Lighter side: Asleep in the interview and other HR horror stories

by Caitlin Nobes09 May 2014
Interviewing candidates might seem mundane and routine to most HR pros, but there are always candidates happy to shake up the status quo – and not always in a good way.

A new survey from CareerBuilder shows hiring managers make quick decisions about who to keep and who to show the door. Dealbreakers include arrogance, disinterest and being uninformed, but some candidates take their incompetency to a whole new level.

Here are the most memorable interview blunders:
  • Candidate asked interviewer out on a date;
  • Candidate ate a hard-boiled egg;
  • Candidate brought in a high school project because their mother thought the interviewer might want to look at it;
  • Candidate explained that they would prefer to work at another company but had not heard back from them yet, so they were applying to ours in the meantime;
  • Candidate fell asleep;
  • Candidate forgot who his current employer was;
  • Candidate untied his shoes, removed his socks, and rubbed his bare feet on the interviewer's desk;
  • Candidate said they wouldn't be able to work in the summer if it was sunny as they would be sailing; 
  • Candidate got up and paced around the office while interviewer remained seated.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve experienced in an interview?


  • by Paul 9/05/2014 11:34:26 AM

    I had a candidate who startling whistling while his gaze moved towards the window.

    I asked "Am I boring you?" and he replied "Yes, I don't know why you are interviewing me, you know I am right for this role."

  • by Vera 9/05/2014 12:26:17 PM

    The oddest one for me was a candidate who couldn't remember her date of birth. She was so nervous, and because that question was not expected, she had a mental blackout. She actually had to get out her drivers' licence to make sure she had given the correct date.

  • by Jo 12/05/2014 12:52:56 PM

    The oddest one for me was one my my first interviews: the candidate kept repeating everything I said in a high pitched squeak before answering my questions in his regular voice. He also imitated my sneezing, and then giggled uncontrollably after!

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