APICS Atlanta Employment and Recruitment Coordinator
Article appeared in the September 2004 APICS-Atlanta newsletter
A survey of hiring officials recently disclosed the following examples of the strangest things candidates have said or done in interviews. Of the list, one item is a ringer. It is a very personal disclosure of a blooper I personally take credit for doing early in my own career. You guess which one but I'll never admit it.
- "When asked why she wanted to work for this company, the candidate replied, 'That's a good question. I really haven't given it much thought.'"
- "After answering the first few questions, the candidate picked up his cell phone and called his parents to let them know the interview was going well."
- "At the end of the interview, the candidate expressed her interest in getting the position, but only if her boyfriend liked the company and the hiring manager. She then said, 'He's waiting outside. Can I bring him in to say hello?'"
- "The person got up just a few minutes after the interview had begun, saying he left his dog in the car and needed to check on him."
- "The candidate entered the lobby and identified herself to the receptionist. She then pulled two pairs of shoes from her bag and said, 'Before the interviewer comes out, tell me which pair you think I should wear with this suit.'"
- "When asked how he would improve sales if hired, the candidate replied, 'I'll have to think about that and get back to you.' He then stood up, walked out, and never came back."
- "When asked by the hiring manager if he had any questions, the candidate responded by telling a knock-knock joke."
- "When told she would meet with a second interviewer, the candidate took out a large bag from her briefcase and proceeded to reapply her makeup and hairspray, all in the first interviewer's office."
- "Asked by the hiring manager why he was leaving his current job, the candidate replied, 'My manager is a jerk. All managers are jerks.'"
- "The candidate disparaged his former boss during the interview, not realizing that the boss and the interviewer had the same last name and were related."
- "When the interviewer asked what the candidate was earning, she answered, 'I really don't see how that is any of your business.'"
- "When asked what he liked least about his current job, the candidate replied, 'Managing people.' He was interviewing for a management position."
- "After being complimented on his choice of college and the GPA he achieved, the candidate replied, 'I'm glad that got your attention. I didn't really go there.'"
- 'When an applicant for a telephone company position was asked the job he would least like to have responded, 'I can't imagine having to supervise a bunch of ladies.'"
- "The candidate asked for an early morning interview. He showed up with a box of doughnuts and ate them during the interview, saying this was the only time he'd have to eat breakfast before going to work."
- "The company sent an employee to meet a prospective new hire at the airport. The applicant got off the plane, said it was far too cold to live and work in this city, and took the next flight home. He never met the hiring manager."
- "When asked by the hiring manager about his career goals, the candidate replied, 'To work the least amount of time possible until I can get your job.'"
We do not know for sure but you can guess whether these people got the jobs they were applying for.
Preparing for all of the expected questions and actually rehearsing your responses out loud will help you overcome some of the fear and nervousness caused by the interview situation. Practice each the short stories you will interject into the interview to highlight your strengths and accomplishments. Take time to research the company and if possible the hiring official and the job. The better rehearsed and prepared for the interview, the better you can handle even the unexpected questions. But there is no substitute for thinking before you speak the first thing that might come into your head.Back to Candidate Articles