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August 14, 2021

The dumbest things said in a job interview

By Jason Buckland, Sympatico / MSN Finance

Getting a job in 2009 is no picnic.

The pressure is always cranked should you land an actual interview but, surely, this economy has added an extra layer of stress, driving competition through the roof.

Yet short of accidentally dumping your haemorrhoid cream on the desk or letting that swastika tattoo make an appearance, you’d have to think most people can hold their own when it comes to being grilled by prospective employers.

You’d think. has taken its best shot to set the human species back a few decades by compiling its list of 43 things actually said in job interviews.

Most of the idiocy comes across like something you’d hear in a mechanic’s garage, but CareerBuilder maintains the entire catalogue is legit.

What would prompt some to blurt, “You touch somebody and they call it sexual harassment!” in an interview? That’s up for debate. But what isn’t is – if you’ve ever caught an episode of Judge Joe Brown – us humans ain’t exactly as smart as we think.

My favourites from the list:

-“Cross dressing isn’t a problem, is it?”
-“If this doesn’t work out, can I call you to go out sometime?”
-“When you do background checks on candidates, do things like public drunkenness arrests come up?”
-“You should probably know I mud wrestle on the weekends.”
-“May I have a cup of coffee? I think I may still be a little drunk from last night.”

Not every response is a preposterous one-liner (such as the guy who said he didn’t have a mailing address because he was living in a gypsy camp at the airport), but the list is definitely worth checking out if you know someone who's got an interview on the horizon.

Anyone out there ever said anything this dumb to an employer?



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...