24 Shocking & Strange Interview Moments You Hope You'll Never Have
Published: 20 Sep 2017
This week it's all about candidates and what it's like to go through the interview process. You might have landed on this page whilst searching through some of our latest marketing jobs, in anticipation of prospective interviews and in need of a little pick me up. We aren't sure if this page will amuse you or terrify you, but we thought we'd share these stories regardless. This week we reached out to the professionals of LinkedIn, to get some of their funniest, most shocking and strangest interview stories. Check out the results of our investigation:
'Once I was asked what I do I do in my free time, which was actually a nice question, but it had never happened before and I just mumbled, 'Hmmmpf, I play board games?''
'I was asked if I like bees, thinking it was a chance to compare being a lawyer with an industrious, team whose hard work benefits others and who pack a sting, I launched into it. No. It was just "do you like bees?"
Google 'Philip McCabe bees' and you'll see why he thought it was me.'
'I was drawn the floor plan of a Vegas night club.The interview went well. I was asked, if I could start, what date would it be. I mentioned I had a pre-booked holiday to Vegas within the next few weeks. I think this actually worked in my favour. I got the job and came away with some great holiday tips!'
'Trousers splitting as I sat down and spending the rest of the interview planning how I would get out without showing my pants.'
'Getting asked to justify my GCSE grades, 16 years later.'
'My first proper interview out of university. Nervous as you would be. First 10 minutes were going really well. Then suddenly, a pigeon flies in through the window. We spent the next 25 minutes working out the best way to try and get it back through the incredibly small space it had made its way through. I'm still not 100% sure if they were purposefully testing my problem solving skills or not...'
'My manager was dressed as The Joker when he interviewed me.'
'Someone once checked my hands to see if I kept my fingernails clean and tidy...'
'I turned up 10 minutes early and was told to come back in 10 minutes (it was very cold outside, couldn't believe it.) Not funny, but surprising.'
'I was asked when I was planning on getting married and having children. At the time I was young free and single! A colleague got the position and ironically ended up marrying the boss. Obviously me saying I wanted to focus on my career and family wasn't even on my horizon was the wrong answer lol!'
'Turning up and finding my chair about four feet from the desk where my two interviewers were sitting - plus they had an anglepoise lamp pointing at me as though I was going to be interrogated. I promptly changed the direction of the lamp, pulled by chair up, said "There, that's better. Now, let me have your questions." I got the job.'
'Many years ago I was asked if my boyfriend would mind me working with men! Got the job, turned it down...'
'Had an interview with the MD and sales manager of a company. All was going very well after a good 25 mins of rigorous questioning before the MD stepped out to take a call. The sales manager then completely turned on me, told me I wasn't smart enough to work for them (I was fully suited and booted) and started yelling at me "how would you write a business plan?" which considering I was going for a sales role and only have sales experience as per my CV I thought was very weird. He ended up telling me I was no longer required in the interview within minutes of his boss leaving the room.'
'Interview question for a technical recruiter position, "Which do you prefer, taking a shower or a bath?"'
'I was asked if I minded working around people who may not have any clothes on (it was a technical job at a prominent dance festival - whose performers are pretty free spirits.) Didn't get the gig though.'
'I was told quite a few times that "I can't hire you, you might take my place."'
'I went to an interview and spilled a chocolate milkshake all over my pants. I went to a pants store, but they weren't open yet and my interview was about to start. I took off my pants and went into the interview anyway. Luckily I was wearing a clean pair of boxers and I ended up getting a job as an underwear model!'
'Being told "my only concern is that the office is full of older women and I am trying to figure how they would respond to someone younger coming in" for a job in HR. Wasn't sure if they were testing me...'
"Getting through to the final stage of an interview, asking if "we should go for it" meeting the Director, being offered the role after previous interviews and presentations, getting outside, then being called and told we were not going forwards with the role!! Literally within the hour. Odd.'
'For me, it was the setting for an interview a few years ago. They brought me down into the basement which looked like an interrogation room from a WWII movie, huge and empty and disused, with a small table in the middle of it with two chairs and a solitary glass of water. Talk about putting the candidate at ease.'
'Having watched a safety briefing (fire alarm) procedure prior to the interview. The fire alarm went off after 20 minutes. We were on the 11th floor. The interviewer went back to her desk and retrieved her trainers, brought them back into the meeting room and changed into her trainers, she then picked up her laptop and shoes. At the top of the stairs given the amount of people she wanted to use one hand to use the handrail. She asked me to hold her shoes, not her laptop and notepad etc. We proceeded to a coffee shop after notifying someone that we were not meeting at the assembly point. I had to purchase the coffees as she had no cash on her. At the tills she told me I'd be reimbursed. I didn't get the job, nor did I get reimbursed.'
'Best one ever was when I went for an interview and they stopped it halfway through to do the leaving presentation for a supposedly shy colleague in the interview room. As it was dress down Friday she walked in with her colleagues, looked me up and down and asked me if I was the stripper as I was wearing a suit. Needless to say I didn't accept the job when it was offered...'
'The interviewer farted loudly...then left the room and didn't come back.'
'During an interview at a prestigious auctioneers, I was asked if I liked Buffy the Vampire Slayer! I said no... and didn't get the job.'
Luckily, interview experiences like these are few and far between, and you must look back and laugh at them no matter how mortifying they may have been at the time. If you're feeling nervous and you're in need of a few interview tips, check out our careers advice section. You can handle any situation with a bit of preparation! Not quite got the interview yet? Perhaps you need to update your CV? We have advice on everything you need to feel confident and find your next marketing job. Good luck and if you have any interesting encounters like the ones you have read here, get in touch with us.