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5 Cringeworthy HR Stories You Won’t Believe

Below are 5 cringeworthy HR experiences only HR and Hiring Managers will believe. They are bizarre, haunting, and will leave your palms sweaty and heart racing.

If you have your own please put it in the comments!

The Shoe-less Supernatural

I was once representing a candidate for a pretty important biotech job. The day of the interview came and the hiring manager called me with feedback: ‘Mr. X was very qualified and we like him, but he took his shoes and socks off while I interviewed him.’ Yikes! When I called the candidate to discuss this odd behavior, he invoked the famous ‘Costanza’ defense: ‘Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? If I had known that was frowned upon…’


Red Light, Green Light

I was interviewing mechanical engineers for a junior position. Typically we ask candidates why they are looking for a new position. A common reason for people to quit is a lengthy commute. One particular candidate informed me that his current commute was too long. “How long?” I asked. He responded, “There are 37 traffic lights between my home and the office. Then continues, “there are only 15 between my home and your office, so that is much better.”

The other hiring manager and I laughed our heads off after he left and called him back with a job offer that afternoon. He’s a great engineer too.


The Motherly Witch

Back when I was HR Manager for a market research firm, one of the most awkward interviews was with my candidate and his mother.

This 19-year-old who apparently had previous work experience in customer service brought his mother into the interview with him. I politely questioned his mother as to the reasoning for her joining in on the interview and I was told, “I’m just making sure this is the right company for him and making sure you’re asking fair questions.”

Then, I decided to just roll with it (why not, this is the most interesting thing I’ve had all week) so I asked my first question.. she answered for him. I politely explained that the interviews I conduct are with the candidate only unless special accommodations are required. I was told, “I’m not going anywhere.”

Finally, I thanked them both for coming out and explained that the position requires problem-solving and critical thinking on an individual level. Unless I am hiring the both of them under one salary working together as a “full-time equivalent”, this wouldn’t work. I was then told I would be sued…


The Bust

I used to manage a Blockbuster and after one particularly awful interview, I walked a candidate out towards the parking lot and the alarm went off. It turned out he stuffed three DVDs in his suit jacket before being called back to the office.

He did not get the job. Or Mama Mia, Fool’s Gold, or High School Musical 3 for that matter.


American Psycho

An applicant showed up late for an interview wearing a long trench coat with his hair slicked back in a ponytail. As the interview progressed, he answered the recruiting manager’s questions, sipped on his Starbucks coffee, and tilted the chair on the back legs. When asked the question, “Why should I hire you?” he responded by taking a sip, leaning way back, running his hand along the side of his hair, and saying, “Because I’m so good looking.”


The Repulsive Receptionist

A recruiting manager hired a receptionist who during her employment used the ER as her primary care physician and ran an escort service on the side.


Source: Reddit

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