There are many ways to crush a job interview and land your dream job, just as there are many ways to ruin it. Sometimes, it can happen to the most competent and qualified people who stumbled upon an unfortunate brain fart. However, sometimes, a job interview reveals just how much of an a-hole a potential new hire or employer actually is. In both cases, it just proves that while job interviews are usually as fun as medical check-ups, they're pretty essential.
This time, Bored Panda was curious about the job interviews that didn't go well. But most importantly—the reasons behind it. We compiled a list for you featuring some really unfortunate stories about ruined job interviews, so why not give it a scroll and vote for the stories you enjoyed reading the most?
I once interviewed a guy who asked me who his boss would be. When I explained it would be me, the person interviewing him, he laughed and said congratulations for "getting so far" but that he could not be expected to just do what I asked him to, and also any woman being in charge of a man was "disrespectful."
He did not get the job.
I interviewed someone who rolled her eyes at me when I asked her to put a mask on before we got started.
Spoiler: she did not get hired.
"We won't give you a contract until you've bought your uniform and paid for your training"
Back when I was teaching, I had an interview once where I had to plan a lesson of bingo. One of the kids kept rubbing their answers out and writing new ones so they could win. I sat down and advised the kid I didn't think what they were doing was fair and asked them why they were doing it. We had a little chat of the school values and they agreed that it was wrong of them to do it.
Cut to after the interview the the interviewer took me aside and said that it was disgraceful I told a kid tehy were cheating and it was wrong and I'd make a horrible teacher. One of the many experiences I've had on why I don't teach anymore.
Some schools are honestly just toxic. The teaching profession is really only for strong willed people and I am definitely not one of them.
I once had an applicant like that throw a fit and insist that he be given my job immediately. (For the record, he wasn't remotely qualified.)
Shockingly, I decided not to hire him.
They asked me to pay for "administrative fee". It's a giant red flag.
The owner of the company told me she’d come to my house and cut off all my hair if I ever shared any information with her competitors.
I never shared any info about the company, but you better believe I told everyone what she had said to me.
As an interviewer let me say my favorite one.
Me: What's your greatest strength? Candidate: uhhh well I guess free lifts.. I can do like 80 now...
I had to excuse myself and leave the room. Mind you this was some 16 year old interviewing for a grocery store but to this day I still think I should have hired him.
My husband inadvertently ruined his job interview that way. Group interview with four people and this was the first question they asked him [what do you know about the company]. He had done his research and started running down the work history of the CEO, patents they obtained, patents they had applied for and even talked about how impressed he was with their one system. Turned out 3 of the interviewers were from HR and one was from marketing or some other completely different department. This was for an engineering job. They abruptly ended the interview. It was quite clear they were not happy he knew more about the company than they did.
Had an interview at a retail store: "I'm really good at zoning out and doing repetitive boring work". Still got the job, don't know how.
I was interviewing for a customer service position at a company I'd never heard of but thought "hey, maybe it's a start-up". I got up and excused myself when the interviewer mentioned door to door sales for commission. I told her "I'm sorry, the online posting said customer service. Not sales. I don't appreciate having my time wasted, and I'm sure you don't either. Next time be honest In what you're looking for."
Job performance assessment for me.
Was making $21/hr as a 3rd year apprentice. I asked for a raise to $26 - after completing my third year of school (a typical 4th year wage in my area) - and he countered with $22.
I chuckled under my breath and looked down at my feet and said 'well if you don't wanna pay me, I'll leave.' The reply was 'we really need the help.'
My retort was, 'if you did, you'd pay me,'
I had a new job 4 days later with the pay I wanted.
The interviewer raised her voice and became verbally abusive during the interview. I stood up, announced the meeting was over, and left.
I was interviewing someone once for a job working with children.
A lady told me, out of the blue, "Hispanic people don't know how to raise their children, the things that those kinds of children will say".
That sure took less than 15 seconds and it sure ruined the interview.
I went for an interview at a "sales company" whatever that means. I was 17 and just wanted an easy job, thought it would be a door to door thing. When I got there I was surrounded by business men in suits, all looking really panicked. I got into the interview and the guy looked really shocked to see me, but I instantly smelled something fishy. Worked out pretty quickly it was a (very polished looking) pyramid scheme. When he started to explain the emphasis on getting results and how the pay worked I stood up, told him he clearly didn't pay attention when sorting through the CVs and that it wasn't for me. Shook his hand and walked out. On the bus home I figured out that my shirt was on inside out the whole time. Total professionalism on both sides!
I had a candidate tell me “I have extreme anger problems and I can’t help but get loud and hands on when’s someone’s doesn’t get what I’m trying to say” it was for an engineering internship.
Did this already! Was nervous and chugged the last of my coke before going inside. Went to shake the guys hand and say Hello but a very loud long burp came out instead. I just dropped his hand and left.
A driving job advertised as paying $16 an hour plus tips. During the interview they clarified it's actually $9 an hour but the tips would bring the average up to $16 an hour. No thanks. Maybe don't word it like your wage will be $16 and the tips will be added to that. They knew what they were doing, I could tell the interviewer noticed my change in demeanor when she told me the truth. Borderline bait and switch.
I was told that I would have to sign aircraft off for return to service even if I wasn't the one doing the work or inspection.
I worked hard to earn my certification and am not risking someone else's mistakes going on my record.
Interview with small business. Mostly remote work. Supply your own computer. Salary and preliminary benefit info is okay, not stellar. They mention the requirement to install monitoring software on my computer. It takes snapshots every 5 minutes and video every hour that is reviewed by mgmt. If not mouse or keyboard movement within X time, you get clocked out.
Not really interested in working someplace they don't trust employees. If your going to make these crazy rules, you need to pay someone to put up with your craziness. Oh, and *NOT* on my personal computer. Not even on a VM!
My manager once had a guy come in for a job interview. "Dolf" seemed really nice, clean cut, polite. He was talking to her and rolled up his sleeves...
SWASTIKAS!!! An arm full of swastikas.
She was honest and told him she didn't think it was going to work out, as the owner of the business was Jewish.
He was like, "Okay, I understand."
They were in there for about two minutes.
I waited 30 minutes for the manager to show up to interview me and then I left. I decided if she was doing this at the interview, it was likely indicative of how she’d be at the regular job.
Ten minutes of driving later, she called me and said, “I’m here, you can come back now if you want.” I said, no, thank you.
It was a sales position at an air filter company. He liked me enough to start talking salary which is where I noped out. Basically, it was a ridiculously complicated system where I could make UP TO a certain amount, but really realistically I'd be making less than minimum wage. He kind of got red faced and b***hy when I kept saying "but wait, this means I'll be making like $5/hour. I must not be understanding this right because you advertised this position as $40k/year. Can you explain? Am I missing something?"
Basically, he would rope people in with bad math and false promises and when they didn't make any money, they'd basically agreed to it by accident. They'd quit and the cycle began again.
Once this became clear, I politely declined and left.
When I asked how much they’d pay me and the response was “you can make as much as you want”
Interview going well.
Female Interviewer : Do you have any questions ?
Me : About you or the company ?
Female Interviewer : ..............
Haunts my memory to this day
I was in an interview to be a math teacher at a school with 7 openings. Just a continual mass exodus at an awful school. It was a 5 minute drive from home, though, so I decided to check it out.
The first question I am asked is what I do if a student has a cell phone out in class. I said that I usually take the phone and give it back after class, but if the school has another policy I would be glad to follow it. The interviewer's immediate response was that she didn't think I would be able to build relationships with their students with that kind of mindset, so she would be fine with concluding the interview at that point. I agreed and walked out, completely blown away. No wonder why they can't keep teachers.
I already had a contract with another school, so it was whatever to me.
Manager: So what do you think you can bring to our team?
Me: I'll infect everyone with happiness and pixie dust.
I actually DID say that in an interview one time and upon reflection, it sounds like I wanted to give everybody drugs and/or a disease.
We have a guy come in and say “so I actually exaggerated on my cv just to get my foot in the door, I’ve never actually done any of those things”.... ok, bye then.
I went to an interview for a tech firm. The job's hours meant that most days I'd get off work about midnight.
During a break in the interview process I went outside for a snack and saw the lead story on a newspaper, it said two violent drug gangs were having a turf war and the border between their territories was the pedestrian mall right outside the building where I'd be working.
The idea of walking across a dark, deserted pedestrian mall to a mostly-empty parking garage in the middle of the night across the front lines of a gang war didn't appeal. I might have been overreacting but I decided right then and there to accept another offer.
The staff member who started the interview noticeably changed to very guarded/self protected when the manager walked in. I had a gut feeling and watched her interact with him I knew he must be an ass. I turned down the job and left.
Yup because I realized it was a well hidden pyramid scheme.
Well hidden because it had AmEx's name slapped on it, so I figured it was a legit "financial advisor" job.
I should have walked out immediately, but I was too young and inexperienced to see the red flags ahead of time.
Guy who called to set up the "interview" was not in HR. Strike 1.
The "interview" was at 7 pm. Strike 2.
When I got there, I realized it was a group "interview" with like 10-15 other people. Strike 3.
I should have turned around and walked out then, but I was young and naive (or dumb) and still thought maybe it was somehow legit.
The "interview" started and the only question any of us was asked was our names. The the guy goes right into basically what I know now to have been a MLM presentation, talking about how all of us can help each other and him make money, while advising clients, etc.
I sat through the initial 45 minute presentation and then the guy said something like "if this great opportunity doesn't sound like a fit for you, you're free to go now before we start the sign up and training."
I stayed put for a second, not wanting to be the first in what I assumed would be a stampede out the door. Waited too long and the guy started to talk again so when I got up to leave it was super awkward with everyone watching me since I was the only one to take off.
This didn't happen at an interview (as far as I know); it happened while I was attempting to train this new employee. She kept standing around, arms crossed, sour look on her face, and told me "I'm only here because the state said I had to get a job or I'd lose benefits. So I got a job. They didn't say I had to work" Makes me wonder what she did say in the interview. And what would happen if she had said that in the interview.
She actually finally started putting a little effort into it and became an ok-ish employee. She did bare minimum but she did it reliably and correctly.
I had a job interview at a bread bakery/ sandwich place. They asked me where I saw myself in five years. I said, "not making sandwiches." Interview was immediately over lol.
As a young teacher I interviewed for a school closer to home and when I went in the staff room on the 'tour' I noticed that all the staff seemed to be limp, grey and completely washed out. Eavesdropping conversations uncovered a few of the reasons, high staff turnover, lots of long term sickness and the majority of teacher's non contact time was being taken to cover lessons with no staff; all the time. This showed me that the staff were not respected by the students nor valued by management. I didn't disrespect the interview by leaving but did say 'no' when I was asked if I was still interested in the position at the end of the interview. They didn't bother to ask for feedback, they knew why lol.
I had a guy applying while completely stoned. He was like "don’t worry, I only smoke in the evening. Well sometimes before breakfast too"
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