We all know the standard things we should do on a job interview: show up on time, research in advance, prepare for possible questions, and make sure you have your own questions to ask the interviewer.
It may be more difficult, however, to know what not to do.
To know just how outrageous people can get on job interviews, we turned to staffing firm Robert Half, which for decades has asked its offices about the most extreme interview antics.
Here are some of the highlights:
The candidate with helicopter parents.
“After answering the first few questions, the candidate picked up his cell phone and called his parents to let them know the interview was going well.”
The candidate who was really into her looks.
“When told she would meet with another interviewer, the candidate said, ‘Wait just a minute.’ She then took out a large bag from her briefcase and proceeded to reapply her makeup and hairspray, all in the first interviewer’s office.”
The candidate who didn’t understand references.
“When the hiring manager called the candidate, she asked him to bring several copies of his resume and three references. He called back an hour before the interview and asked to reschedule, saying his references couldn’t come with him.”
The candidate who was too attached to her boyfriend.
“At the end of the interview, the candidate expressed her interest in getting the position, but only if her boyfriend liked the company and the hiring manager. She then said, ‘He’s waiting outside. Can I bring him in to say hello?’ “
The candidate who wasn’t prepared for the most common interview question.
“When asked why he wanted to work for the company, the applicant responded, ‘That’s a good question. I really haven’t given it much thought.'”
The candidate who called her current employer in front of her interviewer.
“After arriving for an early morning interview, the job seeker asked to use the hiring manager’s phone. She proceeded to fake a coughing fit as she called in sick to her boss.”
The candidate who ate breakfast during the interview.
“The candidate asked for an early morning interview. He showed up with a box of doughnuts and ate them during the meeting, saying this was the only time he’d have to eat breakfast before going to work.”
The candidate who bad-mouthed all managers.
“When asked by the hiring manager why she was leaving her current job, the applicant said, ‘My manager is a jerk. All managers are jerks.'”
The candidate who was uncomfortable talking about money.
“When asked what the candidate was currently earning, she replied, ‘I really don’t see how that is any of your business.'”
The candidate who brought his dog to the interview.
“The person got up to leave just a few minutes after the interview had begun, saying he left his dog in the car and needed to check on him.”
The candidate who wasn’t a good salesperson.
“When asked how the candidate would improve sales if hired for the position, he replied, ‘I’ll have to think about that and get back to you.’ He then stood up, walked out and never came back.
The candidate who lied on his resume.
“After being complimented on his choice of college and the GPA he achieved, the candidate replied, ‘I’m glad that got your attention. I didn’t really go there.'”
The candidate who couldn’t brave the cold weather.
“The company sent an employee to meet a prospective candidate at the airport. The applicant got off the plane, said it was far too cold to live and work in this city, and said he was taking a flight home. He never met the hiring manager.”
The candidate who loved the outdoors too much.
“The job seeker halted the conversation about work hours and the office environment, saying she didn’t like being confined to a building, but would consider taking the job if she could move her desk to the courtyard outside.”
The candidate who planned ahead of time about skipping work.
“In response to the hiring manager’s offer to answer questions about the position, the job seeker replied, ‘What happens if I wake up in the morning and don’t feel like going to work?'”
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