Author Topic: Interview gaffes  (Read 2292 times)

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Interview gaffes
« on: Nov 22, 2008, 03:20 pm »
I read a funny passage in a book recently about a guy interviewing for a chef's job (this will relate to general interviews for theatre in a minute... bear with me!).

The candidate was a great cook with lots of experience, especially in butchery and meats. He was interviewing with an intimidating exec chef and owner at a fabulous downtown NYC steakhouse. The owner was a particularly striking guy who spoke low and gravelly with an accent. After nailing the beginning of the interview, the candidate was feeling pretty good. Then the owner leaned in and asked "What do you know about me?" The candidate froze, trying to figure out if the owner was famous, or a notorious criminal, or otherwise known in the culinary world. Should he know about him? Would the owner be insulted if he didn't know? Would it be worse to make something up? The young, brash candidate chef decided to confidently respond: "Absolutely nothing!" At which point the owner looked a little confused, then burst out laughing. The interview was over shortly after that, brought quickly to an end with a few more chuckles. As the candidate walked down the next block he realized that he had misheard the question. The owner had asked "What do you know about meat?" An entirely relevant, and important, question for someone interviewing a would-be chef for a steakhouse.

I have definitely had that interview moment where I didn't understand what someone was saying. (You can only ask "What?" so many times...) But luckily it never cost me the job.  :)

Anyone else ever had a funny (or not so funny) misunderstanding or mis-hearing in an interview situation?

ps: the book is Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain (2007).


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Re: Interview gaffes
« Reply #1 on: Nov 24, 2008, 11:34 pm »
Not so much an interview gaffe but...

before I went to the audition for the theatre school I'm at now I somehow mnaged to work the handshake with the auditioners into a make-or-break affair. People just kept telling me to do it, and I kept building it up to the point where it was rediculous (keep in mind it's my first real audition). I was sitting nervously outside the door waiting for them to call me in worrying about the stupid handshake for 10 minutes before the guy came out. I walked over and met him as we were just inside the doorframe and then tried to shake hands with him. Bad idea. We were less than half a foot apart and it was the most ackward handshake of my life, both our arms were bent at the weirdest angles and I elbowed myself in the stomach twice.

I still cringe looking back at it.