Asleep in the interview and other HR horror stories

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Interviewing candidates might seem mundane and routine to most HR pros, but there are always candidates happy to shake up the status quo – and not always in a good way.

A new survey from CareerBuilder shows hiring managers make quick decisions about who to keep and who to show the door. Dealbreakers include arrogance, disinterest and being uninformed, but some candidates take their incompetency to a whole new level.

Here are the most memorable interview blunders:
  • Candidate asked interviewer out on a date;
  • Candidate ate a hard-boiled egg;
  • Candidate brought in a high school project because their mother thought the interviewer might want to look at it;
  • Candidate explained that they would prefer to work at another company but had not heard back from them yet, so they were applying to ours in the meantime;
  • Candidate fell asleep;
  • Candidate forgot who his current employer was;
  • Candidate untied his shoes, removed his socks, and rubbed his bare feet on the interviewer's desk;
  • Candidate said they wouldn't be able to work in the summer if it was sunny as they would be sailing; 
  • Candidate got up and paced around the office while interviewer remained seated.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve experienced in an interview?
  • Graeme B on 19/05/2014 9:44:26 a.m.

    Interviewing EC teachers I had a middle aged man lie on the floor and pretend to be a fish swimming up stream. Interviewing a MH worker, we asked about a time when they had to manage a crisis. We heard how her father had a heart attack and died in the ambulance she had called, followed by wailing etc. My other interviewer, the Ops Manager was a trained counsellor - so out with the interview in with the couch session; to get her settled enough to leave and drive away.

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