I had an interview where I knew the answers I gave were good, solid examples. I understood the technical side well. But the interviewer kept sneering, being rude and saying “really?” In a skeptical tone and I got the distinct impression he hated me. About 20 mins in, I thought about politely calling it a day and leaving but in my innocence thought it would be good practice to stay. 40 mins in, it’s like a light switch goes off inside and he’s the nicest guy, his eyes light up and he started hard selling the role and position to me. Introduces me to the team. The director interviews me and he and the team are lovely. Apparently, their interview technique is to be rude to see how you perform under pressure and they’d all been observing using a camera and were impressed I remained so polite and calm throughout. They couldn’t understand why I declined.
to save me responding to comments. I understand pressure testing is a legitimate technique, and whilst I felt deeply uncomfortable and my gut was screaming at me to get out of there like in a nightclub when you know the creepy guy is really bad news and you need to get out, I understood that it was a possibility that that is what he could have been doing.
However to add more context, they had my work history including 10 years in the ambulance services which involves resuscitation whilst the public yell at you and threaten you. I’m used to being polite and professional whilst being harassed and threatened.
Nothing spreadsheet based, even pulling all nighters is going to match that for pressure and I’m well known for staying calm and composed all the time (even if I’m exploding inside).
My biggest objection was not realising I was being broadcast and hearing them discuss my reactions to my face, like I was some kind of movie actor. It felt so violating.
Not that bad, but I remember Taco Bell asked me what type animal I would be if I could be anything. Like wtf do you want me to say? “ I would be a fire ant so I could work efficiently with my closest friends!” Sixteen year old me said an eagle, because they’re strong and they can fly. Meh…
At an interview to be a county street sweeper, guy asks me if I have a girlfriend, proceeds to rant for 5 minutes how young people dont get married anymore. Then he asks me what I want to avoid at the job. At the time I had no idea how to answer as I’d never been asked that in an interview before. So I ask him to clarify, to which he just repeats the question, over and over until he gets super angry that I dont know how to answer that, then asks me to leave. To this day, biggest wtf interview I’ve had.
Showed up looking good in my suit with a ton of knowledge on Capital Partners.
It turned out I had researched the wrong company named Capital Partners.
Interviewer, putting candy bars on the table to open the interview: Have a candy bar. Do you want Hershey’s or Snickers?
Me: Neither, thanks.
I: Go ahead, pick one.
M: I don’t want any candy now, thanks.
I: Take one, Hershey’s or Snickers.
M: Okay, I’ll take the Snickers.
I: No, I want the Snickers. You take the Hershey’s.
M: No, thank you.
I was interviewing for a job in Houston, and lived in Austin, about 2.5 hours away. I drove to Houston for the first round of interviews, and they said it went well and wanted to being me in for a final interview, so i drove there again. It seemed like it went well and they told me they had one more interview to conduct and would have a decision tomorrow. So the next day came and went, I emailed the manager to ask if any decision had been made, nothing, waited a couple more days, left a voicemail, nothing. Then a couple days later, I just called the main number for the company and told the receptionist why I was calling. She was like “well, someone just started in that job yesterday”. They ghosted me after I drove a total of 10 hours to interview twice. Still salty about that 11 years later.
Had an interview, went well. I was offering the job on the spot and accepted. The HR manager went to get the needed paperwork, came back 10 mins later and said “I must have forgot that we already filled this position. I’m sorry, but we don’t have an opening. I could call you if something opens back up”. I said no thank you.
Video chat interview: red flag #1 the interview was with 10 interviewers (I was told it would be 1-on-1).
Red flag #2: towards the end they asked if I had any questions. When I asked: “Do you all enjoy working here?” they all looked at each other nervously for about 20 seconds until someone said: “Sure. I mean, as much as you can enjoy work, I guess.”
I went in to apply for an administrative assistant position and the guy kept asking me questions about liking kids and are my passports up to date…etc. I was SO confused. Turns out what he really wanted was a nanny for his two young kids to travel with him and his wife back to India. I was so angry he wasted my time. I noped right the f**k out of there.
My personal favorite bad interview:
I had been unemployed for a bit, was desperate for a new gig. Had gained a lot of weight living off of fast food, so my good pants didn’t fit me very well. I sat down in the interview chair as the person was walking around to their side of the desk…
…and the button of my pants popped off, did a one-hopper off of the desk, and RIGHT into their coffee cup. Swished, no clink at all.
For the entire interview, they were sipping their coffee, and I was sitting there with my pants unbuttoned waiting for the big reveal. I left before they got to the bottom of their coffee, but they HAD to have put two and two together.
(This narrowly beats out the time I was offered water from a carafe at an interview, dropped it, and soaked both interviewers. At least that one wasn’t as PSYCHOLOGICALLY tense.)
No, I didn’t get the job.
Yes, I should have told them. But I froze up, and they were a VERY talkative interviewer.
Yeah I have one that sticks out. I applied to a government branch as a network admin. The newspaper ad asked for a bachelors degree. They called me into the interview. When I got there, the first thing the interviewer said was, “We wanted someone with a masters degree. Why did you apply?”
Now, I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they had other interviews that day and got them mixed up. S**t happens. I just informed the interviewer that the ad I applied for requested a bachelors degree, and confirmed the position I was interviewing for.
“No, we definitely wanted someone with a master’s degree. So, again, why did you apply?”
“If you wanted someone with a master’s degree, why did you bother calling me in for an interview?”
“You’re very rude and unprofessional.”
Yeah, you f**ked up at every junction thus far, but I’m the one who’s rude and unprofessional.
Started as the worst, and ended as the best. The beginning started like this: “I’m so sorry to have to inform you of this, but we pulled the wrong resumé contact information, we didn’t mean to call you in for an interview.” Before leaving, the interviewer gave me a brief tour of the company grounds (because they felt so bad for wasting my time). They introduced me to the department head that I would have been working for, (if that department was actually hiring). Had a great conversation and the department head was convinced that I would be an asset to them, and they hired me on the spot.
Just wanted to add (since this got way more attention than I thought) that I have been with this company for over 8 years now, and they are an awesome bunch of people. It was a very unlucky/lucky day for me!
I was recommended by a particular manager to interview for a makeup counter position. It was a really tense, awkward interview with the store manager, and I wasn’t really certain why he was so hostile toward me. Turns out he was just trying to figure out if I was in on the other manager’s scheme of stealing products and selling them on Craigslist, which I found out about after she was arrested the next week. It was a shock to me because she was a bit of a mentor to me and I had no idea.
Five interview rounds with the last interview round being with the CEO all for an entry level customer service job. During the last interview, the CEO said you weren’t allowed to get sick, and you weren’t allowed to leave at the end of the day until all of the work had been done. So even though the job was 8-4 the CEO said customer service reps often stayed until 6 PM or later. She also asked if I would be comfortable secretly reporting to her about what the customer service team is up to. I declined the job offer and the company harassed me with emails asking why and what they did wrong. Really glad I didn’t take the job.
It was my best interview. Great rapport with the interviewer. Gave me the job on the spot. It for a transfer to QA at Johnson Control. Came in to work the next day to have the offer rescinded. The job was already given to the plant managers niece and it had only been posted because of company policy. The story is much longer and complicated afterward but it was the first of several times I had been promoted (different companies) and then been told, “Never mind.”
I had a skype interview with a private practice and the lady interviewing me literally made it sound like a stern military parent.
“You can NEVER be late” (mind you the job was an hour away)
“Even if you have a cold you can NEVER call in sick” (idk if this was meant for pre or post-covid)
“We’re a small company so you won’t have much of a work/life balance”
“PS our pay for all this dedication is only 3 dollars more than the measely pay your getting now”
Just a whole interview of Red Flags. And the last one was when the lady messaged me immediately after saying I got the job and had to leave my job at maximum, five days’ notice, regardless of me kind of bombing the interview and claiming there were other interviewees in line. I could see why they were having trouble hring people tbh
As the interviewer: candidate responded to a question I asked with, “is that really how you want to spend our time together, by asking me that question?” when I wrote up my notes I included that bit, it obviously came up in the debrief and a huge red flag.
Other interviewers also had similar, though not as serious, feedback on the candidate. He was not hired.
As the interviewee: interviewer immediately launched into, with a rough accusatory tone: “you’re a job hopper, why are you a job hopper?” when I was being recruited for a role a few years ago. I’d been working, successfully, as an independent consultant for7 or 8 years which she equated with ‘job hopping’.
I ended that interview pretty quickly with a, “I don’t think this is going to be a good fit” and gave the recruiter some pointed feedback – he seemed to acknowledge that she was difficult.
Had a phone interview and the woman kept asking more and more intrusive questions, kept hinting I’m a total piece of s**t who’s totally unfit for the job (it was the easiest job description ever) and jumping to conclusions about my life that were completely untrue. For example I found out that being a freelancer who gets a lot of decently paid work each month is apparently living off my parents. She kept going on and on like that for quite a while before I told her to back off and hung up. Didn’t really need that job too badly but it was in a different country so the trravel aspect was the main reason. Years later I found out it was a “stress interview” which apparently is a thing. F**k those people.
Had an interview at an office supply store once. Guy told me straight up it was a high-pressure sales quota job. They’re prices on computers and.peripherals were s**t and that’s what I’d be selling.
Dude straight up said it’s a lot of work for low pay, not a lot of people enjoy working there, and he finished off with the fact that he’s been there for 18 years. Practically ran out of that interview screaming
An Interviewer told me that he worried I would be sexually harassed if I joined his team. Red flag.
When he said I’ll give you extra hours if you bring me smokes everyday, then put his hand on my leg and said his wife gives him passes to have fun. I also got a speeding ticket on the way to the interview. Was not my month.
An agency sent me for an interview and said “the starting salary is £33000”. The interview went fairly well until the interviewer said “so what sort of salary are you looking for?” So using the info I had from the agency I said. “Well, I think £33000 is a fair starting point”….the interviewer practically threw me out! He started to shout about wasting his time because I expected to be paid a huge salary and who did I think I was… he was paying £20,000…………..
Maybe not the worst, but one that stands out:
I was the interviewer, hiring for a position working with individuals with mental and/or physical disabilities. The person I was interviewing used the word “r***rded” multiple times. I pointed it out after the second use, stating “this is a position working with people with disabilities, that is a word that is not tolerated in this environment.” They shrugged it off, maybe two minutes later, dropped it again. I stood up, thanked them for their interest, handed them back their resume, and told them I could already tell it wouldn’t be a good fit and didn’t want to waste their time, and walked them to the door.
Job was for a vibration analysis engineer. I knew how to do the job well. I knew the pay should be around 95k, and they stated 55k (in the interview). When I tried to discuss my point, they said, “don’t worry, there’s plenty of overtime”. They also mentioned since they weren’t involved with many balancings at the moment, I would assist the cleaning crew with a lot of the cleanings. I’ve never been so uninterested in a job in my life.
I had an interview with EMC back in the day. I don’t remember the specifics other than I was really nervous. I had a “we are sorry to inform you…” email waiting for me before I finished the 10 minute trip home.
It was really just a miscommunication. The interviewer presented a hypothetical problem, and I gave him a perfectly reasonable solution to the problem. But he kept coming up with reasons why he wouldn’t accept my solutions, and my answers got more and more ridiculous, until they didn’t make any sense at all. I was just hoping he would drop it and move on to the next question, but he actually took my answers seriously and made me look like a complete fool.
Anyway, I learned some things from that experience.
At an interview for a tech startup, they asked me “If you could be any animal, what would you be?”
I answered “Otter” because you know, fun, active, work well with their hands and cute as f**k.
They really debated whether or not to hire me because of that answer because, and I quote, “We only hire predators, never prey.” and they weren’t sure how to quantify an Otter, because none of them had ever paid the least bit of attention to any sort of animal documentary or read biology or you know, visited a zoo recently.
God that job sucked hard.
Was invited for an IT “helper” position when I was 17. Would help fix computers for people at a shody PC fix shop.
They asked me “Whats the first thing you check if a customer calls and says their screen doesnt turn on?”
I said “Well, you gotta check if they have it plugged into a socket”
They laughed and said thank you that will be it. Then led me to the door and gently pushed me out.
Went to that small company specialising in furnitures. Got some task to complete in AutoCAD as a test. First thing I’ve noticed that the position I applied for wasn’t the same as in description, second thing is the boss shouting at everybody and swearing while I’ve been doing that test, and at the end he invited me to his office and f**ked off for 40 minutes where I had to wait and it all ended up with weird conversation about his expectations and me explaining to him that it wasn’t mentioned in the job description. Jesus Christ what a cringe day that was…
I drove 2 hrs for the interview.
Got there and the interviewer was off sick and hadn’t told anyone about me coming in.
Got back in my car and drove the 2 hrs home.
Withdrew my name from consideration.
It was my first real job interview. It was for a graphic design position in downtown Dallas for a men’s grooming product company. I was SO nervous and when I took a drink from a bottle of water I was shaking so much I spilled some on me. Also I was very unprepared because my portfolio only contained things I made in high school for a graphic design internship I had and some hand drawings that weren’t great. I was about 18/19 years old at the time. Needless to say I did not get the job.
Sitting in the waiting room with two other interviewees, The manager conducting the interview, recognizes one of them as her friend. while they were greeting each other, I looked at the other interviewee and mentioned her “We have no chance”.
In a group interview, the interviewer crossed a line through my name on the list he had after I told him what I graduated in. This was within the first 5 minutes of a 40 minute meeting…
I got invited to a “group interview.” I thought it meant that a group of people would interview me, which is fairly common. I showed up and there were about ten other kids there. We all went into a conference room and they interviewed us all at once. They asked a question and everyone took turns answering. They switched up who went first each time, and one kid completely froze when it was his turn, so we all had to sit there in the most uncomfortable silence.
She said employees got marked down one point if they came in late to work, even in a blizzard. She said it was their responsibility to check the weather the day before and prepare accordingly. Some of their employees commuted from 100 miles away, so they didn’t cut anybody any slack.
Usually I send a follow-up email saying thanks for the interview, I’m interested in the job, bla bla bla. But I didn’t send an email that time.