Although I would hate to derail the amusing and enlightening discussion of fucked-up interview experiences that is now ongoing, I do want to start a parallel discussion of interviews that did not go poorly. In this thread, we tell stories about interviews we nailed.*
Unfortunately, I don't have any (true) story about the time I hit it out of the park, but I have had a couple of interviews that went well enough that I didn't think it was crazy to imagine that I'd get the flyout or the offer. One interview with a Ph.D.-granting department focused on my research (of course). They said they wanted to talk about my writing sample, but what they really wanted to talk about were all the deeper issues that didn't specifically come up in my writing sample but which were hiding slightly under the surface. All the assumptions you have to make in order to get to the point where my question comes up. So, if my writing sample was a defense of utilitarianism from the Organ Harvest objection (it wasn't), they wanted to talk about whether there was any such thing as moral permissibility, in the first place, at all. The nice thing about it is that I was familiar with these deeper issues, thought they were really interesting, had thought about them a lot, and had a near-final draft of a paper in which I respond to exactly the arguments they were pushing. And so I was able to present what I considered to be cogent, well-thought-out responses to their questions. (The paper has since come out in a pretty good journal.) I thought the discussion went really well, and I was really bummed when I didn't get the on-campus. I'm still not sure what, if anything, I did wrong there. In all honesty, I'm not sure I have it in me to give a better interview than that.
*I was trying to think of what the opposite of a "fuck-up" is, and it seemed that it would have to be `fuck-down.' But I didn't think that a post called "Interview Fuck-Downs" would attract the kind of attention I was looking for. So I went with the more pedestrian 'successes' as a clearer alternative.