Interviewee facing camera, two interviewers facing interviewee
Unsplash | Tim Gouw

People Share Their Worst Yet Most Entertaining Job Interview Stories

Job hunting isn't easy. Then, once you've applied and gotten a callback, there's the little issue of the job interview. It can be incredibly stressful trying to strike the right note with your prospective boss, and things can go sideways in a hurry.

While the objective of the interview might be securing the job, there's often the silver lining of getting a good story out of the interview.

Redditors shared their job interview stories, and there are certainly a few doozies.

Sometimes it just isn't your day.

Hand holding a compass
Unsplash | Ethan Sykes

"I 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."

-u/NotCleverNamesTaken

The devil's in the details.

A small cube truck in front of a building
Unsplash | Mak💛💙

"Applied for a driver job that was advertised as 8-4. It was a max 3.5-tonne vehicle my license is good for. Had a test drive and was fine, got through the rest of the interview, got offered the job to start the following Monday, as I started signing all the documents, the salary was lower, hours longer, and was told that it was to deliver dismantled sheds for all over the UK and that I'd be staying in hotels Monday to Friday. I just walked out."

-u/Jazs1994

When you like baby blue, but start seeing red.

An H&M sign
Unsplash | Sei

"Wanted to work at H&M, got interviewed 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."

-u/JamesDelRey

...But I don't wanna be a dog groomer...

Person petting a dog
Unsplash | Autri Taheri

"A 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 seem 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."

-u/Sporkicide

But did he get hired?

Two men in conversation at a table
Unsplash | LinkedIn Sales Solutions

"Once interviewed a guy who spent half the interview ragging on his previous employer, swearing, and picking his teeth. Swearing I'll let slide if it's a reasonable amount, we're a casual shop and I don't really care, but it was every sentence. I also never asked about his prior employment. He just let it loose like it was a free therapy session. There's a way to talk about the challenges you had with a prior employer, and it's not 'They were just too stupid for me.'"

-u/[deleted]

Say you're a bad employee without saying you're a bad employee.

Man in dress shirt using a smartphone
Unsplash | NordWood Themes

"Dude 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.'"

-u/kor_hookmaster

No red flags here.

A row of red flags flapping in the breeze
Unsplash | Zachary Keimig

"I interviewed with the owner of a locally owned furniture chain. He was an older guy. I was about 20. Toward the end of the interview, he told me that he'd like to hire me, and oh by the way, he could set me up in an apartment he owns and maybe he could come and visit sometimes. His wife, he said, was bedridden. She wouldn't mind."

-u/[deleted]

Whoever smelt it dealt it.

Interior of a small office
Unsplash | Christian Mackie

"1.) 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."

-u/RedShadowIV

Can't imagine why he didn't get hired.

Woman talking to a man over a conference table
Unsplash | charlesdeluvio

"Interviewed someone for a call center 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."

-u/AUSavage77

Sounds like a great place to work.

Woman interviewing man, both seated on couch
Unsplash | LinkedIn Sales Solutions

"Third interview; company had me meet them in person (in early summer 2020 mind you) and tried to bully me into verbally accepting. When I said I wanted to see something in writing they laughed at me for being young (first job out of college) and that no one does contracts anymore. When I ask what the pay would be CEO said he would have to ask his accountant but they probably could meet my ask."

-u/UdonKneadMe

Sometimes you realize you're not cut out for the job.

A veterinarian holding a cat
Unsplash | Werzk Luuuuuuu

"Applied 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)."

-u/Remembers_that_time

LOUD NOISES.

Exterior shot of a planetarium
Unsplash | Hello Lightbulb

"I 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."

-u/Quaternaire

Save yourself.

A sinking ship
Unsplash | Jason Blackeye

"Part 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."

-u/obscureferences

They really rolled out the red carpet.

Four men meeting at a conference table
Unsplash | Sebastian Herrmann

"Fresh 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."

-u/edgarpickle

They're just being coy.

Exterior shot of an Ikea sign
Unsplash | Jueun Song

"During 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."

-u/[deleted]

It was an omen.

Two brown chickens
Unsplash | Monika Kubala

"My 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 replied 'yeah, the chicken just died.'

She withdrew her application the next morning."

-u/poniesgalore

Who can say no to these perks?

Interior shot of a bus
Unsplash | Ant Rozetsky

"As 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.'"

-u/Commercial-Energy839

Sometimes you realize you're in over your head.

Man talking on a smartphone
Unsplash | Hassan OUAJBIR

"Finished 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."

-u/A-Meezy

I'm not so sure that's a courtesy at all.

Two people seated at a table with laptops out
Unsplash | Maranda Vandergriff

"I 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."

-u/seeing_red415

Part-time, full-time, what's the diff?

Interviewee facing camera, two interviewers facing interviewee
Unsplash | Tim Gouw

"As an applicant I took a 50 mile train journey only to be told the job was part time. The ad definitely said it was full time. Interviewer got weirdly defensive when I said that was a deal breaker. Acting like I was a subordinate and getting really [irritated] when I stopped being deferential."

-u/[deleted]