Employers can say some strange stuff, too

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You might have read fellow Work Buzzer Kate Lorenz’s article on strange things written in cover letters and résumés. As expected, hiring managers and employers have seen some pretty bizarre things. A couple of examples:

  • “One of the weirdest résumés I ever received was from someone who had a statement at the top about how dependable he was and then a doodle of him on a skateboard.” – Heather R. Huhman, founder and president of Come Recommended
  • “Hobbies: Sleeping, etc., etc.” – Carrie Rocha, www.pocketyourdollars.com

Over on our sister blog, The Hiring Site, employers are encouraged to share their unorthodox experiences reading cover letters and résumés. (I admit, I’m eager to see what other  bizarre information job seekers have felt compelled to share with their potential employers.) If you’ve ever been in the hiring seat, feel free to head over and share your story.

However, I thought this would be a good place for job seekers to share the strangest things they’ve seen on job postings or heard during the interview process. I can attest from my experience as a job seeker that some employers try to get too funny with their postings, so I spend 10 minutes reading a description but have absolutely no idea what the actual job is. Or after I read a paragraph that begins, “Do you like to…” I come to the final sentence that says, “If this sounds like you — don’t apply for this job.” Clever, but you just wasted my time!

So, dear job seekers of past and present, what are the strangest things you’ve read or heard from employers in the hiring process? Share below.

  1. I laughed when I read a job description that was presumably written in a heated moment after a hiring manager received a resignation letter. It had not only the typical itemized list of duties & skills, but also a laundry list of personality traits that were extremely detailed & indicated as essential to being successful to the position. One of which, as I recall indicated something long & drawn out like: “know how to follow-thru on assignments without asking too many questions, or coming into my office unannounced, or without constantly asking for me to review the work before sending it out”. It seemed so odd to have something worded in that manner, couldn’t they have simply said, “possess the ability to work independently & with little guidance”.

  2. Pingback: Employers can say some strange stuff, too. | JobsMyriad.com - Employment Agency and Career Placement Service

  3. I’v had so many weird interviews, I don’t know where to start.

    One guy asked me so many illegal questions, I couldn’t help but laugh–was I married, did I have kids, was I ever evicted, was I ever arrested, had I ever filed for bancruptcy? Did I have a check book and he wanted to see it! I got that job, btw, but it was only part time, so I couldn’t accept it.

    One woman preceeded to tell me how she had treated all her former employees badly so they would all quit, so she wouldn’t have to fire them when money was tight. I didn’t need her to draw me a picture to know that would some day happen to me. I declined that position.

    Not to mention the outright lies I’ve been told by employers–their financial situation is good when it’s not, I would be given benefits, when I wasn’t, that sort of thing.

    All your hear are the horror stories about employess. But the employer has all the power–the power to hire and fire at will and without cause, if the whim carries them. The power to make an employees life a living hell, if they are big dickwads. I’ve seen it over and over and over again.

    To paraphrase Jane Austen, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that the bigger the jerk, the higher up the management foodchain he will rise.”

  4. I am a real estate broker and company owner. Once I interviewed a young lady for a sales agent position. I asked her about the availability of a vehicle, as this is an essential part of a real estate agent’s job. She told me that she and her husband did indeed own a car, but that she didn’t drive. She never had a driver’s license and never learned to drive. Curious, I asked her how she intended to meet with customers and clients to show properties, and she told me that her husband would drive her if he wasn’t at work. I thanked her for her time and ended the interview. What was she thinking?

  5. During an interview with a VP, he prefaced, “I am going to ask you a politically incorrect question”.
    All right, I replied.
    His question was, “How do you get along working with people in their 20s? There are a lot of people here fresh out of college, 25 or so. Youth is so invigorating!”

    My reply: “Excuse me. Do I look old? I managed to cover the gray in my hair”!
    His reply: NO! I knew it would not come out right”.

    Yeah he was absolutely right. He was being politically incorrect.

    Did I get the job? NO! I wasn’t in my 20s. I am 42, OLD.

    I did not get the h

  6. Okay, we hear everything that the employers have to say about the bizarre resumes. How often though do employers respond to the job applicants who have the background and skills to meet the job requirements other than to say “we have other candidates who better fit the position requirements.” I am sure that most serious job searchers take time to critically review the job requirements against their own background and skillset, checkout the company’s webstie, ccomplete the detailed online job application, prepare the cover letter and resume before they click the “submit button.” That can easily take 10+ hours. In response, the employer’s response is: “We have other candidates who better fit the position requirements.”

  7. Some requirements certainly have a story behind them about the previous employee in that position. Others are just trying to be elicit a creative response from the applicant. But I had to wonder what the “correct” response was to this question, in a child education-related position: “What color are the children?” Uh, purple?

  8. I am a larger than average woman, and was applying for a file clerk position. The interviewer showed me into the file room which had rows of cabinets along each wall and introduced me to my potential coworker who was at most five feet tall and about 95lbs. They both looked me right in the eye as the interviewer asked me if I thought I would be able to fit in between the rows of file cabinets. I hardly knew what to say as there appeared to be plenty of room.

  9. I was applying for a job with an evangelical ministry. I have no idea why I continued with the application except I was intrigued by the questions.

    The next to last question asked that I “give testimony of my experience with being saved by Jesus Christ.”

    The last question asked if I was “called by God and blessed by the Holy Spirit with the gift of being able to speak in tongues.”

    Now, I would have had to have declined on an interview because I am gay! (I did not indicate such in the application.)

    I knew I was qualified and, in fact, prayed they wouldn’t call me in for an interview.

  10. You are gay and you knowingly sought a job from an evangelical ministry? Why?

    I don’t understand why anyone would purposefully entertain a position that was diametrically opposed to one’s own beliefs.

    Would a die hard Democrat seek a position with a Republican candidate to work on his/her campaign staff?

  11. i applied and subsequently took a high paying sales job part time in the last few months of college. The application was about 10+ pages, with “essay” type answers, not a typical job application. The job was to sell an extremely high priced collection of a well known luxury product. Later on I took a corporate position and was asked to apply once again, essay style. I eventually found out that the answers were irrelevant; the owner’s hiring practice was to send a handwriting sample out for qualitative and quantitative analysis. I came across my own analysis one day in the office and it was, in my case, frighteningly accurate. Needless to say, everyone in the company eventually found out how they were selected and the owner has become infamous for this, although they don’t openly admit it. I’d guess it is illegal.

  12. chieromancer,

    The guy who asked you illegal questions- was it in Wando, SC area and his name was Dave?

    I had the same happen to me, but worse… It was terrible. He asked me if I had a hearing disability and then proceded to laugh at my work.

  13. During an interview I was asked a question: “Where do you see yourself in a year?” Strangely, this was an interview for a short-term contract. What am I supposed to answer, “Back in the unemployment line, looking for another job!”

    Job description I once found on CL:
    “Seeking, fiberglass technician. Must have experience working with fiberglass. But really, I will take anyone who will show up when they promise to show up, all I can get for help are junkies at this point.”

  14. I went to an interview that was set up by the guys assistant. She called me to tell me to come in asap and so i told her i would be there the next day after class (i was in college at the time). When i got there he had forgot about the interview and ended up being 2 hours late. When he finally go there he asked me why i was there interviewed me and then told me that they were already planning on hiring someone else. My question was why did you waste 3 hours of my time if you knew you were not going to hire me? oh and you will love this, during the interview he kept telling me that i could not handle the job because he had hired people like me before.He said girls like you always end up falling asleep on the job (it was a night sift position. You just can’t handle this job.

  15. I recently went on an interview for a long term temp position. I was given two exams word and typing. After 20 minutes the ditzy receptionist realized that he gave me the wrong exam. So i had to take another exam. Then i meet the manager who after hearing my extensive credentials she had the nerve to ask me if i knew how to scan documents. So i overall i wasted 3 hours of my life. My question is how is that during a recession do certain ppl still have jobs?

  16. I applied for a position as a file clerk, and was called for an interview–but after she hung up, I realized that I wasn’t given the name of the person who would be interviewing me. When I arrived at the business, I asked the clerk for human recourses–logically assuming they would be the department responsible for such affairs.

    The receptionist informed me I could go right in, which I did. To my confusion, I was informed by the person in human resources they they weren’t conducting interviews for anyone. When I described that newspaper ad I had responded to, she made phone calls to a few people and then said, “Oh okay, that was ‘Lisa Clark’ that called you. She’ll be here in a minute–you can have a seat if you’d like.”

    I sat down and waited, and then about 5 minutes later, the aforementioned “Lisa Clark” appeared in the doorway. Right in front of me, she said to the woman at the desk, “I’m terribly sorry he disturbed you. He ASKED for human resources. Nobody told him to come over here and bother you.” She then gave me a dirty look and said, “My office is down the hall this way, thank you very much!”

    Ironically, after the interview, she called me back and offered me the job–needless to say, I declined. I don’t think I would have lasted long under someone THAT irritable!

  17. Many, in fact some would say most, who work for evangelical organizations are gay. Not that many straight people major in pipe organ, oddly enough. Ministers, youth ministers, choir directors are often gay. There is something about religious organizations that appeals to gay people and the advantages in hiring gay people should be obvious. They’re unlikely to be sleeping with wives of parrishoners. They are likely to be single, or if married to have few or no children, which makes supporting a gay minister much less expensive than a straight one with many children. When a group of elders ask if a candidate is gay, they are secretly hoping that he is and that he has the insight to lie. This is one of many reasons the churches are in such a state.

  18. I was once interviewed by someone with whom I went to college. She was trying to tell me that she needed someone to come in immediately and get to work, but it came out all wrong. She said, “I’ve got a fire in my pants, and I need a fireman to come put it out.” I wasn’t sure if she was explaining one of the fringe benefits (!) or if it was a poor choice of words. I didn’t get the job, but that was okay by me.

  19. Two interviews in the same week at different companies..
    “Scooby doo or Courage the cowardly dog” – I was declined because I was too immature

    “Sorry, you are qualified but you are too nice and the people here would eat you alive” – Too nice? Do they enjoy working with jerks?

  20. Actually, I know many people who are members of one political party and have taken jobs in campaigns with the opposing party. They do it to get the experience. And so long as they keep their mouths shut about their own preferences and do a good job, it’s a leg up and a good story to tell when you finally get an interview with a campaign of their own political party.

    My manager once told me that he already planned to hire a candidate based on her references and his knowledge of her work history. So in the interview he asked a bunch of strange questions like “what’s your favorite color,” “what do you like to eat for breakfast,” and “if you could be an animal, which one would you be” before offering her the job. He let her think it was her “dolphin” answer that really swayed him before telling her the truth.

  21. I’ve been asked on more than one occasion how well I can deal with “difficult personalities.”

    Uh… REDFLAG!

  22. I my self have looking for employemnt since my job of 22 years shut down. I was working a big plant in Tampa Fl. When I see some of the question for a college dregree on a hard labor job in a factory I laugh. Most of the previous employees that came to plant in the past lastd one day. tjhey coud not handle working the shift hours and overtime, plus the heavy labor. Some left after the lunch was over. If a person has proven them selves in the past working hard for 22 years, young blood does not have comman sense…………..

  23. I once had an interview for a legal assistant position. I guess they had some major issues with the person who had the job before. EVERY question I was asked was put EXACTLY like this: “The previous person did thus and such. You won’t do that if you get the job will you?”

    It ended up I wasn’t offered the job but I was not disappointed about that.

  24. “We hate yes people,” said the interviewer, “We do not feel they bring anything to this position but yes, yes, yes, and we are looking for people who will disagree, stir the pot, and promote change. We don’t believe yes people are good for our growth. Do you agree?”

    I got the job and worked there for more than 10 years. My answer, emphatically, “Yes!”

    Sometimes you just have to go with the gut.

  25. there are many evangelical christians who are gay. there is nothing about a gender identity that is opposed to being christian.

  26. after taking a job. the person who hired us told a collegue “of course we lied in the interview. If we had told you the truth no would would have taken the job.” This was after we had flown half way around the world so none of us could dare quit.

  27. That might be the most ridiculous post I have seen. When we are complaining about people who waster our time, how can you justify stealing 45 seconds of my life with that drivel… I presume all you wanted to do is push someone’s buttons, so I guess in that sense, you accomplished your aim. Good luck out there, I’m sure you’ll end up on top….

  28. I’m a technology buff … fresh out of college, I was seeking a job in software development. One of my favorites was the want ads that posted “entry-level” jobs, and then they’d turn me down at the interview for lack of professional experience.

    Sometimes it was spelled out in the ad itself: “entry-level position … requires 4-6 years exp …”.

    For the benefit of those who write job postings:

    en·try-lev·el (ěn’trē-lěv’əl)
    adj. Appropriate for or accessible to one who is inexperienced in a field or new to a market: an entry-level job in advertising; an entry-level computer.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

  29. Nothing about gender identity that is opposed to being christian? I suppose that depends on what brand of christian you’re talking about. The brand of christian that doesn’t read the bible or take it seriously will be very accepting of you. On the other hand, the Bible’s line on fornication in general and homosexuality in specific is pretty cut and dried. Take it or leave it. But don’t generalize us. We all hate that. ;)

  30. Go read your bible Joshua and quit taking some other idiots word for what it says. There is no reference to homosexuality in the new testament only the old. But then I suppose you follow strictly all the old testament teachings and laws just like every one else that thinks the bible has an opinion on human sexuality. Learn to read and think for your self sheep!!

  31. From Romans:
    Ro 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
    23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
    24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
    25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
    27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. (AIDS perhaps?)

  32. The bible does mention homosexuality in the new testament. If you read the letter of the Apostol Paul of Roman chapter 1. This chapter speaks about homosexuality and lesbianism that is against God’s law. I do believe that Got does change people and forgive their sins, but homosexuality is a blasfemy against God. God hate the sinner but hate the sin.

  33. While applying for a delivery job I filled out a questionnaire where 2/3 of the 60+ questions asked me if I was a pot smoker, thief, or approved of such behavior. It was obvious that they had had problems with that before. I found it rather insulting that they wanted to waste my time with that form instead of asking me to my face. Anyone who is not too baked will answer “that is illegal & I would never do that” By the time I was half way through the form I didn’t want to work for them even though I don’t smoke pot or steal. I thought it was interesting that they didn’t seem to care about drinking and driving.

  34. sounds like the “Lisa Clark” i had the pleasure of working in the same establishment with. Thank your LUCKY STARS she showed her TRUE self before you were sucked into working for her!!

  35. Many employers do not pay the interviewees travel expenses for the interviews any more. After spending a big chunk of my unemployment benefit on travel to a out of state interview, I was told that they decided not to fill this position at this time!

  36. I have seen many job ads requires many years of experiences and finally realized that recession has redefined meaning “entry-level”. “entry-level” indicates the level of pay, not the level of experience and qualification!


    I am amazed how many positions asked for experienced in items that only previous employees can have. Things that read 3+ years experience in RQNF Systems. To find out that they are the only ones in the world that have it. Even my current employer asks for at least a couple of years of experience in an internal software and what is funny is that the software was released last year so NO one has years of experience in it. Another thing I see is when they try to merge 2 positions together and offer less money that either position separate.

    And the icing in the cake is when they ask for opposing requirements. Things like: tall, strong individual needed for installs. This person should not weight less than 150 lbs as many locations have ceilings that do not hold much weight. In addition, this person should be able to lift over 75lbs of equipment.
    In other words they are looking for a person with characteristic of an ant. Now the kicker: the job will pay $10/hr. So in addition, to be strong tall freakishly strong skinny contortionist suicidal spider man, you had to be desperate for money (hey actually Peter Parker fit that description, maybe he will apply).

    Finally I like the one that ask for a laundry list of specialized (and sometimes very expensive to acquire training or certifications) and at the end pays very little. So you have to be a genius in the field that is a moron in finances (ie do not knot what yourself is worth).

  38. I’ve been told to my face….”you are to old for the job”. I replied – folks that are 22 don’t have the 35 years of exp. you are looking for.

  39. Pingback: Unusual Job Seeker Tactics That Worked | Only Delhi Jobs - Delhi's Job Search HQ | Delhi Jobs

  40. How is being gay and being apart of a ministry so “diametrically opposed to one’s own beliefs”?

    I am gay and a minister for the Presbyterian Church. Just because some of us are gay does not mean we do not believe in God nor do we want to spread his good word. Many of us “gays” love the Lord too.

    Why would God judge us so harshly? Why would God damn us to hell for commiting our love to another human, no matter thier race or gender?

  41. I was once asked by the CEO of a Software Development company what my favorate cuss word was because they used them openly there.

  42. My favorite:

    I was told that I’d be working with a bunch of Italian designers that cussed a lot and would yell at me. Was I OK with that?

    I asked if I could yell back at them. I got a sour look.

    Unsurprisingly, I didn’t get an offer.

  43. I am a nurse. I was given a “scenario” in a job interview where I just gave a 15 yr old boy with a broken leg an overdose of a certain pain medication by administering it incorrectly, and what would I do? I was in so much shock at the stupidity of the question – 1) I would not do that, I am much more careful than that and 2)Is it acceptable to make that kind of mistake here??? – that I couldn’t think to tell them I’d give the boy Narcan, a medication that temporarily reverses narcotic overdose. I knew I’d blown that interview but I still reel with the very thought that scenario might be acceptable there!

  44. Handwriting analysis is routinely done in France and is taken very seriously. In Japan, one’s blood type may affect employment.

  45. I love this comment. I have seen so many ads written like this. I had a receptionist from a doctors’ office call me to set up an interview. She asked me twice what type of experience I had. I told her my previous positions required the same skills that the job required and my externship. This whole time I had the ad from the newspaper sitting in front of me and it did not read “experienced required”. She kept saying I’m sure the ad read experience required. I had to correct her twice. The doctors’ office should not have someone calling potential employees about a position unless the person callin g is aware of what the ad reads. Then she wanted to argue with me about the ad!!!!!

  46. I had an interview a couple of years ago for research job in a public library where the interviewer – a manager in this library’s HR department – told me that I shouldn’t expect to get hired because my astrological sign was one that wasn’t cerebral enough to adequately address the academic rigors of that particular job.

  47. You can be gay and be an evangelical Christian. In fact, many evangelical Christians are gay, and vice-versa. There is no correlation between sexual orientation and religious beliefs.

  48. When asked by a prospective employer, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”. Look straight at them and say “I want your job.”. This doesn’t apply to interveiws done in human resource department. Only interveiws done by a potential ‘boss’. I answered that at a group interveiw at a construction company one time, the interveiwers couldn’t write fast enough. I told them slinging a hammer and riding a shovel wasn’t what I wanted to do the rest of my life. I wanted to go to work and keep my clothes clean and dry, keep my hardhat shiny and new. They offered me the job but the details of time off couldn’t be worked out.

  49. Fresh out of college, I applied for an internship at a well known PR company in a large Midwestern city. It was a four hour interview process (complete with tests and two different sets of interviews). I knew it was a red flag when three of the four people they informed would be interviewing me did not show up (they had three replacements at the last minute).

    One of the hiring managers stated that, “If you don’t get the job, there is no need to go home and slit your wrists.”

    They said they didn’t know how many internship positions would be available, but it would be around 7-10, and that they were interviewing 20 people. One lady said, “Consider yourself lucky because we had 80 applicants for this term.”

    They said they would let me know in 3-4 weeks if I got the job. I waited and after no response in 3 weeks, I contacted them. They said they found someone else. The reply email they sent was generic and did not even address me by name. I thought that was a little rude considering 4 hours of my life was wasted and they couldn’t even be prompted to let me know I didn’t get the job (if I was so lucky).

  50. I was asked several times what my parents did for a living (i.e. what favors can your parents do for us?/what socioeconomic class are you in) and two male interviewers told me I wasn’t “bubbly” enough for a position at 2 separate companies. Do they want a Playboy bunny or someone who can do the job?

  51. I worked for an personal injry attorney in Raleigh, NC who really prided himself on being this nice guy but would do stuff like come on to female associate atty’s THEN fire them if he couldn’t screw them, not invite minorities to gatherings at his home but invited all the whites which REALLY made them get treated badly b/c there were bad white ones that felt like “why should I treat you with respect when even HE doesn’t?” I got fed up and left–most attorneys are snakes but don’t hide behind the “nice guy” bullcrap…

  52. I have to reply to the “many or some would say most” comment about Christian/Evangelical ministries hiring gay employees. I object to the exclusive verbiage you used. No, I am not an employer. I am an individual that simply refuses to generalize about any group of people, regardless of race, creed, color or sexual orientation. To say that when Christian based employers ask if a candidate is gay only hoping that the answer is yes for the reasons you listed is extremely bigoted.
    Too many times these types of comments get brushed off as one person’s opinion, when in reality they are infectious and very hurtful.
    Thanks for letting me speak my piece.

  53. Once I interviewed for a position in Richardson,TX where manager interviewed me first and liked me. Then he asked some of his colleagues to interview me as well. One of the interviewer was clearly a new hire there, fresh out of college.. so he went on to ask me some “text book” questions and when I replied, he laughed at my face not knowing that he is the ignorant one. Not everything that happens practically is there in the book. I found out later that he had referenced his friend for that position and was trying to find a reason for them to not hire me…
    So much for the interview process!

  54. I found an ad on Careerbuilder for an office manager for a real estate company. At the time I was working as the office manager of a recruiting firm and my experience was in line with the ad requirements. I received a phone call setting up the interview for a couple of days later. Prior to the interview, I realized that I hadn’t printed out the ad from Careerbuilder. I went online to pull it back off, but the ad was gone. When I went to the interview (which was with a man who *strongly* resembled the food critic from Ratatouille – in looks, accent and attitude), the owner asked me my qualifications. I began talking about my office management experience. He interrupted me (rather churlishly) by saying that the job was to source real estate, not manage the office and why had I bothered to waste his time? Um, because you advertised for an office manager….he then asked me if I wanted to do the job. It was for little money and I would have had to work with him…Needless to say, I said no.

  55. Have you ever heard the song by Shaggy, “It Wasn’t Me?” He states that even though a woman saw him in the process of cheating with her own two eyes, that it wasn’t him. That is exactly how immature your response was. Please don’t make a comment, be undeniably proven wrong, and then respond in such a way. It’s exasperating!

  56. In responce to Sylvester from Feb. I couldn’t agree more. The only thing is when you apply to a company that is “customer service oriented” and you never hear back from them in any way, shape, or form. I guess we aren’t good enough to purchase their products or services huh? That or is it that they are just blowing smoke up our a$$ about really caring about the customer? Either way if you can’t be professional enough to at least send a quick e-mail saying thank you for your time but we have choosen another applicant, I don’t think they understand ANY customer service and believe that they don’t even want you as a customer. No name given to the insurance company that did this to me but they are in DeWitt, Iowa and sell their service accross the nation.

  57. This didn’t happen to me during an interview; I had been employed at a Jesuit school as an IT person for 9 years. At one time, I worked full-time, plus carried a 16-credit college class load (part-time..sort of, haha). I more than satisfied my job duties and my college classes.

    I was later diagnosed with bipolar illness, which is treatable. Under the ADA, an employee with an illness or disability may request certain job re-arrangements. I only requested one…to be able to come in later in the morning than 8am, staying of course my full 8 hours. Being able to keep therapy and doctor appointments that unfortunately were in the middle of a workday, but still working my 8 hours. I was denied. Three weeks later, I was summarily dismissed. Yes, I could have filed suit under the ADA laws, but I don’t have the kind of money a lawyer would have cost me. I would have won, too, as this was blatant discrimination and unlawful firing (I wasn’t told the reason, just that my services were no longer needed) from a supposedly caring, Christian school…actually a college that is well-known nationally.

  58. At age 19 and in the early 1970′s, I was employed at a prestigious law firm. I was told that my duties included: making coffee, serving it to the lawyers and clients in real mugs on a serving tray after first taking the coffee orders (cream? sugar?), then washing the coffee pot and mugs at the end of the workday. I ran errands to pick up food for entertaining clients using my own car. Never could use my lunch hour for lunch only…had to answer phones for an hour while the hotshots had their lunch, eating in between calls. The final straw came two years from date of employment…I was assigned an additional lawyer to work for and I was told I would have to stay late and serve dinner to the lawyer and his clients that were attending zoning meetings. No overtime. No comp time. What the ‘f’ was I? A legal secretary or a waitress?! Walked in one day, said sayanora, picked up two weeks pay and never looked back.

  59. I think these stories are hilarious. I wouldn’t have been able to believe them if I hadn’t experienced many of them myself. I understand that in this economy, employers cannot respond personally to each and every person who sends in an application. However when you take time out of your day (and many times, time off at a current job), and spend good money getting to an interview, a potential employer should take a couple minutes to write you a short note or email and thank you for coming out as well as informing you that you didn’t get the job. That is my number one pet peeve, when employers cannot even tell you that you aren’t in the running and that you should stop wasting your time trying to follow up. They get annoyed when people bug them to death about when they’re making a decision, but potential employees aren’t important enough to be kept in the loop? Please. If you need a new employee that badly, you should do everything in your power to make a good impression–too many times we hear the opposite of this, that potential employees need to be the ones making the impression, but from a lot of your comments, the employers are the ones making bad first impressions. I’m glad its not just me experiencing all this crap!
    And can we get off the church/homosexuality topic? From the directions its taken, it doesn’t have anything to do with this article anymore.

  60. it possible to complain to the Better Business Bureau or to your state hiring authoirty for these bozos? I know my 4 hours to apply for a job given to the bosses kid is my loss, but it still makes me mad to waste my time because the business doesn’t want a discriimination lawsuit filed. It is so discouraging to file for a job that is pomised to an inside person, just so it looks legal and I am left hanging there, twisting and looking and wasting my time…these companies usually interview 10 or so folks, and then hire their own..how convinient they compiy with the labor laws but waste my time, and yes and I can see what is happening when I look at the job sites listed

  61. I once applied for a position as an apprentice residential appraiser (after completing all required courses) and was told “you purse carriers are not cut out for this line of work” I thought WOW, how rude!

  62. I interviewed for an admin assistant job at a bank once. My resume was flawless and I had lots of experience already from previous jobs, it was just a job answering phones and handling clients that came in to see a financial adviser. I was beyond qualified for it and just wanted out of my current job because of a problem coworker. The person who interviewed me barely glanced at my resume and then launched into a speech about how “this is all great and I know you’re qualified but here at (bank) we want to make sure you’re the right personality type for the job.” He seemed positive and then sent me on my way to take a mandatory personality test on the computer as part of the interview process. I did not get the job and am very glad. The person they ended up hiring got stuck on switchboard duty for weeks during a slow period. No thanks!

  63. And here I thought things had changed. They just disguise them better. Out of high school I applied for a summer job which involved a lot of math skills. I wasn’t hired because as a woman I “might get married or might get pregnant, not necessarily in that order”. But the real kicker is – the guy they hired was someone I had tutored in math!

  64. As an English major, I once replied to an ad seeking a “technical writer” with only the street address listed, only to drop off my resume at a car dealership! It turns out, the person at the desk who writes up the repairs and whatnot is also called a technical writer. But once I had figured out my mistake, one of the current “techincal writers” said they needed someone in the admin office, and he would submit my resume there.

    I got a call a few days later asking if I was available for an interview — in an hour. I agreed, hopped in my car, and met with the office manager. She spent 30 minutes telling me all about the job and how easy it would be for me, since I had “office experience” — I had worked in a call center for a merchant processing company for a few years. She never asked me a single question about my experience or abilities. Finally, she proposed that I start work with her on a trial basis, where, after two weeks, if either party was unhappy we would terminate the employment. I was unsure, but figured a week or two couldn’t kill me. And she wanted me to start the following day.

    I quickly learned that I had been hired to try and take over the work of a contractor who would go over the incoming and sold cars and ensure that all the DMV paperwork was in order. My boss had no idea what this contractor did, so she couldn’t train my in my position. She wanted me to figure it out on my own on the sly, so that they could stop paying the contractor! I worked the remainder of the week, doing what I could, and in the process heard so many horror stories from the one other office employee that I resolved to leave as soon as possible. Fortunately, over the weekend I was offered a different job I had interviewed for, and I was able to leave with a few day’s pay and a great story!

  65. I once was interviewed for a local photographer who loved my portfolio, my attitude, and qualifications, but he promptly brought to my attention that I was, in fact, a female. After explaining that in the studio they do jobs that only men can do such as: painting, build sets, haul equipment, and use power tools. He ended the interview with a “thank you” and a final statement of “we don’t hire the female type.” Nice.

  66. I was interviewing for a “bookkeeper” position at a local motorcycle dealership owned by two brothers. Things were going well when one of the brothers said, “We kinda have the reputation for being hard to work for.” I replied, “I’ve heard that.” The other chimed in with, “We’ve even been called a**holes.” “I’ve heard that also,” I said. The response was, “So, what makes you think you can work for us?” I told him, “If I can work with (name of former employer) and his boys, I can work for you.” We all had a good laugh and I started the next day. I was really excited because I ‘ve always had a thing for this particular brand of motorcycle and from what they explained the job to be, I could do it in my sleep. Turns out, the gal who was there for 5 years before me didn’t have a lick of bookkeeping background. Their books were such a mess, it was like the library had been hit by a tornado. Plus, no one really knew how to run their computer system and they refused to send me for traiing. They had already spent the money on the previous woman. They didn’t want to make that mistake again. It took over a year to get everything to some kind of order, but with no training, verbally abusive employers and a poorly managed outfit, I finally had enough. When I called the external accountant to tell him I had left, he said I lasted longer than he expected. He also said I was a good accountant and offered to be a reference for me if I needed him.

  67. I work for state government and was in my state’s capital for a job interview and decided to stop into an office with the department I was currently working for on the other end of the state. I asked to speak with the office manager to inquire if there were any positions available, just in case I didn’t get the other job. Long story short, the manager had just that day requested a list of applicants to fill a position I could transfer into. I said “what a coinsidence.” She immediately said that she doesn’t believe in coinsedence and that I was directed to her by God. I thought that was a little nutty, but I agreed with her (I really wanted the job) She hired me on the spot. I still work for the department. She was fired a couple of months after I was hired. LOL

  68. When I first moved to Wisconsin, I received an interview from an employer whom felt it was necessary to ask about my “living situation” in depth. I knew why he was asking the question(s). He wanted to ensure that I wouldn’t up and leave in a few weeks and I did everything to ensure that my move here was permanent. Still, he went on asking questions like “do you live with your mother then or have you found your own place?” which were not relevant to the position I was applying for. Finally, he ended the interview by saying “well, to be honest, I’m not really sure I like your living situation”.

    One week later, after being hired by the competition across the street, he called me back and told me I was “hired”. I told him that I had just accepted a full time job from the company across the street, in which he responded “so when can you start?”. Apparently, ignoring what I had just said. I proceeded to repeat myself and he proceeded to repeat himself…

    Finally, I ended the phone conversation and any chance of getting hired by that company by mocking the interviewer and saying “to be quite honest, I don’t think I like your companies management situation”.

  69. i went to a job interview on july 7th for a company i wont name for a part-time job well they had me in for frist one at 10:45 well i was a little early and i ended up waiting on the hr woman to get done then after frist one was over i was asked to come back for 2nd interview at 2 that day went in and waited even longer for the manger of the dept. then was told at end of interview i would be contacted by the next week for 3rd and final interview well after i didn’t hear from them i called up there 4 times left 2 mesages for hr woman and 2 for manger and to this day i still haven’t heard anything from ether person now to me this is no way to run a store and for that matter has soured me on a store i loved to shop at

  70. I feel really badly about your experience. Usually, states have an office (paid for by TAXPAYERS) that deals with employment discrimination (EEO, maybe?). Also, plaintiffs’ attorneys usually collect their fees from the employer, not the employee. You might want to at least check it out.

  71. I can see that I’ve become “one of them”…an old fuddy-duddy. I’m shocked at the misspellings, poor grammar and punctuation I see written here. Usually, being able to write a decent sentence is a requirement for high school graduation, which many employers look for these days….

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