HR & Management
12 hilarious interview answers
9 min read
30 May 2014
Hiring managers often hear the craziest things! We talked to recruiters to find 12 of the most oddest interview answers.
1. Jessica Harrington, marketing associate, Eastern Michigan University
“I interviewed a gentleman who looked great on paper but said two things during the interview that made me think, ‘Really?’ When starting the interview, I asked him what his hobbies were, to lighten the mood. He replied, ‘I sometimes walk up to perfect strangers just to say hello. I also like to pick up trash if I see some when I’m walking around.’ After I asked him how the position would contribute to his professional goals and future plans, he replied, ‘My main goal is to be a rock star; this is more of a backup plan.'”
2. Jessica Simko, Career Branding Guide
“When your workload is heavy and you are overwhelmed, how do you handle the stress? Candidate answer: I run in the bathroom and cry.”
3. Lisa Hall, human resources trainer and author of “Taking Charge of Your Own Health”
“I interviewed a senior engineer for one of our open positions. He demanded coffee and proceeded to spill coffee in his lap. Then he pointed to his groin area, laughed and said, ‘It looks like I wet myself!’ Needless to say, he didn’t get the job.”
4. Heather Lytle, senior partner, H&L Media Partners
“Without a doubt, the craziest thing I ever heard came from a candidate for an entry-level management position. He looked perfect on paper, so we scheduled a phone interview for 15:00. He answered the phone and when I introduced myself he said, ‘Hold on, I’m at a bar. Let me finish this shot and go outside.’ Amidst the noise of an active game of pool and a rowdy bar crowd, he slipped outside and told me, ‘You know what? I’m a little drunker than I thought. Can we reschedule?’ Needless to say, we did not.”
5. Zachary Z. Zguris, chief technology officer, Lime Design Inc.
“We always include a casual lunch or dinner portion during an interview to continue our discussions in a more informal manner. This candidate let their guard down, falling out of their ‘interview mode,’ during the friendly and casual meal-time discussions. They went so far as to share that they installed an illegal second network in their office with co-workers and would spend their afternoons gaming on the clock. They then went on to further share how regularly in the mornings and afternoons they would sleep at their desk during working hours. Bragging that they had never once been caught in either of these acts. Needless to say, this candidate was not hired.”
6. Cathleen Faerber, managing director, The Wellesley Group Inc.
“The most bizarre experience I ever had was regarding a candidate who was offered a position with my client. Because she had disclosed that she had a college degree, she was required to produce proof in the form of transcripts, diploma, etc. She told us that she was unable to produce the required documentation because her identity had been changed and that the information the firm was seeking was in her previous name. Due to safety reasons, she was unable to produce proof (in any name she had or was using).”
7. Shay Olivarria, speaker and author of “Bigger Than Your Block”
“I had a women come in and tell me that she ran a business around the corner and that she would be working this job, as well as managing her business during business hours. I wanted to be sure that I understood her correctly – that she would be taking time away from the position with me to ‘check in’ on her store periodically. But when I asked her a few questions to clarify, she became upset with me and ended up storming out of my office.”
8. Jessica Miller-Merrell, owner, Xceptional HR
“I had a candidate come into my office with her child and proceed to breastfeed her baby boy during the interview. There was no acknowledgment or mention from the woman I was interviewing about the baby or him eating.”
9. Lauren Gard, Infinite Public Relations
“I was working for a private investigator and interviewing applicants for a decoy position, in which they could possibly be confronted with various situations while investigating everyone from potentially cheating wives to drug dealers. I asked a guy in his early 20s, ‘What would you do if you were working undercover and someone you were investigating starting using drugs?’ He laughed, ‘Oh, it wouldn’t bother me. I mean, I have a medical marijuana card and all. You know, anxiety and stuff.’ ‘Oh, really?’ I noticed his eyes were slightly glassy. ‘Yep.’ He grinned. ‘So, are you high now?’ I asked. A chuckle. ‘Just a little!’ ‘Oh, just a little?’ I replied. ‘When did you last smoke?’ ‘Oh, before I left my place to come here.’ He didn’t get the job.”
10. Jennifer Escalona
“I had to interview for a position that required organization, time management and attention to detail. My candidate was young, in his early 20s, and wore all black to the interview. We were a very casual office, so I thought nothing of it. But when I asked him to describe for me an instance when he had managed his time effectively, he cited managing his time in dungeon raids in the online game ‘World of Warcraft.’ When I said I knew the game and had even played it a bit, he took that as his cue to answer all my questions with ‘World of Warcraft’ examples. The word ‘necromancer’ came up far too many times. Needless to say, I was looking for real-world examples and he didn’t get the position.”
11. Bruce, executive recruiter and career counselor, Hurwitz Strategic Staffing Ltd.
“When I interview candidates, I always ask the following questions in this order: What are you most proud of? What do you enjoy doing? Why did you leave your previous jobs? Here are the answers I received from one candidate: ‘I am most proud of my wife and children.’ ‘The thing I enjoy most is spending time with my family.’ ‘I decided to quit. I had an affair with a co-worker and when we broke up there was too much tension in the office.’ And he said it without batting an eye.”
12. Christine Bolzan, founder of Graduate Career Coaching
“[The candidate asked,] ‘Can my dad call you to talk about the job and the training program? He is really upset I’m not going to medical school and wants someone to explain the Wall Street path to him.’ The dad did call. Then that dad’s friends called and I ended up doing a conference call with a group of concerned parents … long story. But I also had a candidate ask me: If I get an offer, how long do I have before I have to take the drug test?”