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Advice / Job Search / Interviewing

This Guy Brought His Mom to the Interview—and 5 More Stories You Won't Believe

It’s usually a good thing to stand out when you’re applying for jobs, but not always—as a few Reddit users can attest to.

On the recent Ask Reddit thread, “Employers of Reddit, what’s the strangest reason you’ve had for not hiring someone?” users shared their odd hiring experiences.

Here are some of the best—along with some lessons learned—for your reading pleasure.

1. Don’t Bring Your Mother to the Interview

Was interviewing to fill two dozen positions in a week so had hundreds of short interviews planned. First day of interviews was pretty horrible, most were completely unqualified and it was not going well. In walks this young sharply dressed guy, fantastic resume, interview is going great and I’m about to offer him the supervisory role. Talk turns to compensation, and he excuses himself, I had thought to go to the restroom.

Returns 30 seconds later with his mother! She proceeds to try to negotiate salary, benefits, and vacation time, on his behalf. I was so stunned I just ended the interview and tossed his file in the trash.

2. Put Yourself in the Shoes of the Interviewer

The receptionist offered him a drink while he waited. When he came in, he talked for a good two or three minutes on how we should change our sodas to flavored water to keep our customers healthier. We have water and sparkling water if they opt for that. We are an office, not a restaurant, and I honestly don’t care if my customers drink pure grain alcohol out there as long as their checks clear.

His immediate criticism of a courtesy didn’t just rub me the wrong way, but told me he would let his personal beliefs or preferences get in the way of his objective. I was interviewing someone to get paid to champion my agenda, not their own.

3. Get a Professional Email Address

I was hiring someone to work some finances in my small business. Received a CV from an apparently very well qualified applicant. All the necessary degrees. And he had been in the military so I thought, ‘this is a no nonsense guy, I like him.’ Even better, his hobbies included martial arts and I thought, ‘Cool, must be a disciplined guy...’ Was going to send him an email. Found out his email address was something like NEXT!

4. Act Like an Adult

A while back, I went to a job fair at the community college to tell people about the internship at my office. A young lady stops at my table, asks what kind of jobs I have available, and hands me her resume. I look down to skim her resume. When I look back up, she has her thumb in her mouth. I asked her about her major, her previous jobs, her availability, and she answered all my questions while she sucked her thumb.

5. Be Careful Who You Use as a Reference

Some guy came up to the counter and asked to speak to the manager to drop off his resume. Everything was looked promising for the guy until he mentioned that he’s [friends] with this person who used to work for us. Little did he know, my manager really did not like this person. After the guy left, my manager threw away his resume. He did not want to hire anyone associated with that person.

6. Clean Up Your Web Presence

The guy had a link to his personal website on his resume. Visited the site after the interview. Listed under dislikes? My company.

Photo of people at interview courtesy of Shutterstock.