We've all been interviewed for jobs. And, we've all spent
most of those interviews thinking about what not to do. Don't
bite your nails. Don't fidget. Don't interrupt. Don't belch.
If we did any of the don'ts, we knew we'd disqualify
ourselves instantly. But some job applicants go light
years beyond this. We surveyed top personnel executives of
100 major American corporations and asked for stories of
unusual behavior by job applicants. The lowlights:
1. "... stretched out on the floor to fill out the job
2. "She wore a Walkman and said she could listen to me and
the music at the same time."
3. "A balding candidate abruptly excused himself. Returned to
office a few minutes later, wearing a hairpiece."
4. "... asked to see interviewer's resume to see if the
personnel executive was qualified to judge the candidate."
5. "... announced she hadn't had lunch and proceeded to eat a
hamburger and french fries in the interviewer's office -
wiping the ketchup on her sleeve"
6. "Stated that, if he were hired, he would demonstrate his
loyalty by having the corporate logo tattooed on his
7. "Interrupted to phone his therapist for advice on
answering specific interview questions."
8. "When I asked him about his hobbies, he stood up and
started tap dancing around my office."
9 . "At the end of the interview, while I stood there
dumbstruck, went through my purse, took out a brush, brushed
his hair, and left."
10. "... pulled out a Polaroid camera and snapped a flash
picture of me. Said he collected photos of everyone who
11. "Said he wasn't interested because the position paid too
12. "While I was on a long-distance phone call, the applicant
took out a copy of Penthouse, and looked through the photos
only, stopping longest at the centerfold."
13. "During the interview, an alarm clock went off from the
candidate's brief case. He took it out, shut it off,
apologized and said he had to leave for another interview."
14. "A telephone call came in for the job applicant. It was
from his wife. His side of the conversation went like this:
"'Which company? When do I start? What's the salary?' I said,
'I assume you're not interested in conducting the interview
any further.' He promptly responded, 'I am as long as you'll
pay me more.' I didn't hire him, but later found out there
was no other job offer. It was a scam to get a higher offer."
15. "His attache [case] opened when he picked it up and the
contents spilled, revealing ladies' undergarments and
assorted makeup and perfume."
16. "Candidate said he really didn't want to get a job, but
the unemployment office needed proof that he was looking for
17. "... asked who the lovely babe was, pointing to the
picture on my desk. When I said it was my wife, he asked if
she was home now and wanted my phone number. I called
18. "Pointing to a black case he carried into my office, he
said that if he was not hired, the bomb would go off.
Disbelieving, I began to state why he would never be hired
and that I was going to call the police. He then reached down
to the case, flipped a switch and ran. No one was injured,
but I did need to get a new desk."