Interviews can take strange turns. Here are a few favorite stories from the files of interviewers and career experts we consulted:
. Interviewer asks a tall candidate to list his dislikes. "Short people," he says, not realizing that the interviewer is sitting on a cushion to add inches to his height. (Needless to say, no job offer.)
. Interviewer sits across the table from a candidate at a Chinese restaurant. After the candidate has finished his own meal, he reaches across with his chopsticks and begins feeding himself from the interviewer's plate. (Definitely no job offer!)
. Candidate tells interviewer she has heard that she shouldn't accept the first offer she receives. Interviewer asks her how many offers she thinks she should consider before deciding. She says, "Eight." He says, "Call me then. Let's not waste time now."
(At this rate she'll never get even one offer.)
. Candidate is invited to the suburban Chicago location of a major corporation and is told to fly in and rent a car. Candidate doesn't reveal that he has no credit card and thus is unable to rent a car. Instead, he hires a cab to take him to the interview, then wait to take him back. Total cab fare is $212, which he bills to the company. (You can be sure he didn't get the job.)
Interviewers aren't the only ones with tales of the bizarre. Check out these real-life stories from job seekers polled by WetFeet:
. An interviewer said that he was looking for someone who had "10 years of experience with Windows 2000." The candidate told him that it might take awhile to find the right candidate, like six years.
. During an on-campus interview, the interviewer's cell phone rang and he answered it. He then apologized but left the ringer on. It rang again, he answered again, and this time it was a woman he was trying to get a date with. He spent three minutes talking her into going out with him.
. An older female interviewer told a candidate about the thread count of the sheets at the home of a young male coworker.
. "One interviewer used the 30-minute interview time slot to milk me on my past work experience and my company because he was trying to do a transaction with them. He had absolutely no interest in me as a candidate. It was utterly disgusting behavior on his part."
. A candidate who had put "Fluent in Mandarin" on her resume was interviewed in Mandarin. "I went home and changed it to 'Conversant.'"