Job Applicant Stories
We've all been interviewed for jobs. And, we've all spent most of those
interviews thinking about what not to do. Don't bite your nails. Don't
fidget. Don't interrupt. Don't belch. If we did any of the don'ts, we
knew we'd disqualify ourselves instantly. But some job applicants go
light years beyond this. We surveyed top personnel executives of 100
major American corporations and asked for stories of unusual behavior by
job applicants. The lowlights:
- Said he was so well-qualified [that] if he didn't get the job, it
would prove that the company's management was incompetent.
- Stretched out on the floor to fill out the job application.
- Brought her large dog to the interview.
- Chewed bubble gum and constantly blew bubbles.
- Candidate kept giggling through serious interview.
- She wore a Walkman and said she could listen to me and the music at the same time.
- Balding candidate abruptly excused himself. Returned to office a few minutes later, wearing a hairpiece.
- Applicant challenged interviewer to arm wrestle.
- Asked to see interviewer's resume to see if the personnel executive was qualified to judge the candidate.
- Announced she hadn't had lunch and proceeded to eat a hamburger and
french fries in the interviewer's office.
- Without saying a word, candidate stood up and walked out during the middle of the interview.
- Man wore jogging suit to interview for position as financial vice president.
- Said if he were hired, he would demonstrate his loyalty by having the corporate logo tattooed on his forearm.
- Interrupted to phone his therapist for advice on answering specific interview questions.
- Wouldn't get out of the chair until I would hire him. I had to call the police.
- When I asked him about his hobbies, he stood up and started tap dancing around my office.
- Had a little pinball game and challenged me to play with him.
- Bounced up and down on my carpet and told me I must be highly
thought of by the company because I was given such a thick carpet.
- Took a brush out of my purse, brushed his hair and left.
- Pulled out a Polaroid camera and snapped a flash picture of me.
Said he collected photos of everyone who interviewed him.
- Candidate asked me if I would put on a suit jacket to insure that the offer was formal.
- Said he wasn't interested because the position paid too much.
- While I was on a long-distance phone call, the applicant took out a
copy of Penthouse, and looked through the photos only, stopping longest
at the centerfold.
- During the interview, an alarm clock went off from the candidate's
brief case. He took it out, shut it off, apologized and said he had to
leave for another interview.
- A telephone call came in for the job applicant. It was from his
wife. His side of the conversation went like this: "Which company?
When do I start? What's the salary?" I said, "I assume you're
not interested in conducting the interview any further." He
promptly responded, "I am as long as you'll pay me more." I
didn't hire him, but later found out there was no other job offer. It
was a scam to get a higher offer.
- An applicant came in wearing only one shoe. She explained that the
other shoe was stolen off her foot in the bus.
- His attaché [case] opened when he picked it up and the contents
spilled, revealing ladies' undergarments and assorted makeup and
- He came to the interview with a moped and left it in the reception
area. He didn't want it to get stolen, and stated that he would require
indoor parking for the moped.
- He took off his right shoe and sock, removed a medicated foot powder
and dusted it on the foot and in the shoe. While he was putting back the
shoe and sock, he mentioned that he had to use the powder four times a
day, and this was the time.
- Candidate said he really didn't want to get a job, but the
unemployment office needed proof that he was looking for one.
- He whistled when the interviewer was talking.
- Asked if I wanted some cocaine before starting the interview.
- Asked who the lovely babe was, pointing to the picture on my desk.
When I said it was my wife, he asked if she was home now and wanted my
phone number. I called security.
- She threw-up on my desk, and immediately started asking questions
about the job, like nothing had happened.
- Pointing to a black case he carried into my office, he said that if
he was not hired, the bomb would go off. Disbelieving, I began to state
why he would never be hired and that I was going to call the police. He
then reached down to the case, flipped a switch and ran. No one was
injured, but I did need to get a new desk.
See also How Not to Get a Job.