarlo Buomprisco

I left the position after 6 months 😂 like Joe says, this question really is horrible!

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johannesjo profile image
Johannes Millan

Some years ago I went to an interview for working on a pay to win gaming platform. İt was very early in the morning and I didn't sleep much, because I was out the night before. I didn't expect much because to that point interviews tended to be more like a nice chat, but there I had to do an coding exercise on a computer with a standard windows notepad and a keyboard completely different from mine. Felt like swimming in boots. I completely messed the exercise up not even being able to come up with the basic syntax. After that I had to do an intelligence test on which I scored way below average. I felt embarrassed and stupid. To my surprise they still offered me the job which would have been working on a 15 year old php code base full of spaghetti code (at least they were honest about it) for about a third of the normal pay of a
normal junior programmer job in my city. While working on computer games was my childhood dream I wasn't ready to take a job that wouldn't pay my rent. In retrospect I would say that I dodged a bullet there :)

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lukegarrigan profile image
Luke Garrigan Author

Haha these are making me feel not so bad 😂

That’s so funny! I agree though, I always wanted to be a game developer but the poor pay and long days put me off!

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drbearhands profile image
DrBearhands

Accepting the job offer. I wasn't entirely comfortable during the job interview but couldn't really pinpoint why, so I ignored it. Turns out they had way too low standards, felt completely unprofessional. I was out of there after just 3 days.

Needless to say that's not on my cv.

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codenutt profile image
Jared

Not during an interview, but i sent the wrong cover letter addressed to a different company once. Needless to say, they didn't call me in lol

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jackharner profile image
Jack Harner 🚀

I once sent off a cover letter where I brought up that I was very "Detail-oriented" but spelled the city I live in wrong (among a few other words, spell check seriously failed me that day).

To be fair, Albuquerque is confusing as hell to spell, but I've lived here my whole life so I have no excuse.

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codenutt profile image
Jared

Haha agreed. I used to live there.

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g1itcher profile image
G1itcher

I forgot the difference between polymorphism and overloading. It was a long time ago, I was completely self taught, and didn't know all the terms.

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antonrusak profile image
Anton Rusak

OH MAN REMEMBER 4 DEADLY SINS OF A JOB CANDIDATE!

  1. Fizzbuzz
  2. Binary search trees
  3. Goddamn Fibonacci
  4. Polymorphism
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whatjackhasmade profile image
Jack Pritchard

I just had a Fizzbuzz interview