Next time you feel nervous before an interview, just remember: The hiring manager may also be meeting characters like these!

15. Dude, where's my job?

Studio shot of young handsome Persian teenage boy wearing Hawaiian shirt against gray background
Ranta Images / Shutterstock
The young job candidate in the Hawaiian shirt wanted to know more about the female department head.

This kid comes in with an open Hawaiian shirt and khakis — for a state job.

When asked if he had any questions for us, he goes, "Yeah, do you drug test?"

And when walking him out of the building, he's looking at the pictures of all the heads of that department and stops at the only woman on there and goes, "When can I meet her? I want to know about her life."

We immediately shredded his application.

| DontKnowAThing

14. Hold the phone

Businessman on a phone in the office
Goran Bogicevic / Shutterstock
During his interview, the job candidate took a call from another employer.

[A] fella comes in to interview for a graphic designer position. Five minutes into the interview, his phone starts vibrating.

He looks at the screen, looks back up, and says, "This is the company I interviewed with before coming here. I need to take this."

He stood up, left the room, and spent 10 minutes on the phone.

He didn't get the job. Not in this life, not in the next.

| Luthian

13. Scout's honor

boy scout blurred background
run154 / Shutterstock
The former Eagle Scout remembered to be prepared. Maybe a little too prepared.

I sat in for RA (resident assistant) interviews at my college.

We had an Eagle Scout come in and take us page by page through a scrapbook about his scout career.


It was 10 or 20 pages of him explaining each and every one, taking a minute or two each time. We interrupted him to continue the interview, to which he got a little angry and said he was almost finished.

He was able to add a page after the interview on how being an Eagle Scout doesn't guarantee you an RA job.

| dontbthatguy

12. Not the supportive type

Tired call center operator isolated over white have a headache
Olena Zaskochenko / Shutterstock
Tech support? Wait -- that's me?

I interviewed candidates for a tier-two support tech job. Part of the interview deals with mock scenarios to see how well the person troubleshoots an issue.

I once had a candidate have their suggestion for troubleshooting be to call tech support. I had to seriously tell them, "Pretend you are tech support, what would you try next?"

They had no next step.

How this person got past the phone screen is beyond me.

| leonard71

11. No violence necessary

Group of elementary school kids running in a school corridor
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock
Working with kids is a job that can't be beat!

[I] was interviewing someone for an overseas teaching position. As long as you have a degree in ANYTHING and aren't an absolute monster, you'd get hired.

Question: How would you deal with classroom discipline?

Almost everyone had some answer about rewards-based incentives, etc., but one guy was like, "Well — I probably wouldn't hit them. Unless that was necessary."

Access to children denied.

| queenofhearts90

10. A matter of priorities

Somewhat puzzled bearded driver in the cab of his truck
Dimedrol68 / Shutterstock
A Silverado? Are you kidding?

I had to interview a guy for some contract labor, and when I showed him our work vehicle he shook my hand and said "I'm sorry but I refuse to drive a Chevy" and left.

I was speechless. He was giving me the story of how hard he is having it. I decided to give him a shot, and because we had a Silverado for the work vehicle, he turned it down.

He has three young children.

| anotherone92

9. Beyond repair

Portrait Of A Confused Electrician Looking At Fuse Box
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock
The applicant didn't know what to do with the broken appliance.

We needed an appliance repair guy. They didn't need to have any formal training, but they needed to know what they were doing.

The standard test was we tossed 'em in a room with a broken whateverwehadaround and asked them to diagnose it.

One guy completely dismantled it, and couldn't put it back together again. I walked in, and he's got his hat off, he's rubbing his head, muttering to himself surrounded by parts. I asked him to leave.

So the next guy to apply for the job got shown to the same room, and was told, "Put this back together."

| theottomaddox

8. Not a very cute answer

Raccoon in a garbage bin
Magalie St-Hilaire poulin / Shutterstock
The job candidate wanted to be as sneaky as a raccoon.

When my mom was a manager for a small coffee shop, she would always ask, "What kind of animal would you be and why?" to get their type of personality and the like.

Usually people would say something like "Dogs, because they're loyal" or "Cats, because they can work independently."

Well, this one lady comes in, and my mom asks her the question, and her response was "Raccoons, because they're sneaky and get away with things."

Needless to say she wasn't hired.

| nerfpirate

7. Wrong way to make an impression

Businessman having fun taking a break in the office at work
Elnur / Shutterstock
The applicant wasted time doing silly impressions.

One guy came in and interviewed with us for 44 minutes. My second question in I asked, "What do you like to do on your free time?"

He spent the next 40 minutes doing terribly awful "impressions" of celebrities and voices he makes up on his own. Some of them were OK, most of them were just unbearably awful. He was trying to become a famous voiceover artist.

You may wonder why I let it go on this long; I didn't. I put in six attempts to stop him and steer the interview in another direction. After the sixth attempt failed, it was just kind of funny. And so on he went about his incredible voice-acting talent.

Needless to say, he did not get the job.

As a dishwasher, for the restaurant I was hiring for.

| IAlreadyToldYouMatt

6. She needs a microphone, not a job

Pretty girl singing in office, using phone as microphone, having fun, smiling.?
StockLite / Shutterstock
The job candidate sang when she got nervous.

[We] interviewed a girl who looked perfect on paper and was doing well in the interview. Half way through a question, she seemed to sing a really high note which completely caught me and the other interviewer off guard.

We said nothing and carried on, and then she did it again. I stopped her to see if she was OK to continue, to which she replied that when she gets nervous, she sings. Yep.

So apparently, now that she has told us this she is even more nervous, as no word of a lie, she fully sung the answers to the last three questions.

We wrapped up the end of the interview quickly and thanked her for her time. I then rolled around on the floor for the next 10 minutes letting out the tears I had been holding back.

Best interview ever, and she didn't even get the job.

| ClungePlunger9000

5. Rush to judgment

Man driving a car and tuning radio, smart watch on the hand
Mooshny / Shutterstock
The job candidate was subjected to talk radio.

[I] applied to a pool service company. They wanted me to do a "ride-along" for a day, to see how I'd work out.

Now, pool cleaning is easy. A chimp can do it. It turned out the real reason was to give me what I call the "Rush Limbaugh Test."

There was a point in the day where the guy took a break and turned the truck radio on to listen to Rush. My reaction was monitored very closely. I stayed completely neutral.

Well, it turned out that anything less than a rabid and enthusiastic response to Rush disqualified you from working there.

| BAXterBEDford

4. Bursting his bubble

Abstract soap bubble background,element for designers
Yaorusheng / Shutterstock
The job candidate was making a strange popping sound.

[I] interviewed a guy for a position once. I turned my back to him to diagram a few things on the whiteboard, and I started hearing this popping noise.

Whenever I turned back to him, the popping stopped. Turn back to face the whiteboard, and the popping started again.

Dude had brought some bubblewrap with him to the interview, and was popping it every time I turned away from him.

He did not get the job.

| packfan01

3. Interview gone out the window

Kiev, Ukraine - May 17, 2016: Hand holds Microsoft Windows icon printed on paper
rvlsoft / Shutterstock
The candidate was asked about his experience in Windows.

Interview for a tech position: [The] guy's resume didn't list any previous tech jobs, but I've worked with a lot of self-taught people, and so was willing to give him a chance.

First interview question: "We work with both Linux and Windows systems, so can you summarize your experience with both?"

"Well I don't know that first one, but I've done shower doors, so I should be OK with windows."

I ended the interview and apologized to him for the waste of time. [I] immediately went to HR and demanded they fire the recruiting company.

| Nymaz

2. Twisting slowly in the wind

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - August 31, 2014: Hands and Rubik's cube puzzle isolated on the white background. Cube was invented by a Hungarian architect Erno Rubik in 1974.
Tatiana Popova / Shutterstock

My boss was interviewing a candidate who listed his ability to complete a Rubik's Cube in under 2 minutes on his resume.

My boss walked into the interview about 15 minutes into it, interrupted him halfway through an answer, and tossed him a Rubik's Cube.

Evidently the kid's hands started shaking pretty bad after about a minute, and he had only one side completed by the end of regulation.

He also had "Works well under pressure" on his resume, so my boss immediately called him out on that.

Rest of the interview didn't last long.

| Heir-Apparent

1. Hello???

Bored unhappy young black business woman at desk in office
Elena Elisseeva / Shutterstock
The phone — it just never stops ringing.

Me: "What do you dislike about your current job?"

Her: "The phone — it just never stops ringing."

Me: "Oh, bad phone system? Drops calls — calls pop back in? That kind of thing?"

Her: "No, the phone just rings too much"

She was interviewing to be a receptionist.

Our source.

About the Author

Doug Whiteman

Doug Whiteman


Doug Whiteman is the editor-in-chief of MoneyWise. He has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and and has been interviewed on Fox Business, CBS Radio and the syndicated TV show "First Business."

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