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The Interview That Howled at the Moon: A Tale of Art, Odors, and Mealworms

We’ve all had our fair share of bizarre experiences, but some are so outlandish that they deserve to be immortalized in the annals of “You Won’t Believe This Happened.” Today, I’m going to share with you the most unforgettable interview experience I’ve ever had. The year was 2003, and I was on the hunt for a UI designer. Little did I know that I was about to meet an artist whose portfolio would leave me speechless, and not for the reasons you might think.

The Quest for a UI Designer

Our company was in dire need of a UI designer, but finding the right fit felt like searching for a needle in a haystack. I kept my hopes high, believing that amidst the sea of applicants, there would be that diamond in the rough. That’s when James walked into my life.

The Artist and the Howling Wolves

James was an artist, but not your typical one. He had a peculiar aura about him, and his specialty was painting wolves howling at the moon. Yes, you read that right. Wolves. Howling. At the moon. This was his niche, and he embraced it with a passion that was both admirable and bewildering.

But there was something else about James. As we sat in the small, cramped interview room, a distinct odor began to permeate the air. It was as if the wolves in his paintings had come alive and were now inhabiting the room with us.

The Portfolio Incident

As the interview progressed, it was time to review James’s portfolio. “So, I see you brought your portfolio,” I remarked, trying to steer the conversation towards his work. I had no idea that I was about to open Pandora’s box.

As James lifted his large black leather portfolio onto the table, I noticed a tiny grain of rice fall out. “Curious,” I thought. But nothing could have prepared me for what happened next.

As he opened the portfolio, it was as if a dam had burst. Out poured hundreds of mealworms that had been feasting on his printed work. They cascaded onto the table in a wriggling mass. James laughed awkwardly and began to sweep them into his hand, apologizing for the mess.

“No problem, James. I understand that these types of things can happen,” I said, trying to maintain my composure. But inside, my mind was reeling. I had never imagined that “these types of things” could actually happen.

The Howling Portfolio

Despite the mealworm fiasco, James proceeded to show me his work. What followed was an endless parade of paintings featuring wolves in various poses, all howling at the moon. Each painting was a variation on the same theme, and I couldn’t help but wonder how this related to UI design.

Epilogue: A Howling Farewell

As you might have guessed, James did not get the job. But he left an indelible mark on my memory. His interview was a reminder that life is full of surprises, and sometimes those surprises come in the form of howling wolves and mealworms.

To this day, whenever I see a painting of a wolf howling at the moon, I can’t help but think of James and the interview that will forever be etched in my mind.


In the world of recruitment, you meet a diverse array of individuals. James taught me that sometimes, it’s not just about finding the right candidate, but also about the stories that make the journey unforgettable.

So, to all the hiring managers out there, keep your senses sharp and your portfolios meal worm-free. And to all the artists like James, never lose your unique spark, even if it involves howling wolves and unexpected critters. Just maybe keep the critters out of the portfolio next time.

Happy recruiting, and may your interviews be free of mealworms and full of inspiration!

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