How to Mess Up a Job Interview
Thursday, August 16, 2012
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:
- "...stretched out on the floor to fill out the job application."
- "She wore a Walkman and said she could listen to me and the music at the same time."
- "A balding candidate abruptly excused himself. Returned to office a few minutes later, wearing a hairpiece."
- "...asked to see interviewer's resume to see if the personnel executive was qualified to judge the candidate."
- "... 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."
- "Stated that, if he were hired, he would demonstrate his loyalty by having the corporate logo tattooed on his forearm."
- "Interrupted to phone his therapist for advice on answering specific interview questions."
- "When I asked him about his hobbies, he stood up and started tap dancing around my office."
- "At the end of the interview, while I stood there dumbstruck, went through my purse, took out a brush, brushed his hair, and left."
- "...pulled out a Polaroid camera and snapped a flash picture of me. Said he collected photos of everyone who interviewed him."