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Job can really get your nerves wracked, and trust me, things don’t always go as planned. But hey, let’s lighten the mood a bit!
We’ve got a collection of cringe-worthy job interview stories that will make you squirm.
From presentation disasters to off-the-rails conversations gone totally sideways, these tales range from slightly embarrassing to downright disastrous!
Instead of the usual first impression, get ready for some hilariously bad lines and awkward pauses.
So, get ready; it’s story time!
1. Stinky Situation
During a shift, an employee witnessed their boss urgently exiting an interview, visibly repulsed and gagging.
It turned out that the candidate had arrived with an overpowering odor that made it impossible for the boss to remain in the same room.
Needless to say, the applicant was not offered the position.
2. Failed Successfully?
After receiving unfair criticism and having his words twisted during the interview, this individual reached a breaking point and decided to sabotage it.
He responded defensively and rudely, saying things like, “That’s not what I was asked, but I’ll address it as your question when it’s your turn to ask one.”
A few days later, he received the dreaded call from the company, asking about his perception of the interview.
Calmly, he explained his frustration and the reason behind his actions.
Surprisingly, he received a job offer and commendation for standing his ground and providing a reasonable explanation.
It just goes to show the importance of expressing oneself and not being afraid to voice concerns.
3. Dedicated to Her Shoes
“My boss was interviewing a woman who asked about the dress code, and my boss said it was business casual,” writes one employee.
While that’s a perfectly fair question during an interview, what happens next shocked the manager. “The woman then puts her feet up on my boss’s desk and asks if her shoes would be okay because it’s the only type of shoe she will ever wear.”
4. In the Right Place at the Right Time
Karma gives bad people what’s coming to them, like in this satisfying story of justice. One commenter shares a story about their friend, who happened to walk past an interview at his workplace.
He looked through the window and saw the candidate for the job was a man who had seriously assaulted him a few months prior. The man notified his boss, who contacted the police, and the interviewee was soon charged with his crimes.
5. Stealing Others’ Work as Their Own
An artist tells the thread about an interview her former creative director had with a potential art director for a role at an arts organization. The candidate brought a portfolio of her work during the interview, but it wasn’t her work at all.
It was the work of the artist who worked under that very same creative director, and the creative director knew exactly whose work it was. “He called me mid-interview to say, ‘Hey, guess what work I’m looking at right now.’ ”
6. You’re Not Qualified
One boss searching to fill a position with a multi-lingual employee interviewed a man who claimed to have that skill.
Unfortunately for this interviewee, he had no idea that the manager interviewing him spoke one of the languages he listed.
When the interviewer asked the candidate a question in that language, the man stared blankly at him because he clearly didn’t speak a word of it.
7. Road Rage
Make sure to leave with plenty of time to get to the interview to avoid any road rage on your way.
Why? Because one candidate for a job fought with another car in the parking lot for a prime spot only to realize the other vehicle’s driver was the manager who interviewed them.
8. Terrifying Hobbies
When a man showed up late to an interview because his Uber didn’t arrive on time, the interviewer showed him some grace and allowed the interview to proceed.
But the manager decided he wasn’t the right fit when the candidate opened up about boxing and why it’s his favorite hobby. “He said he liked boxing because it gives him permission to hurt people,” the manager claims.
9. Still Using Hotmail
Sometimes something as simple as your email address can get you rejected during an interview.
One respondent says a potential employer refused their friend because he still used a Hotmail email account as a thirty-year-old man in the late 2010s. “None of his reasons for using Hotmail were apparently good enough for the interviewer,” they add.
10. Sharing Conspiracy Theories
While it’s important to honor each employee’s different beliefs, allowing them to share their conspiracy theories with clients is another ballgame.
During a test run for a plumber, one manager says one of the interviewees bombed the test “Because he wouldn’t stop talking about the moon being a projection.”
11. Who Are You?
One manager shares a story of an interview that went wrong despite multiple attempts to allow the candidate to speak. A woman came into an interview with the manager. When they asked her to share a little about herself, she “Broke down and cried while unable to answer any questions or speak coherent sentences.”
After the interview, the manager felt terrible for the woman and decided to call her back to give her a second chance. But still, she could not share any facts about herself with the manager during the interview.
12. Being a Little Too Honest About Her Goals
When an overqualified woman walked into an interview for a junior position, the manager was puzzled.
But when they asked the woman about her future goals at the company, they realized why other companies didn’t hire her already. She replied, “I will become manager, fire all of you, and completely change how business is run.” Needless to say, she didn’t get the job.
13. She’s More Important
They say to turn off your cell phone during a job interview so you can give it your full attention.
Well one woman not only decided to not turn off her phone, she took it one step further and answered her phone during the interview.
If that wasn’t bad enough, she did it multiple times, forcing the interviewer to wait for her to be ready.
14. Passing a Drug Test
You would think that passing a pre-employment drug screening would help you to land the job.
But in one case it didn’t.
Apparently, the applicant, when being told they passed, said “I did?” with a tone of being surprised.
It turns out the person was a heavy user and they were certain the test was going to disqualify them from getting the job.
Turns out it wasn’t the test itself that made the company decide to pick someone else.
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This thread inspired this article.
I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
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