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October 2016

The Funny Side of Recruitment

The Funny Side of Recruitment

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As recruiters we know candidates can have good or bad interviews. Some of it comes down to nerves, other times their personality just isn’t a good fit for the role. However, there is no excuse for some of these stories. We have collected the best stories from around the web for you to have a good read and enjoy!

Stories from Reddit

  • One man who had been chewing gum before his interview couldn’t find a bin before he met his prospective boss so he panicked and spat the gum into his hand. When his boss greeted him, he shook the hand that the gum was in and was left with a sticky gloop of chewed up gum in his palm.
  • Another man turned up at his interview on Monday morning to realise the female interviewer was the woman he’d had a one night stand with that Saturday.
  • One aspiring jobseeker posted that they injured their interviewer. They wrote: ‘My sister told me to give a strong handshake at my job interview to show that I’m confident, I ended up shaking too hard and hit my interviewer’s elbow on the table’
  • Another eager hopeful revealed: ‘I was at a job interview and the employer asked for my driver’s licence. ‘As I pulled it out a condom fell on the floor. And she saw it.’
  • One man was asked the classic interview question: ‘if you could be any animal, what would you be?’ to which he panicked and answered: ‘a turtle because I am really slow and never in a rush.’
  • In a similar situation, a woman told her interviewer that her worst trait was being extremely lazy and often sleeping through her alarm because she didn’t like getting up for work.
  • One commenter said he had been feeling unwell the day before his scheduled interview and when he attended the interview he started shaking and sweating and ended up turning around during the discussion and throwing up into the plant pot behind him!

Strange, very strange

  • Candidate turned up for interview with her 3 kids.
  • The candidate turned up in an army outfit in the middle of summer, declaring he has a bad sweat problem.
  • The candidate, described by my source as “a very odd man”, turned up to the interview and refused to answer any questions. Really.
  • Candidate showed up at the interview with her husband. Recruiter politely suggests he leave for a look around the shops next door. Cue response, “No, I’m staying RIGHT HERE!”
  • Repeat offence: during several Skype interviews candidates thought it would be okay to have the interview lying in their bed. In their pyjamas.
  • A candidate who was applying for a teaching position attached a picture to her CV. Totally naff right? Even worse, it was a full body shot! Oh yeah, she was also totally naked.
  • A candidate appeared for a drop-in interview dressed as what my source says can only be described as a tramp. Consultant kindly advised him to wash, shave, get some nice new clothes and come back. Two weeks later, George Clooney entered the building! I jest of course, he came back looking exactly the same.
  • Transgender candidate who came to register as a man one day and returned with the same CV dressed as a woman the next. It was tricky for the consultant to know to register as two different people in the database.
  • A couple were being interviewed together for a role in Saudi, but they could not live together as they weren’t married. He got down on one knee and proposed to her there and then, and she said YES…. *dies from embarrassment*
  • Another Skype special – a female candidate was being interviewed, and in the background her boyfriend (?) crept out from under the bed and ran past in his boxer shorts…
  • Recruiter asks the candidate who they aspire to be like (fairly generic question). Candidate answers: Hitler…*tumbleweed*…

What were they thinking?!

  • During a phone interview, a recruiting manager heard a candidate’s mother giving the applicant answers to her questions. The interviewer asked him, “Who’s feeding you the answers to my questions?” He said no one. The manager told him she could hear his mother in the background. The applicant got flustered and hung up.
  • At the beginning of an interview, an applicant told an interviewing team that if he should pass out during the interview, his cell phone was in his pocket and that they should call 911.

Not on the CV

  • A recruiting manager found a candidate he really liked who interviewed well over the phone. He also interviewed well in person, though the candidate said he had an appointment to run to and asked if he could take the employment application with him and return it completed later along with his references. He returned both the next day, the company checked his references and hired him. On his first day, the company gave the new hire a short script and asked him to make some phone calls. Strangely, when someone would answer his call, he’d ask for a person whose name wasn’t on the script sheets. After a few calls, he stopped asking for anyone by name and just said, “Who’s this?” After a few more of these, the company realized the man couldn’t read. The manager found out later that the handwriting on his job application was that of his girlfriend. The firm felt so bad for him they gave him some phonics books and asked him to study up and come back when he felt he was ready to give it another try. He never came back.
  • After an interview, one candidate asked a recruiting manager if she could borrow some money to get her car out of the parking garage. She didn’t have any money with her and didn’t know how she was going to be able to get her car out of the ramp. (Happy ending: She did end up paying the manager back!)

Just a little full of themselves

  • An applicant showed up late for an interview wearing a long trench coat with his hair slicked back in a pony tail. As the interview progressed, he answered the recruiting manager’s questions, sipped on his Starbucks coffee and tilted the chair on the back legs. When asked the question, “Why should I hire you?” he responded by taking a sip, leaning way back, running his hand along the side of his hair and saying, “Because I’m so good looking.”
  • A recruiting manager hired a woman to help out with typing proposals. The woman said she could type 75 words per minute and, in a crunch, the manager hired her on a trial basis without giving her a test. Rushing past her desk to an important meeting, the manager happened to notice that new hire’s computer screen was completely filled with spelling errors and mistakes. He asked her what she was doing since she seemed to be ignoring the spell check warnings. Very calmly, she replied, “Oh, I do that at the end. How else could I type 75 words per minute if I stopped every time I made a mistake?”
  • A female recruiting manager and her team thought they’d found a great male candidate. The applicant eagerly accepted the offer – and began emailing and calling the recruiting manager every day for two weeks until the first day of work. Then came the cards, unsolicited breakfasts, joke emails and statements of “being friends forever” – all within the first two weeks. Management eventually had to counsel the employee about appropriate behavior in the workplace.

Whoops – wrong part of town

  • An HR manager worked with an outside agency to place job ads in the local newspaper. The agency got the job ads in the newspaper without a problem – except they went in newspapers 30 miles from the store. Would-be candidates began calling asking about train schedules and which part of town the store was in. Worst of all: This happened twice – to the tune of a $20,000 loss each time.
  • A recruiting manager hired a receptionist who during her employment used the ER as her primary care physician and ran an escort service on the side.

Totally clueless

  • A staffing agency helped a company hire a new IT guy based on his resume alone. The new hire arrived on the job the very first day, looked at the company-issued laptop and said, “What is this?” Needless to say, they respectfully returned the new hire to the staffing agency.
  • One applicant for an attorney position giggled the entire time during the phone interview. The manager thought it was probably nerves, so he asked her for a writing sample. She submitted a detailed legal brief that used the names of characters from the cartoon “The Family Guy” and placed them into horribly violent situations.

Wanna bet?

  • A recruiting manager hired a promising candidate with two master’s degrees. Upon being hired, though, she shooed people away from her desk when they tried to train her. (She said she knew how to do the job better by herself.) She also spoke over everyone else in the office when they tried to talk to her, frequently screaming, “What?!” Finally, she sent strange Youtube videos to other staff members about race horses for no apparent reason.
  • One company hired what they thought was a qualified, excited applicant. But 10 days after the employee started, he resigned – and moved to a larger company. Turned out he’d used the company’s salary as leverage.
  • A police department hired a new recruit who successfully made it through the academy and field training. A few weeks later, though, he quit. Why? He had to touch a dead body and said he didn’t think he could do that ever again. The icing on the cake: The recruit’s family’s business was the community’s only funeral home and mortuary.


Thank you to these sites for their stories;

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