The World’s Weirdest Interviews

Posted 16th Nov 2017

There are few people who can say they look forward to attending a job interview. For most of us it’s probably the opposite and typical reactions include sweaty palms, nervous twitching, mumbling, fumbling, and other such affronts. Interviewees generally spend time researching the hiring company, who’s interviewing them etc., and they also brush up on certain skills in case of testing, but some interviews go on to throw up curve balls so wide and unexpected that they can genuinely be labelled some of the world’s weirdest job interviews.

With this in mind, we’ve scoured the internet to find some of the best examples of the strange interviews, and there are many. Unfortunately, we can’t include the more ripe examples, to save your blushes, but we have found work-appropriate illustrations of some of the best.

Quora is a rich source of weird stories and Harshal Chaudhari, an avid Quora user, had an odd experience when he interviewed for a Developer’s position. “[The interviewer] asked me to hold a pen in my left hand (I’m right handed…) and to draw a tree while simultaneously writing the code with [my] right hand.” “The interviewer indicated he preferred ambidextrous people and the interview got weirder from there”. In spite of him only being right-handed, Harshal was invited back to the next stage.

Rupert Baines had been asked to interview for a post with the company’s CEO who was conducting the interview. He (Rupert) arrived after lunch and in time for the interview, but was made to wait the entire rest of the afternoon. “At about 8 pm he [the CEO] asks me in and we’re having the interview when an appointment alert goes off. He [the CEO] stops [the interview] and explains "that means you have missed your flight”, which I had already realised and expected. However it was obviously important enough that the CEO of a major company set an alert specifically to tell him that he had waited long enough to make me miss my plane.” Yes, this CEO had made the candidate wait all day so that he could tell him he had made him miss his flight. Wow….and we wonder why.

In another example, one Quora user was faced with the ultimate dilemma in his less-than-usual interview. In his (Lee Balentine) own words “An earthquake started, and kept going, fairly seriously, and from my chair I could see people running down the corridor toward the exit. The CEO [interviewer] reacted to this not at all. I kept the conversation going. The quake got more intense, with stuff falling off of bookshelves etc. and more and more people fleeing the building. I decided though that if the CEO could take it, so could I. We kept right on talking until we were the only two people left in the building.”

A Reddit user also describes a peculiar interview, “[The] woman comes in [to interview] for a management position. During the interview, she reaches into her purse and pulls out a bag from Wendy's and starts eating. The other manager tells her to put it away and she tells him it is okay, she can multi-task.” Great answer, but not good enough to get the job as it turns out.

In 2016, a CFO role was being recruited for and one candidate arrived for his interview and was immediately asked to go for a run through the park, followed by more exercise, as part of the interview. The company was a nutrition bar manufacturer, but that still doesn’t excuse the exercise-focused weird interview…does it?

Weird interviews are on the rise and most of them are legal. Whether they better determine a candidate’s worth waits to be seen, but as seemingly fewer hirers look to base their assessment on educational achievement alone, maybe odd interview practices are the way forward.

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