How to Mess Up a Job Interview
Top personnel from 100 major American corporations were
asked for stories of unusual behavior by job applicants.
Some low-lights are below.
l " ...stretched out on the floor to fill out the job
l "She wore a Walkman and said she could listen to me
and music at the same time."
l "A balding candidate abruptly excused himself. He returned
to the office a few minutes later, wearing a hairpiece."
l " ...asked to see interviewer's resume to see if the personnel
executive was qualified to judge the candidate."
l "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."
l "Stated that, if he were hired, he would demonstrate his
loyalty by having the corporate logo tattooed on
l "Interrupted to phone his therapist for advice on answering
specific interview questions."
l "When asked him about his hobbies, he stood up and
started tap dancing around my office."
l " ...pulled out a Polaroid camera and snapped a flash picture
of me. He said he collected photos of everyone who
l "Said he wasn't interested because the position paid too much."
l "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."
l "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
l "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."
l "Candidate said he really didn't want to get a job,
but the unemployment office needed proof that
he was looking for one."
l " ...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."
l "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."