How Not To Get A Job

Vice presidents and Personnel Directors of the one hundred largest corporations were asked to describe their most unusual experience interviewing prospective employees:

  • A job applicant challenged the interviewer to an arm wrestle.
  • Interviewee wore a Walkman, explaining that she could listen to the interviewer and the music at the same time.
  • Candidate announced she hadn’t had lunch and proceeded to eat a hamburger and french fries in the interviewer’s office.
  • Candidate explained that her long-term goal was to replace the interviewer.
  • Candidate said he never finished high school because he was kidnapped and kept in a closet in Mexico.
  • Balding candidate excused himself and returned to the office a few minutes later wearing a headpiece.
  • Applicant said if he was hired he would demonstrate his loyalty by having the corporate logo tattooed on his forearm.
  • Applicant interrupted interview to phone her therapist for advice on how to answer specific interview questions.
  • Candidate brought large dog to interview.
  • Applicant refused to sit down and insisted on being interviewed standing up.
  • Candidate dozed off during interview.

The employers were also asked to list the “most unusual” questions that have been asked by job candidates:

  • “What is it that you people do at this company?”
  • “What is the company motto?”
  • “Why aren’t you in a more interesting business?”
  • “What are the zodiac signs of all the board members?”
  • “Why do you want references?”
  • “Do I have to dress for the next interview?”
  • “I know this is off the subject, but will you marry me?”
  • “Will the company move my rock collection from California to Maryland?”
  • “Will the company pay to relocate my horse?”
  • “Does your health insurance cover pets?”
  • “Would it be a problem if I’m angry most of the time?”
  • “Does your company have a policy regarding concealed weapons?”
  • “Do you think the company would be willing to lower my pay?”
  • “Why am I here?”

Also included are a number of unusual statements made by candidates during the interview process:

  • “I have no difficulty in starting or holding my bowel movement.”
  • “At times I have the strong urge to do something harmful or shocking.”
  • “I feel uneasy indoors.”
  • “Sometimes I feel like smashing things.”
  • “Women should not be allowed to drink in cocktail bars.”
  • “I think that Lincoln was greater than Washington.”
  • “I get excited very easily.”
  • “Once a week, I usually feel hot all over.”
  • “I am fascinated by fire.”
  • “I like tall women.”
  • “Whenever a man is with a woman, he is usually thinking about sex.”
  • “People are always watching me.”
  • “If I get too much change in a store, I always give it back.”
  • “Almost everyone is guilty of bad sexual conduct.”
  • “I must admit that I am a pretty fair talker.”
  • “I never get hungry.”
  • “I know who is responsible for most of my troubles.”
  • “If the pay was right, I’d travel with the carnival.”
  • “I would have been more successful if nobody would have snitched on me.”
  • “My legs are really hairy.”
  • “I think I’m going to throw up.”

These quotes are taken from real résumés and cover letters and were printed in the July 21, 1997 issue of Fortune Magazine. (Note: all typographical errors, etc., are as intended.)

  • “I demand a salary commiserate with my extensive experience.”
  • “I have lurnt Word Perfect 6.0 computor and spreadsheet progroms.”
  • “Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year.”
  • “Reason for leaving last job: maturity leave.”
  • “Wholly responsible for two (2) failed financial instutions.”
  • “Failed bar exam with relatively high grades.”
  • “It’s best for employers that I not work with people.”
  • “Let’s meet, so you can ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over my experience.”
  • “You will want me to be Head Honcho in no time.”
  • “Am a perfectionist and rarely if if ever forget details.”
  • “I was working for my mom until she decided to move.”
  • “Marital Status: single. Unmarried. Unengaged. Uninvolved. No commitments.”
  • “I have an excellent track record, although I am not a horse.”
  • “I am loyal to my employer at all costs….Please feel free to respond to my resume on my office voice mail.”
  • “I have become completely paranoid, trusting completely no one and absolutely nothing.”
  • “My goal is be a meteorologist. But since I possess no training in meteorology, I suppose I should try stock brokeridge.”
  • “I procrastinate, especally when the task is unpleasant.”
  • “Personal interests: donating blood. Fourteen gallons so far.”
  • “As indicted, I have over five years of analyzing investments.”
  • “Instrumental is ruining entire organization for a Midwest Chain store.”
  • “Note: Please don’t misconstrue my 14 jobs as ‘job-hopping’. I have never quit a job.”
  • “Marital Status: often. Children: various.”
  • “Reason for leaving last job: They insisted that all employess get to work by 8:45 am every morning. I couldn’t work under those conditions.”
  • “The company made me a scapegoat, just like my three previous employers.”
  • “Finished eighth in my class of ten.”
  • “References: none. I’ve left a path of descruction behind me.”

One Response to How Not To Get A Job

  1. […] How Not To Get A Job “Whenever a man is with a woman, he is usually thinking about sex.” “People are always watching me.” “If I get too much change in a store, I always give it back.” “Almost everyone is guilty of bad sexual conduct. … […]

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