You’ve had a bad job interview before, haven’t you? The one that stands out the most to me is when I showed up for the interview, but no one else was there. The building was locked, the lights were off, and when I called the contact number I had, I could hear the phone ringing inside. What a disaster!
After someone asked an online career community, “What happened in your worst job interview?” these were the top-voted stories.
1. The Company Used Me to Solve a Problem
One shared that in their worst interview, the interviewing team asked “a lot of” what seemed to be “hypothetical questions.” The interviewees assumed these were all related to the work they would perform with their new company, but it was not.
However, he stopped and chatted with human resources on the way out of the interaction to discover that these weren’t hypothetical situations. Instead, he was used for free services and misled about a job opportunity. Several others shared this experience. One user was flown from New York to Minnesota for this.
2. Falling Down the Stairs During the Walk Around
Falling down the stairs during an interview, breaking both fibulas, and sustaining other injuries are among the most painfully embarrassing things that can happen to you. After gathering themselves and standing tall through all the pain, “the woman showing me around said, so does this mean you don’t want the rest of the tour?”
3. Remove Clothing to Verify No Gang Tats
One user recalled a request to remove their shirt to prove they were void of gang-related tattoos. He stated, “I walked out without saying another word.” Another person joked to silently mouth, “I’m wearing a wire – while vigorously pointing at your chest.”
4. Group Interviews and Repeat Calls
When arriving at an interview, realizing it’s a group setting was a “huge red flag,” for one, especially already being apprehensive. Additionally, one of the group interviewees audibly blurted out profanity before leaving ten minutes into the event.
However, this user admitted they were polite. So “I stuck it out and left at the end without saying anything.” Finally, the company in question was so unorganized they called him repeatedly, despite being told the interviewing party was no longer interested. He realized it wasn’t being called for a second interview. They were so chaotic they called three times as if it was their first attempt to interview him.
5. Just a Little Late
It is proper etiquette for the people participating in the interview to be on time, if not early; this includes the interviewee and the person(s) administering.
However, one recounted a story about their interviewer who did not answer their phone and arrived two hours late. After producing several excuses for their tardiness, the interviewer proceeded with the interview. However, this individual politely declined due to their lack of appreciation for their time.
6. Unprofessional Behavior
During a panel interview for a vice president position with Navy Federal Credit Union, one of the panel members, a senior vice president, showed up late, “sat between the other two panelists and then put his feet up on the table and proceeded to ask me questions where he mumbled, and I could not hear him at all.”
While noticing the other panel members’ discomfort and embarrassment, the candidate “had to stop the interview and ask him to please take this seriously.” After about 20 minutes, the senior vice president abruptly jumped up and stated they had to leave. The applicant “politely but firmly declined” the job opportunity.
7. Set-Up to Fail from the Beginning
One teacher talked about how their interview and subsequent teaching demonstration seemed structured to fail from the word go. The teacher-recruit explained how half of the students shrugged off their attempts to engage them in the classroom lessons.
The principal, “who had sat in on the teaching demo,” explained that half of the class did not speak English as an attempt to brag about their teacher training program.
8. Recruiter Posted the Wrong Job Opening
Several applicants shared applying for a job and later learning that job was posted incorrectly as available. Some have even stated that the management staff got mad at them because “it was their fault that the manager messed up on the job ad.” Saying things like they were a “waste of time” and they “should’ve been more prepared for the interview.”
9. The Interviewer Talked About Themselves for an Hour
A candidate remembers going to an interview where the administrator talked about themselves the entire time and how they were “so successful at 32 selling insurance.” Additionally, the recruiter continued to insult their manner of dress for the interview.
10. Researched for the Wrong Job
The final prospective employee declared they did tons of research for jobs they applied for right out of college. After entertaining a few interview requests, they chose one they felt they did a substantial amount of research.
However, once they arrived at the location, the person administering the interview began asking questions they were unprepared to answer. Finally, after concluding, they were not ready for the interview, they “had to say mid-interview that they were sorry, but I had made a mistake and just ended the interview early.” It was “more than embarrassing.”
We hope you enjoyed this confessions list. Have you ever had a bad job interview?
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Amanda Kay, the founder of My Life, I Guess, provides valuable career advice and support for anyone striving to make a living and, more importantly, make a life. Whether it's navigating job searches, learning new skills, overcoming unemployment, or dealing with debt, My Life, I Guess has been a go-to resource for career guidance and financial stability since 2013. Amanda's expertise and relatable approach have been featured in trusted publications such as MSN, Credit.com, Yahoo! Finance, the Ladders and Fairygodboss.