Far out Friday: Interviews stray into bizarre territory

by AB14 Mar 2014
Interviews normally follow a standard procedure with the odd twist and turn thrown in, however for some candidates the twists can drive the process into bizarre territory.

Users of question and answer website Quora.com recently shared their most bizarre interview experiences and Australian Broker has selected some of the more unusual experiences – from dog crashing to romance offers.

Dog crasher
Things got a bit hairy for Murli Ravi’s friend who was attempting to fill a mid-level management position at his firm. Following a series of interviews Ravi’s friend, a CEO and founder of the company, was ushering in his next interviewee and “a golden retriever (dog) that had a collar but no leash walked in alongside the candidate,” he wrote.

Ravi continued: “He was naturally quite bemused but rolled with the punches. Interview begins, dog saunters around, doesn't really bother anyone, lies down under the table for a bit and then leaves the room out the same door it entered.”

The interview continued and Ravi said his friend liked the candidate and the interview was otherwise normal so his friend said he asked: “‘Why did you think it was normal to bring your dog to an interview?’"

“The candidate's reply was, ‘My dog? I thought it was your dog! I wanted to ask you the same question!’" It turned out the dog had just been out for a walk and decided ‘on a whim to traipse into an open door’.

Environment vs law
While studying as an undergraduate in environmental science, Sam Huleatt considered a career in law. He secured an interview at a prestigious law firm but the interview put him off.

He wrote: “during the interview the woman I was meeting with glanced up from reviewing my resume and then began ripping it into pieces asking, ‘As someone who clearly cares about the environment, does this bother you? We waste a lot of paper here and don't really care.’

A touch of romance
Leitha Matz interview turned out to be for something more than just a job. The proof-reader was tipped a businessman was looking for a copywriter and on following up the man invited her to his home office.

She wrote he ignored her resume and copy samples, asked a few basic questions then launched into a spiel about his business and life story. As the hours ticked by he then invited her out to dinner to continue the conversation which she accepted. He told her how perfect she would be at the job over dinner then afterwards promised to pick her up the next day to show her the site of her future office.

“He showed up (on time) in the expensive silver sports car with a cooler of beers. He took me across the state line (into Wisconsin) to a location in the middle of the woods,” she wrote.

“At some point, he parked the car in a field, and we got out and hiked up a hill. He showed me the river valley below, picked up a stone shaped like a heart and told me it was a sign. He told me all this could and should all be mine. Here was my office. There was his. We'd do this together. He wanted to get married, after a reasonable dating period, of course. He wanted to hire me. I was terrified. I took his heart-shaped rock. I drank a beer. He kissed me to seal the deal. I told him I needed to sleep on a life change as big as that.”

He called the next day and she politely informed him the opportunity wasn’t for her to which he asked:  ‘For what, the job or the relationship?’  Her response was both.

A smorgasbord of food
April Lou Gatmaitan shared an unusual experience of a job interview conducted in front of a table of food. While the male interviewer never offered anything from the table, Gatmaitan asked for a bottle of juice from the table which she allowed to take. The interview carried on as normal but when he asked if she had any questions, Gatmaitan asked why there was so much food on the table.

“He said that's how the old owner did his interviews many decades ago. If the person he was interviewing asked for something to eat from the spread in front of them, he figured that the person was hungry and badly needed the job. And thus, he gives them a job over the other people who doesn't seem badly needed the work. Knowing that the old owner opened his company back when World War II just ended, I figured it made a lot of sense,” she wrote.

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