Job Applicant Faux Pas

We've all been interviewed for jobs. And, we've all spent most of thoseinterviews thinking about what not to do. Don't bite your nails. Don'tfidget. Don't interrupt. Don't belch. If we did any of the "don'ts," weknew we'd disqualify ourselves instantly. But some job applicants go lightyears beyond this. Here is a survey of top personnel executives of 100major American corporations who were asked for stories of unusualbehavior by job applicants. The lowlights:

1. "...stretched out on the floor to fill out the job application."

2. "She wore a Walkman and said she could listen to me and the music atthe same time."

3. "A balding candidate abruptly excused himself. Returned to office afew minutes later, wearing a hairpiece."

4. "... asked to see interviewer's resume to see if the personnelexecutive was qualified to judge the candidate."

5. "... announced she hadn't had lunch and proceeded to eat a hamburgerand french fries in the interviewer's office - wiping the ketchup onher sleeve."

6. "Stated that, if he were hired, he would demonstrate his loyalty byhaving the corporate logo tattooed on his forearm."

7. "Interrupted to phone his therapist for advice on answering specificinterview questions."

8. "When I asked him about his hobbies, he stood up and started tapdancing around my office."

9. "At the end of the interview, while I stood there dumbstruck, wentthrough my purse, took out a brush, brushed his hair, and left."

10. "... pulled out a Polaroid camera and snapped a flash picture of me.Said he collected photos of everyone who interviewed him."

11. "Said he wasn't interested because the position paid too much."

12. "During the interview, an alarm clock went off from the candidate'sbriefcase. He took it out, shut it off, apologized and saidhe had to leave for another interview."

13. "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 I start? What's the salary?'I said, 'I assume you're not interested in conducting the interview anyfurther.'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."

14. "His attache [case] opened when he picked it up and the contentsspilled, revealing ladies' undergarments and assorted makeup and perfume."

15. "Candidate said he really didn't want to get a job, but theunemployment office needed proof that he was looking for one."

16. "... asked who the lovely babe was, pointing to the picture on mydesk. When I said it was my wife, he asked if she was home now andwanted my phone number. I called security."

17. "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 statewhy he would never be hired and that I was going to call the police. Hethen reached down to the case, flipped a switch and ran.No one was injured, but I did need to get a new desk."

David Levinthal

[ As Read on Car Talk ]