16 People Who Had Job Interviews So Bad, They Literally Walked Out
Wow, I have never seen so many red flags in my life. 🚩👀
Gather around, friends, because boy oh boy do we have some tea to spill today! The subject of the hour is: ✨job interview horror stories✨.
Listen, job interviews are stressful for everyone. If you think you've had a bad job interview, these stories just might make you feel a little better about how those panned out. Yeah, they're that bad.
1. The interview that ended before it even began:
"I showed up and the woman at the front desk greeted me while I waited for the interview. I introduced myself and handed her my résumé. Once I got into the actual interview, I saw that she had taped a bright pink note to my résumé that read, 'Has the personality of a rock.' How she determined that from our brief introductory exchange was beyond me at the time. The interviewer saw my facial expression when I saw the note. I thanked him for his time and left."
2. The person who put the I in interview, apparently:
"I was interviewing for a management position running a mail room. It was something I’d done twice before, and all the standard questions were asked. I felt like it was going well, but then he suddenly said to me, 'I’m hearing a lot of I from you. I’m concerned, because we are about the team, and not the individual here.' What the hell? It’s a job interview, and you’re concerned that I am answering questions you have asked specifically about me, with answers that address your questions about me? I don’t even remember how I responded, but I knew I didn’t want to deal with his stupid semantic word and mind games, which I was sure I’d only seen the surface of, so I steered us right into concluding the interview and left. I also made a subtle show of taking back the copies of my résumé that I’d brought with me."
3. This interviewee that dodged a bullet:
"I was applying for a teaching job. My job at the time was at a school for people with disabilities, and this new school was a school for children gifted in a particular field. I was headhunted when one of my students from my current school was accepted to the new school. The woman interviewing asked why I wanted to work there, so I explained the above (including the student with a disability). With the most disgusted look on her face, she said, 'We don’t have students like that here.' I should point out that I’m also disabled. This was not going to work out obviously!"
4. This kidnapping, I mean, uh, "job interview":
"I once showed up for a job interview in a suit and tie after answering a newspaper ad for a 'warehouse worker.' Instead of a job interview at the warehouse, they had me get into some truck with one of the employees, who then drove me a few hours away, pulled over in some random neighborhood, and explained to me that the job was going door-to-door trying to sell cuts of meat to people, unsolicited. I told him this was not the job that they had advertised, and if he didn't bring me back home immediately, I was going to call the police and report a kidnapping. I was brought back to my car, but I was not paid for the several hours of my wasted time."
5. The manager that bragged about all the wrong things:
"I showed up to my interview, and the manager practically bragged about how the job offered no breaks for an 8–10 hour shift, and if there was a food break, it would be five minutes max at a hip-height table with no chairs. She said that you’d be fired if you sat down for even 30 seconds. I'm more than capable of doing that. I did that every day at my last job. But when you brag about how your employees are so over-worked that they don’t get breaks or an option to rest their legs, it tells me all I need to know about how little you value them."
6. The interviewer with absolutely no filter:
"I was at my third and final interview for a tech company. The first two went well, and they wanted me to join the company, so I was told this last one with the head of the office was just a formality. It started well — we walked to the cafeteria, grabbed a couple of coffees, and with some small talk we learned we knew some of the same people. When we got back to his office, he looked at my file and said, 'It says here you’re looking for [certain salary].' I said yes, and explained it’s really close to market for someone with my skills and experience. He looked at me and said, 'I don’t think you’re worth it.' I said, 'Excuse me?' He repeated it. I laughed, grabbed my bag, stood up, thanked him for his time, and walked out."
7. This interesting interview game:
"I applied for a software developer position for an online retailer. The second round of interviews was a cultural fit interview with HR. I assumed it would be a one-on-one interview, but instead it was a room of about 20 people applying for any position from legal to finance. They asked us to stand up, curl into a ball, and pretend we were flowers opening. I honestly thought it was some kind of prank, but then I saw everybody around me doing it. I just thanked them for the opportunity and left."
8. The security guard station:
"Once, a security guard made me walk away before I even got in the building for an interview. I followed the instructions I was sent by the hiring manager, which said to park in the designated guest spaces. The security guard came charging out of the building, yelling that I couldn't park there. When I raised my voice just to try and get him to listen, he started yelling at me for yelling at him. When I told him that I was instructed to park there, he called the hiring manager and started yelling at them about how I’d been yelling at him. Part way through that phone call I thought, Nah, fuck this, got back in the car, and drove off. The hiring manager called me to apologize and asked if I’d come back. I politely declined, saying I wanted nothing to do with that security guard again."
9. The manager who showed his true colors:
"In the our interview, the owner of a bar told me never to approach him with a problem, because I wouldn't like how he fixed it."
10. The hairy situation:
"I sat down with the owner, and the first thing he said was, 'I don't hire people with beards.' I said, 'OK,' got up, and walked out."
11. The job that lasted one hour:
"I applied for a register position at Pizza Hut. I specifically told them during my two interviews that I cannot be a delivery driver due to my car being unreliable, and they said that was fine. I got the job, came in for training on the first day; the very first thing they did was sit me down in a chair and start up a training video on delivery driving. I asked them if I could skip it since I’m only working the register/in the kitchen, and the manager told me that every position is also a delivery driver. I walked out right then and there, and got paid for the one hour of training."
12. The room full of red flags:
"I once went to a job interview at a large welding shop in the middle of a rain storm. After talking to the interviewer for 30 or so minutes, he walked me out to the shop floor to take a welding test. The machine we went to was in decent condition, but was literally sitting in a puddle of water. The welding table's legs were rusty and not grounded well, and also in said puddle. Over half the shop was flooded. I turned around and said, 'No thank you,' then proceeded to walk out the door. My life is worth more than $20 an hour."
13. The tricky recruiter:
"I worked as a permanent software developer for six years after university before I decided to quit and do contract work instead. I put myself out there and found a three-month contract role and was due to start in a week's time. In the meantime, I was approached by a recruiter offering me an interview for a permanent role. I declined it and explained my situation, but the recruiter came back and said the company was really interested in me and might be able to offer me contract work in three months when I was back on the market.
The next day, I dressed up all smart and drove an hour through traffic to go to the interview at their office. The first question was about my availability, and I explained that I started my contract job next week. Then, they asked why I came in to interview for this permanent job, and explained that they've never used contractors. I left. The contract role I'd already secured paid almost as much in three months as this job did in a year, but the recruiter thought if he could just trick me into going to the interview, that I'd change my mind and take his shitty role instead."
14. This last-minute switcheroo:
"I made it to the third interview for a large company. In the first two, they told me what my role would be, my base pay, and commission, and explained that they were so excited to have me on board because of my experience.
I sat down for the third interview, and they said they were prepared to offer me the job right now, and even had the paperwork ready since this morning. BUT THEN they said they'd already hired someone for that role, and proceeded to offer another job where the pay was less than half what they were already offering me prior, and was a lot more work. Basically, I went from being offered a management job to just being asked to train new employees and be a cashier for $10 per hour, without guaranteed hours.
I told them I'd been worried I was wasting their time because I was uncertain if I was sold on the job, but after this it was clear that they were the ones wasting my time instead. I stood up, said no thank you, and left. About an hour later, I got a phone call asking for a fourth interview. They called almost every day for two weeks asking me to come back and talk to the owner."
15. The interviewee that asked all the right questions:
"I finished up four hours of interviews in their offices when I asked my final question to the three senior software engineers in front of me: 'Do you enjoy working here?' I was one of the three people they were looking for to replace them. They were unhappy."
16. And finally, this nightmare of an interview:
"I had an interview at this office, and I wasn't informed about the evidently very strict building security prior to arriving. The front door was practically unmarked and required a card to get in, but there was no intercom. The elevator required a card as well, but the stairs didn't. HOWEVER, no one informed me that the stairwells are locked from the outside, meaning I was locked in the stairwell with no way to get out.
I called the recruiter over and over, and even called the front desk, but they just kept putting me on hold instead of sending someone to let me in at the correct floor. I ended up getting a call from the recruiter while STILL STUCK IN THE STAIRWELL telling me they would not be going forward with the interview because I was late.
I almost screamed, and asked her as calmly as I could manage if she had gotten any of the messages I left for her letting her know I was presently stuck in the stairwell with no way to get out. She said she hadn't, and said it was too late anyway because they had gone with another candidate. She almost hung up before I could yell (probably too loudly), "THEN CAN SOMEONE PLEASE COME FREE ME FROM THE STAIRWELL SO I CAN LEAVE??"
They sent security to get me, and I was treated like a criminal as I was led from the building. I have never been so confused, humiliated, and angry in my entire life. I left them a scathing review on Glassdoor."