Interview Strangeness

Date Received: Thu, 26 Mar 1998


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: Somehow I keep seeing George Castanza ...


"... stretched out on the floor to fill out the job application."

"She wore a Walkman and said she could listen to me and the music at the same time."

"A balding candidate abruptly excused himself. Returned to office a few minutes later, wearing a hairpiece."

"... 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 - wiping the ketchup on her sleeve"

"Stated that, 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."

"When I asked him about his hobbies, he stood up and started tap dancing around my office."

"At the end of the interview, while I stood there dumbstruck, went through my purse, took out a brush, 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."

"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.

"His attache [case] opened when he picked it up and the contents spilled, revealing ladies' undergarments and assorted makeup and perfume."

"Candidate said he really didn't want to get a job, but the unemployment office needed proof that he was looking for one." Could it be VanderLay Industires?

"... 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."

"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."


Date Received: Monday, September 25, 2000

Something funny I noted on the LOTD in Dilbert: top 20 odd questions to be asked in a job interview.

Was interviewing for (Consulting) programming position. Manager interviewing me asked me if I knew how to drive a FORKLIFT! I DO know how to drive a forklift and told him so. Got the (programming) job! Go figure... --Ingle-bert

TRUE: INTERVIEWER: What would be your ideal job? ME: You mean anything? INT: Yes... ME: I'd like to find someone to pay me half a million each year to watch their beach house for 6 months...any other stupid questions? --Juno: and they still offered me the job!

College academic advisor - the guy I had class with 3 times a week since I started college, the guy who was my advisor for 4 years - asking me 'Um... what's your name and major again?' my final semester when I went in for advising --Faceless number...

'Do you know how to use a fire extinguisher?' Said by the fellow interviewing me as he handed me an extinguisher, while fire alarms and sprinklers had come on. I said I was a fast learner and followed him out to the fire. Not bad for an accountant! --I got the job

'If we hire you, would you be willing to stay as your current gender and agree not to have a sex change operation?' Made me wonder if this has been an ongoing problem for this company, and if so, WHY? --Way2cynical

True story - I was sitting in an interview and the interviewer asked if the company that I was leaving was hiring. I said yes, referred him and got the referral bonus that the company offered - then quit and took his old job! --strange-but-true-bert

In an interview for a job with 5x the salary than the one I had: 'So, do you think we can tempt you away from your current position?' --labmonkey - I'm outta here

Not in Job Interview, but applying for insurance. 'Have you committed arson in the last 30 days?' I, of course, answered, 'No, not in the last 30 days.' --LadyCoder

'We don't think you're right for this job, do you know anybody else we can interview instead?' --mikey

Can you go 8 hours without leaving your desk to go to the bathroom? (Well I guess so, but the cleaning people are not going to like emptying the trash can) --Stupid Question, Stupid answer.

True: No questions asked. Manager put feet up on desk, began telling how company worked and fell asleep! Got the job and promoted within a week. --Squidbert

Applying for a machinists position: 'How many words can you type?', replied 'all of them' --lathe-hand

True and nice for a change: Interviewer said in middle of interview 'Hey! Get in your car and follow me!' Drove me to the other end of town to met some guy in another company - Was hired at that place! --Farewell and thank you for all the fish!

Let's meet at my house on Saturday for a second interview. --I showed up with my husband.

Can you lift 50 lbs? (for a call centre job) ---Are the phones that heavy?

Want a beer? --I love this job!

TRUE: Are you a geek? --No Longer Amazed-bert

TRUE: 'What would I have to say to make you walk out of this interview?' --Nick

Five years ago, about three minutes in to the interview, interviewer fixes me with a piercing gaze and asks : 'So which Star Trek do you prefer - Old Series or Next Generation?' --Harlequin - in the nightmare interview from Hell

How about AFTER getting the job? My first day at Hell Inc., walked in to greet my clerk. Her first words were 'What exactly are YOUR qualifications?' They hadn't told me she was bitter (insane) because she hadn't been given my job.
--queen of the darned -followed by 2 yrs of stalking

On a interview for a computer programming job, I was asked if I knew Pascal. -- No, he died in 1662 - I did not get the job

"You've done well so far, but your answer to this next question is really all we look at. If half a chicken can lay half an egg in half an hour, how many pickles can a monkey with a wooden leg stomp?" -- I'm really not making this up-bert

Was asked: If you were an animal, what would you be and why? Since I didn't really want the job, I answered, rather sarcastically: An elephant, so I can crush anything in my path. Was praised for my go-get 'em attitude. -- Cubicle with a View

Well, if I were a tree, I guess I'd be an Oak. Tell me, do you get many trees working here? Were they hired in arboreal form, or did they achieve tree status while working here? -- And what psychology class did you flunk out of?

Would you be willing to convert to the Amish religion? They are our main customers and they buy more easily from one of their own' -- Sure, I'll also learn to speak Dutch if you want.

Prospective PHB asked me if I knew what the Company did. When I said yes, he said I was hired as he hadn't figured it out in 10 years. -- Why did I take this job-Bert

Q: Do you like writing technical documentation? A: How far behind is your engineering group in their technical documentation? -- Aliens4Reality

PHManager at truck stop: You know how to skin possum? -- Trapped in hick hell

'What are your mission-critical skill sets?' I wish I were making this up. I wish I hadn't taken that job. -- Sorry, I don't speak fluent potato-head.

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