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Weird behavior in interviews? You betcha!

Weird behavior in interviews?  You betcha!

The following are actual incidents that have happened in interviews:

  • A job applicant challenged the interviewer to an arm wrestle.
  • Interviewee wore a Walkman, explaining that she could listen to the interviewer and the music at the same time.
  • Candidate announced she hadn’t had lunch and proceeded to eat a hamburger and french fries in the interviewer’s office.
  • Applicant interrupted interview to phone her therapist for advice on how to answer specific interview questions.

Now, if you happen to have an interview where someone acts strangely, keep in mind, it’s part of the unpredictability of human behavior. But when that happens, here’s what to remember:

  1. The interview is a strange setup to begin with.
  2. No matter how awkward the situation, always treat people with respect and dignity.
  3. In certain types of roles, especially technical ones, star performers can be bad interviewers.
  4. Individuals who have been with the same company for a long time may not be as practiced in their interviewing skills.
  5. If someone does something peculiar or odd in an interview, consider it one data point that can be explored further during the referencing process (assuming it’s not too peculiar or odd).

Lastly, be sure to document experiences with strange interview situations so that you can learn something from them and remember these precious moments for your own amusement.

While you may have never experienced such strange behavior in an interview (thank goodness!), you may wonder how to determine if a candidate’s behavior will translate to success in the job.  We will address that in the next article