The internet is full of good advice for what you should and should not do during a job interview.
But there are some situations even the most rigorous research won’t prepare you for.
People on Quora recently discussed the question, “What is the most bizarre job interview you have ever been party to?“
While the stories people told might not provide a lot of insight for your next job interview, many of them are simply too good not to share.
Here’s a sampling of the craziness that befell these unfortunate interviewers and interviewees:
1. Strip, please.
Quora user Sami Thompson’s interview for a receptionist position was going pretty well, at least until the interviewer asked her to take off her clothes. It was then that she realised she was interviewing for a receptionist job at a strip club.
“Needless to say, I expressed my regrets, plucked my application form from [the strip club owner’s] hands, and we both had a good laugh as I hastily retreated to my car with the reddest face on the planet,” Thompson recalled.
2. No guests allowed.
Bennett McEwan was interviewing recent grads for a healthcare analyst job at Unisys when one of the candidates arrived with a very special guest in tow: her mother.
McEwan reports that the prospective hire barely said a word, instead deferring to her mother. Among other demands, the mother said Unisys would have to pay for an additional hotel room whenever her daughter had to travel because “I accompany my daughter everywhere.”
Needless to say, neither the mother nor the daughter left with a job offer that day.
3. The opposite of flattery.
Video-game industry veteran and Quora user Chris Charla was interviewing a job candidate and asked which video game consoles she liked to play.
“I’ve owned every game system since the Super Nintendo except PSP,” the candidate replied. “I was excited for it and then I played ‘Death, Jr.’ and I hated that game so much I decided the system sucked.”
The problem? Charla was one of the primary creators of “Death, Jr.”
Fortunately for the candidate, Charla didn’t hold it against her.
“She got the job because a) she was the best qualified candidate, b) I’m not vindictive and c) her graceful recovery from an embarrassing moment demonstrated effectively that she did well in high-pressure situations,” Charla wrote.
4. A job interview that turned into a date.
Leitha Matz was interviewing to be a copywriter for an older businessman when it became increasingly clear that the man was looking for more than just a new employee. The two-day interview included dinner, drinks, several rides in a fancy car, and a hike to a romantic vista before the man revealed that he wanted to marry her.
After an unwanted kiss, Matz politely told the man she didn’t want to be his wife — or his copywriter.
5. A date that turned into a job interview
An anonymous Quora user responded to a personal ad on Craigslist to go to a sex club with another man. On the way there, his date revealed that he was the founder of a web company, a perfect fit for the unemployed Quora user’s software skills.
One thing led to another, and Anonymous had himself a new job by the end of the evening.
“It’s my favourite job I’ve had so far; I kinda feel like I could do this for the rest of my life,” he wrote.
Quora user Lee Ballentine had the perfect opportunity to prove his toughness to the CEO of a Silicon Valley company who had previously served in the Israeli army. Midway through the interview, an earthquake erupted.
But while others scrambled for the exits, both Ballentine and the CEO continued through the interview as if nothing was wrong.
“I decided that if the CEO could take it, so could I,” Ballentine wrote. “We kept right on talking until we were the only two people left in the building.”
The rest of the people in the office returned about a half hour later. Several days after that, Ballentine had a job offer.
7. Whose dog is it anyway?
Venture capitalist Murli Ravi tells the story of a friend who was interviewing candidates for a mid-level position at his company when one of the job applicants walked in with a golden retriever.
Ravi’s friend said the interview was pretty normal, with the only exception being that the dog spent most of it lying under a table, only to leave the room with the interview still in progress.
At the end, Ravi’s friend couldn’t help but ask the candidate why he decided to bring a dog to the job interview.
The candidate’s response: “My dog? I thought it was your dog! I wanted to ask you the same question!”
It turns out the dog had walked in off the street.
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