From catching on a candidate’s fake British accent to receiving a CV written on lined paper, 26 Employers share the strangest reason they found for not hiring someone.
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
1. A mother’s stamp of approval is needed
Was interviewing to fill 2 dozen positions in a week so had hundreds of short interviews planned. First day of interviews was pretty horrible, most were completely unqualified and it was not going well. In walks this young sharply dressed guy, fantastic resume, interview is going great and I’m about to offer him the supervisory role. Talk turns to compensation, and he excuses himself, I had thought to go to the restroom. Returns 30 seconds later with his mother! She proceeds to try to negotiate salary, benefits and vacation time, on his behalf. I was so stunned I just ended the interview and tossed his file in the trash.
2. Who is interviewing who here?
The receptionist offered him a drink while he waited. When he came in, he talked for a good two or three minutes on how we should change our sodas to flavored water to keep our customers healthier. We have water and sparkling water if they opt for that. We are an office, not a restaurant, and I honestly don’t care if my customers drink pure grain alcohol out there as long as their checks clear.
His immediate criticism of a courtesy didn’t just rub me the wrong way, but told me he would let his personal beliefs or preferences get in the way of his objective. I was interviewing someone to get paid to champion my agenda, not their own.
3. Not interview appropriate
Wouldn’t shut up about how amazing and special his daughter is during the interview, after he brought her up with no provocation. I get that she’s the most amazing little person in the world TO YOU but this has no bearing on your skills or what we need to be talking about. Then I told him that my staff is mostly female, and he asked if we were all on the same cycle.
4. What an insightful answer!
At my old job, our online application form had (along with the resume and cover letter) questions about how the candidate exemplified our four “corporate values”, one of which was “openness”. Most people just left it blank.
One candidate explained how open he was thusly: “I am open about my contempt for meaningless corporate crap like this question.”
I really, really tried to get him in for an interview, but HR saw that response and refused to schedule it.
5. Doesnt seem too serious about getting a job
Showed up for the interview wearing flip flops with gnarly feet and gross toenails. Was wearing blue jeans that were three sizes too small (at least), muffin top with way too much skin showing over the waistband. A too small t-shirt she was about to fall out of, enormous hoop earrings and a really bad, dirty wig.
When I asked her why she left het last job she told me they wouldn’t let her have hour lunch breaks. I told her I won’t either and dismissed her.
This is someone who doesn’t want to work. Who does that?
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6. The most qualified candidate is a little on the odd side
A while back, I went to a job fair at the community college to tell people about the internship at my office. A young lady stops at my table, asks what kind of jobs I have available, and hands me her resume. I look down to skim her resume. When I look back up, she has her thumb in her mouth. I asked her about her major, her previous jobs, her availability, and she answered all my questions while she sucked her thumb.
Sad thing is, other than that, she was probably the most qualified person I saw all day.
7. Not qualified . at all
Hiring for a front counter/retail position – we received a resume from a woman in her 40’s who had very little real-life work experience. Her resume was 3 pages long, detailing her duties as a retail shop owner in Second Life. Along with some screenshots. Her avatar was dressed like a dominatrix. Unfortunately, we had to decline.
8. Put some effort into it
I work in restaurants/hotels primarily and see a good amount of crazy stuff. The ones that always get me are the 1.) sit down at the bar, order a cocktail, then ask for an application. 2.) Tries to fill out an application whilst in a booth making out with their boyfriend/girlfriend. 3.) Comes in to apply during peak service hours and seems irritated that nobody has time to talk to them. 4.) Comes in wearing tank tops, ridiculous baggy jeans, bandanas, caps, obscene t-shirts, or anything that isn’t professional attire. Come on, at least care enough to put on slack and a button up. Or often times I’d gladly settle for jeans and a button up.
9. Oh, why now!?
I was interviewing a guy a couple of weeks ago. Literally mid-sentence he said “hang on” leaned over and puked his guts out (we were standing on our loading dock). He then resumed the conversation almost as if nothing had happened.
10. An aggressive candidate
After a full 30 minute interview, tells me that when I run her background check, there “may be something that pops up. And proceeds to tell me that she’d been arrested for stabbing her boyfriend in the neck with a letter opener after he tried to kick her out of the house. And that just last week she actually took the rap” for her sister after she stole something from Wal-Mart. Even after I gave her the “we’ve decided to move forward with other candidates” speech, she still calls regularly asking if I’ve changed my mind on hiring her.
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11. Grabbing the hiring managers attention the wrong way
My manager told me he refused to hire someone because she had like a cartoon rendering of her face on the top of her resume. I don’t know for sure or anything, but in my mind’s eye I imagine this twenty year old girl has been applying and applying for gigs and has no idea why she keeps getting turned down. “I mean, I’ve got the cartoon down, what else could I possibly be doing to grab their attention?
12. The fake British accent
We had a girl interview for a cashier position. She came in speaking with a British accent, so I asked where she was from out of curiosity. She proceeds to tell me “I spent some time in England and just thought it sounded cool. Oh, and under previous job experience she listed “played a zombie”. That would have probably gotten her the job over the accent.
Had two twins both apply to the same job, they had gone to the same college and gotten the same degree, and had worked the exact same three jobs prior. Even under leadership experience, they were co-founders of some club, did the same habitat for humanity work, etc. My boss thought they were too similar to make an offer to one but not the other, so neither of them got the job.
A month later one of them got a job somewhere else in our company, so we called the other one back and hired him.
14. Not the best time to be doing these things
She brought her kid to the interview. Weird, but not a deal breaker. I understand how it can be for parents. Then the kid, who was about 3 or 4, throws up while sitting on her lap. OK. Now things are starting to get pretty weird, but it’s not her fault the kid is sick. Get some napkins, clean the kid up, OK, back to business….Aaaaaaaand she whips out her breast and is breastfeeding this 3-4 year old in the middle of the interview. And not even a peep to acknowledge that it’s happening. My assistant couldn’t pick her jaw up off the floor. I thanked the woman for her time, and she didn’t get a call back.
15. The greedy candidate
The recruiter at my old job told me this story: She was interviewing someone and took her on a quick tour around the office. They went through the break room, where there was a box of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts on the table. Apparently another employee had traveled to Hawaii and brought back something to share with the office.
Since it would have been rude not to offer, the recruiter offered the interviewee to take a piece of chocolate. The interviewee took three, despite the fact that, if you knew how to count, it was obvious that there were not as many candies as there were employees in the office.
The recruiter decided not to hire someone who was so greedy at the expense of other employees.
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16. Nope, not that guy
Some guy came up to the counter and asked to speak to the manager to drop off his resume. Everything looked promising for the guy until he mentioned that he’s friends with this person who used to work for us. Little did he know, my manager really did not like this person. After the guy left my manager threw away his resume. He did not want to hire anyone associated with that person.
17. Keep this up, and youll never get an interview
A woman emails and yells at me because every time I would post an ad online, she would respond and I would not interview her. She became so obsessed with trying to interview and “catch” me for not calling her in that she used someone elses (better) resume and a fake name and email to get my contact information. She started emailing my personal email and calling me by name and typing in caps about people needing jobs. This has been going on for years now. I dont know why she thinks at this point I would ever interview her.
18. Dont catch him off guard
We were interviewing college students for an engineering intern. This one guy had a good resume and seemed pretty bright, but was kind of weird. We took him on a tour of the building after the “regular” interview was over, and when we got to the cube/office part of the building, he said that if he got the job he would have to have an office (typically reserved for managers) because he had been taking karate lessons and might hurt somebody if they came up behind him and caught him off guard. He then made some karate-like gestures with sound effects.
19. How to contact them now?
I worked for a small corporate recruiting company mostly hiring for call centres. During the most recent recession in the UK we got a lot of graduates applying. Generally ~5-10% of these had no contact information whatsoever. They would be well written with excellent qualifications and even good work experience but had obviously spent so much time writing them that they forgot to add their name, telephone, email or address to their own CV
20. Just follow the instructions
I put an ad on Craigslist looking to fill a position for a shop I manage. In the listing I put a description of the position along with a brief list of requirements for the job. I instructed interested parties to attach their resume and contact information along with a brief one or two sentences on why they feel they would be a good candidate for the position.
Over half the people that responded failed to include a sentence or two on why they felt they would be good for the position. This told me that these applicants could not follow basic instructions and none of them received call backs despite whatever may have been in their resumes.
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21. Does vacationing in other countries count as experience?
Received what could loosely be described as a CV (Resume), scrawled with a pencil on lined notebook paper with the spiral binding shreds still attached. This is an application for an experienced travel consultant within a busy city centre agency. The stand-out line was “I have no experience of working in a travel agency, but I have been on holiday to Spain before.
22. Employee Wanted, but this one not hired
A plainclothes guy walked into my building. Unfortunately I was the first person to make eye contact with him. He walked over and handed me his resume, asking that I hand it to HR, and then left.
His resume was formatted in the form of an old west “Wanted” poster, complete with faded brown cardstock, old-timey mugshot, and Saloon-y font.
Yeah…we’re an Engineering company.
I should add: resume was riddled with typos, and skill set amounted to “good with computers.
23. The crystal that calls
I was the manager of a store in Sedona AZ, well known for its new age community. Guy in an old army coat came in and filled out an application, which since I was short-handed at the time, decided to take a few minutes to look over and interview on the spot. During the interview I asked about his contact information. He had no address or phone number filled out and I thought he might have missed that section as it was blank. He said No dude, I saw it.” He stood up and reached in his pocket and pulled out a small crystal. “If you want to hire me, just hold that crystal next to my name on the application and try to remember my face. I’ll know it and come in right away.” I told him roger that, and we’d be in touch. He came in two days later to report to work….but I had to tell him it must have been a wrong number. He just stood there in disbelief for about two minutes and then left. I still have the crystal.
24. Vampires need jobs too
A couple of years ago, I was doing hiring for a call center that took pizza orders. Minimum wage, very little requirements for employment- we were basically looking for people that could talk, do a little typing and show up to work.
Called an app for interview and the guy asked for a 7:30pm interview. Unusual, but we were open until 12:30 and I was going to be there anyway, so I agreed. We are always looking for closers, so I figured this guy would be fine.
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It was the fall, and it had just started getting dark around 7 here when the guy shows up. He is literally wearing a black cape and giant black boots. This man is the palest person I have ever seen. He has his dyed black hair slicked back. I take him into the conference room, offer to take his “jacket”, but he declines. He is polite and answers questions well. At one point during the interview he laughs and I notice that his canine teeth have been modified into points. Honestly, at this point I have not written the guy off, he is intelligent, well spoken and polite- so what if he is a little strange?
The problem we ran into, however, was scheduling. He informed me that due to his “religion” he was not able to come to work during the day. In the winter, that is fine, he could come in at like 6:00, but in the summer, starting a shift at 9:30 just did not work for us. I let him know right then and there that his scheduling requirements didn’t fit for us, but if he changed his mind to give us a call.
25. The ultimate nervousness
Was interviewing interns with 2 other colleagues for a tech position in early 2014. College we were at offers a conference room where we can interview applicants on campus. The conference room was fairly large for 4 people and had about 10 folding tables setup in a rectangle forcing us to kind of have either this weird separation between us and the applicant or to have a sort of elongated sidebar. Everything is going fine with everyone just walking in and sitting where they want,until the 4th applicant walks in, first thing I notice is he seemed slightly jittery.
He kind of stutter steps not sure whether to to sit next to us or across and then after awkwardly long moment pondering his decision he sits down next to us. I ask him his name and we begin some basic back and forth regarding the position and some info about him. About 3 minutes into the conversation I notice he begins to sweat but since he sat down and started talking he has not really moved other than to hand my colleague his resume. A small bead of sweat begins to form at the top of brow. We keep talking, with my colleagues asking about his proficiency with certain programs we needed our interns to know. After about 10 minutes his collar is beginning to have slight bleed through and his cuffs are even beginning to darken with dampness.
The bead of sweat has now become a perfect sphere of liquid slowly travelling down his head towards his nose. Somehow he has still not moved his hands from the table in order to stop the impending salty sadness from hitting his eyes. The whole time he would keep his head perfectly still, moving at most to slightly look at each of the 3 of us when we talked. After 20 minutes we end the interview and he finally reaches up with his right hand and brushes the giant monsoon heading towards his eyes at just the last second…. and then extends his hand to shake ours. He did not get a call back.
26. Selfie game NOT on point
I recently had a guy email his resume for a position I was hiring for. He included his photo on the resume, which I thought was odd to begin with. But the photo he used was a very stoic, casual, pouty-face selfie. It was utterly unprofessional and self absorbed looking.
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