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:
1. Said he was so well-qualified [that] if he didn't get the job, it would
prove that the company's management was incompetent.
2. Stretched out on the floor to fill out the job application.
3. Brought her large dog to the interview.
4. Chewed bubble gum and constantly blew bubbles.
5. Candidate kept giggling through serious interview.
6. She wore a Walkman and said she could listen to me and the music at the
7. Balding candidate abruptly excused himself. Returned to office a few
minutes later, wearing a hairpiece.
8. Applicant challenged interviewer to arm wrestle.
9. Asked to see interviewer's resume to see if the personnel executive was
qualified to judge the candidate.
10. Announced she hadn't had lunch and proceeded to eat a hamburger and
french fries in the interviewer's office.
11. Without saying a word, candidate stood up and walked out during the
middle of the interview.
12. Man wore jogging suit to interview for position as financial vice
13. Said if he were hired, he would demonstrate his loyalty by having the
corporate logo tattooed on his forearm.
14. Interrupted to phone his therapist for advice on answering specific
15. Wouldn't get out of the chair until I would hire him. I had to call the
16. When I asked him about his hobbies, he stood up and started tap dancing
around my office.
17. Had a little pinball game and challenged me to play with him.
18. 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.
19. Took a brush out of my purse, brushed his hair and left.
20. Pulled out a Polaroid camera and snapped a flash picture of me. Said he
collected photos of everyone who interviewed him.
21. Candidate asked me if I would put on a suit jacket to insure that the
offer was formal.
22. Said he wasn't interested because the position paid too much.
23. 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
24. 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.
25. 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, "l 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.
26. An applicant came in wearing only one shoe. She explained that the other
shoe was stolen off her foot in the bus.
27. His attache' opened when he picked it up and the contents spilled,
revealing ladies' undergarments and assorted makeup and perfume.
28. 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.
29. 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.
30. Candidate said he really didn't want to get a job, but the unemployment
office needed proof that he was looking for one.
31. He whistled when the interviewer was talking.
32. 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.
33. She threw-up on my desk, and immediately started asking questions about
the job, like nothing had happened.
34. 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.
35. Asked if I wanted some cocaine before starting the interview.