Six in ten Brits have been left red-faced in a job interview – by spilling drinks, tripping up and accidentally swearing, a new study by commissioned by AAT has revealed.
The research of 2,000 found the most bizarre questions candidates have ever faced, including ‘Is a Jaffa cake a cake or biscuit?’ ‘How would you get a hippo out of a hole’ and ‘Are you a Corrie or an EastEnders fan?”
Researchers found millions of Brits have endured interviews so awkward and embarrassing that one in 12 of the ashamed even walked out before the end.
But for some, it’s not all bad news as a third have still gone on to get the job despite an embarrassing first encounter or question that left them completely baffled.
Aimee Bateman, AAT Official Career Coach and founder of career coaching site careercake.com, said: ”The prospect of being interrogated on our professional experience and ability is a naturally intimidating scenario and, as the results show, it’s not always easy to keep composed.
‘’The range of random and sometimes unbelievable questions or tasks candidates have been subjected to shows sometimes you just can’t predict what will be thrown at you.
‘’However, the best way to maintain composure and reduce the chances of embarrassment is to try to prepare for every possibility and be prepared to think on your feet if need be.’’
The average job hopeful thinks their fate is decided early with just over five minutes cited as the time an interviewer takes before deciding if they’ll be hired or not. This is much longer than the 90 seconds many research state that it actually takes.
Freezing on the spot was the biggest cause for awkwardness in an interview, while feeling intimidated or saying something stupid featured high in the top 20 awkward experiences. Aimee Bateman added: ‘’Whether it’s a difficult or random question or the fear you’re out of your depth, confidence comes from feeling prepared and ready for anything thrown at you.
The strangest things asked to Brits in an interview
· Would you post about work on Facebook?
· Would you rather know a lot about a little or a little about a lot?
· Who would you invite to a dinner party?
· Who would win in a fight superman or batman?
· Who is your favourite Doctor Who?
· Which video game character would I like to be and why?
· Which three celebrities would you like to join for a night out?
· Do you prefer to be right, or be liked?
· Do you wear jeans outside of work?
· What would you do if the sun died out?
· Are you a Coronation Street or EastEnders fan?
· What would you do if you caught a member of staff kissing the boss?
· What dinosaur would you like to be?
· Was the book Frankenstein really about state control?
· Please do an improvisation of a film (with potential co-worker)
· Build a tower of paper cups in 1 minute that would not fall down when you put water in the top cup
· Tell me 20 unique selling points about this BIC pen
· Please bring a toy with you and explain how this reflects you as a person or a part of your personality
· Is a Jaffa cake a cake or biscuit?
· How do you feel about blood sports?
· If a Hippo falls into a hole how would you get it out?
· Do you like to sing in the bath?
· Would you drive through an amber traffic light?
AAT Comment offers news and opinion on the world of business and finance from the Association of Accounting Technicians.