Job Interview Bloopers

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” E E Cummings

A survey of top personnel executives of 100 major American corporations came up with these stories of unusual behavior by job applicants. The lowlights:j0400773

  • Said he was so well-qualified [that] if he didn’t get the job, it would prove that the company’s management was incompetent.
  • Stretched out on the floor to fill out the job application.
  • Brought her large dog to the interview.
  • Chewed bubble gum and constantly blew bubbles.
  • Kept giggling through serious interview.
  • She wore a Walkman and said she could listen to me and the music at the same time.
  • Balding candidate abruptly excused himself. Returned to office a few minutes later, wearing a hairpiece.
  • Applicant challenged interviewer to arm wrestle.
  • 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.
  • Without saying a word, candidate stood up and walked out during the middle of the interview.
  • Man wore jogging suit to interview for position as financial vice president.
  • Said 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.
  • Wouldn’t get out of the chair until I would hire him. I had to call the police.
  • When I asked him about his hobbies, he stood up and started tap dancing around my office.
  • Had a little pinball game and challenged me to play with him.
  • Bounced up and down on my carpet and told me I must be highly thought of by the company because I was given such a thick carpet.
  • Took a brush out of my purse, 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.
  • Said he wasn’t interested because the position paid too much.
  • While I was on a long-distance phone call, the applicant took out a copy of Penthouse, and looked through the photos only, stopping longest at the centerfold.
  • During the interview, an alarm clock went off from the candidate’s brief case. He took it out, shut it off, apologized and said he had to leave for another interview.
  • A telephone call came in for the job applicant. It was from his wife. His side of the conversation went like this: “Which company? … When do l start? … What’s the salary?” I said, “l assume you’re not interested in conducting the interview any further.” He promptly responded, “I am as long as you’ll pay me more.” I didn’t hire him, but later found out there was no other job offer. It was a scam to get a higher offer.
  • An applicant came in wearing only one shoe. She explained that the other shoe was stolen off her foot in the bus.
  • His attaché [case] opened when he picked it up and the contents spilled, revealing ladies’ undergarments and assorted makeup and perfume.
  • He came to the interview with a moped and left it in the reception area. He didn’t want it to get stolen, and stated that he would require indoor parking for the moped.
  • He took off his right shoe and sock, removed a medicated foot powder and dusted it on the foot and in the shoe. While he was putting back the shoe and sock, he mentioned that he had to use the powder four times a day, and this was the time.
  • Candidate said he really didn’t want to get a job, but the unemployment office needed proof that he was looking for one.
  • He whistled when the interviewer was talking.
  • She threw-up on my desk, and immediately started asking questions about the job, like nothing had happened.
  • Pointing to a black case he carried into my office, he said that if he was not hired, the bomb would go off. Disbelieving, I began to state why he would never be hired and that I was going to call the police. He then reached down to the case, flipped a switch and ran. No one was injured, but I did need to get a new desk. (Wall Street Journal 1989)
  • Asked if I wanted some cocaine before starting the interview.

The Resume Bloopers

These are taken from real resumes and cover letters and were printed in Fortune Magazine.j0430491

  • 1. I demand a salary commiserate with my extensive experience.
  • 2. I have lurnt Word Perfect 6.0 computor and spreadsheet progroms.
  • 3. Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year.
  • 4. Reason for leaving last job: maturity leave.
  • 5. Wholly responsible for two (2) failed financial institutions.
  • 6. Its best for employers that I not work with people.
  • 7. Lets meet, so you can ooh and aah over my experience.
  • 8. You will want me to be Head Honcho in no time.
  • 9. Am a perfectionist and rarely if if ever forget details.
  • 10. I was working for my mom until she decided to move.
  • 11. Failed bar exam with relatively high grades.
  • 12. Marital status: single. Unmarried. Unengaged. Uninvolved. No Commitments.
  • 13. I have an excellent track record, although I am not a horse.
  • 14. I am loyal to my employer at all costs… Please feel free to respond to my resume on my office voice mail.
  • 15. I have become completely paranoid, trusting completely no one and absolutely nothing.
  • 16. My goal is to be a meteorologist. But since I possess no training in meterology, I suppose I should try stock brokerage.
  • 17. I procrastinate, especially when the task is unpleasant.
  • 18. As indicted, I have over five years of analyzing investments.
  • 19. Personal interests: donating blood. Fourteen gallons so far.
  • 20. Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain store.
  • 21. Note: Please don’t miscontrue my 14 jobs as job-hopping. I have never quit a job.
  • 22. Marital status: often. Children: various.
  • 23. Reason for leaving last job: They insisted that all employees get to work by 8:45 a.m. every morning. Could not work under those conditions.
  • 24. The company made me a scapegoat, just like my three previous employers.

Pick a starting salary

Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Person asked the young MBA fresh out of MIT, “And what starting salary were you looking for?”

The candidate said, “In the neighborhood of $125,000 a year, depending on the benefits package.”

The HR Person said, “Well, what would you say to a package of 5-weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every 2 years – say, a red Corvette?”

The Engineer sat up straight and said, “Wow!!! Are you kidding?”

And the HR Person said, “Certainly, …but you started it.”

Changed HR policies

“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” Mark Twain

Casual Fridays:j0438543

Week 1 – Memo No. 1

Effective this week, the company is adopting Fridays as Casual Day. Employees are free to dress in the casual attire of their choice.

Week 3 – Memo No. 2

Spandex and leather micro-miniskirts are not appropriate attire for Casual Day. Neither are string ties, rodeo belt buckles or moccasins.

Week 6 – Memo No. 3

Casual Day refers to dress only, not attitude. When planning Friday’s wardrobe, remember image is a key to our success.

Week 8 – Memo No. 4

A seminar on how to dress for Casual Day will be held at 4 p.m. Friday in the cafeteria. A fashion show will follow. Attendance is mandatory.

Week 9 – Memo No. 5

As an outgrowth of Friday’s seminar, a 14-member Casual Day Task Force has been appointed to prepare guidelines for proper casual-day dress.

Week 14 – Memo No. 6

The Casual Day Task Force has now completed a 30-page manual entitled “Relaxing Dress Without Relaxing Company Standards.” A copy has been distributed to every employee. Please review the chapter “You Are What You Wear” and consult the “home casual” versus “business casual” checklist before leaving for work each Friday. If you have doubts about the appropriateness of an item of clothing, contact your CDTF representative before 7 a.m. on Friday.

Week 18 – Memo No. 7

Our Employee Assistant Plan (EAP) has now been expanded to provide support for psychological counseling for employees who may be having difficulty adjusting to Casual Day.

Week 20 – Memo No. 8

Due to budget cuts in the HR Department we are no longer able to effectively support or manage Casual Day. Casual Day will be discontinued, effective immediately.

Sleeping on the job

“You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything –even poverty–you can survive it.” Bill Cosby

Things To Say If You Get Caught Sleeping At Your Desk

  • “They told me at the blood bank this might happen.”
  • “This is just a 15 minute power-nap like they raved about in the last time management course you sent me to.”
  • “Whew! Guess I left the top off the liquid paper”
  • “I wasn’t sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm!”
  • “This is one of the seven habits of highly effective people!”
  • “I was testing the keyboard for drool resistance”
  • “Actually I’m doing a “Stress Level Elimination Exercise Plan” (SLEEP) I learned it at the last mandatory seminar you made me attend.
  • “I was doing a highly specific Yoga exercise to relieve work related stress.”
  • “Darn! Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution to our biggest problem.”
  • “The coffee machine is broken….”
  • “Someone must’ve put decaf in the wrong pot.”
  • “Boy, that cold medicine I took last night just won’t wear off!”
  • “Ah, the unique and unpredictable circadian rhythms of the workaholic!”
  • “I wasn’t sleeping, I was trying to pick up contact lens without hands.”

Employee lingo list

“I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.” Woody Allen

Here is a little clarification of employee lingo.


I’ve used Microsoft Office.


I pilfer office supplies.


I hope you don’t ask me about all the McJobs I’ve had.


I blame others for my mistakes.


I give lots of unsolicited personal advice to co- workers.


I’ve changed jobs a lot.


I’m never at my desk.


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