Job interviews are universally considered to be some of the worst things a human being can experience, second only to breaking your femur bone in half and getting stuck with a chatty Uber driver. It’s therefore no surprise that Twitter users jumped at the chance to share their worst job interview stories of all time, whether they botched the opportunity, had a nightmare interviewer, or were on the other side of the desk interviewing a nightmare potential employee.
Twitter, what’s the worst job interview you’ve ever had?— Harriet Williamson (@harriepw) January 16, 2020
A depressing number of responses to this question involved sexist interviewers or racism on the part of the hiring manager or company as a whole. Others were just hilariously unfortunate situations, some of which somehow ended in the person getting hired.
Not only are many of the answers extremely entertaining in the best kind of cringe-inducing way, but they can also promote confidence when you realize that many interviewers have probably seen much worse performances than you could possibly offer. Some of them even offer insight into what not to do during interviews and remind people to never, ever do an entire unpaid trial shift no matter how much you might want the job because things will only get worse from there.
Here are some of our favorite terrible job interview experiences:
At 16, I showed up to my interview for Barnes & Noble (dream job) in jeans and a polo shirt. First thing the manager said to me verbatim was “look around— do you see anyone working here in jeans? No. You can go.” That location closed and now I’m rich but I’m still traumatized. https://t.co/BIAi9fDWuN— Joel Kim Booster (@ihatejoelkim) January 18, 2020
Best/Worst Interview:— Wajahat "Abu Khadija" Ali (@WajahatAli) January 17, 2020
After 10 minutes, they asked, "Wait, you're Wajahat Ali from India, for the tech job right?"
"No, I'm Wajahat Ali from America here for the co-host job."
Then they told me they didn't like my audition but would still give me a chance. https://t.co/HsykY8FQc0
The job interview where after two days of interviews, I was asked to derive something on a napkin at a french restaurant. I politely declined. He insisted. I politely declined. It all got extremely awkward.— Sarah Tuttle (@niais) January 18, 2020
His colleagues apologized for his behavior. Later. https://t.co/hoxGj5klCw
I interviewed a Russian lady an asked her about empathy on a debt collection call….if someone was to cry how would you react ? Her reply “Tears cannot help you “ 👌🏻
— pinkman (@GaZeFT) January 17, 2020
Interviewed with this drunk indie film producer douchebag for an unpaid internship. He was 40 minutes late. Wouldn’t stop talking about how hot the other interns were. They were all female. Based on my name, he thought I was also female.
Didn’t get the job, obviously.
— Kasey Fox (@TimelapsedFox) January 17, 2020
..decided to study interview tips: I’d read a firm handshake & not looking away from the interviewer showed enthusiasm. Guy walks in, I walk over to him shake his hand firmly & (walking back to seat) NEVER DROP MY INTENSE GAZE FROM HIS EYES till he sat down.
He was terrified.
— Dr Hilary Murray (@artboxhill) January 16, 2020
Got really nervous before one. Was asked “so, what is sales?” Not sure why, but I answered “it’s basically lying”. W**ker question, even worse response. I was out the door within 2 minutes (interview on 2nd floor!)
— Will Thornton (@W_w_T) January 16, 2020
A misogynistic agent, mid interview, told me I needed a better bra, just to have the excuse to gaze, and get a kick from my reaction. Hashtag sleaze.
— Liisa Lee 🌲❄️✨ (@Liisabelle) January 18, 2020
Got date wrong, ended up at interview after dentist. Arrived late and flustered. 2-page questionnaire to fill in. Stabbed finger lifting staple to read 2nd sheet. Tried to drink coffee with numb mouth. Came into interview slurring, dribbling coffee and dripping blood. Got job.
— quitedo (@q1t3d0) January 16, 2020
It was the second interview in two days. As I walked across the room yesterdays underpants fell out of the leg of my interview suit. I didn’t get it.
— twattybanjo (@twattybanjo) January 16, 2020
Interview at GameStation when I was in my late teens. The manager asks me “What do you think you’ll bring to the company”……I panicked, not knowing what to say and just blurted out: “What have you brought to the company?” – He gave me the job on the spot instead of answering.
— Justin French 🔜 @PGConnects (@Just_In_Dreamer) January 16, 2020
Had a male interviewer ask me how I -a female -, would make an all male team respect me as their coordinator. He then proceeded to explain how they werren’t used to answer to a woman & would give me a hard time, no matter how good I was. I decided right then I didn’t want the job
— Maria dos Postais (@MariadosPostais) January 16, 2020
1. As an interviewer:
1. For a children’s charity, candidate was banned from contact with children.
2. Candidate found out their friend died in the Zimbabwe mall terrorist attack mid interview.
3. Candidate farted loudly then burst into tears from embarrassment
— Sam Ma’ayan (@SamMaayan) January 16, 2020
I had a trial shift (unpaid, of course) at a bar once where the first thing I did was cut myself while slicing a lemon and later on broke an entire tray of glasses including one falling over a mans head. Midway through the shift they started to call the other candidates.
— laura holliday (@laurahday) January 16, 2020
I still live for this video of a guy who was interviewing for an IT job at the @BBC and was mistaken for an expert guest and ended up on air, handled it like a boss but apparently didn’t get the job https://t.co/3dMberdiZz
— Mara (@Mara_Webster) January 17, 2020
The one where I surprised them by being Black. The interviewer’s shock faded into disinterest and he rushed through the interview. I was perfectly qualified, yet his aversion to me was blatant.
— BW Scribes – wordslingers A N Britton et al. (@BWScribes) January 17, 2020
Half hour interview, guy literally just spent the time watching me do stand up on YouTube. As I was leaving, smart-arse boss man says ‘you can talk about this interview in your next gig now.’ I said, “yeah it has been a bit of a joke hasn’t it?”… didn’t get the job 😳
— Charlie McEwan (@CharMcew) January 16, 2020
Once called in sick in order to go for an interview only to find my current boss had done exactly the same and was sitting in the waiting area. Neither of us got the gig.
— Mark Davis (@mgtd76) January 16, 2020
Not me but a colleague once went to an interview across London in his lunch break. Client locked him and 2 others in a room and refused to release them until they ‘found a solution to his problem’. One of them called police and the man was charged with false imprisonment. 😲
— quitedo (@q1t3d0) January 16, 2020
I went to an interview really hungover, when the interviewer came to meet me and show me to the room, she held out her hand guiding the way. In my hungover state, I stood up and held her hand! Both of us were too embarrassed to let go so walked to the interview room hand in hand.
— Sam Cleasby (@so_bad_ass) January 16, 2020
Me: “So why has this position opened up now?”
Him: “Well after my dad gave me the job I decided to get rid of all former staff”
I’M NOT EVEN KIDDING
— Katie Beech (@KatieBeech) January 16, 2020
Doing the student milk round for finance jobs. Night before interview for a major player, did my pub shift. Woman in there was blind drunk, aggressive, lairy, and then took her top and bra off. Threw her into a taxi. Walked into interview, she was the (badly hungover) interviewer
— 🌑Shell the Resistance #notmyprimeminister (@TheStopthecoup) January 16, 2020
I walked up the stairs to the very top and met the woman. I thought she was gesturing to the door ahead of her so I walked over, opening it and went inside. It was a storage cupboard. She stood there and watched.
— Milly Thomas 🌈 (@missmillythomas) January 16, 2020
Not me, but a friend’s teenage son had an interview at a burger restaurant for what would have been his first job. The interviewer asked “what’s one word that best describes you.” Extremely nervous, he chose the first word his flustered mind could come to: “erotic”
— Mike Bebernes (@mikebebernes) January 17, 2020
IT job at a law firm.
Him: you’re currently at a law firm. why law firms?
Me: interesting ppl. Take your firm: T Boone Pickens is a client.
Him, condescending: well, its not appropriate to divulge client names
My mouth before brained engaged: well take it off your website then
— Bob Bob Bob (@NebraskaBobert) January 17, 2020