We know that dressing up smartly, confidence and flawless presentation are the key criteria that make a candidate stand out in a job interview. However, despite having the right qualifications, some interviewees go all wrong due to their amusing habits or things they should have avoided saying during a job interview.
From chewing tobacco during the interview to a candidate thinking he is “beautiful”, Human Resource (HR) managers have had somewhat of a wild ride. Read on if you think you made a fool of yourself at your last interview.
HRs share interesting anecdotes that will make you laugh!
One of the candidates I hired was going to relocate from another city for the job. On the day of joining when I called to check his whereabouts he said that he was at the airport and was reaching the office in 30 minutes. It’s been five years now and he still hasn’t turned up.
– Vishal Naithani, HR, Shuttl
A candidate had walked in for a marketing profile. When inquired about his family background, skills and whether he is aware of the courses we offer, he confidently said “yes”. After a couple of questions on marketing, I asked him his opinion on python (a programming language). Instead of putting logic to use, he started telling me about python (the snake), snake bites and types of venom. Needless to say, the candidate did not make it to our payroll for obvious reasons. Lesson to be learnt: Never lie at interviews and be genuine.
– Ankit Prakash- HR Head and Co-founder of Zenrays
A candidate came in chewing tobacco — gutkha, to be precise— to the interview round and continued to savour it like a delicacy throughout the session. I wished it didn’t come popping out from his mouth.
– Monalisa Biswal, HR Head, AdLift
I remember once our CEO wanted to see how good a candidate was at critical thinking. He asked the candidate to get him a samosa in the next 15 minutes even though there was no samosa shop nearby. Not just was the guy able to buy a samosa and but he also made it back in time!
Actually, he had gone to the smoking zone below the building and asked where could he buy the snack. One of the people there told him that it’s available but only in a different floor of the same building at a snack shop tucked inside a different office. He had managed to enter that office without ID, buy a samosa and get back, all in those 15 minutes.
– Anu Yadav, HR head, Knowlarity
Recently, while hiring for a business development executive role, a candidate said that he is perfect for the role because he is “beautiful” and that his friends told him his smile was “really pretty”. Just before the interview, he was asked to write a few lines on how he would devise a business development strategy – which ended up becoming a strategy to attract people, in his words. The candidate was so much in love with himself that throughout the interview, he kept trying to convince us about his “beauty” and how it will help him achieve targets.
– Mehul Bhatt, CEO & Co-founder, FLO Career
A candidate we once interviewed for a managerial cadre was asked one of the most common fold questions that where would he like to see himself in some odd years. Astonishingly, his answer was to see his own self in a mirror. He reluctantly continued that managers need to adhere to perfection at all stages of life and hence he wouldn’t like to become something after a certain phase and would like to see himself as a good professional.
The option best he felt determined to would be a mirror he would like to look into. When we strive for our best to depict the fact that seeing is not physical viewing rather as an aspiration to set for, but boiled down to conclude that such an effort was futile. A self-satisfied manager who would like to see himself in a mirror was more than a skill the company was looking for in a candidate.
– Amrita Karmakar, HR, Ideal Insurance Brokers Pvt Ltd
Once, a sweet lady who came to our office for the front desk officer post. At the time of the interview , she acted as if she was very familiar with one of the HR managers and kept reminding him, “We have met earlier”. When asked by the HR manager where she thought they would have met? She replied, “This morning, just outside this interview cabin while filling introduction forms”. Her short déjà vu was indeed funny.
– Kavita Nigam, HR, Karam Industries
During an interview round, we noticed that the candidate’s lips were dark. One of my senior colleagues asked him if he smoked a cigarette to which he said no. Something about this nagged me and towards the end of the interview, I asked him whether he smoke a bidi (dried, rolled leaves filled with tobacco), to which he replied yes. When asked why he had denied smoking earlier he said that you were not specific enough. His witty take and straight forwardness made us all laugh.
– Thomas Varghese, Country Head-HR, SoftAge
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