"Responding to my first interview question, the candidate starts rambling about an argument that he had with his mother that morning - how she thinks he's too quiet but he's actually just thinking and that he absolutely HATES when someone interrupts his thinking because then he has to start over again. This went on for 10 full minutes as he got progressively more and more upset, ending his rant with a loud slam of his hand on the table.
Ohh kaaay - moving on. We ask the next question, and he just sits there staring at the wall. The other interviewer and I exchange desperate glances. After the longest minute I've ever experienced, I offer that we can come back to that question later. He lets out a long frustrated sigh and just glares at us.
He did not get the job."
"This kid came into the convenience store I work at. He was kind of a jerk, demanding a job application, so I just gave him one to chill him out. He decided he'd fill it out at our counter, with our pen and then proceeded to ask what other convenience stores were around so he could put them as a previous job.
Do you want to lie on your application about working at another convenience store to my face? Idiot. Once he left, I immediately threw the application into the garbage. Oh and he stole our pen.
About a week later he comes back in, said he just got fired from another store in our shopping plaza and asked if we'd hire him. I asked him why he got fired and he said his boss was a jerk for not letting him play Candy Crush on his phone while he was behind the counter and fired him on the spot. It was his first day there.
How freaking stupid can you be?"
I worked in a grocery store chain back in the day. Started as a summer temp and eventually got hired out of high school and stayed on a few years.
As a general rule, the daytime shifts were coveted and mostly given to more experienced employees while a summer temp and one experienced employee would work afternoons (4pm-11:30pm).
One morning, my boss and I were stocking fruit when a mother came in asking for a summer job for her son. No sign of the son himself. My boss told her that he could swing by himself with a resume for him and he'd look into it as we were looking for summer temps. She simply replied that she was all the resume he needed as she had many years of experience as an employer and could guarantee that he would do a good job.
At this point, my boss is sort of just dumbfounded, but then she keeps talking. She says that he can not work evenings whatsoever as he's far too busy with his friends, and that he would be working 9am to 5pm at the very latest. He would also be unavailable for weekends and would take a three-week summer holiday to go to Spain with the family.
After this, she just asked my boss, 'So, should he just be here Monday morning then?' I've never seen a man struggle so much with giving a professional 'no thanks.'"
"She didn't understand we weren't going to hire her. I told her politely because she was bad and we would never hire her anyway, that we didn't have work for her. She kept telling me when she could start and everything and I kept saying, 'I can't hire you, there's literally no work for you here.' Which got the reply, 'Ok, I'll call you Monday to let you know my schedule.'"
"I used to do tech screens over the phone for a contracting firm. I had so many fake resumes come through, it wasn't funny. Sometimes I'd get the same resume, or paragraphs from one, in multiple other resumes. The record was four guys submitting almost identical resumes.
I used to try to fool them into admitting it. I would ask 'Oh, your last gig was at XYZ Company in Somecity? I worked there too! Which parking lot did you use?' Instant panicked silence. Some of them would try to fudge it. They'd say 'I don't remember.' Then I'd say 'Where was it located? In front of the building? Out back? Was it in a garage or just an open lot?' One guy was actually a genius: he said 'Lot A.' It was still a cookie-cutter resume, so I said 'I don't think there's a Lot A there.' He broke down and admitted he was lying - but I did give him credit for a darn good try before tossing his paper on the Nope pile.
I had guys who gave perfect interviews but then showed up as clueless as if they'd never even seen the product they'd be working with. That went on for a while - until I started recognizing the voice of the one guy who did all of the interviewing.
I've had interviews where I could literally HEAR the guy on the other end typing my questions into Google, then waiting for the results, and then reading -verbatim- what was on the web page that looked most promising. There was one time I actually Googled it at the same time, and then read aloud along with the guy and finished up the sentence.
I could go on and on. The lengths these third-party contracting firms would go to just to get someone placed were astounding. Not a week went by where I didn't call up a colleague and say, 'you won't believe this...'"
"This was 17 years ago, but when I was 21 I had second, part-time, job delivering pizzas for Papa Johns. One day I was waiting for some deliveries when the store manager walked out of his office with a job application and taped it to the wall and said 'anybody think we should hire this guy?'
Back then in my state, a job application could ask if you were a convicted felon (a law has since passed making this illegal unless it is relevant for the job).
On this guy's application where it asks if you are a convicted felon, he answered yes. After that, it asks a follow-up question: 'if answering yes, please explain.' This guy wrote 'kinky stuff involving relative.' He was not hired."
"I once had a fella call for an artist position that we had available. When he showed up for the interview, he just threw his portfolio on the desk and said,'My work speaks for itself.'
His portfolio was a 3 ring trapper keeper containing black photo/scrapbook paper, to which some haphazard electrical tape held in blurry photo's of mostly, really bad, work.
The only good work the portfolio contained were hijacked pics of pieces done by myself and a couple of colleagues that had been featured in magazines around that time.
He became upset, angry and denied it when I pointed out that I had done some of the pieces he was representing as his and tried to backtrack by saying they were in there as 'inspiration.'
So I pulled the pictures (of the work he didn't do) out of the 'portfolio,' and threw them in the trash. I followed that with a brief and belittling statement about ethics, law, and the possibility of accidental injury, should he continue such actions before showing him the door.
"I run a welding shop. Generally speaking, I don't give a crap about past history, tattoos, anything. As long as you're here on time, every day, and do a good job, you're golden. I'll look past a lot on a resume.
One morning I check my email and see a reply to a Craigslist job listing I had posted about a month prior. In the very first line he asks, 'do you substance test?' Ok, whatever. Most of my guys are on something. I reply back that no, it's not company policy, but I will randomly at my discretion. About an hour later, I get his resume. The dude had absolutely zero welding experience, which isn't necessarily a problem because some of my best guys have come in with no experience. But this particular resume, if you can even call it that, was one job. Taco Bell. After ignoring the resume, he just shows up like 2 days later high as anything, probably on speed. This dude was probably 35. He was here for his interview. I had to very kindly tell him to bugger off.
He started crying. Like full on anger-weeping right in front of me like I just killed his mother. We had to literally drag the dude out of the office. He wiped away his tears, got on his bicycle, and screamed a mouthful of profanities as he pedaled away."
"I have a couple:
Asked a guy who was an EMT about working together as a team...started great with him talking about working with fire and police services. Then he ended his answer by talking about cased of children getting assaulted.
Had a young man want a job. Go through normal retail big box questions. Every answer had ridiculous amounts of 'you know' in them. I finally stopped writing what he said and instead started doing tick marks every time he said one. On one answer alone, there were 37 'you knows.' Also, every answer ended with 'you know' and shrugging his shoulders."
"One stands out above the rest. I work at a small food mart. We were looking for a casual member, mainly on call, about a shift a week. We had a few applicants but then this one comes in.
She reeks of weed, dirty clothes look like she also does speed. Hands me a resume. It's on loose leaf, crumpled up and written in pen. Every other word is spelled wrong and it clearly says she got fired from her job at Pizza Hut for 'smoking crack'.' Then, on the next page there is a gigantic selfie and in the background is a pipe. Just a travesty. It's like she didn't even try.
Then a few weeks later she was busted for stealing... by the new employee!"
"One girl brought her mom to the interview and kept looking at her for the answers.
One guy made the arm motion like he was blowing off a load when asked about the shift hours. Also stated he knew we hired mostly idiots and addicts and didn't know why he needed to interview.
Another guy suddenly remembered his kid's school called with an emergency when I presented him with the substance screen. After the banned time had passed and he reinterviewed we were making small talk and he mentioned being glad he didn't have kids...
Finally, there was the guy that left his girlfriend in the car. She kept coming in every 10 minutes. 'Are you done yet?!'"
STUDIO GRAND OUEST/Shutterstock
"My friend told me one day that she didn't get the theatre manager job she wanted in the local hospital.
She has a degree in film studies. She applied for a job in an operating theatre and didn't even question the application process, she just thought that the questions were purposely challenging."
"I was a hiring/sales manager at a home security company. This younger guy comes in who's very fidgety and nervous. Won't look me in the eyes. I finally get to the point where I tell him about the FBI background check and ask if there's any reason he wouldn't be able to pass one.
'Y-Yeah' he says, as quietly as possible, looking at the floor. 'I was convicted of assault two years ago.'
'Okay, well we literally go into peoples homes to sell or install security systems, so that's gonna be a no for me dawg.' (Paraphrasing, obviously)
'Is.. is there any way you can work with me on that?'
I really couldn't believe he had the balls to ask me that. Like NO dude, there's NO chance that I'm gonna help a convicted assaulter bypass a background check so he can get into strangers homes. Zero effing percent."
"As a recruiter, I've seen some pretty bad candidates. I did finance recruiting so most were very serious in their job search. But, I had one guy who had a stellar resume come in wearing cargo shorts and a t-shirt; we asked them to wear interview attire. He smacked his gum, used about half a bottle of the hand sanitizer in 15 mins, rolled his eyes, answered his phone with an incoming call and put on his sunglasses for the last half. I told him to call me when he's serious about finding a job. Not crazy but I felt so disrespected and it was like a 10-year-old in a 40-year-old body."
"I came in as an assistant manager after this fact, but my manager was telling me about the time a woman came in with her resume. It was pretty good so we asked about her address (which wasn't listed).
'Can I put 'the forest'?'
'Yeah I live in the woods outside of Six Flags and don't really have an address.'
We ran a background check and this lady has ALL SORTS of felonies. Substances, assault, you name it; she's done it."
Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley/Shutterstock
"A science grad with a very impressive academic record. He mumbled through the majority of the interview and never made eye contact. What he was saying had almost nothing to do with the couple of technical questions we asked. His focus darted between the top and bottom corners of the room in his field of view. He stared blankly into a corner of the room for what seemed like forever when asked a few probing questions. I had to wrap up in 15 minutes. It was the first interview where the HR partner gave me the 'sign' to tie up quickly... also the quickest interview I've been part of but it certainly felt like one of the longest. The job involved a LOT of interaction with internal and external people. I just couldn't see it working out."
"At my old job, I very, very occasionally interviewed potential employees. One day I go to meet a girl who had an interview and as she's following me I hear a distinctive 'flip flip flip' sound and I'm thinking to myself, 'Oh no this chick did not wear flip-flops to a job interview.' She did. She was maybe 18, very poorly dressed, had several facial piercings and tattoos on her hands and neck, she had only ever worked at Wendys or something. Yeah, she could have been hired as a cashier, I guess if we were desperate. (The rules about facial piercings were iffy, but generally, maybe one small piercing was 'acceptable', like a small nose ring.) But we had so many applicants that why would I hire the girl who can't even bother to wear real shoes or take out her lip rings for a job interview?
She also barely spoke the whole interview and struggled with basically every question. Her overall package was just presented so sloppily. After the interview, I, as politely as possible, offered her some advice about job interviews. I showed her I had a lot of tattoos also, but I covered them up for the most part, and in interviews, I always wore long sleeves. I told her she might have more luck if she took her piercings out for interviews or put in those clear ones because we live in a fairly conservative area. I showed her that I had several ear piercings that had actually got me turned down for a job before, just ear piercings! Yes, I said something about the flip-flops. Overall though I just got the feeling she didn't even want the job. So whatever. Thanks for wasting my time.
Oh, and when I got hired at that department store it was a group interview, and one of the girls that interviewed was there with her mother, who seriously complained at the front desk that it was taking too long and someone had to come into the interview and tell the girl, 'Your mom wants to leave now,' and usher her out. She did not get hired."
"Our applications had the standard stuff to fill out, plus around 15 scenario questions. So the way I screen the applications is to start from the back because I don't want to read the whole thing when the most telling questions were the last few.
The applications could be paper or on the computer. HR would also screen both for us but they really pooped the bed on this one I received.
We expected a few sentences or paragraphs on the scenario. This guy literally wrote one-word answers to every question. Like one was, 'describe your experience in the following areas,' and it had 5 prompts and he just wrote 'good.'
I kept going through it because the whole thing was just so bad. In the reference section, he listed one person and it was easily my worst worker at the time.
We didn't hire him and we ended up firing his friend a few weeks later. When it started to look like he wasn't going work out, I started documenting stuff, like not getting his work done or being late. HR normally would try to side with the employee as a form of due diligence. When I gave them all my paperwork, they were on board right away.
The worse thing was that he called in sick the day we were going to do it because he fell off his roof. We ended up having to do it over the phone and he got irate, saying we were only firing him because he got hurt."
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