Job Interview Fails: Unforgettable Job Interview Nightmares

Job Interview Fails: Unforgettable Job Interview Nightmares

Finding a job for yourself can be very  stressful, especially when you are the one given an interview. But what would happen if a normal interview turned into a total nightmare?

Be it faking job descriptions, horrible managers or surprising inappropriate questions, users on Reddit have shared some horrible interviews that made them leave or quit even before the work started. Read on to find out:

1.Another Team 

I had attended a 3 hour long interview where everyone seemed quite friendly and warm and constantly said, 'You'd fit in well here' and 'We need someone with that experience'. Later came high-level management and they pretended to be disinterested, had conversations on the side and even said things like, 'Maybe we'll go with you, maybe we'll just outsource—why don't you convince us' while the team members squirmed. It was very cruel.

I cut them off saying, 'It seems to be like you have a great tea, and I am not interested in working for hostile management. Suddenly their tone changed and they were trying to backtrack and it was definitely their idea of salary negotiation. They also called me many times asking me to come back again but I did not agree.

Surprise surprise, the company was later sold and the rumors have it that they cleaned the house.

2.Don't Play Games

I fell into stupid interview games. They settled me at a very low lying table with a low chair where they place water in a carafe along with an empty glass — everything is out of reach so that I'd have to stand and reach for it. And at the time of the interview the panel of 6 employees were on a tall table with taller chairs. The questions that were asked also were about my character instead of the skills.

It all seemed like an act which made me feel uncomfortable. An interview can never be an interrogation but a conversation. If you make it an interrogation, consider me OUT. It was an obvious sign of a toxic workplace.

3.Here I Am

There were 3 panelists for my Interview where they took turns to read questions. Within 15 minutes of it all, I decided in my head to decline the offer. They did not make one ither as by 50 minutes I started answer like, 'I don't know, what would you do in this situation?' I wasn't so senior and was quite a junior to just get up leave since they paid for my trip to Montreal.

On the good side, it wasn't a total waste as I got a 4 day trip and had good fun in Montreal.

4.Lonerwolf Issues

I was being interviewed for an apparent tech role which was about updating and maintaining the company's website. Halfway through an hour long interview, they enquired me if I was comfortable with sales as the role requirement would be to cold call customers and some monthly sales targets to be met. What I know about myself is that I am the most introverted person so of course I would not be comfortable with that.

I would have not applied if they were honest about having sales as an important component. I was relieved they didn't call me back. 

5.The Probing Room

When I went to the interview I was supposed to expect a panel for an hour on the maximum limit but it turned out to be a horrible nightmare as there were six one-on-one interviews that killed me for an afternoon. I was then working on an hourly basis so I knew how much money I was losing for each interview time and it seemed like an interrogation where the same questions were asked over and over again.

When the 4th interview was done, I asked—somewhat pissed—as to how many more were there and they said two. I purposely performed badly because the grilling wasn't worth the 30k tech role offered. The part that was worse was that not even once anybody asked if I wanted to use a restroom break or a drink of water. Of course I would need a glass of water after speaking for 3 hours. 

6.The Offer Per Hour

When I was being interviewed, the woman asked if I was okay with a delay under a probation period. Suppose after 3 months, if they did not like me they would let me go and offer me a check for $0.10 on the dollar for every hour worked. However, if they did like me they would increase the bonus of $500 for office supplies, but I can buy out of their selected catalog only.

I almost chuckled on her face.

7.Just Vanished 

During my grad school interview I was asked to prepare a five-minute presentation that I would have to give over a Zoom call during the beginning of the interview. It convinced me to shift my focus to other programs and interviews entirely. Just a minute into the interview, I received a shock. The interviewer woke up and walked off before she returned a minute later. 

Although she missed 20% of my presentation I kept continuing as there was a student representative on the call as well. The faculty interviewer did not apologize or acknowledge her exit during my presentation as if I was not worth 5 minutes of her attention as a potential student then how is the program you offer worth my money?

Fortunately, I was accepted into my first preference program that very day.

8.No Excuses!!

I once gave an interview at a 'no excuses' privileged school. They provided me with a situation where a student came to a class without his homework done. He said it is because he may have been in the ER as his brother was hurt. However, it is the school policy that if the homework is unfinished then it is a compulsory detention. In any good conscience, I was unable to answer that question probably in a way they would have wanted.

9.Time Owed

I once went for an interview for an entry level marketing job role in the film industry. After two hours into that, the boss stepped in and said that I would not be paid for the first few months as they would be training me even though it is a full-time role. The boss also wanted to have me use my personal laptop. I shortly made an excuse to leave soon after.


I had an interview with the owner of a small law firm and within 10 minutes of sitting alone in the meeting room, I got up and went down the hallway to leave. I was then stopped by the owner who did not apologize and just told me it was busy and long day. 

After we spoke, she said how she wanted to open LegalZoom. She also wanted to create the same service and explained how to expand to embrace other things too. Just a heads up, she did not have anybody in tech as it was a small firm. 

I got up, shook hands and wished her the best, hoping she did well and left the office immediately. Funnily, I received an email after two days saying they were proceeding with other candidates. I laugh a lot while reading that.

11.Gonna Try This!

I went for a construction and trade work hiring event because I am a plumber by trade and there was barely any work in my city at that time, so I left. It all seemed legit until they made us sit down to speak about the scope of the work. They also self-proclaim and declare that it is one of the companies that was building Rogers Place in Edmonton. After stating shady and sketchy information, they said, 'However, if you don't want to do that you can'

Later I started speaking about how one must do door-to-door sales of chocolate in the higher end communities of the city. They also spoke about constructions for barely about 15 minutes and the rest of the time was about door-to-door chocolate sales, UNICEF fundraising, and how we can have an income of 150k+ a year doing that. 

Within 20 minutes of the speech, I decided to leave and I knew of a friend who spent the entire time there, and he also shared some hilarious stories. 30 minutes after I left, amusingly I actually got a call from a company that was actually a contractor on the Rogers Place job , and ended up working for them for more than four years.

12.Trust Me, You Don’t Want That

I am aware of an engineer who went for a headhunter for assistance in finding a job. He was told he had to shave his beard first. The head-hunter then landed him in a group interview for an engineering firm. He walked into the room where his tan lines on the face were quite visible as he recently had shaved his beard. However, all of the male engineers interviewing him, all of them had a beard.

13.Standing Ovation

Around 1990, I Interviewed with Radio Shack because I was such a home stereo geek and was looking for my next college job. The interview went well and I was asked if I have any questions, so I asked regarding the compensation. He said that there was a base rate that was close to minimum wage but the people in sales were 'expected' to cross that with their commissions on the sales done.

The position was vacant because someone could not do this on a consistent basis, he went on and told me so. He asked, 'How do you feel about that?' to which I replied, 'Well, I cannot say that I am confident about your line of product for it to make me happy.' 

Yeah, of course it was over at this point.

14.The Everything Specialist 

I am a vet tech professionally and I went for an interview at a primary care, single doctor practice. The manager who was to interview me was 25 minutes late. As I was waiting for her, the front desk staff ignored me while they spoke rudely and badly about the managers, clients and techs. The manager said they did not believe in the idea of referring to a specialist because, 'Dr. A is a specialist in everything from grizzly bears to canaries.'

But he wasn't and he hadn't even completed a rotational internship and most definitely not had any type of residency program work. In the past, I had worked for a horrible clinic but although there were doctors there, they were skilled and expert. When I was asked what to say, I just asked If I could have my resume back because I did not want to waste the paper.

15.So MY Achievements Are…

During 30 minutes of the interview there was a woman who would have maybe been my boss who was listing down her achievements. She was a director of a small museum in a small town where we moved for my wife's job. It seemed quite uncomfortable and the two board members present seemed more uncomfortable than me. I don't know if she was intimidated by me or she sang her own praise but I then just thought, 'you don't pay me enough to work for you.'

After 30 minutes of her self praise there was almost 30 seconds of silence and I then glanced at the other two members and said, 'Right. Were there any questions for me?' That night, I was called and offered the position and I had to reject it. One of the board members who was there called and checked to ask me if there was something they could do to get me to join.

Their pay wasn't negotiable given the tiny museum in a small town. I was frank and said that I would never be able to work for that director and the member said, 'Believe me, I completely understand.' 

16.Meet The Boss

Few decades back, there was an Interview I had been to in my early 20s. The interview with the hiring manager was so great that I was introduced to the team and we talked for sometime. The manager went like, 'Hey! You should meet our director.' We went to his office where we walked in and I was introduced and as the director turned around his chair to greet me, I wouldn't have anticipated what would happen.

When he turned, he just glanced a look and pulled his leg up his chair, hugged them like a child. I don't know why he did so or what happened but I definitely knew that I would not get that job.

17.Every Name In The Book

I had been to a place where I was interviewing for an Admin role and the interview was going fine. My interviewer seemed sort of a jerk. I thought to myself, 'Oh, I have worked worse.' However, his assistant knocked a couple of times on the door screaming at him that she had something important for him and he could come outside. He screamed at her to go away as he was in the interview.

When the 5th time she banged the door, he aggressively opened it and abused her. He called her all foul names one could call a woman and mixed up a few. She also told him that his car was towed for non-payment and thought he should know. Seeing all this happened, I simply got up  and left. I could not get out of the situation quickly.

18.Intriguing Dog Walkers

Earlier when I was looking for a part time job as a dog walker because I liked walking, I liked dogs, and I also liked money. I went for an interview where I was asked If I could learn about the company a little more. The owner then spoke for 25 minutes about how they were a 'reactionary holistic rebellion against big dog food and the predatory animal medical industry.' 

They dragged the conversation longer by talking on and on about the clients about how they buy and about their clients to buy and have their dogs eat their house-made raw dog meals and rely purely on holistic medicine with 'natural herbal treatments.' Even though my partner is a vegetarian, I expressed gratitude by thanking them for their time and told them that it did not look like I would be a good fit and left.

19.Additionally Want More 

This was about a low-paying retail job but I was also being interviewed with somebody at the same time. The problem was that it seems one is pitted against another and is quite awkward. I was being interviewed against a woman who lost her job and spoke about supporting her family and kids. I felt the need to put a strong case so I said that I did not know how I would afford a college without a job.

I also believe that if the person interviewing doesn't have any time then they should just walk out—because things will only get worse.

20.A Non-Specify Description

Last time during my job hunting phase, I landed for an interview where the recruiter lied about the position posted on their site but was also vague enough that I was suspicious but didn't catch it before the interview. However, it turns out that I was not even qualified and I wasn't offered the job, of course it was embarrassing.

They were basically looking for a database administrator and the requirements for the role were proficiency to essentially understand desktop, QT apps, embedded, and occasional kernel hacking. Even If I had the relevant experience, the recruiter lying to you is not a good sign. The office also seemed quite gloomy too.

21.Lots Of Hours And Hours 

Circa 1997, around the .com boom, there was a phone screen instead of an interview. Professionally, I am a programmer and the screener in the organization told me that they were a 'fast-paced company' so I asked them as to what they meant. 

After some vague answers, I asked about how many hours people worked and found out that many people were working 60+ hours a week. However, I sweetly declined and they company went on to have an IPO during the early 1999 which could have been lucrative but I had an 18-month-old daughter and another on the way—I was changing jobs to be able to spend more time with them, not less. I feel very good about that decision.

22.Swamped Interview

I had gone to a large welding shop for a job interview in the middle of a rainstorm. After 30 minutes of talking to the interviewer, he walked me out of the shop for a welding test and I cannot believe till date as to what he pulled out. The machine was in a fine condition but was lying in the puddle of water.

You may know that it is incredibly dangerous—as was the next thing I noticed. The wielding table legs were quite rusty and not grounded well, and also in said puddle. Half the shop was flooded by then and I looked around and said, 'No thank you and stepped out the door.' 

I told myself that my life is worth more than $20 an hour.

23.I Told You That Already!

I had applied for the position of a register at Pizza Hut and during my interview I specifically said that I cannot be a delivery driver because my car is not reliable and they acknowledged that and said, okay. I got the job at Pizza Hut and when I went in for the training on the first day—and, surprise! The very first thing they do is sit me down in a chair and started the training video on delivery driving.

I told them if we could skip that as I will only be working the register and the kitchen, the manager says that every position is a delivery driver. I immediately walked out then and there and got paid for an hour of training.

24.Word To Word

The person who took my interview, who was a CEO, was himself late by 25 minutes and right when I dropped out of Webex, he called my cell and said, 'Oh you ran off so fast, and need to be more patient.' So I got back on Webex where he did not apologize and made fun of me leaving 'so quickly.' He also asked what he thought the position was where I read him back the job description, and said I actually had questions about it.

His response to it was so rude that I cannot forget it. He said, 'Everything you need to know is in the job posting, if you had paid attention, you wouldn't have questions.' He went on to ask me what the role was for and did not accept my answer. After swiftly moving on, he insisted that I answer.

I tried again to no avail, reading back the position he had posted, to which I just said, 'I don't think this is a right fit, thank you for your time.' He seemed like a jerk to me and I am glad the interview went so bad.

25.Was It REALLY Worth It?

I had given my 3rd and Final round of interview at a tech firm. The initial two went well and I was told that the last one was just a formality as —they wanted me to join. The interview with the head office guy started well. We walked to the cafeteria, grabbed a couple of coffees, and during the conversation we learned we knew some of the same people.

After we went back to his office and sat down, he looked at my file and said, 'It says you are looking for a certain salary.' I said, yes and it is close to the market with someone of my skills and experience. He looked at me and said, 'I don't think you're worth it. I said, 'Excuse me?' He repeated the same thing and I laughed as I grabbed my bag and got up, thanked him and walked out.

After a year, the company went out of business and I feel I have dodged a bullet.

26.Suffering And Overjoyed

When I went for the interview, a manager bragged about how the job did  not offer any breaks for 8-10 hour shifts and if there was a food break to be taken, it shall not be more than five minutes at the maximum length at a hip-high table with no chairs. I am capable of doing so because I did that in my previous job.

If you show off in an interview about how your staff are overworked and they don't get breaks or have no options to rest legs then it tells them about how much you value your staff. Oh apart from that, I'd like to shed light on how this job did not pay well, even though it was above minimum wage, it was not enough to survive on.

27.Tidying The House

I was interviewed and hired by a call center agency which focused on bringing donations for many non-profit organizations. I remember, it was a Thursday and I was told to come down the following Monday. When I showed up on Monday, I received a shock of a lifetime because the entire business unit was empty, which was tripped to the floor, wires hanging from the roof empty.

When I last arrived there a week back, there were 20-25 people in cubicles working diligently, and a manager's desk far back with waiting chairs and a table, all in one large room. Till date, I have no explanation as to what happened, I just know they got out of there quickly in three days’ time.

28.The Opposite Of A Storehouse

I showed up to an interview in a suit and tie after answering a newspaper ad for a 'warehouse worker'. Instead of the interview at the warehouse, they took me into a truck with an employee who drove me for a few hours, pulled into some neighbors and went on to explain that the job was going door-to-door and selling cuts of meat to people voluntarily.

When I told him this isn't the 'warehouse worker job' they advertised. I threatened him that if he did not bring me back home, I would call the police and report a kidnapping. I was brought back to my car and on top of that I wasn't paid for the hours of time wasted. 

29.The Agent 

I went for a job interview and killed it and I would get the job, I knew it as soon as I left. However, a few days later I received a call from a recruitment agency that advertised the job online and told me to go to their office to sign a contract. I went there and they handed me a 10 page contract stating that they will hold the pay and hold my pay and pay only after they take a percentage every month.

It also stated that they may or may not hold my pay for some reason that should deem suitable. For example, if I were to take a sick leave during probation, the company I work for would hand over my check to them, and they would pay me. I told them I needed to head downstairs for a drink and I never went back home. Even though they kept calling me for several months, I ignored them.

To think that there are people out there who signed these dumb things. Sigh!

30.A Language Issue

I cracked a joke about being multilingual, but that Japanese would not be helpful for the job as there were no Japanese speakers where the job was. The interviewer forced me to speak in Japanese to a Chinese woman who was in the building to prove to him that I could speak it. But when I denied to him that the lady was Chinese and not Japanese he told me that I was lying, so I walked about.