15 of the Strangest Things People Have Done in a Job Interview

Woman standing on desk

By Jacquelyn Smith

Every job seeker wants to standout from the competition — but some candidates go about it all wrong.
For instance, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder, one interviewee sang her responses to questions, while another did a phone interview in the bathroom — and flushed.

"It's hard to say why a candidate would do some of these things," explains Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder. "Maybe he or she is nervous, thinks an employer would find it funny, or perhaps the candidate simply has no boundaries. Regardless, it could cost the candidate the job, so funny or not, it's likely not worth risking it with these actions. Your nerves can make you freeze up under the spotlight, and that's normal. How you handle that is what matters."

In the new survey from CareerBuilder, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among more than 2,500 hiring and human resource managers, employers shared the most memorable job interview mistakes candidates have made.

Here are 15 of the most unusual things that happened:

  • A candidate took a family photo off of interviewer's desk and put it into her purse.

  • A candidate started screaming that the interview was taking too long.

  • A candidate said her main job was being a psychic/medium and tried to read the interviewer's palm, despite their attempt to decline the offer.

  • When asked what the candidate's ideal job was, they said 'painter of birdhouses,' even though they were interviewing for a data entry clerk position.

  • A candidate sang her responses to questions.

  • A candidate put lotion on their feet during the interview.

  • When asked why he wanted the position, a candidate replied, 'My wife wants me to get a job.'

  • A candidate started feeling the interviewer's chest to find a heartbeat so they could 'connect heart to heart.'

  • A candidate brought a pet bird with them.

  • A candidate took a phone interview in the bathroom — and flushed.

  • A candidate spread confetti around during the interview.

  • Interviewing for a job at a hotel, a candidate asked if it would be OK to also live in the hotel.

  • A candidate said she didn't want to leave her old job, but her boyfriend really wanted her to work for the company she was interviewing for so she could get a discount on products.

  • A candidate shared a story about finding a dead body.

  • A candidate said he wouldn't be willing to wear slacks because they don't feel good.