HR Strange But True!
March 20, 2008

You folks are the best. Last week we wrote about a list of top job interview blunders and asked you to share some of your own experiences. Once again you came through--in spades.

We received too many gems to display them all today, so we're putting the rest in our Rainy Day Vault for future use. Without further ado, let's break out the bullets:

Phone Calls that Could Have Waited
  • "I had an applicant go through a drive-thru and place an order while she was on the phone with me during a phone screening."
  • "A person left a voice message asking if we had any employment opportunities for him with our company. I could hear him tinkle and then flush the toilet while he was leaving the message. I wanted to wash my ears after listening to his message."
Maybe Not the Right Job for You?
  • "A job candidate who was asked what he liked least about accounting said, 'The numbers. I really hate working with numbers.'"
  • "A candidate arrived to interview for a management job at a Blenz Coffee shop while drinking a fresh coffee purchased down the street at a Tim Hortons Coffee shop."
  • "We had an applicant interview for a receptionist position. One of the questions asked was what the candidate liked least in their last position. The candidate without hesitation said, 'I hated answering the phone.'"
  • "Several people that I interviewed for a bartending job, when asked to describe their experience as a bartender, said that they were very good at drinking so that is why they could be a bartender. They did not get the job."
  • Reader Kara wrote to say, "While interviewing an applicant, I had asked the question, 'Where do you see yourself in 5 years?' The applicant answered, 'The CEO of a bank.' He was applying for an assistant's position at the corporate office of a shoe company...."
Talk About Your Flexible Schedules
  • "When discussing schedules, a candidate said that she didn't like to be tied down to a schedule and found it too constricting to have to be at a certain place at a certain time."
  • Reader Nancy wrote to say, "A candidate asked how many vacation and sick days a year she would get, because her kids were always sick and she would be taking off to care for them a lot."
That First Impression
  • "One job candidate came in accompanied by a woman with hair curlers and fuzzy house shoes. She started filling out his application for him and there was, apparently, some disagreement about what she should write down. This escalated into a near melee with the applicant jumping up, knocking over the desk, grabbing the woman by her hair curlers and drawing back on her. Luckily, several burly male employees came running when they heard the ruckus and prevented him from actually striking her. Needless to say, he was not considered for the job opening."
  • Reader Anita almost got an eyeful: "A young man applied for a position with my prior employer. When he arrived for his interview, he was dressed with low slung long shorts and a long shirt. After the interview, he got up to leave my office and his shorts fell down! Thank goodness for long shirts...."
  • "A gentleman I was interviewing for a customer service position was so nervous he peed in the chair, ran out of my office and out of the building. Needless to say, I did not hear back from him."
'Um, hello?'
  • "When asked what his number one accomplishment thus far has been, the candidate hesitated. He then responded, 'I guess it would be my 23 bug tattoos.' He proceeded to stand up and remove his shirt to show me his entire back covered in bug tattoos (with their Latin names underneath each one). I was so stunned I couldn't speak!"
  • "Keeping a basket of candy on my desk, I always ask the candidates if they would like a piece of candy. One candidate took the basket and proceeded to take handfuls and stuff his pockets."
  • "In the interview the applicant took out a piece of paper, folded it into a paper airplane and flew it around the room. Believe it or not, he also asked each of the interviewers if they wanted to arm wrestle him. Needless to say, he did not get the job."
  • Reader Chris wrote about an interview she experienced 15 years ago: "I wore my hair in a bun on top of my head then, as I do now. The candidate was interviewing for an engineering position. Right at the beginning of the interview the candidate said, 'Can I ask you a personal question?' I was naturally wary and said, 'I don't think that would be appropriate.' He then blurted out, 'I just have to ask. How long is your hair? Your's must be very long. I just love long hair!' Mr. Personal didn't get the job either."

There. Now wasn't that fun? (It certainly was for us.) What do you say we change things up a bit and look at the other end of the spectrum. We are inviting you to send us strange happenings having to do with terminations (leading up to, during, or after).

Source: Our true-blue readers

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