Karen: I was chastized for not wearing a TIE to an interview in Silicon Valley once. The very first words out of the CEO's mouth were: "So you don't respect me enough to wear a tie?"
I thought I was overdressed, with a sports coat, nice slacks and shiny shoes. I smiled and muttered something about how I thought it would be less formal, given it was Mountain View, but that just made him angry.
I once realized, on the morning of my flight, that I had booked from the wrong Springfield. I could make the 6 hour drive just barely or call the airline and make a change. My boss wasn't immensely pleased at the additional expense on that one.
Great story Max. I was exactly one week early for a job interview once. It wouldn't have been so bad because all of the people I was supposed to be interviewing were out of the office and they would be none the wiser. Well, it would have been fine except that the receptionist called all of them in an attempt to find out why they weren't in the office for the interview, each assuming that the boss had changed the date. The boss was called last to finally confirm that I was, in fact, not bright enough to understand entry level calendar operation. I didn't get the job.
Every engineer has a story to tell about a mortifying job interview. Well, most of us anyway.
Years ago, for example, a cube mate of mine described how he was chastised by the hiring manager for not wearing a belt to the interview. Given the non-existence of any kind of formal dress code at most companies today, that type of criticism is simply unfathomable to me.
With the ink still fresh on my diploma from the University of Minnesota, I had an interview for a mechanical engineering position at Medtronics at their headquarters in Minneapolis. It was a cold wintry day, which is pretty much every day in Minneapolis. The interview went well, I thought to myself as I walked back to my car, sidestepping mushy snow and slush in the parking lot. I started it up, then much to my dismay realized that the battery was dead.
I couldnt even wave anyone down to help, as I had no jumper cables. So off I schlepped back into Medtronics, had the receptionist dial my would-be manager, and then he insisted on coming out to help me personally, sidestepping the mush snow and slush in the parking lot.
I was mortified and though I don't think it was the resason that i didn't get the job, I always carry jumper cables with me now!