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Strange Job Interview Behaviour

Most managers and supervisors (and HR people) have had experiences interviewing candidates for job openings. I'm sure each of you has, at one time or another, been baffled by interviewee behaviour, but we're betting you haven't faced some of the behaviours that we list below. Certainly head-scratchers, and amusing (at least to read about). Strange but true.

Based on a survey published via the Internet, here are some of the odd things reported by HR professionals.

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 same time."

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 president."

13. "Stated that, 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 interview questions."

15. "... wouldn't get out of the chair until I would hire him. I had to call the police."

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

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, "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."

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 [case] 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."
I have done number 30.

I had a job (my current one) arranged but couldn't start for another 2 months (security clearance needed doing for the 6th time) but the job centre refused to pay me unless I was looking for a job as it was 'job seekers' allowance. So i went to an interview and when i was asked why i was interested in the job I told them....I wasn't but I had to turn up otherwise they would chop my benefits and I needed the cash till I started my proper job in 2 months time.

They weren't impressed, but as I said to them I could have lied and then they'd have been even less impressed if they had offered me the job.

Jones_the_4Tonner said:
I have done number 30.

So i went to an interview and when i was asked why i was interested in the job I told them....I wasn't but I had to turn up otherwise they would chop my benefits and I needed the cash till I started my proper job in 2 months time.

They weren't impressed, but as I said to them I could have lied and then they'd have been even less impressed if they had offered me the job.
I wouldn't advise people to try this. Actually the rule for JSA is "actively seeking work" so if this company had told the dole office (some do) you'd have had your money stopped anyway. If you really want, just get the appn forms for jobs and keep details of those you've applied for. That's proof you're trying.

If you do get an interview, turning up in scruff order, crap answers, etc. will
suffice to keep you from a job offer and you won't have incriminated yourself.
yeah, done similar to 30 also, again waiting for the army to get its act together, so i had to go on a full time electronics course to keep me in 25p noodles and white lightning.

in this case however, the instructor was entirely unbothered by my lack of enthusiasm (or attendance for that matter) as his company were recieving big $$$ from the state for my rehabilitation.

another laudable goverment initiative there then...

yet now i look back on it, i was wasting government money then, and im wasting government money now. the only real difference being that im able to blast well over a grand a month of it on guinness, wifebeater, tax free cars, and decent curryhouses.
interesting joobs, im thinking 'spud' from trainspotting tactics.

yet, we're in the 'jobs for life now matter how incompetent' club chaps, i dont think any of us will be visiting the unemployment service again.

except perhaps as crusty and bitter WO's whos are so instituionalised we are unemployable. but in that case, theres always something going in the RQ dept for ignorant types who cant let go isnt there?

heh heh. public service has its merits.
A friend (I would say that wouldn't I?) being interviewed for sales job:

Interviewer throws him a towel and says, "Sell me that towel."

My friend (honestly, it wasn't me - I wish it had been) pours a jug of drinking water over the interviewer and says, "Do you want to buy a towel?"

For some reason he didn't get the job; although I'm pretty sure he sold the towel :lol:
Summer 1976, ok I know I am an old man, between jobs, me and my bezzer signed onto an agency for outdoor work, kept sending us to factories, (it was 1976 and we had a manufactoring base then), simple solution. get bottle of whiskey swill mouth, breath on foreman, sent home days pay sitting in the sun, happened at least a dozen times before agency twigged, then moved onto next agency.
We had one IT contractor who brought in his 'stress relieving' juggling balls. Another contractor picked them up and did a few tricks, followed by another guy. "All contractors can juggle" we were told.

So at a later batch of interviews Terry Gobsworth-Major would do the serious techie stuff, Batty Betty did the touchy-feelie management bollocks, while I covered anything that came into my head as a result of what had gone before (especially anything I though they'd ducked or BS'ed).

At the end Batty Betty would offer to show them the view from the 15th floor (really, there are so many stories about her), but as they were taking their leave I'd ask "Oh, just one odd thing .... can you juggle?".

Catching them a little off their guard they were more themselves than during formal interview.

Among the replies.

"Yes" - workaholic
"No, but I'd like to learn" - he never did, but he was a good bloke
"Juggle what?" - didn't get the job
"Lager glasses - but the lager always falls into my throat". Perfectly true.
"Why do you ask?" - she was so far up her own arrse she had already talked herself out of the running anyway.


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From Wednesday's Telegraph:

Boss strips naked to interview woman
By Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent
(Filed: 15/06/2005)

An executive tried to liven up a dull day at the office by stripping naked to interview a 25-year-old woman, a court heard yesterday.

Travel insurance

Saeed Akbar, 35, said at first that it was part of his "tough interviewing technique" but later admitted that he was bored and wanted a "cheap thrill".

He asked the woman, who was applying for a translator's job, if she minded if they took their clothes off. When she refused, he left the room for a few minutes and returned naked, carrying only a clipboard.

He got dressed again when she objected to his behaviour and tried to resume the interview. But the woman fled the offices of Alpha Translating and Interpreting Services in Glasgow and reported him to the police.

Akbar, a father of one, escaped jail after the city's sheriff court heard that the incident had had a catastrophic effect on his life.

Sheriff Brian Lockhart said he had been sacked, his girlfriend had left him and his friends had deserted him.

Akbar, of Dunfermline, Fife, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to breach of the peace and was put on probation for three years. He was also placed on the sex offenders register.

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