Who Needs Background Checks with Applicants Like These?

Nick Fishman

CareerBuilder came out with their 2nd annual list of the craziest things hiring managers have heard from applicants during interviews.  More politically correct than my title, the list is referred to as Interviewees Say the Darndest Things.  Here are some of my favorites. You just can’t make this stuff up.

1. “I remember interviewing a secretary some years ago and asking her, ‘What is important to you in a job?’ Her answer was: ‘I want to work close to Bloomingdales.'”

2. “Without a doubt, the craziest thing I ever heard came from a candidate for an entry-level management position. He looked perfect on paper, so we scheduled a phone interview for 3 p.m. He answered the phone and when I introduced myself he said, ‘Hold on, I’m at a bar. Let me finish this shot and go outside.’ Amidst the noise of an active game of pool and a rowdy bar crowd, he slipped outside and told me, ‘You know what? I’m a little drunker than I thought. Can we reschedule?’ Needless to say, we did not.”

3. “We performed mock interviews where our clients were put in an interview session using their real backgrounds, interests, etc. When asked why the client left her last job, which was in a family buffet-style restaurant, her response was, ‘I was hungry and didn’t know it would be a problem so I had pizza delivered to the restaurant while was on the clock.'”

4. “I interviewed a senior engineer for one of our open positions. He demanded coffee and proceeded to spill coffee in his lap. Then he pointed to his groin area, laughed and said, ‘It looks like I wet myself!’ Needless to say, he didn’t get the job.”

5. “We always include a casual lunch or dinner portion during an interview to continue our discussions in a more informal manner. This candidate let their guard down, falling out of their ‘interview mode,’ during the friendly and casual meal-time discussions. They went so far as to share that they installed an illegal second network in their office with co-workers and would spend their afternoons gaming on the clock. They then went on to further share how regularly in the mornings and afternoons they would sleep at their desk during working hours. Bragging that they had never once been caught in either of these acts. Needless to say, this candidate was not hired.

6. “I was interviewing an older woman for a position in my company. I thought she had a great personality and was considering hiring her. Then at the end of the interview she asked if I would be able to give her a ride to work and then back home again everyday! Umm, no.”

7. “One job candidate arrived late for the interview, in a not-so-gracious mood. ‘The commute is terrible,’ she said. ‘I’m so glad I don’t have to do this every day.'”

I know this is going to sound contrary to usual mantra, but with candidates like these, who needs background checks?

Check out the full list

Nick Fishman
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Nick Fishman

Nick Fishman is the co-founder of EmployeeScreenIQ, a leading, global employment background screening provider, and serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He pioneered the creation of EmployeeScreen University, the #1 educational resource on employment background checks for human resources, security and risk management professionals. A recognized industry expert, Nick is a frequent author, presenter and contributor to the news media. Nick is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio and Texas.
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  • Best for me was for a receptionist postion: “Describe to me what you would like to do if you could land any job”. She responded, “I’d like to be a Sunscreen Lotion Tester on a beach in the Carribean” … great answer … damn if I didn’t want to do that too. I hired her. Alas, soon found out that’s exactly what she was suited for.

  • Nick Fishman

    Sorry for the delayed response. This is CareerBuilder’s list. You might want to ask them.