You say you've heard it all. Well, here are some unexpected (and amusing) answers given by candidates during the interview process. We couldn't have made these up if we tried.
I recently needed to call an applicant to inform him he was not eligible for employment with us because his drug test was positive. He called me back 10 minutes later and said, "If I study real hard, can I come back in two weeks and take the test again?"
In my early days, when it was legal to have boxes on the top of the application that asked for name, Social Security Number and sex, one woman put "three times a week." I told her what we wanted was M or F for male or female. She replied, "Well, I did think it was kind of personal, but I need a job so I answered honestly."
Do You Mean That Literally?
One of the questions we ask when interviewing someone is, "What brought you to our company?" By this we mean motivation. I had a guy look at me and answer, "Oh, I drove myself."
That's Not the Kind of Material We Mean
A little old lady came in one time to apply for an ad we had run for a material handler. I asked her what she thought her qualifications were for this position. She responded that she had been sewing for 40 years!
Ever Heard of a Computer?
We recently asked an applicant to give us an example of how he would cut and paste something in MS Word. We were trying to gauge his knowledge of the software. He replied, "Using scissors and glue." Next!
Quite the Rap Sheet
In reference to the employment application question, "Have you ever been convicted of a felony? If so, please state the circumstances," an applicant looked puzzled. He turned over the application to see if there was more room to write on the back, and said, "You only want the felonies?" This was for a banking position. Needless to say, he didn't get hired.
Did the EEOC Miss This One?
At a catalog retail distribution center, a new hire was asked to fill out paperwork that included Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reporting information. On the ethnicity line, the employee wrote "Hillbilly."
Putting the Right Spin on Experience
Interview question: "Have you had any jobs since high school?"
Answer: "I recycle metal I find along the highway."
Two days later, the interviewee was arrested for stealing tractors. Technically, I guess you could say he was recycling metal from along the highway.
When I was interviewing candidates for an accounting clerk position, I came across a woman who chose to present all of her gifts in one resume. Not only did it showcase her experience as an office manager and accounts payable clerk, but it also highlighted her past job as a department store undercover agent, who posed as a cosmetics salesperson to investigate security problems. At the same time, she was winning awards as the top department salesperson! She also touted such abilities as playing the flute and saxophone, singing, dancing, gymnastics, etc.
This was the person to hire if you wanted a bookkeeper who could both entertain you and give you a makeover!