Bizarre Job Interviews

What’s the most bizarre job interview you’ve ever been on? Quora has a spectacular thread about people’s bizarre interviews, the most popular one being someone who was at an interview when an earthquake struck (everyone ran for cover or escaped the building while the applicant and interviewer continued the interview as if nothing out of the ordinary was occurring). But the one that really takes the cake is this one:

He dropped me off at my car and promised to pick me up the next day after work so we could go see the site of the future office. He showed up (on time) in the expensive silver sports car with a cooler of beers. He took me across the state line (into Wisconsin) to a location in the middle of the woods.

At this point, I seriously considered jumping out of the car. I was thinking about how he’d cut me into tiny pieces and my family would never know what happened to me. He may have been coked up. He was certainly a reckless driver. I tried to continue casually chatting and appearing blasé about everything.

At some point, he parked the car in a field, and we got out and hiked up a hill. He showed me the river valley below, picked up a stone shaped like a heart and told me it was a sign.

And that’s just the half of it. The entire experience is just totally, totally bizarre and terrifying. [via]

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27 Comments / Post A Comment

triplea (#1,234)

Not bizarre but I was asked to come back in and talk to the people I had interviewed with before the holidays. I found out they had contacted at least one of my references before they asked me to come in so I felt optimistic. It was more of a second interview than I had anticipated and I felt like an ass for getting my hopes up. Now it’s almost been a week and I haven’t heard anything so I’m feeling pretty crushed.

I had an interview to work the door at a strip club in my hometown – right after college, before grad school, little to no job experience. It was an ordinary interview in many respects – talking about computer systems, sales, etc – minus the manager’s suggestion that I would sell more lap dances by implying that customers would get sexual favors from the women, and the fact that I had never even been IN a strip club prior to this moment. I was passed over for someone with more sales experience, which to jobless me was hilarious/depressing and led to a lot of “I can’t even sell BREASTS!” jokes, until I got my weirdest full time job a few weeks later.

sintaxis (#2,363)

@like a rabid squirrel That is horrifying. Not only the reference to women as objects you can sell, but also the very fucking dangerous promotion of sexual activity without the women’s knowledge.

@sintaxis My apologies – I did not mean for this comment to seem flippant. The interview in question came at a pretty frantic point in my job search, but I am a woman, and I would have never even considered this job if the manager hadn’t given me the impression that the actual conditions of the club were safe for the employees. Problematic wording and missing details in an attempt at brevity – my bad entirely. Iiii’ll show myself out now.

sintaxis (#2,363)

@like a rabid squirrel It’s okay; I mean, it did come off as flippant but I appreciate the response! I live in a place with more strip clubs per capita than Las Vegas, so I’m hyper aware of when people are blasé about the abuse that happens in sex industries. Chances are if the manager mentioned that you need to imply that customers might get sexual favors they probably hired someone else who was more willing to put the women’s health and autonomy at risk.

LHOOQ (#1,634)

I once interviewed for a maternity cover as an admin assistant at the university chaplaincy. One of the questions was, What would you do if a knife-wielding psychopath came into your office? How would you deal with the situation without risking your own safety but whilst also protecting the students who were in the building? I thought that was kind of a loaded thing to ask in a job interview for a position that did not really include reception cover in the job description. #knifecrime island

@LHOOQ Cameron’s Britain innit.

Lily Rowan (#70)

Right after college, I stumbled into an interview at a scammy placement agency that made me change my clothes (into ones they provided) and totally rewrote my resume (so that it wasn’t actually true) and then sent me off crying to an interview for a job I didn’t actually want because they had convinced me that no one would ever hire me with my liberal arts degree. Luckily, the time it took me to get to the interview was enough time to realize how full of shit they were.

My friend in college had a job as a “personal assistant” for some rich guy, who encouraged him to bring lots of his young male friends over. That ended when he began to be encouraged to participate in the man’s corduroy fetish.

@stuffisthings Oh and another friend of mine — a super-lefty — nearly took a job as a “researcher” for a wealthy old guy who had become obsessed with birtherism. Unfortunately, his wife took his checkbook away.

@stuffisthings I also almost took a job as the English-language business contact for a Czech pornography syndicate run by the Russian mob.

MuffyStJohn (#280)

@stuffisthings Why in god’s name would you turn down the Czech porn/Russian mafia job???

@MuffyStJohn Something I often ask myself.

julebsorry (#1,572)

Interview in college when I was hard up for money – Schlotzky’s Deli, where the manager, wearing a huge gold crucifix, quizzed me intimately about my personal life (basically, nothing in this interview was legal and she was totally unabashed about it). “Are you married? Oh, you have a boyfriend? That you LIVE with? Well tut tut tut…at least tell me where you go to church. Oh, you don’t have a CHURCH? Hmmm” (disapproving face).

All for the privilege of being paid minimum wage. I took the job, but after one day of working got a call from a temp agency with a MUCH better offer, and quit without a thought. Got the most wonderful, FURIOUS voice mail from crucifix lady later telling me that “with that kind of work ethic, young lady, you’ll never amount to anything!”

faustbanana (#2,376)

@julebsorry Did she say “Jule be sorry!”?

Stina (#686)

Newly minted Ph.D economists who were interested in the more Research/Government path etc. used to have interviews at various econ conferences. Doesn’t sound bad? Well due to the conference rooms being booked up, often candidates had to be interviewed by their potential employer while they both sat on a hotel bed alone together. Fortunately wiser heads have started to reserve extra meeting rooms at other locations to eliminate the icky interview location.

r&rkd (#1,657)

@Stina
Yeeaah, “on-campus interviewing” at my law school also took place in hotel rooms. Interviewees didn’t have to sit directly on the bed (do econ conference hotel rooms not have the chairs and desks I’ve seen in every hotel room?), but it did lead to the obvious, unfunny jokes.

Stina (#686)

@r&rkd I believe it was because candidates would do like a circuit in various hotel rooms to various groups and the chairs sometimes were seized and moved to other rooms for briefings or group sessions. It wasn’t always like that but it definitely was not uncommon for a bed to be the only furniture, as I’ve been lead to believe.

oiseau (#1,830)

I had a cold-caller “account manager” sales interview with a startup right after graduating college that was so full of cliches that I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be taking it seriously or be like “are you fucking kidding me?”. “We need WOLVES! You need to be a WOLF and HUNT the SHEEP!!! WE NEED RAINMAKERS! WORK HARD, PLAY HARD! THIS COMPANY IS LIKE BASEBALL!! Do you play any sports? You ‘run’? Huh. What about soccer or volleyball?? WE NEED HUNTERS! YOU NEED TO BE DEDICATED!”
This was the 2nd round of the interview process btw. I got passed on to the 3rd round just barely with an admonition to “DRINK MORE COFFEE NEXT TIME! YOU SEEM VERY LAID BACK!”, but I purposely didn’t really go for it in the 3rd round and was dropped. Thank god.

lhorntx (#2,302)

@oiseau had to contain myself from laughing while at work. That sounds horrible.

r&rkd (#1,657)

The most bizarre and perhaps best interview question I ever had was: “Why are poor people poor?”

hellonheels (#1,407)

My first job interview after graduating from college was for a training coordinator position at some software company. My interviewer was apparently a huge reality TV fan and spent the first five or so minutes expounding on my resemblance to a former cast member of America’s Next Top Model. Then she looked at my resume, realized I had done an internship at an arts administration organization involved in bringing Broadway touring productions to our city, and spent at least 15 more minutes talking about all of her favorite musicals. By the time we got around to discussing the actual job requirements and my experience, we had maybe 10 minutes left. Needless to say I did not get that job.

juca5056 (#2,972)

So, I’m browsing the “ETC” section of Craigslist late last night and I see an ad seeking a “Personal Assistant/Video Gamer.” The add went on to state that the hiring “family” needed someone for Mon-Thurs work and a good sense of humor and interest in tech would be a plus.

I had to send out at least a cursory email. This was probably a joke/scam/trick but I went for it anyway. I banged out a charming and HI-larious cover letter and resume email. Somehow, I got a response that night and she (the employer) informed me she really liked my resume and letter and there was, in fact, no catch and that she’d contact me in the morning.

The next day (today) I get a facebook request from this woman and alarm bells are still going off so I research her name and info. There’s quite a bit of Hip-Hop info and slang attached to the twitter handle, facebook page, and website of a middle aged white woman. However, there do seem to be legitimate ties to the entertainment industry (my field of choice) so I’m on board.

The first half of the day I keep getting fb messages from her about scheduling a time for me to “come by the house and check out the setup.” I can be there after 2. Great. Ok. I’ll see her then. Although kinda nervous and overdressed (leaving right from my temp job) I raced out to Bel Air. No, this is not a Bel Air. I actually went there. This is to foreshadow to you, the reader, the indescribable wealth I would encounter.

I wound the drive and went through a gate into a cliffside private neighborhood. After buzzing her house and going though another gate, I pulled my car into the driveway between rows of “murdered out” Denalis, Range Rovers and what I can only refer to as “drifter cars.” Around the corner sat a Ford GT and Lambo.

In front of me loomed the biggest house I had ever seen in person in my life. Two bronze modern art statues towered next to the door, jutting 25 feet into the air. A stern looking guy in his early 30s opened the door.

“You here to see _____?”
“Yes, I have an interview.”
“Come in. I’ll take you upstairs to her.”

I entered between these mammoth wooden palace doors and immediately thought of the movie “Blank Check.” This mansion looked as if it had been decorated by a 16 year-old who had just won the lottery. Next to me was a life-sized statue of Freddy Kreuger wearing what, according to the adjacent plaque, were the clothes from the original movie. On every wall, in each of the foyer’s surrounding room, were 100 inch flatscreens, seemingly larger than my car. And straight ahead of me stood a monolithic aquarium filled with sharks, and what I later found out were piranhas. I was led upstairs.
My temporary companion opened the doors to ______’s bedroom antechamber and I walked in. She was thankfully clothed, so I had dodged my first bullet. She then proclaimed, “We’re just rolling a blunt. You mind? Want some?” I politely declined and told her (truthfully, I might add) that I normally would, but I was taking a drug test for another company with whom I interviewed. In the room with us was a Hispanic gentleman in his late 20s and a semi-famous rapper in his early 40s. The Latino excitedly grabbed a package from the guy who led me upstairs and started unwrapping it, excited that his laser had arrived. He then pulled out a gun and started disassembling it to attach this new feature. Meanwhile, I’m greeting my host and doing some very casual shit-shooting, trying to suss out what the fuck it is I’m needed for here. She’s sitting on her bed fucking around on her laptop surrounded by about 100 FAO Schwartz type stuffed animals. The realllllly expensive ones. Giraffes, Pugs, Stewie Griffin, you name it. The Rapper gets up and starts showing me a stack of 360 and PS3 games. I’m asked if I like them. Yes. I do. While I’m talking about some of the greater moments in Gaming 2010, a jungle cat comes out of nowhere and starts aggressively nuzzling my arm, soon to be followed by what looks like a lynx. They’re friendly so I don’t mind. Then one notices the now functioning laser on the wall and does its cat thing. I’m handed the gun to give it a go and play with the cat for all of 2 seconds before nervously handing the gentleman back his weapon and worrying about my fingerprints.

_____ and I chatted about my background and what I want to do. As I was aspiring to get into talent management, I was told I’d be introduced to all the right producers and directors and execs that I need to know. (Her facebook photos seem to back that up). I mention something about interviewing with CAA and everyone in the room looks up like I just scratched the record and exclaims “CIA!?” nervously. We all had a laugh over that one. I’m also told I’ll be taken on some trips and to Comic Con,E3, etc. When I ask what I actually have to do, I’m told “Just whatever she wants, get groceries, feed the animals when she’s not here, come hang out and play games.”

Somewhere in the course of this convo I’m told in brief passing that her money comes from real estate. I have my doubts.

I’m given my first task, which is to help them access a game they downloaded on the jailbroken PS3 in the room. (By the way, it’s one of ostensibly 30 PS3s or Xbox 360s in the house.) I have an Xbox and I play games legally so I’m starting at a disadvantage. After 10 minutes of menu tree exploration and figuring out oh-I-need-to-say-no-here-and-then-go-back-and-now-the-disk-is-the-game-i-chose, NBA Jam is up and running. The Rapper is pleased. He says “Sheeeeeeeeit,” I say something about The Wire, and his nod and laugh from across the room tells me I’ve just earned my hood pass.
After spending about an hour talking (and really learning nothing) up in the bedroom, I motion that I’m heading out, and serious guy from downstairs is called up to walk me out. We go down a different set of stairs and I see 2 more loaded guns just hanging out on easily accessible surfaces. I get to the door and as Serious closes it behind me, he says “Have a good one. We’ll probably be calling you really soon.”

I drove off with my adrenalin racing and never heard from them again.

oiseau (#1,830)

@juca5056 omg

My weirdest involved being handed a bucket of puppets and being told to “Grab one and give it a go”. I am apparently not very good at puppets.

honey cowl (#1,510)

I had one today! It was not bizarre. It was AWESOME.

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