You spray your flatmate’s perfume, tell yourself in the mirror “u can do it,” and head out to the nerve-wracking job interview hoping it’s gonna be the last one. Not because you want that job that bad, but because you can’t take one more sweaty ordeal.
And while most of us know what we are going to say word-for-word by heart, some job seekers seem like they couldn’t care less. And who is better equipped to tell the horror stories from job interviews gone sour than the employers themselves? From an applicant hitting their car in a parking lot to asking if any of the staff is single, or texting through the whole interview like it’s whatever, employers reveal the very worst candidates they had to deal with.
And I mean, if you are brave enough to take the luxury and see where destiny takes you in your next job interview, do whatever—just don’t be, like, an a-hole.
Applicant said, ‘So are any of the guys here single?’ during the interview.
Image credits: BeautifulFartCarrot
This one guy had Googled me and was asking me all kinds of stuff related to my background and hobbies etc. It was really creepy.
We didn’t hire him.
Image credits: eeyore102
HR director here. Here is a few over the years:
Was told to give an interview for a manager position for some girl right out of college. Could tell it was someone pulling strings, because she had no experience in the field, and her degree was in criminal justice. This was an IT position.
Had a a guy with a killer resume, all the credentials, come in for an interview. Though it was going to go well, he instead was drunk and high. He couldn’t even string a full sentence together.
Had a woman go ballistic on me when i asked her about her career goals. I thought i was on an episode of punkd.
Best one was calling a reference a guy had left for me: “Yeah Stans a nice guy, shows up on time, keeps to himself. If you need someone to warm a chair for 8 hours a day, he is your guy. If you want someone to do a little more work, i got a cinderblock here thats a little more motivated.”
No one was born nailing a job interview. It normally takes some preparation, both emotional and physical, like having a good night’s sleep (even if sometimes it’s easier said than done), making sure you look good, and thinking through all the things you will be talking about in that nerve-wracking hour which may be a game-changer.
To find out more about the major faux pas that are likely to serve as deal-breakers in a job interview, Funscrape reached out to Dawn Moss, interview and career coach.
Dawn said that the biggest mistake you can make is not preparing specific examples to share. “I think some candidates think they can ‘wing’ it on the day or feel confident to be able to have a conversation.“ However, Dawn stresses that “an interview is more than just a conversation” and just “a chat doesn’t usually produce good quality evidence and data to demonstrate competence.”
I had a recent college grad interview for a job. Asked if we had a nap room. Said his doctor required him to take an hour nap a day. If he got hired he will provide the appropriate medical records but requires a nap room. He also asked if when he got hired if he would be one of the bosses of the developers who interviewed him. I asked why and he said he felt off about the developer and said he would let him go. He then asked where his office would be located and whether they would compensate him with stock options or ownership. Finally he ended the interview saying he had an 3pm appointment and it was nice talking to me. I asked him to leave. He was applying for an entry level support analyst position.
Guy said he spoke French on his resume… Said he “only spoke it when he’s drunk,” in the interview.
A young lad comes in for a production role. Goes through the niceties and rigmarole. Does OK. As we’re wrapping up, I ask if he has any questions and he says, ‘Can I have the the blonde babe’s number?’ about a team member.
Image credits: AnnualAntics
The interview coach said that good recruiters will be gathering evidence and it will determine whether a candidate gets through the process. Taking the time to prepare for an interview is a good strategy as “it demonstrates you are genuinely interested in the job.”
There are lots of inappropriate things candidates could say during an interview. For example, “Anything discriminatory will not land a candidate the job” and “being negative about previous companies or managers is uncomfortable listening to.” Dawn suggests it’s always better to focus on positive learning points from your previous job experience.
Too much cologne/perfume. I have ended numerous interviews because of this.
I have had hiring managers end interviews early because they could not stand the stench. One time, the hiring manager had an asthma attack because of this. Guess what? The candidate did not get the job.
Image credits: Analytica0
Applicant said, ‘Does this place have a policy on drugs, because I have fun at the weekends?
Image credits: BeautifulFartCarrot
It was a handwritten resume that was just a list of the 10 places this gentleman had worked at over the last two years. Next to each one he wrote ‘fired’ or ‘quit.’
Image credits: mattheww19
All in all, having worked in human resources for twelve years, Dawn suggests not talking about any of one’s protected characteristics (“Age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation”).
The career coach added that a good recruiter will not be asking any questions relating to these characteristics, and if they do so, then it’s a red flag for you as a potential employee. It’s better to rethink whether the company is one you’d like to work for.
“What would your friends say are your best qualities?”
“I don’t have any friends.”
My time to shine! I used to do hiring for a small company in Lexington, Kentucky. Place wasn’t super formal but I would make it a point to tell people that if they came in for the interview it should be treated as such. We also had a lot of people come in from employment agencies.
Anyways call this applicant for an interview which she gladly accepts so I give her a time/date with what we need as a company (resume, list of references and last 28 years of addresses for a abuse background check)
She shows up 15 minutes late in what can be considered theoretically to be a dress…this thing was epic. It was a see through mesh dress with neon pink bra, underwear and 5 inch heels. On top of that she had waist length blonde braids.
Being that there is a barely dressed woman waiting for me in the reception area I ask the owner of the company to sit in for interview…didn’t want anything to be misconstrued. Lady sits down and we do the interview. I explain to her what we did as a company and our mission statement (we provided services for individuals with ID/DD). After i explain this to her she gets this look on her face and said “ I am not working as an ass wiper for no retards”.
At this point the interview is over and she is definitely not who we are going to hire. After she left I moved the chair she sat on to an empty office across the hall
I once interviewed a guy who was unbelievably high. A few minutes in, he stops and stare out the window and says “Hey is that my car? I think someone is stealing my car. Oh wait, no, there’s a boat on that one. I don’t have a boat.” Job offers are contingent on passing a drug test.
At the end of the day, we are all humans and it’s natural to make mistakes. Remember that a future opportunity in the same company may pop up anytime, so it’s better to part on good terms and have left a good impression on the interviewer. Who knows, maybe you’ll be a part of their team one day.
Kid shows up in an interview for a sales job in a Metallica raglan with a dagger coming out of a toilet. His shirt says, ‘Metal up your ass!’
Image credits: punkwalrus
I’m a manager at a popular 24-hour restaurant chain in the South. I had a younger guy come in for an interview, who had some decent experience and was very polite over the phone, but when he showed up I immediately knew we wouldn’t be hiring him. He came in to the restaurant with no shoes or shirt on.
Image credits: Vesuvious_Boi
I was good friends with our local HR person at previous job. We’re talking about a promising prospect, she asks if I have time to help by asking the technical questions, I agree.
We sit down with a rather clean-cut late 20-something guy. Before we even get started, he says, “Just to get this out of the way: I smoke a lot of pot. Is that going to be an issue?”
HR lady: “Uh…yes. Yes, it is.”
Prospect: “Alrighty, then, sorry I wasted your time.”
And then he leaves.
“Will I be able to leave earlier when the time changes to get home before dark. My mom doesnt want me in the city then”
This was asked by a guy my old office was interviewing for a job. He was in his mid 20s.
Image credits: scott60561
Had these 2 happen from people asking about jobs.
Bragging how many times you been fired. The same place has fired you 41 times, not sure which of you looks worse.
Bragging about how much you stole from previous employer
I once sat in on an interviewer’s debrief for a large organisation where you need professional skills. They were open to recruiting internally for a new position at a higher level, so a few people already in the organisation at a slightly lower level applied and were interviewed that day.
One candidate performed so poorly in the interview and demonstrated such a severe lack of skill, not only did she not get the new position, they decided to have a private meeting about whether or not to fire her from the job she already had.
That was in my view, a really terrible interview.
I work in a financial institution: I had a person say that they cannot work more that 4 hours a day and only Monday, Wednesday and Friday. She did not want to interfere with her Welfare Benefits. She also asked what we do if there is cash missing at the end of a shift
A long time ago, I was a manager for GameStop. GameStop was very particular about the interview process. “Here’s a sheet, ask these questions”
I don’t work that way. I’ll get to this later though.
So I have a whole line of seasonal hires lined up. And I have one guy call me and say he’s going to be a little late. That’s fine, crap happens, minnesota’s weather sucks, I get it.
An hour passes, I have another potential hire come in for their scheduled interview. I take them in the back and the interview goes great. I walk out and there he is.
The only way I can describe this guy is hungover without taking a shower. I could smell the bar on him from across the store. I ask him “Can I help you?”
“Yeah I had an interview today, I’ve been waiting for 10 minutes.” “You had an interview at noon. I’ve been waiting for 60 minutes.”
I can already tell this is going to be a good time.
We head to the back and I sit down with him, getting slightly intoxicated on the smell of what I suspect is well tequila.
Me – “So why gamestop?”
Him – “I dunno, I like video games and stuff.”
Me – “Well not a requirement but it definitely helps.”
I’m still trying to keep a sunny attitude, because you never know, maybe this guy is a hidden gem of a person, just had a rough night. I never try to pretend I know what’s going on with someone. But I’ve already got quite a few red flags.
Him -“Yeah, I guess. When are you gonna ask the questions on the sheet?”
Me – “I’m sorry?”
Him – “The questions you’re supposed to ask me.”
Me – “I don’t interview that way. I want to get a feel for the type of person you are and questions like, ‘Tell me about a time you worked as part of a team.’ don’t really get me the information I need to know about you.”
Him – “Well that’s stupid. That’s not how you should interview people.”
So now I’m over the guy, but hell I deserve some fun.
Me – “How should I interview people then?”
Him – “The way GameStop says to do it.”
Me – “Well GameStop as a corporate entity doesn’t have to work with the people I hire on a daily basis. I like to have people that fit with my team. People who don’t call in that they’ll be a little late and then show up an hour later. People who don’t show up to a business where they work or intend to work smelling like the inside of some cheap tequila bottle.”
Him – “It wasn’t cheap tequila.”
Me – “Well, I’ve heard all I need to hear. I’ll call if we make the decision to hire you.”
He then proceeded to mumble some stuff under his breath before leaving the office. I have never had my employees run in to make sure I wasn’t dead so fast.
“Jesus, we thought he might have killed you.”
“He did. On the inside.”
Once had a guy come to interview at the software company I worked at wearing a “Female Body Inspector” shirt… that ended quickly.
Image credits: dimdog
He assumed he had the job during the interview, so he was very relaxed. Leaned back in the chair, showed up late, and texted the whole time.
Image credits: lfslshlps
Chewing gum – especially bubble gum – during the job interview.
I once had an applicant sit there chewing bubble gum. At first I thought it might be a “nervous habit,” but when he blew a bubble while I was referring to his resume, that did it.
Image credits: Back2Bach
Not inappropriate per se, but I got one resume that was about 4 pages long and literally listed every life accomplishment that this lady had.
1. “Reading, writing and arethmitic” (sic)
2. “Ability to hear and understand simple instruction”
3. Brown belt – Tae Kwon Do
4. Good cook
I’m not kidding. So I invited her in for an interview, because… I was really curious. She showed up forty minutes late at the wrong building (in a completely different town).
Was interviewing a potential bartender and offered her a water or coffee, she replies double vodka is fine.
I’m a manager for a fashion retailer with a big focus on jeans. As a general rule, what people wear to an interview will not cost them the job by itself, but it certainly sways opinion as to me it suggests they can’t read the vibe of where they are applying. I always recommend erring towards over dressed than under… last week I had someone come to an interview in a grubby hoodie and workout leggings, hair greasy looking, no makeup etc. She (unprompted, I don’t comment on how people are dressed) told me that she was told wearing jeans was a no no. Not a solid first impression… then in scenario questions she was snippy and rude, had a full on Karen moment, and used the word douche so… no, she wasn’t hired.
“So, what do I have to do for you to give me the job?”
Then they winked.
Then I laughed and he looked at me like I was insulting him laughing.
We had one lady who came in for an interview and urinated in the chair instead of asking if she could go to the bathroom. She said she was afraid to ask. Smh.
His cover letter was just a piece of paper that said ‘COVER LETTER’ on it.
Don’t hug the interviewer at the end. I know someone who actually did this.
Image credits: bsnyc
One applicant left our HR manager a message that he couldn’t make the proposed interview time because he was getting a haircut that day. He later called back and left another message stating he realized he probably needed a job more than the haircut. He was not called in for an interview.
Image credits: Rocketsponge
We were opening a new location and doing interviews. Woman comes in for a management position. During the interview, she reaches into her purse and pulls out a bag from Wendy’s and starts eating. The other manager tells her to put it away and she tells him it is okay, she can multi-task.
I’ve had a bunch!
I’ve had people bring their dogs with them to the interview, people faint, and someone leave a chair soaked with menstrual blood after their interview.
But my worst was last week – a woman brought her meth head boyfriend who made her leave early and proceeded to beat her outside our windows. We had to call the police. 😐
Not an HR Recruiter but done some interviewing. Best one was, when we got to the “have you got any questions for us” portion, candidate said “oh yeah!” then pulled out a book called “answering interview questions for dummies”, leafed through and went “ooo, here’s a good one!” and asked that. Can’t even remember what question candidate asked!
Image credits: VanillaVelvet
Our HR manager told me about a prospect he was interviewing for my location, and how everything was great until the end where they were just chatting and asking general “get to know you” questions. The guy started going in on his casual crack use, and how we shouldn’t worry because its just on weekends with his mates out on the lake and that we were invited…
Another tried to parley his years of running drugs up from Mexico and distributing them as management experience…
The worst candidates I had never made it to the interview stage. I had numerous persons sending me cover letters of three sentences (‘I apply to this-and-this position’, ‘I’m available for interview’, ‘call me for more info’) on note paper, written with pencil, with just their phone number on the bottom, no resume. They clearly just applied because they had to for benefits.
The worst interview must have been the guy who was so extremely nervous he was sweating like a pig, threw coffee over his own shirt, forgot most of his English (he was from Belarus) and completely blanked out with every question. I felt bad for the guy, but this was for a lead engineer position where he would have to have lots of customer meetings so we really couldn’t hire him.
I was hiring for a sales position at my company. The guy I was interviewing was going great and he was really good and knew his stuff. I mentally had a plan to call him the next day to offer him a job. As standard procedure, the last question I ask is “Did you have any questions?” to gain insight and also to obviously answer questions. The guy says “If I offer you a block of hash, will that give me an foot in the door?” The company has a strict no tolerance drug policy, so I said “no thanks” and tossed his resume and interview.
So I recently got to recruit for a position a lot higher than mine. I do project management, but without the title. Anyway I interviewed this lady with my boss, and this older just bombed the interview process. She came in dressed in a very casual wear(Like a muscle shirt with a logo, and yoga pants), and her hair kind of a mess. Okay no big deal, it’s kind of windy. As we walk to the room she starts asking me question like,” Do you like your job? What do you dislike? What’s base salary?” No biggie, she just wants to get some insight. Well once we sit down with my boss, the older lady starts to treat me like baby. (Now I’m fairly young compared to the others you see doing my job.) Her body language completely changed, and even her speech when talking to me. She turned her body to where I saw her shoulder/back. Even when I asked her questions she wouldn’t turn around, and would even interrupt me while I was asking questions. My boss took notice as well as to what was going on and would say “If you have any questions, lets try to hold it till the end.” After 30min of that we decided to end the interview and thank her for her time. As you can guess, she didn’t get a call back.
1. Woman shows up to a 1pm interview at 4:30pm with no apologies or excuses, we shredded her resume at that point and had to print a new copy. She seemed like she didn’t know which job she was applying for. Quickest and easiest “Thank you but no” interview I’ve had.
2. Dude shows up looking like he’s high and seems like the most shallow human being on earth, not in a vain meaning but in a way that there was ZERO depth to the guy. What you saw is what you got. Answered the question of “What were your responsibilities at your previous job?” With “I did stuff”. I gave every chance to the guy and tried to lead him into answering questions the best I could, but he was either stoned or plain old stupid.
I can tell you what one young woman did when I was a hiring manager. She had a perfectly positive phone interview for a business casual, sit-down sales type job with our non-profit, so we scheduled a time for her to come in.
I arrive in the lobby to find this young woman wearing a stained, oversized wifebeater t-shirt, a pair of yoga pants in what I can best describe as an Arizona iced-tea can fake desert Native American pattern, and crocs.
And literally the first words that came out of her mouth were, “I bet I don’t look anything like I sound on the phone, do I?”
I was so stunned, I just took her in for her interview with me and my boss. The interview lasted all of five minutes during which she displayed all the personality of a grilled cheese sandwich missing the cheese.
She was not hired.
I once had a girl come in and ask “so are any of the guys here single?” During the interview.
HR incident waiting to happen.
Had another dude show up with a bag of shopping. Like straight up had an Aldi bag with that’s night dinner in it.
One guy showed up in a tracksuit, stunk to high heaven of urine and BO and asked if he got the job would be be able to use the shower when he wanted (we didn’t have a shower).
Another girl showed up and rolled her eyes at basic interview questions and actually said in the interview that “a retard could answer that”.
And the best one – a dude showed up and said he thought the receptionist was hot and he would like to stick it in her arse. Aside from my surprise and disgust, I was really confused cos we didn’t have a a receptionist and asked who he meant. He pointed at a woman on the phone. She was the boss wife, and she was our senior recruitment agent. As in, the one who sifted his CV.
A guy once handed in a resume that said “when I fart it smells like Cinnabon”.
He placed his unlit half-smoked cigarette on my desk at the start of the interview.
Female coworker of mine who is an expert level firmware engineer interviewed a guy just this week for an entry level firmware position, and at the end of the interview (which was by phone, by the way) he asked, “Just between you and me, do you think we could get coffee or dinner sometime?”
Solid no, my dude. That’s how you completely disqualify yourself from getting hired.
When asked about his work ethic.. he scoffed and said “I work like a F’n beaver.” F Bomb drop in an interview not recommended.
Had a guy say “is a felony disqualifying?” I stated we had background check criteria and a 3rd party performs our checks. He says “ok but I’d like to tell you about mine, it was for sex with a minor but what happened was I slept with my wife’s younger sister and she was underage. So It was a mistake but not as bad as the charge sounds.” Holding my poker face during that was a stretch.
One guy asked “Are you guys all uptight with policies, like if I look at a girl’s ass am I going to get fired?”
Resumes and Interviews are comedy gold.
Remembered one more classic: I flew to Seattle to be on an interview panel. While grabbing a cup of coffee for the road, I heard a guy making noises in the breakfast area. I turned around with the rest of the folks in the lobby and proceeding to watch this guy in a suit puke all over his breakfast plate. Like it literally re-filled his plate. I scooted out of there to avoid any mercy puke on my part. Guess who rolls in as the first interview of the day… Could not get that image out of my head…
Full club attire (clothes and makeup) . I work in an office building for a healthcare company. Candidate had a super short, sparkly silver dress and 6 inch heels. I don’t know how she sat down without the dress ripping.
A very experienced career sales guy applied for a full time sales gig at our store, he came in about a week before his formal interview just to say hi amd introduce himself to the manager. He had arrived wearing a Hawaiian shirt, board shorts and thongs (flip flops for you filthy Americans) , as he had come in unannounced and it wasn’t formal yet this was fine. However the next week when he arrived for his formal interview he was dressed in the exact same outfit.
I just couldn’t believe it, we weren’t sure if he was just that confident that he would be hired because of his experience, or whether he legitimately didn’t give a f**k. This guys interview lasted all of about 5 min, he did not get hired and instead we hired a 23 year old with zero sales experience who actually worked out great.
Listen, I get it, I smoke plenty of pot — in my off time. But don’t come in to work smelling like you just finished smoking a blunt in the parking lot.
Work starts at 8 a.m. Guy asks, ‘How about you make an exception for me and let me start around 10?
The candidate hit my car in the parking lot.
Are you single? Actual question from a candidate.
I had had several jobs before my first actual interview but my first interview was for a job selling hot dogs. I was asked what my biggest weaknesses were and stupid teenage me listed actual weaknesses like being lazy and not really caring about anything. I wasn’t very smart back then.
I didn’t get the job but found an article in some magazine(this was before the internet was used by regular people) shortly after that that gave me the right answers to that question.
I was a director at a company and was asked to interview an applicant who I had worked with at a previous company. The last time I saw him, security was escorting him from the building because he had listed one of the co-founders as a reference on an application to moonlight for our direct competition. Co-founder got a call asking “Does this guy work for you?” to which the answer, naturally, was “Not anymore.”
We found out he had been freelancing as a consultant for quite some time around our industry, which is just leaps and bounds outside the terms of his employee agreement. All his access was immediately revoked, his phone and laptop were confiscated, and his personal belongings from his desk were mailed to him after we finished the security review. Not sure if the company pursued litigation, but they would have had a case.
So naturally, I tell my boss at the new company that he’s untrustworthy, and point out that he lists the consulting on his resume as a current position along with another full-time gig that he’s leaving, so he’s not even being discreet about it. Boss asks me to interview him anyway because “his skill set looks good.”
In the interview, I brought up that had two current jobs, and asked him how much time he was spending on the consulting, and whether that would impact his full-time work. He dodged by saying to me “It hasn’t ever been a problem in the past.” I was just blown away. Like, I was there, dude. I was the one who revoked your access.
He didn’t get the job.
I know someone who even before the interview, they knew they wanted to hire him. His grades were awesome and he’d done an intern year there already.
The technical interview and group exercises went really well. Then they had tours of the place with the current graduates. During that time he went to casual, asking about the girls that worked there, what kind of action he’d get etc. If he’d asked about the social side of things itd be fine, but he was being a bit too crass about it.
He did not get the job.
Ok, for context, our office was in midtown Manhattan. The subway station is literally inside our building, where you don’t need to go outside to get in. Dude lives in Queens, so he is obviously taking the subway in. Also as everyone knows in NYC, at the first sign of a sprinkle, ubiquoutous 3 dollar umbrellas stands open on every street corner and subway station.
He shows up dripping wet. Like, not caught in a rain shower, like, fell in a pool and did a few laps wet. Now in what little defense i can offer this guy, it was raining, but like, a light shower. Not a downpour or anything close to what it would have taken this guy to get as wet as he was. I really can’t over state how soaked this dude was. I could try and get as wet as him in the rain we were having, and wouldn’t come close.
So the receptionist calls me, and is kind of giggling, and is like, “Hey, uhh…line…..you have a john smith here for an…..interview….i started him on the papers….but uhh…yeah just come down…”
Because normal process was she would give him some papers that would take like 10 minutes to fill out, and then ring me when he was done.
So i go down there, and well, wet dude. uhh…ok….
He is otherwise appropriately dressed for a office environment. Suit, bag for his (assumingly wet) papers, etc.
I tell him he can work on the papers afterwards, and bring him into my office, because i really don’t want to wait to get to the bottom of this.
Guy sits down, with an audible squish which catches me off guard, and i’m “uhh….so…..raining out huh…” “Yeah” “Seems like you got caught in it…” “Yeah….” “Like….no umbrella?” “No” “Is it really raining that hard out there?” “Not really” “Well….you are making my chair soggy…” “oh…sorry….should i stand?” “What…no….so like, did you take the train in?” “Yeah….” “but then….how did you get so wet…” “Well its raining a bit outside….”
It quickly devolved into a panel interview which was just us trying to figure out how he got so wet. We brought people in who wouldn’t normally be involved in the process just to see the wet dude. I think we might have asked a total of 2 questions about actual job qualifications, and that was only as an afterthought.
To this day, 10 years later, i still lay away at night wondering what the hell happened to that guy. I tried to make the case to my boss to hire him just so we could maybe one day know. “You only want to hire him to find out how he got so wet….and to see what other s**t he does…no”
Our best guess is he michael scotted into some fountain or something, but again, there wasn’t one in our building, and we couldn’t figure out where he would have done it along his way.
Had a business building race cars.
Kid comes in for an interview. Didn’t really know him, but all the local street racers spoke highly of him, and he had a pretty fast car.
Notice he’s wearing an ankle monitor. Don’t really care. I’m all for giving people second chances.
Asked him what he was on probation for.
Grand theft auto.
Noped my way outta that one pretty quick.
Some guy we interviewed for an entry-level assistant position said he’d have my job and my boss’ job by the end of his first year. We were tempted to hire him for the entertainment value of watching him try.
I had a guy tell me that the way we run our business is completely wrong and it’s no wonder we’re not leading the market.
He told me he had so many ideas that will help put us back on top.
This was for an entry level reporting role in a very large multi-billion dollar company.
(it should be noted that in his 10 years of work experience he had not had a single job more than 8 months)
I’m the only girl in my department. Had a candidate come in, breezed through the technical interview, and then it was time for the peer interview with me to make sure he would fit the team. He shook my hand and then expressed surprised that they let secretaries interview people for an IT position.
For a software engineer position we asked the candidate to identify any algorithms he was familiar with and how he had used them in the past. He said he didn’t know what the word “algorithm” meant and went on a rant about how he likes playing games with grids (like D&D).
Another interview we asked someone several basic coding questions and every question was avoided with a story about their previous job as a stocker. Each question was more basic than the last just to see if he was even listening to us. He wasn’t (I guess).
My company pays all the bills for a candidate to come interview, tickets, hotel, car, meals, etc.
We had a candidate who asked “what is the absolute maximum I can charge for a meal?” and could he “charge us for a friends meal?” He was also rude to our administrative assistant. Our AA was a lady that literally oozed warmth and caring. She’s the kind of lady that the devil himself could meet and say, “You know what, that’s really a nice lady! I like her!”
We declined to hire him because we didn’t want anybody looking to game the system looking for to pay for friends, and certainly we didn’t want people who could not get along with our AA.
I had a guy nearly flip a forklift during his working interview.
I am a recruiter who works in a recruitment firm. I have been doing this for about 6 years and have seen some and been around some amazing stories. Here are some of the highlights.
IT project manager: Please keep in mind that this candidate had already passed a skills test with flying colors and his resume has amazing experience exactly what we were looking for. The interview was a rubber stamp. At the interview he man was dressed like a homeless person and smelled like he was rotting from the inside out. Interview rooms at an agency like mine are small and we have many of them. This smell emptied out the entire area and had people reschedule their interviews to Starbucks or for other days. It was like a mixture of feet, hot week old diapers and vomit.
Sales manager: This guy is currently employed but wants to make a move. I had head hunted him out of his current job and was looking to move him to a competitor with a larger sales staff for more money. He wanted to interview early in the morning prior to his work day and that was no problem so I met him at my office at 8:00. The issue was he had driven in but was fall down drunk. Like just finished a 26 of rye for breakfast in the elevator up. He was actually getting drunker as I talked to him.
These are just some of the standouts. I’ve been insulted and belittled, prepositioned and attempted to be bribed by candidates. There is a saying in recruitment. You have to kiss a lot of frogs.
Do not, do not do not be disrespectful to anyone. Especially not the non-white non-male interviewers. Or the receptionist or your HR contact.
All this stuff is noted and will affect whether you are hired.
I’ve interviewed people alongside a male colleague. Some people don’t react well to a small brown girl when there’s a white or Asian man alongside. They choose to maintain eye contact only with him. When I ask a question, they direct the answer to him. When I’m indicating their answer is wrong, they look at the guy with a ‘she’s crazy right? Let’s both tell her how wrong she is’ look. Never mind that the guy is usually a first timer shadowing me.
I’ve seen male chauvinists really disrupt the vibe of a team when they treat the girls badly and it forces people to pick sides. I prefer not to hire people who might mess up what I’ve worked hard to build, and who might have issues with my authority.
Had an older gentleman show up drunk to the interview and the first thing he told me is that he was a veteran.
I asked to see his drivers license because in Oklahoma you can get your veteran status on it. He said he never bothered to do that, which is fine, that could happen.
I then told him he was drunk and ask why I should hire someone that shows up drunk to an interview?
That is when he went into an explanation about him being drunk was because of the police. They arrested him years back and he got injured during the arrest. The injury caused him to have to drink to manage the pain.
So I hired him!!
P.S. I didn’t hire him.
Part of our interview process is a quick tutorial on making a basic product(s) – which will initially form most of their day (should they be hired), and they’ll advance onto more difficult products over time. We’re very upfront about this, put it on all the application forms, remind people when we phone to offer interviews.
One haughty young lady “I’m not doing that, I could damage my nails”. When I ask if she realises this is what she’d be doing as her daily job, she then accuses me of wasting her time, and promptly walks out. She then reported us to the 3rd party job site for lying about the job on offer. It literally said “Production Assistant” and explained the role pretty clearly.
Another lady claimed she had “years of experience in the field”, and she talked a good talk. So, take her to the Production area & pass her to one of the team for the tutorial. I don’t stay as interviews are stressful enough without being watched over. About 10 mins later, I get a phone call from Production. She criticised, quite loudly, every single step she was shown, so they wanted to know what I wanted to do. I told Production to give her the components and tell her to make it however she was wanted to (after all, it could be an improvement to our method). The end product she made was absolute crap. Then when I rejected her a few days later, she informs me she’ll be praying for our business to fail (and some less pleasant things…)
Yet another lady with “Years of Experience” was offended that we’d asked her to make a basic product. Production calls me, I come back over to their unit. Candidate “was clearly so far advanced, she could do the hardest job. Why, she’d be the Production Manager within the year”. Have a word with the real PM, we decide to have a little fun as it’s a slow day & she’s been a total b**** for Production. So, we say we’ll show her the most advanced product we make. She smiles. PM just starts talking a combination of real stuff & fictional stuff. No demo, just straight up talking with vague hand gestures, with some of the materials & an example end product on display. One particular comment from the PM as an example “You’ll need to take the duck billed quazzler & place it under the sewing needle which curves the stitch evenly.” Candidate with a deflated look just admits she has no idea what PM just said, & just leaves.
A young lad comes in (unusual for the profession, but I don’t care. Whoever is best is all I care about). Go through the niceties & rigmarole. Goes through to Production, makes an okay product for someone lacking in experience. Not an instant “no”. As we’re wrapping up, ask if he has any questions. “Can I have the the blonde babe’s number?”
One candidate was an exceptionally large woman. As in we had to move a small settee so she could sit down for the interview as an ordinary chair just simply wouldn’t do. She doesn’t do particularly well at the interview (Came across rude & a little arrogant) but always go to Production because some people stress under interviews and they might be good at the role. She couldn’t fit through the ordinary door, so we had to go to our delivery door as it was the only thing wide enough. She shown the process but is unable to do it. Her fingers aren’t dexterous enough for the job, and she couldn’t even use tools. Like her hand was too fat to fit through big fabric scissors, she couldn’t grip other tools. She complained the entire time she was on her feet. We’d put in the description that there would be a lot of movement between areas. She’d assumed we’d just hire her “Because I’m clearly an excellent choice” & we’d change our entire Production unit to accommodate her & her capabilities. No dice.
And my personal favourite, had one candidate be exceptionally up front. “I don’t want this job, I don’t even want to be here, but my mother forced me to apply. She’s sitting outside right now in the car, so can I just stay here for like an hour? I’ll do any little odd jobs like
Worked as a manager for a small company. I did preliminary interviews. Guy shows up in jeans and a plain white t shirt, an hour early to the interview. There’s no chairs in the tiny front office so he has to stand there awkwardly while other applicants come and go. Finally, as I call him to the back office, I notice that he’s got a pair of boobs tattooed on the side of his neck.
I know this interview is going to go nowhere; my district manager isn’t going to hire a guy with bare breasts on his neck, but I have to do the interview anyway. He proceeds to interrupt me every other sentence as I’m explaining the job duties and expectations, because he has a friend in the same industry and knew all about it. His answers to my interview questions ramble on without pause for me to cut in. The interview lasts twice as long as any of the others that day, and I even skipped some of the questions.
I couldn’t stop staring at his tits.
“I need this job I can’t get on a lot of places because I can’t pass a drug test”
I have heard this line.
Unusual one (imo) My wife interviews a lot of people for therapy roles or varying types. There’s usually a group interview after the initial ones and all the coworkers said they wouldn’t hire a woman because of her shoes. The candidate had Louis Vuitton shoes on.
The reasons they gave were: “she probably wants too much money, not she like even needs the job, and perceived her as a person they wouldn’t get along with”. She ultimately didn’t get past the first interview.
I asked my wife about it and she said she didn’t even notice what she had on her feet. She didn’t hire her because her experience was with adults and not children.
His beat headphones over his neck. I don’t know if it counts though because there were many other reasons also including 3 f bombs to start the interview.
Not an interview, but…I worked for a video webcast company and we hired freelancers to operate our cameras sometimes when we were short staffed. The rule is that you wear all black so you blend into the background. Freelancer showed up in a tie dye sweatshirt and cargo shorts. He ended up operating a camera right next to the head of the bioethics committee that reports directly to the President. Not only did we not ever hire him again, the client asked us to never bring him back.
I was working for a concessionaire for a MLB team where we do a mass hiring event before the season starts. This man came into the waiting room in street clothes, asked to go to the restroom, and changed into a Halloween-style pimp suit. This included a hat and a cane.
I’ve had candidates bomb out of interviews for various reasons, but only one that killed her candidacy by being poorly dressed. Coworker, Pete, knows I’m hiring and tells me all about Jean. I need to hire Jean. Jean is the best. Jean’s CV puts her in the middle of the pack, so we ask her to come in for an interview.
Jean is wearing a beach coverup and a skirt, over a swimsuit. Jean has fingercombed her hair out, at best. She is wearing heels. At the time, our office only allowed jeans on Fridays, and required collared shirts on men every day. Apparently she felt that her friendship with Pete gave her a leg up, so she didn’t bother. She was not hired.
I served on a committee to hire a new church secretary/parish office manager.
The applicant arrived wearing a heavily sequined blouse, bright pink “miniskirt,” and matching bright pink high heels, studded with rhinestones.
The pastor took one gander at her and made “the sign of the cross” – sending a clear signal that she wouldn’t make an appropriate choice for a church position.
I’m a recruiter for a certain university, and we do mini-interviews when we collect resumes, to know what pile to put people in.
One guy asked me “I’m not planning on staying at one job very long. What are some of the skills that _____ can teach me that will make me appealing to other companies?”
Most mind blowing interview I ever note took went something like this
Interviewer: Right well we’re going to start with 6 standardised questions. Take your time and think about your answer. Tell us about a time when you exceeded in the workplace, what results did you get and how did you achieve them?
Our Hero: thinks for about 5 seconds … pass
Turned up late and swore at the receptionist
True story: I was sitting outside of an interview room with several candidates for the same job, all of us waiting our turn. The guy beside me pulled out a noisy plastic packet of peanut butter crackers and started to have a snack. Shortly after that his name was called for his interview. He stood up, and without missing a beat continued to munch on the crackers as he walked into the interview room.
I work in HR as an assistant and the worst one I remember so far was this guy who felt he deserved a job. It was a warehouse job that paid good for hard work. After his initial interview where he was rude to both my managers and the warehouse managers in saying things like he could do it better than they were and they were hiring bad people, he didn’t get the offer. Our method then was that we call you within a day if you were to be offered a job. After a week, he called and wanted to know why we didn’t offer him a job and said that we’d be lucky if we had him. Said that he was waaay overqualified for the job and that we were being unfair to him as he has to support his 2 kids. Said he would drive his expensive pickup truck up to our company and stay until we came out to him in his truck and explained why we didn’t hire him. Yeah…
The interview went very well, we hired that young woman as an office assistant. On the 2nd day of the job she asked for 75% raise and if she can get some freelance work at the place she already works at. That was her last day. So glad she was on a trial period.