Whether you are the hiring manager or the candidate, there is a lot of pressure to impress during job interview. You could be as prepared as possible, but something could still go wrong – and sometimes, it does.
No matter how well or poorly your interview went, though, there's always a stranger story out there. Could you imagine asking for a "time out" during your meeting, or finding out that the interviewer is your college ex?
Business News Daily asked hiring managers and professionals for their most bizarre job interview experiences. Some of these stories have happy endings, some do not, and some are just plain funny. Have you ever had an interview like one of these? [Have an upcoming interview? Prepare yourself for these common questions you might be asked.]
"I got a job interview after a Tinder date! While discussing out jobs and realizing we would be more of good mates than dates, he immediately asked for my CV, claiming I was the perfect fit for the company he worked for here in New Zealand. I didn't get the job because of Visa complications but it ended up becoming a funny story that led me to another job interview, once again, Tinder-related. This time, my then-Tinder date, who became a friend, asked me to join his team in Brazil – and I did! So, Tinder never got me a boyfriend, but it sure got me a job: Because of all these experiences, now I work [on] dating apps in New Zealand." – S. Ventura
The secret weapon
"I had a candidate for a Project Manager role in Texas reveal to me his criminal background, unsolicited, at the end of the call when I was about to tell him the next steps in the process. It turns out that he served time for a felony weapons charge – something I didn't need to know! He still maintains his innocence." – Christy Hopkins, HR consultant and writer at Fit Small Business
Laying down on the job (interview)
"I was interviewing for my dream summer job with my university. I was still an irresponsible 21-year-old: Exams were done and I partied the night before. In the middle of the interview I actually asked if I could be excused. I had cold sweats coming on and needed a time out. It was such an odd request and should have been a dead giveaway that I hadn't prepared – and [had] partied – but they accommodated. I needed to lay down, so I did – on the floor of the public bathroom in the School of Business. After a couple of minutes I scraped myself together and made my way back to the interview. Somehow lying down and getting blood back to my head really helped. I ended up getting the job." – Commercial lease reviewer at Lease Ref
The girlfriend experience
"In college, I dated my girlfriend for about three years. After we graduated we decided to go our separate ways, and she ended up moving back to Texas to take a job for an IT company. Fast-forward seven years and I am interviewing for a position in Tennessee for an IT company, and lo and behold, my ex is one of the interviewing managers. I actually got the position and stayed with the company for about eight years before starting my business. Needless to say, never burn any bridges." – Gene Caballero, co-founder of GreenPal
No shoes, no socks, no service
"I was once representing a candidate for a pretty important biotech job. The day of the interview came and the hiring manager called me with feedback: 'Mr. X was very qualified and we like him, but he took his shoes and socks off while I interviewed him.' Yikes! When I called the candidate to discuss this odd behavior, he invoked the famous 'Costanza' defense: 'Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? If I had known that was frowned upon…'" – Bart Z.
The nose knows
"I was interviewing at a TV station that had a 'weather dog' – a real-life dog at the TV station that they used on camera. The huge, fluffy dog came running across the newsroom when I walked in and started sniffing me like crazy … right in the area where you wouldn't want a dog to sniff you at any time, especially during an interview. I was mortified. He did stop but wouldn't leave my side during almost the entire visit. I was thinking, 'There is no way I could do my job with this dog around all the time.' I was offered the job but turned it down for something better. The dog was fired a few months later." – Andrea
A real 'people person'
"We interviewed a girl [who] said that she 'is a people person and gets along with everyone.' Additionally, she could not remember a time when she dealt with a difficult co-worker or manager. Reading the application, we noticed that she either quit or was fired from three or four jobs within the past couple of years. Each time, when asked why she no longer worked there, she said something along the lines of, 'I hate those people and couldn't get along with them.' At the end of the interview when we asked why we should hire her she said, 'I think I have demonstrated that I am a real people person.'" – Jake Porter, owner of YCYOR, LLC and a former retail manager
"Your personal appearance in the interview can really be table stakes, but it can also be the cause of a horror story. A couple months ago, a young coder fresh out of high school comes in wearing a vintage T-shirt that says Gatorade on it with the Gatorade logo. But after I looked at the shirt a second time it was a Gatorade, it said 'GetLAid' with the same logo. I guess it was supposed to be one of those 'cool' ironic shirts that kids these days wear. I tried to wrap it up in less than 20 minutes out of courtesy. Needless to say, we did not hire him." – Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal
Responses have been edited for brevity and clarity. To protect privacy, sources have been identified as each interviewee requested.