Job interviews gone wild: 12 ridiculous examples

How about showing up for an interview dressed as a Boy Scout? That’s pretty weird.


This week, we shared some unusual advice for job interviews—tips that go beyond your usual, “Show up five minutes early.” In these cases, unusual is good; it’s a trait that helps jobseekers stand out from the crowd.

A new survey from CareerBuilder identified a number of occasions in which standing out from the crowd got weird.

The story didn’t explain what could go wrong. Don’t fret; CareerBuilder is all it.

The jobs site conducted a nationwide survey (by way of Harris Interactive) of more than 3,000 hiring and human resource manager. The respondents ranked the worst mistakes candidates make during interviews:

• Answering cell phone or texting: 77 percent
• Appearing disinterested: 75 percent
• Dressing inappropriately: 72 percent
• Appearing arrogant: 72 percent
• Talking negatively about current or previous employers: 67 percent
• Chewing gum: 63 percent

They also shared unusual interview experiences. Here are 12 examples:

1. Candidate brought a “how to interview” book with him to the interview.

2. Candidate asked, “What company is this again?”

3. Candidate put the interviewer on hold during a phone interview. When she came back on the line, she told the interviewer that she had a date set up for Friday. 4. When a candidate interviewing for a security position wasn’t hired on the spot, he painted graffiti on the building.

5. Candidate wore a Boy Scout uniform and never told interviewers why.

6. Candidate was arrested by federal authorities during the interview when the background check revealed the person had an outstanding warrant.

7. Candidate talked about promptness as one of her strengths after showing up ten minutes late.

8. On the way to the interview, the candidate passed, cut-off, and flipped his middle finger at the driver who happened to be the interviewer.

9. Candidate referred to himself in the third person.

10. Candidate took off his shoes during the interview.

11. Candidate asked for a sip of the interviewer’s coffee.

12. Candidate told the interviewer she wasn’t sure if the job offered was worth “starting the car for.”

Pretty ridiculous stuff. However, Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder, acknowledged that avoiding these outrageous mistakes is not usually the problem for most jobseekers. “It’s standing out from the crowd,” she said. In a positive way, of course, not by wearing a Boy Scout uniform.

Haefner recommended some tips, which you can read here. Also check out the PR Daily story on six pieces of advice for job interviews.

(via HR Communication)

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