Hiring Managers Say The Craziest Things – Lunch Interview

Since 1981, I have worked with over 3000 hiring managers across the United States.  Most of whom have never been trained how to interview.  Therefore, they bring their own unique interview techniques and questions to the interview party.


This is the beginning of a series of quick stories that my candidates have experienced.  The names have been changed - if there is even a name attached.  Of course, the candidates bring their own special treats to the interviewing party and I will share some of those also.


Interestingly, in many cases these stories are males interviewing female candidates – must just bring out the worst/most interesting and creative approaches in the males…


The setting – An office before smoking was prohibited in the workplace.  The manager headed a company and was interviewing a female programmer/analyst at lunch time.


This time I’ll choose the name, Joe, for the manager.  It just sounds like a “Joe” story…


Joe invited the candidate into his office and offered her a seat across from his desk.  He began the interview with the standard “tell me about yourself” lead.  So far so good.  Suddenly the interview took an interesting twist.


Joe reached into his lower right drawer and pulled out a brown paper bag.  It looked like a lunch bag for one.  It was.  Joe looked at the candidate and said, “I hope you don’t mind if I eat my lunch during our interview?  This is the only chance I will have today to eat.”  She was startled but was gracious enough to allow him to eat during the interview.


He proceeded with “What is your current salary?”  After she responded, he replied, “So you say…” 



While he was interviewing her about her programming skills, he was downing his lunch.  I can just picture Joe spraying during his questions.  He actually seemed interested in her responses.  After he finished eating, he appeared satisfied – not sure if it was her response to his most recent question or his lunch.


Not to be outdone by his previous actions/responses, he then reached into his top drawer and said, “I hope you don’t mind.  I usually smoke a stogie after lunch.”  Amazingly she remained for the entire interview.


She called me after her “lunch” interview and told me what happened.  She was laughing when she said that the manager reminded her of Archie Bunker.


She did not accept the offer – which was lower than her current compensation…

Views: 638

Comment by Ben McGrath on May 2, 2012 at 7:05pm

Great stuff. Keep those coming.

All the best,




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