You Won't Believe These 6 Nightmare Job Applicants

Recruiters dish on Reddit forum

Three people waiting on sofa
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It's the fear of every job applicant -- making a complete gaffe and blowing the application process. But rest assured, for however poorly you've fared, it's likely someone's done worse. And now there's proof.

Hiring managers from across the country recently participated in a Reddit forum to share their most memorable nightmare experiences from job applicants. Suffice it to say catching job applicants engaging in workplace theft, or listening to the applicants admitting to drinking on the job didn't charm the managers. But awkward interview behavior wasn't always a barrier to a job offer, either. So see below for some of the most memorable anecdotes as shared by the hiring managers.

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Caught in the act of shoplifting
A former Blockbuster manager shared one experience in which a job applicant had just completed an "awful" interview. The manager didn't get into great details about why the interview was so "awful," but whatever did occur, there's no way it could have been worse than what happened when the manager walked the applicant out the door. As the applicant was making his way to the parking lot alarms went off; "it turned out he stuffed three DVD's in his suit jacket before being called back to the office," as Reddit user, "nicmccool," the former manager, described. "Blockbusted," commented Reddit user, "arleneb8."

Such a brazen and self-destructive manner of robbing is not without precedent, as has been reported by AOL Jobs. Last summer, an applicant for a gas station position at a Citgo gas station in Florida was caught by the station's security video reaching into the site's cash register to grab some cash after dropping off an application. In total, he walked away with $130, and no job.

Too much honesty?
Reddit user "MissyBat" had an all too identifiable experience from her time interviewing veterinary technicians. She noticed a long gap of several years between an applicant's college graduation and state license exam. So she asked the applicant what had happened. "It was pure laziness," the applicant admitted.

Full frontal for the hiring manager
Most of the hiring managers participating in the Reddit forum acknowledged that applicants with a criminal past faced a high burden to landing a job. And as AOL Jobs reported last year, job applicants with a criminal conviction are 50 percent less likely to be called back for an interview or receive a job offer. In the face of such an environment, hiring managers participating in the Reddit forum stressed the best strategy is to be upfront about a criminal record to show acceptance and the distance traveled since the wrongdoing. Which is exactly what one 40-something applicant named "Anita" did while applying for a floor sales position with a "retail company, that looks like a red bulls eye," as Reddit user "iJo3ly" noted in the forum.

"Anita" admitted to having just been released from prison three weeks before the interview after having served an eight-year prison term. The crime? "Selling an illegal substance," as "Anita" described it. Yet it soon became clear in the interview "Anita" was not trying to cover up the details behind the "illegal substance." Instead, she preferred to tell the story through a visual presentation. And so she "pulled down her pants and showed" her "burnt" private parts before explaining she was injured when her meth lab exploded on her in her trailer.

Making fun of the hiring manager's children
Reddit user "never_been_butta" participated in the forum but did so on behalf of his mother, who he said worked as a hiring manager for a car repair shop. And among the many memorable instances she shared with her son from her career was what happened with one applicant applying for a mechanic position. And as the applicant was being escorted out of the store, the applicant took a look at a young girl standing in the shop and said, "ew, what a pig." It turns out the girl was "never_been_butta's" sister, aka, the hiring manager's daughter.

Emergency worker drinking on the job
Knowing how to cope with stress is integral to every job. But when you are a 911 dispatcher it's understood you'll be trustworthy under any circumstance. So when Reddit user "10_96" asked an applicant what are some preferred stress-coping strategies, he was taken aback by this response: "I won't lie, sometimes I have to drink to make it through the day." Probably not the person you want on the end of the 911 emergency line.

Leaving it all on the table
Reddit user "50_MillionYearTrip" didn't share the workplace his most memorable hiring experience came from. But he certainly didn't forget one "crazy nervous" guy who came in for an interview, as he described him. "You could tell by the fantastic handshake the nerves were still there," the Reddit user recounted in the forum. And after motioning to him where he should sit for the interview, "50_MillionYearTrip" didn't even have time to ask a question before the applicant "barfed all over the table." But the incident didn't sink the candidate. "Funny thing was he was one of the better applicants, so he did get a call back."

Have any nightmare experiences from your career? Share in the comments section below.


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Dan Fastenberg

Dan Fastenberg

Associate Editor

Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.

Follow Dan on Twitter. Email Dan at daniel.fastenberg@teamaol.com. Add Dan to your Google+ circles.

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