What are the most ridiculous things you have seen a job applicant(s) do?

This answer can be a story about ridiculous job application, resume, interview, and/or follow up.


Chris Nordman (Director of Client Operations, Ziff Davis B2B Focus, Inc.)

I have interviewed upwards of 200 people over the last 3 years. There is one resume, interview and post interview follow up that stands out as both the most absurd and most talked about experience in my company history. This is one no one will ever forget. By the way, this happened about 2 years ago and I still remember every detail. The applicant did ALL of the following:

1.    Full color, looking off in the distance, MySpace-esque picture at the top of the resume. There is debate over the professionalism of a picture on a resume; in this case, no debate; he should not have done it.
2.    Writing about what his parent’s jobs were, ON THE RESUME. Not relevant to any job, ever. By the way, he also talked, in detail, about their careers during the actual interview.
3.    Grandiose claims that he became one of the head bartenders, with no previous experience, after 6 months of bar backing at the biggest bar in Manhattan.
4.    Facebook profile URL on his resume with no privacy settings. A request to go on Facebook to see him partying in 90% of his pictures.

1.    Walking to the conference room with me; throws the sideways peace sign and eyebrow raise to a female employee.
2.    Had his zipper down.
3.    Matter of fact tone: “I got a job in Europe, through my dad, at a government agency. They only spoke Italian or French, so I just learned them really quick.” Why is this ridiculous? He said he learned 2 languages in 3 months.
4.    Gave me a finger triangle (both thumbs and pointer fingers touching to form a triangle) as a way to illustrate how his top 2 skills (bottom corners of his triangle) met at the apex to create a platform for his long term goals.
5.    Asks for a high five at the end of the interview.

Post Interview: the Monday morning email:
1.    Re-cap of his weekend, including “drinking a ‘sixer’ at the beach with my boys.”
2.    Some sort of elaborate, obscure math equation using the idea of an approaching leap year to provide a forecast for him being hired.
3.    5 or 6 Wiki definitions/uses of our company name.

I know. This sounds too outlandish to have happened in person; maybe a scene from a movie. This is real. By the way, we hired him…..just kidding, he called two days later to tell me he knew we were going to give him the job, but he was taking another offer.
7 Additional Answers
Jeffrey Summers (President, Summers Hospitality Group)
My top picks.

1. Woman attempting to breastfeed her child during the interview.
2. Bikini attire.
3. Asked if any of our kitchen help could help him score 'some of the good stuff'.
4. After responding 'No' to the question about felony convictions, asking to have his parole card signed.
John Lampkin
We once had a person stop by the office and drop off a tri-fold resume with motivational images on it, we weren't hiring, especially that person.
Rachel Marks (Events Coordinator, Achievers (formerly I Love Rewards))
I have received a 34 page resume...
Jeff Tobagani (Consultant, Consultant)
Two minutes into my interview with a guy, he starts crying profusely and won't stop. He cried for 5-10 minutes. I tried to console him. When I asked if there was anything I could do to help, he started telling me his life story while crying his eyes out for another 10-15 minutes.

Sandy Hackenmueller (Community Manager, ShesConnected.com)
As a recruiter, I once came across a resume where the applicant listed 'reason for leaving' after every job. And each reason was a detailed explanation as to how someone was out to get him, or 'wronged him', or didn't pay him...
Chris Nordman (Director of Client Operations, Ziff Davis B2B Focus, Inc.)
Jeff: that is amazing
Dana Craig (CEO, Quickstone Software, LLC)
I was going to respond until I read these...mine are tame, tame, tame - irritating perhaps, but tame. Chris, I hope the interview was a short one.
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