How Not to Get a Job – Actual Events and Comments made in interviews (This should be a reality show)

How Not To Get A Job

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Vice presidents and Personnel Directors of the one hundred largest corporations were asked to describe their most unusual experience interviewing prospective employees:

A job applicant challenged the interviewer to an arm wrestle.
Interviewee wore a Walkman, explaining that she could listen to the interviewer and the music at the same time.
Candidate announced she hadn’t had lunch and proceeded to eat a hamburger and french fries in the interviewer’s office.
Candidate explained that her long-term goal was to replace the interviewer.
Candidate said he never finished high school because he was kidnapped and kept in a closet in Mexico.
Balding candidate excused himself and returned to the office a few minutes later wearing a headpiece.
Applicant said if he was hired he would demonstrate his loyalty by having the corporate logo tattooed on his forearm.
Applicant interrupted interview to phone her therapist for advice on how to answer specific interview questions.
Candidate brought large dog to interview.
Applicant refused to sit down and insisted on being interviewed standing up.
Candidate dozed off during interview.
The employers were also asked to list the “most unusual” questions that have been asked by job candidates:

“What is it that you people do at this company?”
“What is the company motto?”
“Why aren’t you in a more interesting business?”
“What are the zodiac signs of all the board members?”
“Why do you want references?”
“Do I have to dress for the next interview?”
“I know this is off the subject, but will you marry me?”
“Will the company move my rock collection from California to Maryland?”
“Will the company pay to relocate my horse?”
“Does your health insurance cover pets?”
“Would it be a problem if I’m angry most of the time?”
“Does your company have a policy regarding concealed weapons?”
“Do you think the company would be willing to lower my pay?”
“Why am I here?”
Also included are a number of unusual statements made by candidates during the interview process:

“I have no difficulty in starting or holding my bowel movement.”
“At times I have the strong urge to do something harmful or shocking.”
“I feel uneasy indoors.”
“Sometimes I feel like smashing things.”
“Women should not be allowed to drink in cocktail bars.”
“I think that Lincoln was greater than Washington.”
“I get excited very easily.”
“Once a week, I usually feel hot all over.”
“I am fascinated by fire.”
“I like tall women.”
“Whenever a man is with a woman, he is usually thinking about sex.”
“People are always watching me.”
“If I get too much change in a store, I always give it back.”
“Almost everyone is guilty of bad sexual conduct.”
“I must admit that I am a pretty fair talker.”
“I never get hungry.”
“I know who is responsible for most of my troubles.”
“If the pay was right, I’d travel with the carnival.”
“I would have been more successful if nobody would have snitched on me.”
“My legs are really hairy.”
“I think I’m going to throw up.”


These quotes are taken from real résumés and cover letters and were printed in the July 21, 1997 issue of Fortune Magazine. (Note: all typographical errors, etc., are as intended.)

“I demand a salary commiserate with my extensive experience.”
“I have lurnt Word Perfect 6.0 computor and spreadsheet progroms.”
“Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year.”
“Reason for leaving last job: maturity leave.”
“Wholly responsible for two (2) failed financial instutions.”
“Failed bar exam with relatively high grades.”
“It’s best for employers that I not work with people.”
“Let’s meet, so you can ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over my experience.”
“You will want me to be Head Honcho in no time.”
“Am a perfectionist and rarely if if ever forget details.”
“I was working for my mom until she decided to move.”
“Marital Status: single. Unmarried. Unengaged. Uninvolved. No commitments.”
“I have an excellent track record, although I am not a horse.”
“I am loyal to my employer at all costs….Please feel free to respond to my resume on my office voice mail.”
“I have become completely paranoid, trusting completely no one and absolutely nothing.”
“My goal is be a meteorologist. But since I possess no training in meteorology, I suppose I should try stock brokeridge.”
“I procrastinate, especally when the task is unpleasant.”
“Personal interests: donating blood. Fourteen gallons so far.”
“As indicted, I have over five years of analyzing investments.”
“Instrumental is ruining entire organization for a Midwest Chain store.”
“Note: Please don’t misconstrue my 14 jobs as ‘job-hopping’. I have never quit a job.”
“Marital Status: often. Children: various.”
“Reason for leaving last job: They insisted that all employess get to work by 8:45 am every morning. I couldn’t work under those conditions.”
“The company made me a scapegoat, just like my three previous employers.”
“Finished eighth in my class of ten.”
“References: none. I’ve left a path of descruction behind me.”

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