3 Bizarre Startup Interview Stories

3 Startup Interview Stories “Do you have any tattoos?” the recruiter asked me midway through the startup interview that was being held at The Creamery in SOMA, San Francisco since the startup didn’t have an office yet.

“Uh, no, I don’t,” I said confused at the question.

“Well, they really wanted someone with tattoos to match their culture,”  the recruiter fired back as if I really wanted the job I would think about a tattoo.

“OK, yeah, I don’t have any, “ I said still confused and wanting to leave.

“Well, you look like a great fit on paper but I’m not sure culturally if its going to be a fit, you know,” she continued.

“I appreciate your time. Thanks,” I got up to leave and waited a few seconds to see if her obese body would be able to free itself from the space between the bench and the table. It was not.

“Thanks,” she said and maneuvered back to a seated position.


“So, what do you think of our website? And, how could you improve it?” said the startup’s Chief Marketing Officer.

“It’s a great site. Very clean, easy to use,” I said wondering if he knew what the description on Google said about the page.

“Ok, anything you’d change?”

“Yes, I’d first look at all the description meta tags because there’s a problem with one page. Can I show you? Or maybe it was a test for this interview?” I asked.

“I’m not sure I know what a description meta tag is or what you’re referring to but can you show me?”

“Yes, if you go to this page you’ll see the description says, “[…] was founded by three guys that like to drink beer,” I read him as I pointed out something that should not have been there as it was a clothing site for women.

“Oh, I see. Well, we’ll change that,” he said in a confused way.


“We’re a dog friendly office and hope that doesn’t bother you,” said the hiring manager as he took a seat at the table in the conference room.

“Yes, this dog is always here,” chimed in the Argentine HR manager with her thick accent.

I looked over to see an older dog coming into the conference room wagging its tail.  This startup interview is off to a great start, I thought.

“I love dogs and think they make the office more relaxed,” I said taking a seat across from the hiring manager. The HR manager sat at the head and the dog laid down under the table.

“Ok, so can you tell me more about what you’ve been up to? Looks like you were at another startup before?”

“OH MY GODDDD. Does this dog have gas or what?” said the HR manager as everyone looked under the table at the dog who then started wagging its tail.

I waited until everyone looked back at me and smiled. “Yes, I was working at another startup,” I began to say.

“Look, we gotta get this dog out of here,” and the HR woman tried to pull the dog by its collar but it wasn’t moving.

“We’re sorry about the gas. And, well, honestly looking again at your resume, you’re over qualified for this job so we could just keep you in mind for future positions.  Thanks for coming in,” said the hiring manager.

“Thanks for your time,” I said as I got up to shake the HR and hiring managers hands and quickly left the room with the dog close behind me.

Short story by L.B. Lewis for June 17, 2016. Copyrighted. All rights reserved.