Lighter side: Top 10 interview insanities

by Cameron Edmond20 Jan 2014

Conducting job interviews can be a drain on any HR professional, but it has to be done. Interviews can also be a heap of fun – meeting new and passionate potential workers and discussing their successes and the future.

Interviews can also teach you just how…diverse the world can be, with interesting characters coming in and showing off their unconventional side.

CareerBuilder interviewed 2,201 hiring managers and HR professionals across a range of industries and company sizes, collecting data on the interview process, including the most memorable mistakes from candidates. Here are HC’s top picks from the list:

·Acted out a Star Trek role

·Asked for a hug

·Answered a phone call for a job interview with a competitor

·Attempted to secretly record the interview

·When discussing dental benefits, popped out their teeth

·After being asked by the interviewer to impress them, set the interviewer’s newspaper on fire while reading it

·Revealed concerns about his daughter’s paternity

·Asked for the name and number of the receptionist to set up a date

·Brought in personal photo albums

·Arrived in a jogging suit so they could go running after the interview

What’s the weirdest thing a candidate has done in a job interview with you? Let us know in the comments. 


  • by Kris 20/01/2014 1:25:58 PM

    When asked about professional development and how our candidate keeps up to date with industry trends, the candidate replied that he likes to do most of his reading in "the smallest room of the house"... And then felt the need to point out that he was referring to the toilet.

  • by Bernie Althofer 20/01/2014 2:13:55 PM

    I was an external panel member. All the applicants being interviewed were given a copy of the questions prior to the interview so they could make notes. When the applicant came into the interview, they had made no notes. The panel chair asked the first question to which the response was: "So this is for real". When pressed, the applicant replied "I am in the position, so I thought it would only be a formality". The applicant did not get the job, the panel convenor was pressured into leaving, and the selected person did not stay.

  • by Deborah 21/01/2014 1:40:43 PM

    Probably the stand-out in my book was being presented with a beautiful rose made out of folded paper at the beginning of the interview. I was a bit suprised and taken aback, but even more so when I accepted the proferred flower to discover it had been created out of toilet paper and told it had been created "while he was waiting". I was tempted to ask, "waiting for what?" but wasn't sure I really wanted the answer to that one...