Tales from the recruiting crypt

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Posted by Mindy Fineout

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October 29, 2010

Halloween is right around the corner, decorating our day-to-day routine with ghosts, ghouls, and haunting, but memorable experiences. And so I am inspired to reflect on the ghosts of my recruiting past. From ghoulish resumes to creepy interviews, these stories decorate my career with frightful fun. Read on if you dare!

One of my all-time favorite tales is about the guy who, in the skills section of his resume, stated in full-on bold and bullet format that he was "able to read both digital and analog clocks." Now this candidate was a developer, so he certainly wasn't lacking in the brains department. I thought, at first, that it must be some sort of joke, but after considering his dry toast personality, I became convinced that it (sadly) was not.

And so, as I helped this candidate build a better resume, I asked him: "What's with the clocks?"

He looked at me, perplexed. "What do you mean?" he asked me.

"Well, you say here you can read both digital and analog ... " I say, trailing off into an obvious pause to indicate I'm waiting for an explanation.

"Well, I can," he replies.

At this point, I found a way to delicately explain that there is probably a list of talents that he possesses that aren't included on his resume, and his clock-reading ability would just have to be one of them. After all these years, I still can't figure out for the life of me why this candidate considered this skill such a triumph that it needed to be included on his resume -- in full-on bold and bullet format -- just two bullet points down on the list.

Sometimes, a candidate's resume isn't the issue. And maybe his initial phone interview is flawless. But then, he shows up for his in-person meeting in full costume dressed as his avatar. Who, by the way, is a shadow elf named Anarallath from the regions of Cyhalloi.

Or -- and I swear this is a true story -- the candidate tells you he can't make it to his interview because, well, (and he shares this with you) he had an, um, shall we say, long-term reaction to his Viagra.

No less frightening:

  • The guy who actually did drugs in the bathroom during his drug test appointment.

  • The guy who wore a hat to his interview bearing the name of the company's major competitor.

  • The Web designer who listed on his resume the links to his personal pornography sites.

  • The candidate who asked me if he could stay at my place for a little while until he found a job.

  • And lastly, the one that will always have a dear place in my heart. The woman on an interview whom I escorted to the bathroom, and then had to tell that she had tucked the back of her skirt into her pantyhose, but only after she had walked down the long hallway and through the crowded lobby showing off her Fruit of the Looms.

So today, in the spirit of Halloween, I am re-living the haunted house packed with cringe-worthy experiences. Now, in hindsight, I can howl with ghoulish laughter!

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