25 of the strangest things people have done in a job interview

Every job seeker wants to stand out from the competition, but some candidates go about it all wrong.

For instance, according to recent surveys 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," Rosemary Haefner, chief human-resources officer for CareerBuilder, tells Business Insider. "Maybe he or she is nervous, thinks an employer would find it funny, or perhaps the candidate simply has no boundaries."

"Regardless," Haefner says, "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."

More than 2,600 hiring managers and employers shared with CareerBuilder the most memorable job-interview mistakes candidates have made. Here are 25 of the most unusual things that happened:

Wrong answers

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 said her hair was perfect when asked why she should become part of the team.

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

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

A candidate stated that if the interviewer wanted to get to heaven, she would hire him.

Childish behavior

A candidate asked to step away to call his wife to ask her if the starting salary was enough before he agreed to continue with the interview.

A candidate brought his childhood toys to the interview.

Rude behavior

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

A candidate ate a pizza he brought with him (and didn't offer to share).

Indecent proposals

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.

A candidate invited the interviewer to dinner afterwards.

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

Terrible questions

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

A candidate asked where the nearest bar was located.

A candidate asked the interviewer why her aura didn't like the candidate.

Gross behavior

A candidate put lotion on their feet during the interview.

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

A candidate ate crumbs off the table.

Just plain bizarre

A candidate spread confetti around during the interview.

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

A candidate sang her responses to questions.

A candidate brought a pet bird with them.

Oversharing

A candidate shared a story about finding a dead body.

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 bragged about the fact that they were in the local newspaper for allegedly stealing a treadmill from an older woman's house.

Jacquelyn Smith contributed to an earlier version of this article.

RELATED: 22 things that make you sound rude in a job interview

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22 things that make you sound rude in a job interview
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22 things that make you sound rude in a job interview
You are totally justified in being annoyed that your interviewer kept you waiting. That being said, you get no brownie points for grumbling.

Yes, it's a bit of a double standard that the interviewee typically can't be late while the interviewer can get away with it. But the interviewer is typically the one with the power, so just get over it.

Make sure you give yourself enough time to get to the job interview — even if that means showing up super early and waiting around at a nearby Starbucks.

And if you are late, don't draw attention to it or make excuses. Quickly apologize and move on.

This doesn't necessarily make you sound rude, per se. It's a weird question, though. Your interviewer may just assume that you're impolite and unable to work with others.

Never ask the interviewer any personal questions.

You should never bring gossip into a job interview. It's highly unprofessional.

You are totally justified in being annoyed that your interviewer kept you waiting. That being said, you get no brownie points for grumbling.
You didn't care enough about the job to run a quick Google search? Questions like this will make you look unprepared and inconsiderate.
Yes, you do. Claiming not to have shortcomings just makes you come across as arrogant.

Hold off on the profanities. Curse words will make you sound vulgar and unprofessional.

This one puts the interviewer on the spot. If you really want feedback, wait until you get the offer or rejection, and then ask in an email what you did well or could have done better.
It's great if you're coming to the table with a lot of ideas on how to improve the organization. Try to keep your language positive, though, or your interviewer may wonder why you're even interviewing in the first place.
Are you kidding me?

Seriously, contain your enthusiasm. This may be true, but definitely don't admit it to your interviewer.

Don't just barge in and start talking. You may be nervous and eager to get it over with, but remember to introduce yourself first.
What have you got, a date or something? Try to keep your schedule relatively uncluttered on the day of the interview.
If the interviewer offers, then it's fine to ask for a beverage. Just don't forget to say "please" and "thank you." In fact, you should show off that you have good manners when you can during the interview.
Yes, job interviews are all about discussing yourself and your abilities. That being said, you want to keep the focus on how you can help the organization. The conversation should always go back to that main thesis.
You're here as a job candidate, not as a super-critical interior decorator. Don't imply that you're disappointed or underwhelmed.
You really don't want to say anything that could be considered condescending to the person standing between you and a potential job.
Keep politics out of conversations with your interviewer. If they bring it up first, then do what you can to change the conversation.
This one's a toss-up. Some people are totally cool with being called things like "guys" or "ladies." Others get really irked. It's probably better to err on the side of caution here, lest you come off as belittling or disrespectful.
If you start talking about the nitty gritty details of your new job, make sure to avoid coming across like you think you know better than anyone else. Criticizing the company's way of doing this is a surefire way to alienate your interviewer.
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