Hiring Managers Share The Stupidest Responses They've Ever Seen On A Job Application

Hiring Managers Share The Stupidest Responses They've Ever Seen On A Job Application
Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash

One of the golden rules of the job search, heck of life, is always make a good first impression. It is the bare minimum to show up for a job interview prepared and able to fill out an application, or have a coherent resume. It's like Life Skills 101. Apparently that was a class many of us seem to have slept through or played hooky during. How in the world some people think they're going to find employment in their current state of being is mind boggling. But also highly entertaining.

Redditor u/ramennewtls wanted to get those in hiring positions to help us all out when it comes to the do's and do nots of trying to find a job by asking...
Employers, what's the weirdest/stupidest answer you've seen on a job application?


michael jackson popcorn GIFGiphy

I worked for a small company, and this resume got passed around. Turns out it was someone I'd worked with at my previous company.

He was claiming to be the lead developer on a project that I wrote from the ground up with one other person (not him).

I told my boss that we should interview this person for entertainment value only, and why. So we did. I left people with the gotcha questions to ask, and he tried to bull his way through each one. I was the last interviewer, and the look on his face when I walked through the door was priceless.


Written by Hand....

I was interviewing internal candidates for a job at our location. The job posting asked for your last review and a letter of interest, basically a cover letter.

We have computers and printers available for any employee to use but one woman in her 40s, pretty intelligent, decided to hand write her letter of interest on a scrap piece of 5"x7" ripped paper. WTF? The kicker was she wrote in the letter something like "I bet nobody else took the time to write a personal hand written letter."

I was interviewing an external kid in his early 20s for an entry level stocking job. I asked one of the stock questions "Give me an example of a time you had a disagreement with a coworker?"

He goes into a story about some trivial argument where he and another coworker ended up getting into a fist fight at an A&W Restaurant. I felt kind of bad that he thought I that was an OK story to tell at a job Interview.


"What is the attitude of a satellite?"

I was the candidate for this one. Due to how the Indian College system works, I was forced to participate in a written test for a company which did aerospace focused software. I was not interested in actually clearing the test. 10 years later, I still remember answering "What is the attitude of a satellite?" With "The satellites attitude i.e. mood describes whether or not it wishes to remain in orbit.

Satellites with a bad attitude are normally scrapped otherwise they may decide to crash out of orbit or get into fights with other satellites".

(I had continued this for a 6-7 line paragraph)

I wonder what the evaluators thought of me....


Crush It. 

I had a job posting out and a potential candidate reached out to have a chat about the role (senior management position). I told him my calendar was up to date and to book me.

He booked me for 1pm the following day with his phone number in the "location". At 1:02pm I call his number. He was waiting for his food at a burger place.

So we're chatting, he gets his food and says "I'm going to crush this burger while we talk."

He was shocked when he didn't get a formal interview.


@ "don't be stupid"

sanford smh GIFGiphy

Not so much an answer, but I've seen a shocking amount of resumes and applications with really awkward and unprofessional email addresses. Before being a position where I reviewed resumes I never would have thought so many people would provide and email address like "baddest_b*ch420" or sexymama_69" to a potential employer, but a lot of people do.


The Bare Minimum

I wasn't necessarily an employer, but i was a manager of a small restaurant. The owner valued my input but i couldn't hire or fire anyone without his permission.

I had a kid bring in his application, and i guess he was making jokes and forgot to fix it. Under "expected pay" he wrote "minimum crap".

He was hired and he was not a good fit.



It wasn't really anything on the resume or application. Still very entertaining.

Hiring for a call center position in my Department. Man passes the phone interview (done by the CEO of the company) and was told to come in for the face to face interview with the managers of the department.

He shows up and answers a few questions before asking what job he was applying for at the company. I replied that it was for a call center position and he looked disappointed. He then began asking if there were any other positions open (there were not at the time).

I begin to end the interview and I ask him about his past experience. He says that he was always upper management. Then asks if we were hiring for a CEO position at the company. No Dude... No. You literally talked with our CEO during the phone interview. Position is filled. Thanks. Ended the interview after that part.

It was one of the worst interviews that I have ever been through. He was unbelievably un prepared and applying for an entry level position.


Serving Time. 

Not an employer but I worked in HR back in the '70s. One applicant under the question regarding convictions wrote that he'd served 6 years in prison for the murder of his wife's lover. He finished by saying that he and his wife were back together.


You're Released 

We were hiring externally for an account manager and that void was highly coveted by many of the supervisors on the account. Hired this one guy and told him he had to go through the agent training and we would see where he is at, but under no circumstance was he to tell anyone what he was hired to do.

First day of training he introduces himself to the whole company as the next account manager, blows off training completely, and bombs the final knowledge test.

He was released.


Just Pray.

I Will Survive Jesus GIF by hoppipGiphy

Had someone put down "Jesus" for a reference.


Without a last name and contact details? That's pretty unprofessional.



Had a chef once apply with, "good at helping my coworkers thieve whilst the restaurant is at its busiest."

I'm sure he meant thrive but us chefs aren't to be trusted.


At my old job, I think if someone put that on their resume they'd be hired on the spot. I liked to joke that we probably should've stopped searching for people at Kleptomaniacs Anonymous meetings.


"So.... Rong"


I was working in retail in high school when someone came and dropped off a paper application. In the section about criminal history they checked yes they had prior convictions. In the space provided to state what the legal issues were they simply wrote "rong place rong time". We kept that application around for a while.



I received a resume that was just their high school football accomplishments, no other experience written down. There was even a link to his highlight video. He also included a head shot of him in his football pads. He was 24.


Sports CVs usually include a picture of you like that. As well as teams/competitions you've played in, highlights, your weight, height, etc. That sort of thing.

A sports CV is meant to be a profile for you as an athlete. To send to teams you want to join. Or something your agent sends to teams for transfers.

You don't use a sports CV for a actual job with the public. That makes no sense.




Saw a resume that, under the education tab, went from "Marine Officer Training School" to simply "Clown School."

Not even the specific one, just "Clown School."


"Listen Y'all..."

Old retail manager used to joke about one candidate he interviewed. A felony charge isn't a deal breaker for them so they ask applicants to be honest about them. "So about that drug charge... I just want y'all to know I wasn't usin' it, I just sold it."


"A Cup of Pee"

Hiring for a convenience store in the US, so we always scraped the bottom of the barrel and hired anyone who showed up to the interview. In this particular region, meth was so rampant that we drug tested potential employees. I did the interview, gave the kid the urinalysis kit to bring to the clinic a block away, called the clinic and said you can expect him shortly to administer the pee test. He never showed at the clinic.

Didn't answer his phone. He came back to the store a week later, proudly holding a cup of urine that he was there to turn in. I asked him politely to please take the cup of pee out of my store and to never return. He looked confused. I then asked him why he didn't go directly to the clinic after the interview. He said he wanted to wait till he could pass the drug test! God bless his simple heart.


"Woah Willie...."


An applicant for a job as a paid tenor soloist in performing a series of Bach cantatas was asked:

Please list sacred choral works (including cantatas) for which you have served as tenor soloist.

He responded: "None. But I can sing "Shotgun Willie" in the style of Willie Nelson."


"Hey Vanna"

In the cover letter: "I have a 2011 Toyota Corolla" and "I keep things organized with STICKERS!!!" Caps and multiple exclamations and all.

Different girl ignored the instructions to apply online, showed up in jeans and a baseball cap, asked if we were still hiring and when we said yes, she threw her arms in the air like Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune and shouted, "here I am!" My coworkers said the look on face was priceless.



I had someone bring in a resume that was scrawled out on notebook paper ripped from a spiral bound notebook and they didn't even tear off the edge so it was clean!

This was for a high level position. They wore a suit, carried a portfolio (which I assume had a spiral notebook in it) and never offered a word as to why they jotted down a resume in the parking lot.


"Why You Should Hire Me"


Whenever anyone gets an interview to work in my department, our whole team looks over their resume and can ask the applicant questions. There was a guy who applied for a mid-career position and had a few connections with some higher ups in our company.

So they immediately scheduled an interview for him without actually reviewing his resume. When our team looked at his resume, he had it titled "Why You Should Hire Me" and had a bunch of run-on sentences and misspelled words. Our team was confused and thought he made a mistake. Apparently, he thought he had the job because of his connections, so he didn't take the whole applying process seriously. He didn't get the job.


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