Candidate Application & Interview Humour #2- sometimes you can only get by with laughter!


The following shows the funny side of the in-house recruiters and interviewers job. These have been lifted from a discussion of similar title on The FIRM’s LinkedIn Group pages. The names and companies have been removed to allow us to share! this is Part 2 I posted the first installment of these in Sept last year

Head of Recruiting – Retail Org (UK) – My Director recently interviewed a new consultant for my team. The candidate, who we have hired, told her the storey of why she never became a vet as she injected a hamster with to much morphine, it belonged to a school! My Director said they way the candidate told the storey made her laugh so much she had tears in hers eyes, so much so she thought she was fab!

Recruiter – Computer Software Co (France) – A funny one from a recent recruitment before summer:
When making a verbal offer at the last stage: the candidate replied that it will give her plenty of money… to feed a new duck.

Then followed a surreal 4 minutes conversation about ducks and how they can make really nice pets.

Of course she accepted the offer !

Director TA – Management Consultancy (Australia) – Years ago while working for another Big 5 firm, a candidate I had already interviewed phoned me from the interview room to my extension. I had arranged for him to have a final interview with a Partner from the Consulting practice. It was a Friday afternoon, about 3pm. I was surprised to get a call from the candidate during the interview time but the reason he rang was to tell me that the Partner had fallen asleep during the interview!!! I asked him if he was sure and he said “Yeah, totally sparko” I asked him to stay where he was. I went to the room and sure enough found the candidate sitting opposite a 48 year old partner who was head back, mouth open, fast asleep in the chair. What is the protocol here?? I asked the candidate to wait outside. I prodded the Partner who eventually stirred (smelling of gin & tonic) but in nano seconds said “Now where were we?” as if nothing had happened! I explained to him that he had fallen asleep and he said “Nonsense! The chap was just unbelievably dull’. After a few minutes and an order of coffee for the interviewer, I convinced the candidate and Partner to resume the interview, which they did. The candidate didn’t get the job… I am not at all sure that he wanted to!

Head of Resourcing – Insurance Co (UK) True story – One of the recruiters on my team interviewed a candidate who wanted to examine the restroom prior to being interviewed. He then graced her with his presence by stating that the toilets were in exemplary condition and was happy to proceed with being interviewed. Fortunately he was easily rejected due to lack of technical expertise. Which role do you think he was applying for?

Senior Recruiter – Comms Co (UK) – Not an interview but based on a CV… received one in the UK from an overseas applicant….I wont go into a raft of detail on content – far too funny (or controversial) for global consumption – but under interests it simply stated ‘Breathing’ …. Oh I love those pigeon language translation tools on Google !!!!

Recruitment Manager – Engineering Co (UK) – In an old position I once worked in I had a lot of more junior positions to fill and used to love the weird and wonderful email addresses people now have an also wonder why on earth would you put it on a cv??? Here are a couple of choice ones I remember –

jobbyonthelawn@xxxxx.com
whatnocheesegromit@xxxxxxx.com
f*ckmehard@xxxxxx.com (there was no * there!)

Also I was once hiring for a customer service position in Glasgow when we had a candidate sent in via the job centre on the “back to work” scheme to give interviews to the long term unemployed. At the end of the short interview I asked what she likes to do outside of work/hobbies etc, The answer was “I like going out with my mates and getting belted like a rubber monkey” and “if I can remember getting home and remember who I’m with, it’s a bonus”. Whatever the first thing she said was I have no idea but answers on a postcard please !!! She never got the job !

Finally I got a CV in for a lady called “J Peace”, good CV so we brought her in and it turns out her first name was “Joyan”, my first thought was why do parents do that, Joyan Peace, must have been hippies, the interview never went that well and took a real downturn when I asked her does she have a brother called Warren !!!!

Recruitment Manager – Facilities Co (UK) Love these comments ;-)

This was not an interviewee comment but something I received back from a line manager in response to my interview notes and recommendations on a candidate. (I should explain here that I work in the Space industry and well, basically, recruit Rocket Scientists).

So, having interviewed an Astronomer I duly sent my notes to the line manager and technical CV reviewer with an additional comment that whilst he seemed to have all the right technical skills he was a ‘bit of a mad scientist’ and so the line manager should consider if and how he would want to manage such a character and how this would affect his client relationships in an on-site situation.

The response I got was brilliant, bearing in mind the line manager himself had a forehead and hairdo like Einstein.

“‘Thanks for your comments, as we are all mad scientists here shouldn’t have any problems at all managing (said candidate) its all the normal people you keep sending me that scare me and the customer to death!!!!

Gotta love ‘em!

Recruitment Manager – Engineering Co (UK) - One of my managers many moons ago was involved in reviewing the cv’s that were given to him by our over zealous graduate recruitment person. She had sent through to him a pile of over 500 cv’s that all had the correct degrees etc so theoretically could be suitable, but on seeing this his heart sank.

Unbeknown to me, he proceeded to tell his secretary that in life, it’s all a lottery and to get on in life you need to have luck as well as ability, at this point he split the pile in two and shredded one of them, when I asked what the bloomin’ heck had he done, he said “they weren’t lucky” !!!!

Thankfully we didn’t have that many people chasing applications, and the graduate recruiter doesn’t now pass on originals !!

Recruitment Director – Managment Consultants (UK) – I remember fondly the CVs I used to screen for quant analysts. I always love ones with hobbies included, because every so often you get a blinder. My memorable one was someone who stated “I have an avid love of emergency vehicles.” What?! He was invited in and the hapless candidate was provoked into talking about ambulances for 20 minutes by the unwillingly-curious hiring manager.

Also, calling back to spell checkers mentioned further up the thread, they aren’t infallible… I had a good chuckle when I found one man’s career had been unfairly cut short due to a woman…. His dates of employment were “January until Jane”.

Finally, emails – graduates are the worst. In the same campaign a few years ago we got both ‘princessbigboobies@xxxxxxx’ and ‘lilmissgangsta89@xxxxxx’ Neither were interviewed thankfully, despite calls from some corners…

Recruitment Director – Facilities Co (Netherlands) – I’ve just received a CV for a CV/Proposal Writer with fluent French and English, I wish I could post the whole thing but will share a few of the best bits with you:

The covering email reads:
“My professional experiences as well as my faculties of adaptation allow me to glimpse this activity.

I would be very happy to be part of a dynamic team in which I could show evidence my background and experience.
I join to the present my CV that I will comment orally at the interview.”

Now that SHOULD have prepared me for what the CV would read like but I have to admit crying with laughter by the end of it, and the extremely stressed bid director (who is not normally known for his sense of humour) thanked me for forwarding it and giving him a sense of reality in the middle of such a busy period…….

Here’s a few snippets:
Under “Personal and Hobby”
“Sense of the organization admin, good team spirit, prompt, able to work quickly, capacity of autonomy, sense of the deontology, capacity of call welcome, opened to the new ideas and formations.

Mind of initiative, facilitated of adaptation, smiling, easy contact.
Welcome & orientation customer.
Convivial, Elocution comfortable and excellent spelling”

(Er, What is a “sense of deontology”?)
(The BD said: Maybe I should try elocution comfortable, would it help with writing bids ?)

And under “Experiment” instead of Experience! …….
2001 – 2002 Commercial in insurance Blows saving & pension

The best is the: “languages; Anglais : good written and spoken” (“Anglais” in an English CV for a Proposal Writer?)

Gotta love those free on-line translation tools, eh!
Needless to say I won’t be short listing that one

Recruitment Manager – Oil & Gas Co (UK) – Brilliant!! Remember a couple of CV’s from my old agency days in particular that always made me chuckle.

One was from a candidate who applied for a junior customer services role. He was currently a part time cabaret dancer who also doubled as a waiter at a well known themed restaurant. He proceeded to state that he was officially a “natural born griller”!! I wanted to invite him for interview for that line alone.

Also received a CV from a senior IT professional in one of the world’s leading brands. For a reason that is still unknown to me, he had stated under interests that he was a skiing fanatic and that his nickname on the slopes was yellow racer! It was so out of character for his CV. However a few sentences later he also offered up his marital status. His status was “Single…..but in love”!! Awww bless!!

Loads more I could share including a CV from a candidate who explained a gap in their employment history away due to being held hostage in the Middle East!! Sure beats refurbishing an old house anyway!!

Senior Recruiter – Computer Software (Switzerland) – I got one with the same kind of gap explanation: “held hostage by Sadam Hussain, as humain shield”

A really like the Hobby part. I got a ” watching Discovery channel” from a Business Analyst. I also got a high percentage of “reading philosophy” in Receptionist CVs, i don’t really know why (i am now used to quote Kant at the end of this kind of interview – to be fair i had to check the quote on internet – and usually no reaction)

A particular cover letter was on the wall in my previous office, coming once again from a Business Analyst working for a really big bank producing specs. a 2 pages cover letter without any break, dot, and a very limited number of commas. And no, it was not a keyboard issue, i have asked….

Recruitment Manager – Transport Org (UK) – I interviewed a graduate candidate once who’s answer to the question “what would you say your weaknesses are?” replied straight away “chocolate”, paused, then added “ooohhh and shoes, definitely chocolate and shoes….”

I sat there with a stunned partner trying not to laugh out loud…

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  1. Hilarious, Gary!

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