Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.


Once in a while, a job interview can go swimmingly.

On the other hand, many job interviews can be both terrifying and unpleasant, for both the interviewer and the victim.

Neither side knows what to expect. Many first interviews are now by phone or Skype. It's barely real. It's barely bearable.

Thankfully, the younger types who are being interviewed these days have many outlets for their angst. One of these is Whisper. It's an app where people anonymously bare their souls, their thoughts, their days and their vast self-centeredness.

One topic that arises a lot on Whisper is job interviews. So I thought I'd trawl the app in the hope of helping you bear witness to the angsts, lives and egos of those being interviewed.

Here are 9 of the best. Or, depending on your perspective, the most painful. Each highlights some strange personal dynamic that might be dominant in someone's interview persona.

1. "My So-called Friends Gave Bad References For An Interview I'm About To Go To. Too Bad They Don't Know The Interviewer Knows They're Lying". Job interviews are twisted, tortured events. If you can exert control over yours, do. Always be prepared that someone has said something bad about you. If you're doing the interviewing, you know that references are mostly fake, don't you?

2. "During A College Interview, I Cried So Hard When The Dean Asked Me Why. I Told Her I Just Don't Want To Be My Parents' Failure." Some people come to an interview with their inner lives on the line. You may not know what their personal turmoil is, but you can bet it'll come out in one small way or another. It doesn't mean they wouldn't make a great employee.

3. "My Mom Wants Me To Have A Job Already. I Am Scared To Go Back To Work And Will Make Me A Monster Again (Corporate Life Makes Me Angry) Interviews Give Me Anxiety As Well". Corporate life doesn't suit everybody. Increasingly, it's suiting fewer and fewer people. When you're the interviewer, try and work out why someone looks anxious. It could be far deeper than you'd imagine.

4. "Even Though I Am A College Graduate And An Entrepreneur, I Hate Interviews. I Hate 'Proving Myself' Specially When I know I Am The Best Person They Could Hire To Do The Job." Oh, you do, do you? If you're an entrepreneur, why are you looking for a job? You know how good you are. So just go out and prove it. Interviewing these arrogant types can be awful. It can, though, be amusing too. Just sit back and watch them show you exactly how great they are.

5. "When Someone Asked Me How Old I Was I Forgot. This Was For An Interview For My First Job Ever." Some people do just get nervous. Are you supposed to judge them on their "performance"? Or can you intuit more than that from simply being with them? That's the hirer's dilemma. Or, at least, one of them.

6. "Interviewer: I Believe The Key To Success Is Going Outside Your Comfort Zone. Me: Hire Me. I Make Everyone Uncomfortable." Is funny good? You have to decide. Actually, you have to decide if they're being funny or whether they're actually telling the truth.

7. "I'm Terrified Of Applying To Jobs Because I'm Afraid I Won't Even Get An Interview." Some of the most grateful -- and brilliant -- employees are those on whom you decide to take a chance, when so many have refused to. The good people aren't necessarily those who look good or tell you they're good.

8. "I Went In For An Interview And Started Acting Really Excited About The Position And They Told Me I Was Too Enthusiastic To Be Part Of The Company." Some companies just aren't worth working for. Equally, some people are just unbearable in interviews. What can you do? It's a single event at a single moment in time. It's a date. Most don't work out.

9. "Interviews Are Incredibly Difficult For Me. I Can't Sell Myself The Way The Real World Expects Me To. I'm Much More Than My First Impression." Interviewers ought to be bored seeing the same kinds of people over and over again. As for interviewees who keep "failing" -- maybe you should go out on your own.