The worst job interview I had was with The University of Maryland. The trip from my house was 80 minutes. There was metered parking. It was a help desk position. My experience with a help desk was with helping users with using an application or navigating a web site. This job would involve correcting computer problems. I had to face a panel of five people. It didn’t take long for me to figure out I was not qualified for the position. At one point they put a computer without the casing in front of me and asked me questions about functions of various boards and chips.
I have to give credit to The University of Maryland staff. They kept straight faces and didn’t abruptly end the interview. They even made a copy of my driver’s license as they would for someone who would actually have a chance of getting the job. For my part I resisted the urge to apologize for wasting their time and walking out. Yes, it was a big waste of time for those on the board and for me.
This job interview just highlighted a recurring problem with my job search. My job experiences can fit many job titles but often times the listed job title is for a job that requires a higher level of technical experience. A possible solution might be to give a detailed explanation of what my jobs entailed.
This solution has some drawbacks. An automated keyword search may select the resume as being one of a possible candidate anyway. A detailed explanation of previous jobs may cause companies to reject an applicant whose jobs don’t exactly match their stated requirements.
Another possible solution is to try finding out what the job entails before scheduling an interview. This is good for jobs that would require relocation. For local jobs this could mean summarily turning down an interview that has a chance of becoming a job offer.
Simply accepting looking foolish as a hazard of a job search is also a solution. Interviewing for a job that you aren’t qualified for can make you feel foolish but the worst that can happen is you don’t get the job.