Olivia Bland's interview from hell made national news after she tweeted about the ghastly experience she had where her interviewer belittled her, took apart her application line by line, and even criticized the way she sat amongst other things.
Apparently this is called a 'stress interview', a technique used to gauge how people cope under pressure.
Surely the fact it is an interview is sufficient stress on anybody though? Only candidates on The Apprentice breeze into these situations supremely self-confident and sure of their own abilities!
Her experience reminded me of an interview I had years ago for a public sector role.
The interview panel also used this stress technique, expect I didn't know that it was a technique at the time - I just thought they were being incredibly negative, hostile and downright rude!
The questions I was asked included why I thought I could even do this particular job, given the degree I had, and why had I even applied in the first place?
Obviously, this threw me, and after concocting some sort of answers only to be faced with further negativity, I heard myself saying "Right, let's stop there shall we and not waste any more of your or my time - I'm obviously not what you're looking for."
Not that I would recommend this as a typical interviewee response, but it did have the effect of stopping them in their tracks and becoming friendlier, however by then it was too late for me and I left the interview room with as much dignity as I could muster under the circumstances.
I probably cried when I was in the safety of my car, but to be honest I can't remember that bit. I do vividly remember though how worthless and stupid the panel had made me feel.
The upside of this story is that when I had to interview people for jobs many years later, I always tried to put candidates at their ease and never treated them the way I'd been treated on that occasion - I'm hoping that Olivia will take that lesson away with her too.