People Share Their Worst Job Interviews, And Here Are 98 Of The Most Entertaining Ones
It’s completely normal to be at least a little bit nervous before going to a job interview. After all, we all want to leave a good impression on others. Especially those that get a vote on what our potential careers might look like.
However, some folks just can’t handle the stress and end up being total nervous wrecks—dripping with sweat, stuttering, forgetting where they even worked earlier, and worse. Meanwhile, some managers and recruiters simply don’t have enough emotional intelligence and end up being totally brutal to the interviewees for seemingly no good reason. Times have changed, and a firm handshake might not be enough to secure a quality position anymore just by itself.
Bored Panda has collected the very worst job interview experiences, as shared by the folks on r/AskReddit in a ton of gruesome threads. Seriously, if you’ve got a job interview coming up, don’t read this, otherwise, you’ll get nightmares… though, on the flip side, these stories might prepare you for the worst that’s possible.
Financial expert Sam Dogen was kind enough to tell us how to leave a positive impression on recruiters, how to avoid being nervous during an interview, and shared why it's important to be humble yet confident. Sam is the author of 'Buy This, Not That: How to Spend Your Way to Wealth and Freedom,' which comes out July 19, and is the founder of the Financial Samurai blog. He's been through a nightmare job interview experience himself in the past, having gone through a total of 55 interviews during 7 rounds to get the job he wanted!
#1I took vacation days to interview, bought my own plane ticket, and paid for my own hotel. First thing the interviewer said was, "I have no intention of hiring you. This is just a courtesy because I knew your brother." I had 8 more hours left in my interview day. It was painful.
They ended up offering me the position many weeks down the road because they couldn't fill the position. I politely declined and got a very passive aggressively worded survey to fill out explaining why I passed.
I'm an eye surgeon. This was for a training position at an Ivy League institution.
Image credits: seeing_red415
"Non-technical qualities are hugely important for interviewing well," Sam told Bored Panda, sharing that some of them include speaking with confidence, maintaining eye contact every so often instead of locking on as though with laser beams, sitting up straight, and pointing your feet and body towards the interviewer. What's more, it's vital to maintain good hygiene, have a "radiant smile," be full of enthusiasm, and give a "firm, non-sweaty handshake."
"At the end of the day, your manager wants to hire someone whom they can get along with and trust. The nicer and more competent you come across, the better," he explained.
We were very curious to find out whether there are any tricks to help someone control their nerves before a big job interview. Sam, the author of 'Buy This, Not That,' told Bored Panda that applicants should remind themselves that everyone's equal outside of the workplace. "If you bump into the interviewer at the supermarket, you have an equal right to be there as they do. If you see the interviewer at a concert or at a restaurant, you're both equal, even if the interviewer is a billionaire!"
#2I had a really big opportunity for a job with Siemens corporation sometime after I graduated from college for a technical job that would have paid alot of money. It was a multi-interview job and I actually got interviewed by 3 different people. Each one I was a nervous wreck but somehow nailed them and just stayed confident.
Finally they send me for the final interview at their headquarters so I show up prepared, early, suit and tie, certs and paperwork, etc. I'm sitting in this fancy lobby waiting for the interviewer to come get me and another dude walks in dressed for an interview just like me. I figured he was here for another job so we had a friendly chat while we waited for our interviewers to show up. This was clearly an older, more experienced guy.
Finally interviewer shows up and is surprised to see us, saying they accidentally scheduled our interviews for the same time. So he takes the older gentlemen and tells his employee to take me and we would be interviewed separately. At this point everything is falling apart...I'm not being interviewed by the man I showed up to talk to. Instead this employee dressed in a T shirt takes me downstairs to the cafeteria and asks me a handful of quick questions in a very unprofessional setting before letting me go.
It's like they decided who to hire before the interview even began. It was a huge let down.
Image credits: KGhaleon
#3During college I applied for a bunch of jobs at Ikea. I got an interview followed by a rejection email. A week later they called me for another interview. I got another rejection email. They interviewed five times for five different positions. I got rejected all five times. I'm still salty about it two decades later.
Image credits: [deleted]
Another way to get your nervousness under control is to know your stuff. "The more you know about the company, the industry it's in, and your qualifications, the less nervous you will be," the expert said that doing your research and putting in the effort to learn as much as you can should give you a boost of confidence.
Sam, the founder of the Financial Samurai project, explained the difference between confidence and over-confidence and stressed that it's far better to be humble than to err on the side of arrogance.
"Being humble and confident is better than being overconfident. Nobody likes overconfident people. They are often unpleasant to work with. Instead, the trick is to speak with confidence and humility," he said. "For example, you can point out some award or accomplishment on your resume as a learning moment where a lot of luck was involved. This shows humility. But you can confidently say that you will happily try again to see if the win wasn't a fluke. This is an example of confidence and humility."
#4Applied to work at a vet clinic. Veterinarian did the interview while spaying a cat, apparently one of the cleanest and quickest surgeries they do. I fainted. Was not offered the job (after I woke up).
Image credits: Remembers_that_time
#5Wanted to work at H&M, got interviewd by the worst person ever. One question was and I am legit not lying, "What is your favorite color and why?" I answered "baby blue because it's calming and not to harsh to the eyes." My interviewer then said Oooh, sorry! Red is what we were looking for. And then proceeded to show me the exit.
Image credits: JamesDelRey
#6Fresh out of college, I was looking for my first teaching job. I applied at a small district for an elementary school position.
I walked in, expecting the principal and a few teachers. Instead I had the superintendent of the district, some high-level admin, and every single elementary school principal in the district. Probably 15 people in all. They peppered me with questions for 45 minutes.
I had zero experience, just my student teaching. I did not get the job.
Image credits: edgarpickle
He noted that we have to accept luck as an important factor in our lives and our successes: "It's important to never attribute all your success due to your own hard work and skills. Instead, be humble to recognize that a lot of success and tremendous wealth is due to luck. Once you accept luck, you tend to naturally be more humble and appreciate more of what you have. Because if you can get lucky, you can also get unlucky!"
It’s important to keep in mind that it’s not just you who’s being interviewed: you’re checking to see if the company you’re applying to gels well with you, too. You’ve got to be true to your standards and avoid showing that you’re desperate (even if you might be). There really are plenty of opportunities out there, and you shouldn’t have to settle for low pay, a toxic atmosphere, and micromanaging bosses just because you think you might not be worth anything better.
Career coach Jermaine Murray suggested to Bored Panda a while back that being too humble is the biggest mistake that any job applicant can make. You have to highlight your wins, your achievements, your accomplishments. Nobody else will do it for you. At least, in Jermaine's opinion.
"They humble themselves when they need to be boasting. If you understand why the work that you were doing was important and how it impacts your org then you should be explaining that to the interviewer without holding back. How did you go above and beyond to make sure things worked? What creative ways did you come up with? Show off,” he suggested.
#7Interviewed someone for a servers position in a club, she said she couldn't work weekends or past 8pm. We're a nightclub that's open from 7pm till 2am
Image credits: CanineRezQ
#8The interviewer was just stone cold, I tried to work in some small chit chat to break the ice but the most I got was a smirk. Then came the technical questions. I botched every question and each time he gave me a hard “no” then proceeded to condescendingly explain why I was wrong. Luckily I landed a job with a different company shortly after but man that interview really destroyed my confidence
Image credits: JustBeenRevoked1
#91.) I walked in as the HR lady farted 2.) it was a small office with no windows 3.) I asked her questions about their employee retention rate that she couldn’t answer 4.) the fart stayed the duration of the interview 5.) I hope the fart got the job, because I didn’t want it
Image credits: RedShadowIV
"If your body language or tone says otherwise [i.e. that you’re not confident], you destroy the perception of your skills. Once that's gone so are your chances of landing the job," Jermaine explained that you have to be as confident as can be.
Something that recruiters look at very closely is your personality. Technical skills alone might not be enough to secure a good position at a prestigious company.
"You can teach someone to be a better coder but it's near impossible to teach them how to be a better person. Recruiters will always value personality first, but technical skills are a very close second," the career coach said.
"Hiring managers keep that in mind and try to make sure candidates they like can perform competently. Different things contribute to this bar that aren't based on the candidate but the organization's internal ability to support and develop someone. Once those two elements are present, a hire will happen.”
#10Guy stared at my b**bs the whole time, asked me how old I was, what my "credentials" were, told me I seemed young to be a director, and then said, "Are there even any men on this team?"
I was the one doing the interviewing, by the way.
Image credits: dadadawn
#11My mom raises chickens … and during COVID one of them got sick (not COVID). She had it inside to feed water hourly to try to nurse it back to life. My mom has to run an errand so I’m in charge of this chicken for the afternoon.
I was on a phone screening with a candidate for a position in my office and this chicken starts having a seizure and dies on the middle of this phone call. I look over and it’s laying almost like it was crucified.
The candidate heard the commotion and asked if everything was ok … Which I relied “yeah, the chicken just died”.
She withdrew her application the next morning.
Edit: it was an office job at a NYC school. no farm experience required. Poor girl.
Image credits: poniesgalore
#12I was 23 at the time. The manager of the company interviewed me. He was old enough to be my grandfather.
He asked if I had a bf and if he was jelaous.
He told me that there were going to be thee options for me: The first one was to work from home, the second one was to work from the office, the third one was to go on "business trips" with him twice a week. The 3d option was with the highest pay. He told me that I look like a smart girl and the third option would be the best for me.
It was clear he was hiring a personal escord.
He was such a creep and made me feel so uncomfortable.
Image credits: Overall_Writer_6648
Meanwhile, Kierra, a cloud engineer and a data analytics consultant who helps people pivot into tech roles in the job industry, told us that recruiters look for people who show an interest in the company and the interviewer, and have a willingness to learn.
"This means one should have a few questions to ask after every interview. Asking which projects should someone in the role expect to work on and what the interviewer likes about working for the company,” she gave some advice to Bored Panda.
"The best way to build confidence is through practice. If you’re familiar with a skill set that a company is hiring for, you’ll have fewer jitters. This means working on meaningful projects that are similar to the tasks one would expect to perform in a role,” she said that you could work on some fun side-projects related to the position that you want so you have something to talk to during your job interview.
"Also, you do not need to know every single item that a company lists on a job description. I say if you know 70%, apply, and if you’re selected to interview… go and study the fundamentals of the items that you don’t know from the job description and understand how they would be used for the job role," Kierra said.
"This way, if you’re asked about the items, you can show that even though you don’t have working knowledge, you still understand the importance of it. No one knows everything before they join a company so showing initiative to learn something new before the job interview goes a long way!"
#13Interviewed for a florist as a teenager. I’m quite small and so the owner kept telling me I’d struggle lifting the buckets filled with water and flowers.
He then gave me a tour and showed me the storeroom, told me to pick up a bucket to get an idea of how heavy it was.
Since he had kept going on about it I severely overestimated how heavy the bucket would be and basically flung it above my head and drenched us both in icy water and flowers.
EDIT: No, I didn’t get the job. I don’t think it was because of the bucket though. He told me he would arrange a trial for me the next week but seemed super spacey. He called me the wrong name about 5 times during the interview so I wouldn’t be surprised if he just...forgot he wanted to hire someone.
Image credits: thatone-there
#14Door to door coupon book sales. Dude asked me like 2 questions then started getting ready for a team meeting in the next room. They had music blasting and he starts shadow boxing, bobbing and weaving and throwing punches like a madman. Then he goes into the next room and everybody is cheering like he was a conquering hero. I was like ffs it’s just coupon books. Job lasted a week
Image credits: DanFlaylen
#15I applied for a job in a Planetarium, the interview was conducted in a big dome.
Problem was, another part of the Planetarium staff was doing fire alarm tests during the interview. The dome amplified the sound so much, it was deafening. The interview staff acted like nothing was going on. We had to shout so we could hear each other.
Image credits: Quaternaire
#16I got a call from our reception desk that someone was here for an interview for a recently opened position. I go out to meet the person and it's an older woman (60 or so). I told her didn't have her on my calendar but I could do a quick interview. We go into a conference room and I ask if she has a resume. She goes apesh*t on me saying first I try to blow her off by saying she didn't have an appointment and now I've lost her resume. I spend a good 5 minutes trying to calm her down before I give up and tell her the interview is over, get up and open the door for her to leave.
Turns out she was the mom of one of my co-workers who'd come to have lunch with her and had done it as a prank on me.
#17I showed up in person for a phone interview. I have NO idea how I got myself in that position. I looked up the address on my own and everything.
I sat around waiting to be interviewed for 1/2 hour because the interviewer was in his office trying to call me. Of course, my phone was off.
I wasn't offered another interview, and rightfully so.
Image credits: NotCleverNamesTaken
#18Got an interview for a job as a floor manager at a gigantic steel foundry. I have some background in metallurgy so I thought it’d fit. It paid $90k and I was qualified resume-wise. I got there, turned out it was a group interview with three other applicants, to hear the pitch. If something messes up, the company loses $100,000 (some shockingly high amount, I don’t remember if it was exactly 100k) per hour and it’s your sole responsibility to fix it. They said you’d have to be on call 24/7 to handle anything that comes up. I got to the solo part out of curiosity and the interviewer they put me with said something to the effect of “I know this job sounds bad, but actually it’s even worse.” I was desperate for a job because I didn’t land one straight out of college, but I was glad not to hear back from them after the interview..
Image credits: Kersikai
#19Back when I was about nineteen years old, I applied for a part-time position at a mall outlet near my house. I got through the first round of interviews just fine, despite having absolutely zero retail experience. In fact, I apparently performed well enough that the assistant manager wanted to give me the job on the spot... but because she didn't actually have the authority to do that, I had to wait until later in the week to meet with her supervisor.
"Don't worry, though!" she told me. "It's really just a formality at this point. You know, to make sure you're not, like, a serial k**ler or something." She gave me a look of mock suspicion. "You're not, right?"
"Only in videogames," I replied, and we both laughed.
It was fairly encouraging, and when the date of my second interview rolled around, I was in high spirits. I showed up to the outlet about fifteen minutes before I was supposed to meet with the manager, got brought into office behind the storefront, and spent the first half an hour or so filling out a long questionnaire about my personality. Once that was finished, I met with the manager himself, who proceeded to ask me some very run-of-the-mill questions.
"Let's suppose," he said, "you knew one of your coworkers was stealing from the register. What would you do?"
I thought about it for a second. "Well, what's the company policy?" I asked. "Would I be expected to confront them? Document the behavior? Would it be best to just report it to you?"
"Just tell me what you would do," the man replied, looking a bit impatient.
"I'd report it to you."
The manager nodded and made a note on his clipboard. "What's the most that you've ever stolen? Give me a dollar amount."
"Uh," I stuttered, caught off-guard. "Is that really a question you can ask?"
"I'm just looking for a dollar amount," the man replied.
I racked my brain, trying to think of any petty thefts that I might have committed over the course of my life. I'd occasionally repurposed traffic cones, but never actually stolen one. Hell, the one instance of shoplifting that I'd been a witness to had left me feeling so guilty that I'd gone back the next day and returned the item in question.
"Zero," I finally said. "I don't think I've ever actually stolen anything."
A look of disapproval darkened the manager's face. "I see. Are you sure?"
"Really." The disapproval fell even deeper into a suspicious glower. "Go ahead and answer that question again. Just give me a dollar amount."
The situation, as I'm sure you'll agree, had gone from bizarre to patently ridiculous. I wasn't even sure that I wanted the job at that point... but I didn't have any other prospects lined up, so I decided to keep playing the game. Maybe, I thought to myself, it was a test to see if I'd change my answer.
"Zero," I said again.
The man put down his clipboard and looked me in the eye. "Do you actually want this job?" he asked, mirroring my own thoughts. I nodded in reply. "Then you'll need to be honest with me. Just give me a dollar amount."
"Sixteen dollars," I replied, sarcasm creeping into my tone, "and forty-two cents."
All at once, the disapproval evaporated from the manager's face and was replaced by a satisfied smile. "Well, that's not so bad!" he said cheerfully. "What was it?"
"A toaster." I'd just said the first thing that came to my mind, not even bothering to imagine what $16.42 would actually purchase. The answer only seemed to further endear me to my once-irate interviewer, and against all odds, I made it through the entire conversation. I may have even been offered the job, but when I received a telephone call asking if I was still interested in working there, I told them that I'd already accepted another position.
For the record, that was also a lie.
TL;DR: I lied about being a toaster thief.
Image credits: RamsesThePigeon
#20A couple hours into the interview/intro training, I was given paperwork to fill out for my new dog grooming job. Which would have been great except that I had applied to be a cashier and had never owned a dog, much less groomed one. When I brought that up to the trainers, they didn't seemed concerned at all. They said there were no cashier slots, that opening must have been left up by mistake, but dog grooming is fun and I'd like it. They seemed surprised when I left the paperwork on the table and congratulated them on wasting all of our time. Never shopped at that pet store again either.
Image credits: Sporkicide
#21person came in for her interview and started dictating her own rules before the interview had even started
she didnt get the job
Image credits: Ahshalon_Tenisk
#22I graduated college in 09, so I had a terrible time finding a job. I applied all kinds of menial jobs and would never hear back. I once followed up on an application at walmart.... They said my app was probably at the back of the pile and they just work top to bottom and hired someone else. I was not in a good place.
I found a small local book publisher and got an interview. It was for like an assistant, nothing big. But seemed interesting. I kind of fell apart after struggling to answer "your greatest weakness". I was just honest and said I'm not the most traditionally organized person. I don't let it affect my work, but it is what it is. This clearly was the wrong thing to say to one of the women interviewing me. Later in the interview they asked me if I had good attention to detail. I said I was solid, if not extraordinary at it. This other woman goes in on me because I said I was un-organized and that I couldn't have attention to detail if I wasn't organized.
I knew they weren't going to hire me so I defended myself vigorously, we were in a heated discussion just shy of a verbal fight.
It was just an awful experience at an awful time in my life lol.
Image credits: AnotherDrZoidberg
#23Was doing the whole long-term unemployed thing. Applied for a job that was being advertised by a recruiter.
Surprisingly, got an interview.
When I got there it quickly became clear to me that they were asking questions I didn't understand about things I'd never done.
Now, when I decide to point this out to them, the interviewer naturally asks why I listed them on my CV if I never had experience with them.
The answer of course, is that I didn't.
The interview has a copy of my CV on the table that shows these particular skills listed out on it.
Now, I'm quite surprised at this, because the copy of my CV emailed to the recruiter doesn't have these particularly skills on it - and I naturally show that copy to them.
I was the third person that day who obviously didn't know what they were talking about, and the first to actually admit it.
This did not lead to a job - as I was missing the skills I'd actually need to do the job at all. It did lead to a free lunch and the bus-fare home, which was nice.
Image credits: DartzIRL
#24I was kept waiting for an hour because the department head was on a lunch break. The company scheduled the appointment. Not a good start. I was about to walk out when they called me in (nobody else was there but me).
Why do you want to work here?
You can't really say for the money so I said I like the work etc and to close off I say I heard it was a fun place to work.
Do you think this is a playground she replied? That you'll be able to slack off? This went on for about 1 minute and she kept getting louder. I stood up, laughed and left. No wonder they are constantly looking for new people.
#25In the midst of a nine month stint of unemployment I went down to a job fair at the local Dairy Queen. When I got there, they sent me to a room with everyone else applying (about two dozen people) and sat me down to take a basic manners and math test. About halfway through the woman across from me goes, 'Hey, what's the answer to number 7?' Number 7 was what is ten percent of $5. I refused to give her the answer. The hipster kids sitting next to her told her .50 and sneered at me. Moments later, a fight broke out behind me when some random woman tried to cut in line to be interviewed. Neither were removed and both were interviewed.
Eventually, I was asked to meet the manager to interview. I got the job one minute later because I was wearing khakis and a blue button up shirt.
A week later I was fired for going home to my grandma's funeral.
#26Applied for a programmer job with a company that wrote insurance industry software. Had 3 different interviews with different people on different days. Was told to come in on Monday at 8am.
Quit my day job.
Reported on Monday... "Hi, what's up?"
"Reporting for duty!"
... I mean, it's one thing to string somebody on, letting them think they're accepted. Or you can say "we'll give you a call", and figure they'll get the message. But when you TELL someone to report for work, then pretend you didn't have a job for them... THAT'S LAME.
Image credits: [deleted]
#27I went in and the company had decided to try out a new group interview process where we all had to act out a few scenes that involved customer service. I was there for nearly two hours waiting on everyone to finish... this was for an $11 an hour cashier job.
Image credits: [deleted]
#28It was right when the recession hit and I was laid off a month prior. I went in, the interview was going great and then the interviewer asked me if I smoke and I said "sometimes, not really." She then says the employer will not hire someone that smokes and I say "well, I don't smoke at work or take smoke breaks or anything" and she literally turned to her computer and acted as though I disappeared into thin air. After 30 seconds I finally said "so, I guess I should go then" and she literally refused to acknowledge me so I just left.
#29I once had an interview that asked really personal questions, ie "are your parents divorced" and "were you bullied in school". The interview was for really small, sketchy business with 4 or 5 interviewers and last around 2 hours. I'm glad I didn't get the job.
Image credits: ffsellen
#30Copying mine from a long-ago thread...
In a med school interview....
Tell me about your ideal woman.
I start with personality, intelligence, and so on.
No, I mean physically. How big are her b**bs?
After that interview I withdrew my application there.
Image credits: Flaxmoore
#31I was out of work, and got an interview to be a Nielsen interviewer, going door to door to ask people about their TV watching. I had to drive 45 minutes to get to the hotel lobby where they were interviewing, and in the middle of the interview, I felt my eyes watering and my throat closing up, f**king allergies. They had no water, I had no water, so I tried to power through. They asked me how am I better than their other candidates, and I said, "Maybe I'm not, I'd have to see their applications." There was no mic drop
#32I was actually the interviewer. Hiring someone as a cashier and I asked them what they liked least about the last place they worked and the guy said, "My f**king boss was an a**hole. One time I punched that f**ker right in the side of the head because he wouldn't let me take my break when I wanted"
I ended the interview and thanked him for coming in.
#33Interviewed someone for a call centre job and when we got to the salary part, he takes out his phone, calls his mother and puts her on speakerphone to help negotiate his salary like he was getting a job in the C suite. Did not get hired.
Image credits: AUSavage77
#34As an interviewee It was when I applied to a job as a Junior programmer and in 5 minutes the guys goes "look, I'll be honest, there is no job, you can get an internship, no pay, we offer the bus pass"
As an interviewer, we posted a job opening for a Senior programmer, this kid, right out of University applied, I turned him down, but my boss made me interview him. I told him what the job was, what the expectations and technologies were, and the kid turns stares at me and says "don't care about that, I want to be a Project Manager and within 2 or 3 years top I expect to be offered a middle management position". I turned to my boss and told him to take it from there.
#35A store I wanted to work at had walk in interviews, which they said started at 4pm. I thought that meant they were running continuously. So I rolled in at 4:15, got told the interviews were over but the manage might be able to squeeze in one more. Already not a great impression of me.
Then for some reason I just could not answer her questions. "What are your greatest strengths?" "uhm........" "why do you want to work here?" "well, I uh...um..." "what were your responsibilities at your last job?" "Uhhhhh..." Like I just blanked for some reason, I was totally ill-prepared.
Walked out of there absolutely humiliated. Still got hired tho, and 6 months later I was assistant manager lmao
#36I had an interview with Enterprise rental cars. Interview was at 10, I came in about 10 minutes early. At that time I was told that the manager was running behind and she would be with me shortly. I waited 45 god damn minutes and was getting ready to leave when the manager came out and was like I wanted you to get a feel for the store. I did okay with that interview, then got called back for a second interview with the district manager. Same thing waited 30 minutes and then they didn't even bother to call me back to tell me I didn't get the job. Thanks for wasting four hours of my time.
#37I had an interview in early December where one person asked me if I'd be ok with working 7 days a week, 14 hours a day (when the job was advertised as mon-fri 9-5 with occasional overtime). I said that I wasn't sure about that. She said 'ok, we should leave it there, you're not suitable' and then spent 10 minutes berating me about my lack of ambition and my poor life choices (yeah wanting to spend time with your SO and not be so tired you DIE is really a poor life choice). The other person in the room, then chipped in with 'well I work a 16 hour day' to which I replied 'I wasn't aware it was a competition', got my coat, and left!! It was such a waste of my time that I actually got hysterical giggles talking to my mum on the phone afterwards.
#38I got into the room, and it was a panel interview. No problem, I'd done those. Did the typical "get-to-know-you" conversation then they handed me a sheet.They said "Ok, here are the questions. Answer them in any order you want, just let us know what question you're answering." It was very awkward being both the interviewer and interviewee. I kept trying to draw them into conversation but it was like being observed by a group of Sphinxs. Absolutely inscrutable and barely made a sound.
#39My first interview after graduating college with an Econ/Accounting degree.
When the interviewer asked about my expected salary. He literally laughed and told me that I would not be able to get that starting salary anywhere and told me what I should be “grateful” for. I literally found a job that following week that paid what I was seeking.
Know your worth, then add tax. :) Get what you deserve.
#40I was in college and on one of my first interviews for a non-retail position. I was sitting in the guy's office when my cell phone went off in my purse - I had forgotten to turn the volume down. My ringtone was "I'm Shady" by Eminem, specifically the part where he says,
"I got mushrooms, I got ac*d, I got tabs and aspirin tablets I'm your brother when you need, some good w**d to set you free You know me, I'm your friend, when you need a minithin I'm Shady!!"
Surprisingly, I ended up getting hired!
#41I was interviewing for what should have been a sure thing job. My sister worked for the company for over 15 year and she set the interview up.
I show up 15 minutes early dressed great and ready to go. I sit down in the waiting room and pick up a magazine and start reading. Another guy walks into the room. I dont even look up, i just say "whats up man" and continue reading. This man who i assumed was just another person interviewing for the job just stood there, watching me. I ask him if he is here for the same job. He told me "no", and that he would be holding the interview in his office immediatly. The interview went down hill from there. My confidence was shot i was sweaty and nervous.
I did not get the job.
#42I used to believe that I couldn't work with someone that couldn't take a joke. I then decided to test this in an interview setting. This was around the time I was searching for graduate schools, and would be interviewing with all these high level administrators on various campuses. I would answer all the questions to the best of my ability, ask my own, then finish with what I thought to be a fun test question.
I asked, "If you could bring any president back to life, knowing full well they could not serve their country, due to zombie citizenship restrictions, who would it be, and what super power would you give them?"
Most people laughed, or at least feigned interest, but I remember the woman who ran the Judicial Programs office at the University of Connecticut, looked at me blankly and said "Do you have any more serious questions, or are you going to continue wasting our time?"
I withdrew my application.
#43Interviewer: we were hiring a new graduate from a technical school. One of the engineering partners and I chatted with her for 15 minutes before two other partners and the director showed up. The initial 15 were great - she was relaxed, competent, at ease. But when you have 6 interviewers in the room, some of whom are being tough because they think they are supposed to be, it’s a little intimidating. She ended up crying because one question ended up being unusually personal. She took 2 minutes to recover and compose herself and carried on like a champ.
I wanted to hire her. Tears of anger and frustration are a thing for women in construction and engineering - I’ve had my share over the years. The fact she can back calm and composed and still addressed questions well spoke highly of her abilities to me. The guys just saw the tears and said nope.
Second worst: the interviewee explained she was just looking for a summer job. We should have ended the conversation then - we weren’t interested. My boss went on and on about how she should travel over the summer. To a woman who needed work to put herself through college. Wtf
Image credits: northernlaurie
#44Interview was for a multi-national oil drilling equipment supplier. The job could be anywhere in the world for long term assignment (1-2 years). The interviewer tells me a story about a guy they hired who was assigned to China. The guy got lonely, couldn't deal with being in a foreign country, and k**led himself. Question: "How are you going to keep from being like that?"
WTF? How do you answer something like that?
#45Interviewed at Domino's when I was in highschool.
Went in, and they said we'd do the interview at the picnic table behind the store...so we go out...and then as we start, everyone else working just came back and stood around watching the interview. Zero pizzas attended to. Was definitely weird interviewing with an audience.
#46Eight hour long virtual interview. What a nightmare. It never ended, and my a** hurt so bad.
Image credits: [deleted]
#47Went for an interview with Oxygen magazine. Front desk lady...very shocked to see me. Asked me to sit and hurried off.
Hiring manager came out and she too was shocked to see me... Asked to see my resume.
Hands me a name tag with my last name only on it (it's a common female name).
She has me sit in the conference room while the CEO and CTO come back with hiring manager.
They explain that they thought I was a female and apologized for the mix up on the name tag then explained I was not a fit for their "office culture" and ended interview without a single question offered or answered.
About then I noticed the entire office was female. I wasn't even mad... Just kinda laughed and left.
Gotta be the worst one in terms of professionalism.
Image credits: Syst0us
#48Interview with Microsoft. Interviewer was Indian and clearly did not have a great grasp of English, which I was really surprised by because msoft is legendary in terms of interviews. Anyway, trying to answer his questions was impossible when half my words were met with blank stares or "what do you mean?", god that was frustrating.
#49When I was sixteen I went into a place that I knew was looking for someone to do some odd jobs. I approached the owner and said something like "I heard you have a job available." He responded "That's the problem with you kids these days, you all want a job. Why isn't anyone looking for work anymore?!" He was really upset about it and rude. I said nevermind and left.
#50Responded to an ad asking for 5 years experience in purchasing (I have 10). When I got there they basically offered the job to me for $400 a week, it was not an entry level purchasing position. Unemployment in this state pays $375.
edited because I'm a dumba** and can't tell the difference between their, there, and they're.
#51I have two.
Company turned out to be a pyramid scheme. The guy I interviewed with was a weirdo. Clearly reciting a script and maybe only blinked twice in 10 minutes.
Interviewed when it was 95 degrees outside. I got there 15 minutes early, but couldn't stop sweating. It was awful. I didn't get that job.
#52Interviewer: 'So if you were a kitchen appliance, which one would you be and why?'
Me: 'We're done here. Thank you for your time.'
#53When I was in college I was working as a waiter in a diner. A high end restaurant was opening up so I went to interview for a job there. The interview was going great until the interviewer asked "What would you like to make in a night?" I foolishly decided to answer jokingly and said "Well, I'd like to make a thousand dollars a night, but I'd be more than happy with $100." The guy immediately says "Thank you for coming in, but I don't think you'll be happy here." I reiterated that it was a joke and he replied "I've been doing this a long time and in my experience the first answer is always the truth, so I can't hire you." It was a stupid joke to make and I learned my lesson but holy sh*t what a f*cking moron he was.
#54I was interviewing to be a cable installation tech (I was an electronics tech in the Navy), and my interview was mostly a lecture about how I should stay home and raise my children.
#55I answered a question in the worst way. I was 16 and interviewing for grocery store clerk. Lady asked me what I thought the worst job in the world was. I wanted to say garbage man so badly but I was worried about offending her. So I thought hard and said, "THE GUY WHO HAS TO GO FISH DEAD BODIES OUT OF LAKES." I said it would be especially bad because it is so scary, since if it is underwater the diver would just "bump" into it and that is how they would find it.
She abruptly ended the interview and I got the feeling I wasn't welcome back in the store. But lets be honest, that body diving business is a bad line of work.
#56Finished up a masters degree in physics. Got a phone interview and was was told it would be an introductory chat. Was confronted with a technical interview panel (over the phone) of 6 PhDs, 4 of which had graduated from the research group I had just left. We walked through my research project in about 10 minutes. Then the pain began... felt like I’d only learned kindergarten physics.
#57Part way through the interview the boss lady had something come up and got her assistant to show me around while she was busy. As soon as we were out of earshot this guy tells me to get out while I can.
Apparently the boss was a slave driver on a sinking ship, and either that was true and I should leave, or this guy is insane and I should leave. So in the second part of the interview I declined the offer.
That set the boss off like a firework which made me think the guy's warning was sincere. It was the first time I'd turned down a job and felt kinda empowering so her venom didn't stick, and I had a strawberry milk waiting for me outside that topped it off.
#58When I was a teenager I had an interview with Gamestop. One of their scripted questions was "what was your greatest accomplishment in life?" I started thinking... I said "Well, I'm only 16/17 years old, I havent don't that much, but give me a second to think.." then the manager is talking about how the assistant manager (standing next to him) tried out for the Survivor TV show, spent 3 weeks alone in the amazon jungle, had to feed himself and build his own shelter.. he went on and on about it. I had nothing to respond with. What were they really expecting me to say? That I found a cure to cancer?
#59Going into a interview for an entry level, "no experience required" network tech/install job and sitting at a table across from a half dozen IT experts asking questions I was completely blindsided by... It got so bad that I flat out said:
"Listen, Ive built PC's for over 15 years, I can terminate and run cat, operate a T&P, and have set up the office networks for 2 businesses (all true)... The questions you are asking make me think I'm either at the wrong interview, or the posted job was not accurate to what you are expecting."
The questions were basically like "someone calls in and their internet isnt working, what do you do?" After like the 6th "what if that doesnt work?" Its like "I dont know, Google it?"
#60I was 19 and interviewing for a job as a waitress at a Mexican restaurant. The owner was interviewing me: "Are you a crier?"
I should have ran fast and far after that.
#61Dude showed up 35 minutes late for his own interview. I wanted to just cancel it and tell him too bad, but my big boss told me to go ahead since we really needed the position filled.
Interview starts and he tells us he can only stay for 10 minutes since he's on call at his other job while here with us and that technically he's supposed to be no more than 10 minutes away from his site - which is an hour away. I asked him what he'll do if he gets a call while he's at the interview.
"Oh, I always just turn the phone off and pretend there's bad service"
#62I had an interview for a very high end hair salon in Scottsdale, Arizona where I live. The position was for a Staff Accountant. 5 people walked in to the room to interview me. First question, why do you want to work in the beauty industry? I said, it's not the beauty industry I am interested in, it is the position within your successful company. Every single one of them asked me this same question.
Then, they started asking me if I would be interested in going to beauty school (or whatever it's called) because I had the look that fits their company. I said no, I have a degree in accounting and 10 years experience and I would like to pursue that.
They would not let it go. I finally got up, thanked them for their time and moved on. Ridiculous!
#63I normally do really well with interviews but this one threw me way off. It was at 10pm for some reason and at this popular local burger place. Went in, he asked me how I multitask after he looked at my resume. I didn’t and still don’t know how to answer that question. I multitask when I need to? There isn’t a ‘how’. I just do it. I ended up saying “I do it because I’m...awesome...at customer service.” How? “Because I’m just...awesome?”
#64Interviewer asked if I was a "type A personality," I said yes having no idea what a "type A" personality was. He asked me to describe why I was a "Type A" personality. Fumbled through my answer and he replied "You don't have a type A personality" and got up and walked out. Still not really sure what the f**k a "type A personality" is...
#65I was on JSA (unemployment benefit) to avoid being sanctioned I had to attend a job interview the job centre had arranged for me. This does on the surface seem perfectly reasonable. below is a rough transcript of that interview
Interviewer: Thank you for attending interview here at Local Haulage Company, it is just a formality but we do need to see your drivers license
Me: I do not have one.
I: Then why are you here, in my office, wasting my time
M; The job centre said if I miss the interview I will be sanctioned.
I: why did they send you for a job you can't legally do.
M. No idea ask them, will you sign this to prove I was here
well he did sign it, it turns out that they had me down as a HGV driver. Twats.
#66TL:DR Interviewed for four hours before I actually got to someone in the department I was interviewing for.
I got an interview for a copy editor job (print and web) in the midst of the recession. I was hoping against hope that I would get the job just so I could get some kind of regular paycheck coming in.
They told me to show up at 1pm and I showed at 12:45. I was determined to do this right.
In the first hour I met with two women. It went well. They pulled out a sheet of paper and asked me two questions from that sheet. This was 'what is your greatest weakness' type of questions. I asked them some questions and they told me they don't work in the department anymore so they didn't know how things were now.
The second hour I interviewed with another woman who read two questions from the same sheet of paper and I found out that she was transferring into the department so she did not know how things worked in the department.
The third hour I interviewed with the previous manager of the department via speakerphone. He was in the building but decided that this was the way to go. He asked me the same two questions that my previous three interviewers asked me. At this point I suspected they printed the same sheet of paper from a "How to Interview People' site. He told me that someone else will come to the conference room in a moment.
I waited almost 45 minutes and another woman walked in the room and started interviewing me. I was going over my resume for the fourth time that day. I (foolishly, maybe) started saying 'as I said before to X person...' which ruffled her feathers. Then she pulled out a sheet of paper and asked me the same canned interview questions that at least two of my other interviewers asked.
I said my answers should be great because I have answered these questions three times today. This did not go over well with her (she huffed and wrote something down) and that just made me angry so I thanked her for her time and got up to leave. She started telling me that this was way too early to end the interview and she told me that the interview should have lasted at least 45 minutes. I asked her if she realized I have been here for four hours and I haven't spoken to anyone who currently works in the department I am interviewing for and she finally introduced herself as the hiring manager for the department. I laughed, handed her my visitors badge and walked out.
I did not get that job but I did send an email to HR about my experience.
#67I studied a bunch of mock interview questions in preparation. I didn't want to get caught off guard. At the interview, which was a small panel of three people, the main interviewer asked me to tell him about myself. I froze up and literally couldn't say anything for about 20 seconds. My face got super hot and I was pretty close to a panic attack. Eventually I asked them if I could have a moment. I took a deep breath and then was able to talk again. They were really cool about it. Didn't stand a chance at getting the job though.
#68I was doing the interviewing and this guy showed up with a Bob Marley t-shirt, jeans, and a chrome juggalo necklace (the little dude w/ axe). The kid was clearly stoned and handled himself poorly. After the interview I reccomended he not be hired. What does HR do? They hired him and he only stuck around for about a month.
#69Showed up 10 minutes before my scheduled interview and entire office was closed. Checked my email to see if I was at the right location, date, time, and I was. Called their office and the owner of the company and got nothing. I ended up leaving a voice message. After about 30 minutes of waiting outside hoping somebody would show up, I left. I ended up paying $5 for parking because I couldn't get my parking stub validated.
Then a month later, they called me apologizing after finally checking their message. They asked me to come in for an interview which I agreed to. I never showed up because I was hired recently from somewhere else.
#70My interviewer keep talking about himself and his product than ask me regular interview questions. That’s a big red flag for me, and after he finished talking he said i could get started right away but I had to pay $40 to take an insurance license exam. These types of certifications are very informative and take about a month to memorize. I kindly told him that I had other interviews and I’ll make my decision later in the week. He didn’t get the memo and still keeps calling me about me coming in and starting.
#71It was a group interview, a group of candidates and a group of interviewers. The interview consisted of problem-solving competitions and mind-games to pit the candidates against one another. It was supposed to be 2 hours, but I walked out after an hour - too much bulls**t to sit in a call-centre, get paid minimum wage and listen to people complain about their cellphone bill.
#72Interviewed at this place once for a technical position. The guy interviewing me did not know any of what I was saying but did know that he really wanted to hire the person that interviewed before me.
I knew this because he kept mentioning it during my answers to his questions.
In the end, she must have gotten a better offer somewhere else because I was offered the position. I was so delighted and confused at once.
#73I was in an interview being shown around the office when I commented on the oddness of an employee wearing sandals around the office. Especially since it was the winter. I was told he had diabetes. I didn't get the job.
#74"What is your spirit animal?"
#75So after having done an interview, a phone interview, I'm sitting in the second interview and it's almost over. He was asking me sh*t like "How do you think this interview has gone so far?" Honestly, I didn't think it had been going that well, but it wasn't terrible. And who the hell says that? I made up some sh*t that I don't remember right now. Anyway, he going on to tell me that this is the least favorite part of the job, having to tell people they don't get hired. He goes on for a bit about it. I'm crushed, because I spent a lot of time with this. He stops and stares at me, super seriously for at LEAST 15 seconds, but it felt like so much longer. I was about to get up and walk out when he tells me that I'm hired. A**hole. It's sh*t like that that made me quit.
TL;DR - Interviewer made me eat as many cheese sticks as I could.
#76I left my GPA off my resume, because it's not exactly...good. My interviewer noticed this and asked me about it. I said I simply must have forgotten it. He then asked me if I did well at UMBC (my college), and I replied....."Good enough!"
...I did not get that job.
#77Did four phone interviews. Got accepted to next round. Prepped 80+ hours. Flew for a whole day of interviews on site. Rejected with the slimmest of margins and asked to call back in a year. Didn't call back, but got called back by them since it was so close. Four new phone interviews. Flew out for a whole day. Rejected again.
Google... I'm looking at you.
#78An interviewer asked "So, tell me a little bit about yourself." Which I did. To which he replied, "Well, I'm not sure what I wanted to hear, but that wasn't it." WTF?
#79Had an interview for a admin/program coordinator position where I'd be booking flights, hotels and other such nonsense for international students.
Met the hiring manager at the door, gave her a handshake and she literally clutched my hand and pulled me in.
During the interview she went on to say how all the staff there was female and if I'd have a problem with that. Then right at the end she asked me how old I was even though that's clearly against the law where I live.
Then, she escorted me out, and gave me the same f**king handshake, but in the direction of the exit.
That's one way to make someone hate you.
#80A group interview at Victoria's Secret where one of the girls thought selling Girl Scout cookies gave her experience as a cashier. I couldn't contain my b*tchy side and got invited to leave.
#81I had an assignment due the same day as an interview and it was a hell of an assignment. The interview was at 8:30am, so I got there having had 4 or 5 hours of sleep in the last 48. So, I was pretty damn tired and the interview was full of sort of fiddly technical questions. Finally, he asked me why I wanted to work in QA and I gave my standard answer about liking to break things and thinking analytically and all that. And he says, "Anything else?"
Normally I'd add a bit more, but on no sleep? I said, "Uh... nope. Gonna quit while I'm ahead."
Did not go well.
#82My mom has awfully sweaty palms, and she was interviewing for a job as a secretary, so they gave her a typing test. She got so nervous that her hands sweated into the keyboard and broke the machine. They just asked her to leave.
#83I've been told I am "not suitable" to be a bike courier because I'm female and that I cannot do this or that job because I have children. Not really "worst ever" but it was pretty lame.
#84Was asked if I smoke. My answer was along the lines of " uh...a little yeah...mostly just when I'm drinking so quite a bit really OH GOD facepalm". I got the job.
#85As an interviewer, I once met with an older Chinese man who could barely speak English and whose recruiter had completely falsified his résumé. He did not have experience with any of the tech I was looking for, and even if he did his English was so bad I could never have been able to tell anyway. The look on his face as I realized this was depressing, he was probably having a terrible time getting interviews at all.
#86I'm deaf. Wear hearing aids. Went to interview for job in law firm. Woman interviewing said she was going to go into the other room and call me on the phone. She left, phone rang, and I picked up. "Can you hear me?" she asked. I heard her and everything, but I was so embarrassed by the whole thing that I told temp agency I didn't want the job.
#87I got asked what I do for a hobby, I felt put on the spot so I answered entirely honestly and said ‘I play video games and watch TV.’ Extremely embarrassing, would not recommend
#88My friend was asked what his greatest weakness was.
"I'm fat," he replied.
He wasn't even that fat.
He didn't get the job.
#89I went to a job interview and told them that I'd want some kind of programming/SDE job. Looked up the company on glassdoor before I went, and they had a single review. The reviewer rated them 1-star and complained they were "disorganized". Well, no company's perfect, and people are more likely to post a negative review. So, I bought some new interview clothes since I haven't interviewed in a while, did all the other job interview prep...
I got to the interview, and they told me they didn't have any jobs in my field. That was it. All they really had were video production type jobs and translator jobs.
Why the f**k did you even call me in for the interview. Any other company would have just said ahead of time that there are no positions that would be a fit for me. That 1-star reviewer was right, and now that I've remembered this story, that company's probably going to have two 1-star reviews by the end of today.
#90When I was 16 I brought my resume in to a Boston Pizza. My plan was to politely give it to the hostess and leave, but it just so happened that the Hiring Manager was there that day. The hostess excitedly went to grab him from the back, and lucky me got to speak to him face to face. He introduced himself and told me what Boston Pizza was all about. Being a sports bar, he half-jokingly told me that all the staff had to be big sports fans to work there. Then the first and unfortunately last question he asked me is what my favourite team is. I panicked, (what is sport) looked at the nearest tv monitor which was playing a basketball game and said, "basketball". My dumba** thought I had absolutely nailed the question too, until he awkwardly smiled and thanked me for coming in. I didn't realize what I had said until I was walking out, replaying the conversation in my head...
#91I went in for an interview at a theme park. The process took 4 hours. They attempted to hire me on the spot but I declined because they wouldn't allow me to take a specific day off that I needed.
#92When I interviewed for the job I have now the HR manager asked me, "Name something negative about yourself." Something along those lines. To which I replied, "If someone gives me instructions to do something, sometimes I have to ask a few times to repeat the instructions." It was then I realized that sounded terrible. So I quickly added, "To make sure I understood it correctly." Amazingly I still got the job.
Yup, that's the worst experience I ever had. Lame.
#93Interviewer fell asleep
#94Phone interview 3 months ago
Interviewer: Tell me the details about the position
Me: My previous position?
Interviewer: This position you are applying for
Me: You want me, the person applying for the position, to tell you about the details for the position you posted?
Me: ... shouldn't you be telling me the details? I've only seen the original job posting.
Interviewer proceeds to tell me the details about the position.
#95As the interviewer I was once offered a blowjob if I gave the person the job. The person was a guy. I asked him to leave immediately.
#96The interviewer (who would have been my new boss) spent the whole time moaning how useless and terrible all his current employees were. After I was met by the HR rep, who was very taken aback when I told her that there was no way I would ever work for someone who would speak that way about his employees to a complete stranger. She tried to excuse him, so I got up and walked out.
#97So, I'm a programmer.
I once interviewed at a plant nursery company. They had lost a developer to a motocycle accident, and needed to hire someone new quickly to help maintain their information systems.
You see, they had computerized getting info to their clients sometime in the 70s. As a result, they had a system driven by a no-longer-made pre-relational database and with a character-driven telnet interface. The whole thing was piles and piles and piles of C, probably 95% hacks on top of ancient hacks, and it was sitting around printed out on dot matrix paper.
They knew it needed to be replaced and reworked. Vague noises were made about "well, maybe next year", but that had clearly been the line for at least two decades.
They wanted me to come in every day at 6 AM, were going to stick me with all the end-of-month b*tch work, and more.
When they asked my salary requirements, they added "Think low".
I left. Told them I didn't want to be considered.
#98I had an interview for an entry level "Marketing" job with a "new and promising company". The office that the interview was in was about the size of a walk in closet.
The interview consisted of 3 questions from some piece of paper that looked like it had been copied 1,000 times. The job was door-to-door sales of coupon books for some mom-and-pop service shop. I got $1 per book that I sold, my interviewer got $5 from each one I sold, and his boss got $10 from each book I sold. These books sold for $25 each.
After the interview was over I asked him "Isnt this a pyramid scheme?", He said "No" Then tried to hand me a t-shirt that was 3 times to big for me.