Strange but True Interview Experiences from You!

HRSBT recently asked, “What’s the strangest job interview you’ve ever conducted?” And the responses rolled in!

Hands raised

One reader, Gary, gave us multiple examples of strange interviews: “At one company I worked for, I had to interview employees for a job in my department, from different departments when they wanted a job transfer.

One candidate started out by explaining that he didn’t know why he was interviewing because he hated the company, hated his coworkers, hated his boss, but maybe a transfer would help. He never once looked at me, staring at the floor the entire time. I asked a few simple questions, but the attitude was scary.

After other in-house interviews I selected my preference. I was told I couldn’t have the guy I wanted for 90 days, but “mister personality” was available immediately. I told them I would wait.

At another company I worked for, I witnessed four people come in to fill out applications—three  guys and a girl. The stench of body odor and cigarette smoke was overpowering. Their clothes were dirty. Part of the application included a simple math test with commonsense questions and all answers were multiple choice. The girl scored 19 wrong out of 20. Needless to say, the applications went in the circular file, and the room deodorizer came out.

I was in charge of conducting new employee safety training. With one candidate, after some safety videos, to take a break, I took him on a facilities tour to show him safety and fire equipment as well as to cover emergency evacuation. When we got to the packaging department, he appeared agitated.

He said: “There’s a lot of people here, a lot going on. Do you have a job where I can work alone by myself without all these people?”

My reply: “No, actually, you will start here in packaging.”

His reply: “Sorry, not for me, how do I get out of here?” And he was gone …

He previously was a long haul truck driver.

Everyone razzed me for quite some time that my safety training bored people too much so they would leave.

Another reader, Steve, shared these, after having viewed the first one on a CareerBuilder list of strange interview situations: “ … a candidate who brought a pizza and didn’t share. I had one who brought a six pack of Budweiser with two empties he had enjoyed while waiting to be called in. He didn’t share those either.”

Melissa BlazejakMelissa Blazejak is a Senior Web Content Editor at BLR. She has written articles for and the HR Daily Advisor websites and is responsible for the day-to-day management of and She has been at BLR since 2014. She graduated with a BA of Science, specializing in Communication, from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2008. Most recently, she graduated in 2014 with a MS of Educational Technology.

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Author: Melissa Blazejak