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
Bothered by a response
- Someone recently wrote that she didn't hire a person because she was put on hold and discovered the reason was due to the fact that the interviewee was on the toilet. How shameful! I bet she was there at least once that day. Can we just stop the "better than you" game and base our decisions on merit and qualifications?
- —Guest Call me Human
- 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.
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.
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
- 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
- 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
Objective Written in Resume
- We were hiring a candidate for Call Center Operations for an entry level position. This guy was a fresh graduate with some intern experience. His objective in his resume had 4-5 lines saying big things. When asked to explain what he really wants, he said, all he wants is the job. He copied the entire objective statement from a friend's CV.
- —Guest Ritesh Bhasin
Attention to detail?
- When asked if he could provide an example of having good attention to detail after saying it was a strength, a candidate said, quite seriously, after thinking hard for a few seconds...."the way I make a sandwich"... After composing myself, I questioned this, and was told in a lot of detail how he likes the bread to be symmetrical, the butter to be perfectly even, etc. etc. etc. Not what I was expecting!!!
- —Guest RecruiterLaura
What is your greatest weakness?
- My coworker asked an applicant to identify his greatest weakness and the applicant didn't respond for over a minute. After the long, awkward silence he stated, "I am lazy!" My coworker asked him to clarify and he said, "I'm the laziest person I know. I sleep in all the time, I come late to things. If I were hired, I'm not sure how that would even turn out. I might just show up and not know what to do and work with others on figuring that out." We were shocked by his candid response, but he seemed unfazed. At the end of the interview he enthusiastically asked us when we would get back to him. We said "You'll hear from us soon," and he excitedly left the room.
- —Guest Steve
Good reason to proof-read your resume...
- Not an interview question, but in a resume received for a position of data entry clerk, I noted the applicant highlighted a profile section where she indicated her attention to detail and a high degree of accurecy. Accurecy. Ironic or what?
- —Guest Chris