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Kids, Pets, and Wardrobe Malfunctions: The 15 Most Unexpected Things That Have Happened on Video Interviews

Kelly Peters

Interviewing can be a stressful process for both hiring teams and candidates. No matter how much you prepare, unforeseen hiccups often arise—even during in-person interviews.

Now, with video interviewing the norm…well, the risk of “hiccups” has never been higher.

We polled our audience to find out how the transition to remote screening has gone so far. They told us that there are, understandably, some pros and cons:

  • 44% said time savings have been the greatest benefit of virtual interviews
  • 41% cited using technology as the biggest challenge

They also shared some, erm, unexpected moments. Here are the top 15 most hilarious, heartwarming, and, downright awkward responses:

  1. “A candidate was upside down, as he couldn’t figure out his camera, so I could see up his nose the entire interview.”
  2. “We had a candidate interviewing for a really high profile position, but conducted the entire interview via her car WHILE she was delivering Uber Eats.”
  3. “While interviewing a candidate my 2-year-old daughter came running up to me jumped on my lap and screamed “I POOPED!” of course my microphone picked it up and the person I was interviewing just started laughing.”
  4. “I had an applicant think by turning off their camera that it actually muted them too. She said after turning off her camera  “He’s cute, but I don’t want the job” then she turned her camera on like she never said anything.”
  5. “The craziest was when a candidate was asked a technical question he couldn’t answer and he faked a connection issue then disconnected, and when he reconnected he had the answers to the technical questions (we could clearly see the was reading them from somewhere else.) We were looking for several guys…and we hired him. Best performer so far.”
  6. “Yes! One time, this candidate had no idea they were on video and I heard them tell their spouse how lucky they consider themselves to even have the opportunity to interview.   That was very heartwarming!”
  7. “My husband walked in on one of my video interviews in his underwear! Both the candidate I and were shocked haha!”
  8. “I was interviewing a candidate and his dog began barking. He abruptly got up and knocked his coffee over, spilling it on his pants and on the floor, apparently, while going to let the dog out. Someone from outside yelled, Who let the dogs out? We both start laughing! After we settled down, I completed the interview.”
  9. “My 3-year-old son was running around the room with a superhero cape and mask on. I was so embarrassed and thought the candidate was going to get frustrated. Instead, he called out to my son and shared stories of the superhero he loves too and they bonded for a good 5 minutes. The candidate ended up getting the job, and every time we are on a video chat, he asks if my superhero son is coming to the meeting.”
  10. “My Alexa turned on and just decided to join the conversation.”
  11. “I was in the middle of an interview when someone knocked on my apartment door. It was maintenance coming for my broken towel rack in the bathroom. I told the man I was in the middle of an interview so led him to the bathroom to let him work and continued back to my interview. 3 minutes later he came back out and because I was talking, stood there and stared at me for 15 minutes as I finished up my interview before leaving… It was so awkward.”
  12. “Candidate’s teenagers dancing and goofing off in the background in deliberate defiance of their parents scolding to leave the room.”
  13. “I had a candidate who was taking the interview on his phone and was spinning around in his swivel chair the entire interview. I was getting so dizzy and mentioned to him that he should stop. He didn’t. Obviously didn’t get the job.”
  14. “I once had a person interview on their cell phone with the camera pointed straight up their nose while in the Emergency Room. She had no idea what position she had applied for in our company.”
  15. “I’ve had people forget they were on a video or just didn’t care. We had someone pick their nose and then pretend not to eat it.”

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Kelly Peters

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