What’s your funniest or worst war story of a job interview gone awry? Have you ever had a job candidate put lotion on her feet during the interview? No? How about a candidate who brings a pet bird to the interview – tucked in in her shirt, no less. Tim Gould of HR Morning reports on Career Builder’s Harris Poll about job interview oddities, or the strangest things job candidates have done during the interview process: ‘Oh, that’s just my pet bird’: The most outrageous things candidates did in interviews.

As per usual, there are some very funny and rather incredible stories … as well as some more serious observations about job candidate behavior – such as the five most common “instant deal breakers”:

  • Candidate is caught lying about something: 69%
  • Candidate answers a cell phone or text during the interview: 68%
  • Candidate appears arrogant or entitled: 60%
  • Candidate dresses inappropriately: 50%
  • Candidate swears: 50%.

While these are pretty funny, I would guess that most of us can identify with awkward or nervous candidates? Who among us has never said something we wish we could get a do-over for at a job interview? And turnabout is fair play, employers can say some pretty clueless things, too.

Nevertheless, these interview run amuck stories are a little bit like potato chips – it’s hard to stop at one. Here are a few more compilations of amusing interview blunders:

Humor aside, hiring people is one of the riskiest things that an employer does. ESI EAP offers discounted background checks and pre-employment screening to member employers. For more information, call 800-535-4841.


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