'No excuse' | Candidate calls 999 to 'check on job application' - & other bizarre hiring tales

Candidate calls 999 to 'check on job application' - & other bizarre hiring tales

A would-be police officer destroyed his chances of a job after ringing 999 to find out how his application was getting along.

The Daily Mail reported that the prospective North Wales Police candidate lost out on the £21,000-a-year job after his emergency call was reported to senior officers.

The Constabulary’s Chief Inspector, Mark Williams, was reported by the Mail as saying: “He clearly was not cut out for the job.

“There was absolutely no excuse for a prospective police officer to call the emergency number to check on his job application.”

While an unnecessary call to the emergency services is nothing to be laughed at, HR Grapevine today takes a look at other bizarre situations that have arisen at points within the hiring process.

Read on to find out more.

'We’re interviewing him'

In July, a job applicant secured an interview after listing ‘Googling’ as a skill on their CV.

Software Developer Cat McGee’s tweet went viral after revealing that she received a CV from an applicant who had listed one of his skills as ‘Googling’. The developer went onto explain that her company was preparing to interview them too.

“Got a CV today and the guy literally listed one of his skills as ‘googling’ – We’re interviewing him,” McGee posted.

Bizarre questions

In an interview or job application, it isn’t uncommon for employers or recruiters to ask an array of questions to see how a candidate thinks.

Some of these could be relative to the task at hand, while others could be curveball questions that are designed to see how well candidates can think on their feet.

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One candidate has taken to Twitter sharing what she claims to be the “most bizarre question” she has ever seen on a job application.

The question listed on the job application, as was reported by Newsweek, read: “You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?”

While this curveball question was listed on a job application, candidates have been presented with curveball questions from potential employers during job interviews in the past.

Other bizarre questions

In fact, in a previous Reddit thread reported on by HR Grapevine, one candidate shared that they had met an interviewer who had asked them a terrifying question.

User sm0kemonster815 recalled being asked: "You've suddenly been shrunk down to the size of a quarter and dropped into a blender. It's turning on in 10 seconds. What's your plan?"

Another candidate writing under the username of Laterdude had an interview over lunch where they were met with an unexpected question.

The interviewer asked the candidate: “Who was our server today?”

A third candidate was asked how they would respond to a life-threatening situation. Reddit user WeirdWolfGuy was asked by the interviewer: "In the event of a fire in the building is your first priority to pull the alarm or call 911?"

Biggest interview faux pas

In April, research from BT Skills for Tomorrow uncovered the biggest video interview faux pas – some of which could well be costing jobseekers their dream role.

The 500-strong study of recruitment decision-makers revealed that almost one-third admitted to not hiring a person based on something that they had seen in the backdrop of the call.

A further 58% said that a messy or untidy room in the background could cost a candidate the role, while 67% of interviewers believe that candidates didn’t put enough thought into their virtual video background.

The study found that some interviewees have been caught short, with 13% standing up midway through the call to reveal that they are dressed in joggers or underwear. Showing interviewers or recruiters that you are missing your trousers probably isn’t the best interview gambit.

Why a job interview fail is not the end of the world

It's clear that nobody wants to make a mistake during a job application or interview, and the many stories above can serve as a cautionary tale for job candidates. 

However, some of the stories also show that, when a potentially humiliating error does occur, a sense of understanding and empathy from recruiters can result in a positive end to an otherwise-disastrous interview process, and with the firm gaining a strong new employee.



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