This actually happened on Halloween Day when I was a recruiter for a large corporation.  I had a full day of back to back interviews scheduled and was moving along at a brisk pace.  Shortly after lunch, I welcomed a candidate and escorted her to my office.  Now my office space was anything but the image most people have of a professional office.  It was more of an after-thought and consisted of my desk facing the door in a small, windowless room, with two candidate chairs in front of the desk and next to the door.  Due to the tight space, I had to enter the office first to get behind my desk before the candidate could sit down and I had to ask the candidate to close the door before starting.  It wasn't perfect but did offer sufficient privacy for interviewing.

This particular candidate was a well qualified person but I noted she was rather on the large side as we first introduced ourselves.  As we entered my small office and began to make ourselves comfortable, my candidate was having a little trouble situating herself within the confines of the chair arms.  Once settled, the interview was progressing well and I'm thinking the hiring manager will be very happy with this prospect.  Suddenly, there was a loud "Pop" and the power went out in the building.  Since there were no windows in my office, it was totally black inside.  With the door open, the windows in the outer office would provide enough light for us and I asked the candidate to open the door for us.  A simple task to overcome a unique situation.

Sitting in the dark, I hear the candidate huffing, grunting and struggling to release herself from the grips of the chair.  She was very much attached and trying to stand up with a chair stuck to her backside in a very tight (and very dark) space caused her to panic.  All I could hear was a chair being banged against the wall and against my desk.  My candidate began to scream in her panic, which echoed in the confines of the small office.  I couldn't get to the door because she was between the desk, me and the door knob.

Finally, one of the HR Assistants became concerned with the banging and screams from inside and came to our rescue.  As the light filtered into the office, there was my poor candidate standing with 1/2 a chair still attached to her backside, several scars on the walls, desk and I'm sure on her psyche.

The power was restored shortly thereafter and with the addition of a new (armless chair), we successfully concluded our interview - with the door staying open per her request.  She was hired and became an excellent employee, but I'm sure neither of us will ever forget our Halloween horror interview story.

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I just love this one! Shared it with a fellow worker who spent years as a contingency recruiter = she laughed more than she has for a long time. It always pays to sit closest to the door :)

Thanks Rosalind - every recruiter has their stories, unfortunately they seldom get shared with anyone outside HR.



Rosalind Kimber said:

I just love this one! Shared it with a fellow worker who spent years as a contingency recruiter = she laughed more than she has for a long time. It always pays to sit closest to the door :)

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