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Readers Respond: Applicant Memorable Job Interview Answers and Questions

Responses: 48

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If you've ever done job interviews, you've probably heard it all. Candidates give job interview answers that undermine their application. They get tongue-tied; they're nervous. They're unpolished and unrehearsed. Candidates develop "diarrhea of the mouth." They don't know when to stop talking. Their job interview answers and questions are the darndest things. Share the funniest, saddest, most hysterical, off-putting, right-on-target, and weirdest candidate responses and questions you've heard over the years. Share your job interview answers and questions. See More Reader Responses. Share Your Memorable Ones

Karma gets them

One of our interview questions is how do you handle a conflict with a co-worker. The candidate, who was already acting oddly and sweating profusely, answered in a low quiet voice: I don't have to do anything, I find that when people are mean to me they sometimes have an unfortunate accident. It's karma. The interview was over then and there.
—Guest Tamara

Can't work Nights

Interviewed a candidate for our 2nd shift. Showed the candidate the job ad, asked them to read it, asked if they had any questions. Later asked the candidate why they left the last job, stated they hated working the night shift. OK - this interview is for the NIGHT SHIFT. Candidate said, Oh shouldn't be a problem... Really? Needless to say, NOT HIRED!
—Guest HR

"Oh I'm really good handling disputes"

I had to interview a candidate for a position as a vocational case manager to work with persons with DD and mental illnesses. When I asked her how she would handle disagreements or disputes she said, "Oh, I'm really good at handling disputes. I was a live in home staff for 2 ladies with DD and when they'd get in fights I would pull them apart and slap them to get their attention and stop the fight". I was so stunned I have NO IDEA how I wrapped up the interview; needless to say she was NEVER called back!
—Guest Randi

Early miscommunications

A potential candidate arrived an hour early for her interview - although I had sent an email and we had spoken over the telephone to confirm the time, I went ahead with it anyway. As I shook her hand, she apologised for being late! As if this didn't hinder her chances of being hired enough, when asked about a time she had to deal with a difficult customer, the response was: 'once, I had so many ongoing issues and I really needed to get home so I just refunded all of the customers, they were really happy'! Thanks for your time.. Keep handing out those CV's!
—Guest WCR

Because I'm gay

I hired a few new staff for a gay bar Downtown. I asked why would you like to work for us and what do you think you have to offer. His response, Because I'm gay. I then asked Greatest strength and weakness. His response Because I'm gay. Needless to say. I said thank you for your time. We will not be In touch.
—Guest Lolz

Real Conviction...

Gentleman was applying for a job as a security guard. I called and left a message asking him to come in for an interview, and I never got a response. About a week later, he came into my office and proceeded to tell me that he was sorry he hadn't returned my call, but he had a good excuse. It seems he'd been in jail for the last two weeks on domestic violence and aggravated assault charges. Concerned that I might not believe him, he handed me his charge and custody paperwork, which I dutifully copied and stapled to his application. I believe that, to this day, this gentleman still doesn't understand why he wasn't hired.
—Guest John

Great customer service...

When asked how the applicant would deal with an irate customer, she replied, "I'm very good at dealing with angry people because they don't upset me, I just laugh at them." Hmmm... had never thought of that approach!
—Guest Krissy

Tied up with a bow

I work for a breast cancer organization and along with the resumes on pink paper (ugh), I received one in a homemade report cover, tied together with a pink ribbon. The best part? A title page that said, "A gift for you: a new employee."
—Guest SB

Another great resume

Have you ever been convicted of a felony? Yes, sexual exploitation but I will explain in detail.....NO THANK YOU! I'd rather not hear it.
—RWings1

Copied and pasted from a resume

Education: Valedictorian of my GED class. I didn't really go to the class. I just took the test in case you need to know. I can provide proof.
—RWings1

Applicable Memorable Job

When you are interviewed, you know they want to know your level of attention, so it's good to be aware of this.
—Guest loverboy

Drum Major

I was searching through the 100s of resumes we received for a position that requires accounting experience. After an hour of mind numbing reading, I opened this one guy's resume. When I looked at his education he stated what high school he went to and specified that his major was, yes, a Drum Major. Needless to say, I did not call him.
—Guest Hiring Specialist

Are you available to talk?

I called a guy to conduct a phone interview. When I announced who I was and the purpose for the call, there was a pause and I thought he had hung up. When I asked him if he heard me, he said yes. Another pause. He then asked if he could place me on hold. I said yes. After about 2-3 minutes he returned to the phone. It was at that moment I heard the toilet flush! He picked up the conversation where we had left off as though nothing had happened. Needless to say, I ended the interview as quickly as I could.
—Guest Lisa

W.O.W.

I was hiring for an overnight entry customer care rep for a call center. I asked the young man that came in to describe his leadership qualities. He then went into great detail about how by leading his clan in World of Warcraft (a videogame) that he was ideal for this position! I was kind of stunned. Every question after that I asked, he answered with references to WoW. I went wow, not hired.
—Guest JSrecruiter

Claimed He'd Worked for Me

I was hiring a programmer and received a resume saying he'd worked at the same company I had previously. Okay, that was fine. But then I saw that he claimed to have done all kinds of great stuff on a project I had managed. He hadn't been involved at all. I called him to do a phone screen just for the heck of it. He stammered something about making a mistake on his resume and got off the phone quickly. Most memorable interview ever.
—Guest Steven

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