The joys of recruitment

by Rose Sneyd12 Jul 2013

While job interviews are high pressure situations, there are some blunders that cannot be explained away by mere nerves. The blogger behind Ask a Manager, Alison Green, recently asked her community of readers to share some of the weirdest things that job interviewees had done – you can read the full list here.

But some of the funniest episodes were those described in the comments section. We plundered these for our top five:


  • Anonymous, who works for a healthcare finance company, once interviewed a woman who had impeccable credentials on paper. “[However,] she said during the interview that she felt smokers deserve their lung cancer, an executive seduced her at a prior position, and that she is in a ‘modern marriage’. None of us are sure what she meant by the last one, but we wouldn’t dare ask either.”
  • Jen relayed the answer that a co-worker gave when asked what was his weakness. “He responded ‘I’m always late. If you hire me, I’m going to be about 10 minutes late every day that I work here.’ The boss laughed and thanked him for his honesty and hired him. And sure enough he really was 10-15 minutes late every day.”
  • Liz  interviewed a woman who came up with a very strange thank you email. “[It] consisted of the lyrics to ‘She Works Hard for the Money.’ With the ‘she’ in every line replaced with my name. The worst part was that my boss had to explain to me that the song was about prostitution.”
  • Mallory heard from another recruiter about a candidate who had applied for a senior position. “She scheduled him for an in-person interview with the company’s Board and he ranked so badly that she later received a call from a board member asking why she’d scheduled this candidate…Turns out the real candidate had gotten the flu but didn’t want to reschedule, so he sent his twin brother in his place.”
  • Lone Contractor: “I once had a candidate show up with three BIG bags of groceries then break into tears in the middle of the interview for no apparent reason- when asked she said she was ‘remembering 9-11′.”