On a number of organizational design and CIO advisory projects, I’ve had the opportunity to help screen and evaluate candidates for jobs ranging from entry-level support to IT director roles.

When I am in the office at Systems Alliance, I am also occasionally able to participate in screening candidates for open positions at our company.

In the recruiting world, candidates are divided into two separate yet equally important groups: the well-qualified and thoughtful candidates who are ready to bring value to the team … and the others, whose bizarre behaviors at least leave interviewers with great stories to tell at happy hour.

These are their stories, as shared by members of our team:

1. During a phone interview, one of our V.P.s was put on hold by a candidate so she could take a personal call. After a long pause, she came back on the line to continue the interview. There was no second phone screen.

2. A candidate for a job at a client’s organization showed up 20 minutes late, started banging on the glass instead of using the courtesy phone, and followed it all up by being rude to our office manager. This hat trick of bad decisions led to a very, very short interview.

3. Following an interview that went off the rails, a candidate invited our CEO and I out for drinks the next time we were in town. The offer was declined, but we did check one bar out on Yelp.

4. While screening for a client, we had one candidate spend 10 minutes explaining how terrible all of his former employers were. If that red flag wasn’t enough for us, the liberal use of F-bombs throughout the call definitely was.

5. One of our V.P.s had a candidate fail to show up on time for an interview. After the V.P. called her and sent an email, she showed up out of the blue two hours later. No explanation was given, and she still expected to be interviewed.

6. We tend to Google candidates to get some info on them before they come in. One candidate, fairly junior, had a pretty open social media profile that included lots of drunken party photos, posts about getting high, etc.

7. When asked what his technical interests were, a candidate struggled to explain what he’d written on his application. He did, however, spend ten minutes talking about how much he likes playing in a mariachi band. I am still unclear if this was an episode of Punk’d.

Got a horror story of your own? Email me at mstirling@systemsalliance.com.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Systems Alliance blog.

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