Did They Really Say That? : Funny Interview Stories

Once, when I was studying in Russia as an undergraduate, I overheard an interview being conducted in a small café. The interviewer, an American woman presumably working for a multinational company, was interviewing a Russian man. The interview was for a bilingual position, so half the questions were asked in Russian and half were in English. The woman asked the dreaded “What’s your biggest weakness” question. The man replied in broken English, “Well, I drink too much and I smoke too much. And I cheat on my wife sometimes.”

From where I was sitting, I could only see the interviewer’s face, and her jaw literally dropped. I could not help but start laughing. I guess you could chalk it up to the man’s poor command of the language, but that kind of honesty at an interview is obviously inappropriate, no matter where you’re from.

A survey conducted in 2008 by Monster , the world’s largest internet job search site and Development Dimensions International , a talent management company, asked hundreds of companies to list bizarre interview stories. The following are some notable accounts as told by hiring managers:

“[Candidate] 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.”

“[Candidate] stated that, if he were hired, he would demonstrate his loyalty by having the corporate logo tattooed on his forearm.”

“Candidate explained that her long-term goals were to replace the interviewer.”

“… [Candidate] wouldn’t get out of the chair until I would hire him. I had to call the police.”

“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.”

“…[Candidate] 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.”

“Applicant interrupted the interview to phone her therapist for advice on how to answer specific interview questions.”

“[Candidate said,] ‘I can’t work with women.’ (The interviewer was a woman).

“A job applicant challenged the interviewer to an arm wrestle.”

And the list goes on. So next time you think you’ve completely botched that interview or you feel that you blurted a silly answer to a question, think again. It could’ve been much worse.


This guest post is contributed by Katheryn Rivas, who writes on the topics of online universities . She welcomes your comments at her email Id: katherynrivas87@gmail.com .

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