At some point in life, as we mature, we will have appointments to make for some type of interview; to be approved for attending school, to qualify for a loan, but most likely it will be an interview for employment. Some people are organized, dependable and own the four “Cs”: Clarity of thought, Confidence in oneself, Courage to do what is required and a Commitment to obtaining the best life possible. These people will arrive at the interview with time to spare, be neatly groomed and prepared.
Then there is the other type of person; someone who is guilty of:
- Bending, stretching and distorting the truth about why the interview is not a good idea.
- Procrastinating about making the interview and then waiting until last minute to cancel.
- Guilty of a memory distortion disease that can not distinguish truth from the many excuses, fibs and untruths they have told themselves over the years.
20% of people are procrastinators, which is not an inherited disease by the way. Procrastination and the art of making excuses is a learned ability, possibly as a form of rebellion. They make up a myriad of interesting excuses for putting things off such as an interview, looking for ways to relieve pressures, reduce the risk of failure and avoid responsibility. There are 3 types of procrastination techniques:
- Thrill seekers; love to wait until the very last moment to offer up an excuse, knowing there may be risks involved.
- Avoiders; they feel if they don’t think about it, and avoid the subject, even in their own mind, it may suddenly disappear. They fear failure, they fear success and they care a lot about what others think of them.
- Failure to make decisions: If they can’t decide what to do, it will absolve them of responsibility.
If you talk to any employment agency, personnel office or occupational counselor, they will admit to hearing a lot of excuses why people avoided an interview. Very few sound legitimate, but who is the loser here? Yes the interviewer has lost time and probably faith in human beings, but the interviewee is losing credibility, opportunity, the chance for success and maturity.
Here are 10 of the funniest, worst, and saddest excuses they have been given as to why a person had to blow off his interview appointment:
- “I am on a very strict, harsh diet and not allowed to eat many foods, therefore my brain is not functioning at its best and not a good time.”
- “I am trying to be a writer and just have to keep working at finishing my manuscript with no other distractions.”
- “I just am not feeling too clever today.”
- “I have misplaced, lost or forgotten to go the cleaners, and therefore have nothing decent to wear.”
- “I meditated and prayed last night; God (or Jesus) said it was not a good time for an interview.”
- “I am sorry, but I have had a change of heart.”
- (Calling collect to the interview office from the county jail) “I am in jail and can’t make it.”
- “I had a car accident on the way in to have our interview; I may have to go to the emergency room, but wanted to call you right away.”
- “My wife/husband/domestic partner just won the lottery! I won’t need to work after all.”
- “I can’t make it due to a family emergency.” The exact reason is left to the imagination; could be the hamster got out of the cage or great Aunt Tilda died.
Some of these excuses may be the truth (calling from jail?) but most show a real talent/ability/gift for creative thinking. But what they all have in common is an avoidance of commitment, resistance to change, a fear of the unknown and walking outside of their comfort zone. The rationale these people form for putting off an important possible life-changing interview is that they need to stay in the old comfortable job; what will people say if they changed? And they just are afraid it won’t work out.
Want more terrible excuses? Check out the discussion in our LinkedIn group!