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Craziest thing a potential employer has asked you to do

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Untitled, May 4, 2013.

  1. Untitled

    Untitled New Member

    The job search can be crazy. We've all had to do it and for me, personally, it sucks. Applying for jobs sucks, then you just have to hope after you've jumped through enough hoops, you hope someone actually tries to contact you for an interview.

    What's the craziest thing a potential employer has asked you do?

    This isn't like a question, but something the person actually asked you to do for them, while employment wasn't exactly guaranteed.

    I knew someone who told me an employer wanted him to write a local story, from scratch mind you, about a topic that he had no prior knowledge of subject. He asked him to get quotes from real people for the story and told him it would be published if it was good enough.

    Let's just say, that part of the interview didn't go too well for him.
  2. Ten story ideas, plus tips on how to redesign the website.
  3. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    I had an initial phone interview on a Friday. First-time conversation. The guy wanted me to accept the job right then and move to Nashville over the weekend so I could start Monday.

    I wouldn't make any big move sight-unseen. It was the Gannett design hub.
  4. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    One of my first interviews, the employer asked me if I was a member of a church. I started hesistating, then he said that he didn't care what religion I was, just that I was active in the community. Got the job, but didn't last long. Not a very good situation all around.

    At another paper, the editor spent half the time running down the person whose job I was interviewing for. Took the job anyways, we got along fine, until the editor left a month in my term for a rather bizarre reason I'd rather not go into here.

    Also had another potential employer ask me for ideas on their web site. Gave a couple. Didn't get the job.
  5. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    When I was asked to verify that the Blackhawks were having a tremendous amount of sex.
  6. Precious Roy

    Precious Roy Active Member

    There was that one time on the couch.....

    But seriously, my first job out of college the editor took me around town to see what was going on. We saw some guys pan-handling at one of the city's corners. He made me get a story about them, find out if they were legal or not, and then write the story in about 25 minutes as he came into the room every 5-7 minutes asking if I was done. Lot of pressure, especially since I was interviewing for a sports job. Got it done and was given the job on the spot. Started working there and it was much more laid back with the editor, who has become a dear friend. Wish we would do more stuff like that sometimes when going through applicants, just to see if they can produce under pressure.
  7. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Years ago I had a news director that would hire people freelance for a day during the interview process, to see how they could handle the job. One guy came in to interview for a one-man-band reporting job, where he'd be shooting his own stuff. He was sent out to do a travel story.

    About three hours later we got a call from the management at the airport. He had breached security there and was being questioned, and they wanted to confirm he was actually working for us. When he got back to the station we saw his raw tape from the day -- he had interviewed a travel agent for 40 minutes on tape, and had spent about 35 of those minutes hitting on her.

    He didn't get the job.
  8. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Interviewed for a news job at a weekly. Editor showed me around the newsroom, introduced me to some of the staff and during the interview asked me if I was interested in the sports job currently held by one of the people I had just met. She asked me not to mention it to anyone because the sports guy wasn't aware that she was looking to replace him.

    Needless to say, I didn't accept the sports job. And didn't accept the news job.
  9. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    Only thing that really comes to mind is, the SE took me to lunch. I was hardly eating because I was intent on keeping eye contact and concentrating on answering his questions. After a little while, I noticed that he kept looking over my shoulder, kept looking at something that obviously was behind me.
    Finally, I looked around and saw that this restaurant had a lunchtime lingerie show. I turned to see a well-endowed woman in a sheer negligee. I nearly got poked in the eye. I wish I had looked around sooner.
  10. Keystone

    Keystone Member

    Interviewed for a design job and was sitting in the office when the editor took "an urgent call." Apparently, the person who had just left was calling and begging for his job back. Didn't know this at the time. The editor excused himself, stuck his head out of his office and yelled "Guess who just called!" Everyone who was in the newsroom at the time started laughing, but I didn't have a clue why. He then continued the interview and I stayed an additional couple hours designing pages and taking a grammar test.
    When I got the rejection letter three days later, I called a friend who worked there and he explained what happened. Kind of glad I didn't get the job.
  11. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    When I interviewed for the SE's job in Ann Arbor - that would have been 2004? - they had be go ahead and take the piss test while I was in town. That seemed odd to me at the time, but I guess it was standard procedure in some shops.
  12. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    We've done the same thing here a few time. Cuts a week out of the hiring process, because you don't have to find a place for a person to take the test, mail the information to them, wait for them to take the test and then wait for the results. If you take it here while you interview, we know by noon the next day if you passed.
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