Here's a sampling of interview anecdotes sent in by Monster members, demonstrating that there's more to a successful job interview than a smile and a handshake.
At Least the Meds Helped
I was interviewing a woman for a clerical position. On her application, she checked "Yes" to a felony conviction and wrote, "Will explain during interview." She said she got mad at her now-ex-husband and hired someone to kill him. But at the last minute she called it off, and he is still alive. She stated she was now on medication and is "all right." She was a great interview up until that point.
How About Reading the Job Description First?
We sure had some interesting candidates while hiring staff for a customer-service call center for the holiday season. Two were drunk when they came in, separately. Then there was a man dressed as a woman, whom one of my coworkers interviewed. One applicant told me that he "hated the Internet, hated catalogs, hated shopping." What was I interviewing him for? Inbound sales calls, and his duties would be assisting customers with their catalog and Internet shopping! (Insert icon of me smacking my head on my desk.)
Not the Best Fit
I'm the placement person at a trade school; we train phlebotomists, among other positions. One of the students went on an interview, and when asked if she enjoyed doing blood draws said that she really didn't like needles.
Curse of the Cellphone
I was interviewing a candidate for a mortgage sales position. She was dressed very professionally and had about a year and a half of experience. The interview was going very well for about 20 minutes when her cellphone started ringing. Instead of shutting it off, she answered it and began to talk (to her boyfriend) for approximately one minute. I was astonished and told her that the interview was over. She didn't know why I canceled the interview. All the better!
Bet She Wanted a Mulligan
I asked a candidate why she was leaving her current job. She proceeded to rake her boss over the coals for the next 10 minutes. Then she told me his name! I have been playing golf with this guy at my golf course for the last 12 years. I only know him from golf, and he seems like a very nice guy who treats everyone with respect. When I told her that I knew him, the blood drained from her face. It is a very small world. I did not hire her.
There's an Honest Objective
The funniest objective I ever read on a resume was from an applicant who was trying to make a career change from the food service industry to corporate America. Under objective, he wrote, "To get out of the kitchen!"
Service with a Sneer
I was interviewing a young man for a customer service position. He had worked at a hair salon, and in describing his experience there, he said, "I had to deal with a lot of old biddies." Needless to say, that's where his candidacy ended.
He Had His Priorities Straight
We were conducting panel interviews for refinery operators. One young man came in and while he did well on the interview questions, appeared very nervous and kept glancing at his watch. At the end of the interview, we told him he needed to report to the medical department for a drug screen. He seemed somewhat distressed at this news, glanced at his watch yet again and asked if it would take very long. Kind of annoyed at this point, I asked him if there was a problem. We were all floored by his response. He said, "No, it's just that my wife is in labor. I dropped her off at the hospital on the way to the interview." When asked why he didn't call and reschedule, he said, "Because I really need this job." He was hired, of course.
When we asked him how his wife felt, he said this was their second child and she told him that she would be fine and it was more important that he go to the interview.