17 Outrageous Excuses Employers Gave For Rejecting Job Applicants, And Honestly, I Can't Even Say I'm Surprised At This Point

We all know how difficult it can be to get a job. From entry-level positions requiring five or more years of work experience to jobs that require degrees but pay you the same hourly wage as your on-campus job did back in the day. But sometimes, you finally find the perfect position, only to be turned down for a completely ridiculous reason.

Viola Davis grabbing her purse and walking off from a conversation

So when Reddit user u/PeepsAndTreats from r/antiwork asked the question, "What's the most laughable reason you've been turned down for a job?" people did not hesitate to tell their incredibly ridiculous stories:

1."I walked into the interview, sat down, and the guy looked at me, and the first thing he said was, 'I'm not hiring you; you're not aggressive enough.' I said 'okay' and left."

Waka Flocka looking around confused and saying, "okay"

2."I worked for a company recently, but I had to take off for six months before I could go back. I was told that my husband almost dying and having liver failure wasn’t a good enough reason to take time off and live off my savings. They wanted someone who would put the company first. I’m never putting a company first, and yes, I’m only there for the money!"


3."It was because I wasn’t comfortable sharing a hotel room with someone I don’t know for out-of-state training. I offered to foot my own room bill, but I was told I wasn’t getting the job for 'not being a team player.' The roomie in question? A 40-year-old man, while I was a 25-year-old woman and newly married."

Kal Penn saying, "that is so deeply concerning"

4."I was offered a job, but it was immediately revoked because I told her I would need to give notice at my current job. I told her, 'The fact that she thinks it's ok for me to just ghost my current job and start immediately told me everything I needed to know about how she operates her business.' Then, I wished her luck."


5."I was turned down for someone who came to the interview in a dirty shirt because I was 'too intelligent' and would 'leave within six months for a better opportunity.' The guy they hired quit on day two. They called me back and pretended like I was their first choice. This was around the beginning of COVID, and I needed a job, so I took it."

A woman laying her head back, sighing, and saying I'm sorry

6."Some job recruiter gave me shade because I wore a red jacket to my interview, and she specifically said that's why I wouldn't be right for the job."


7."I was 'too qualified' for the job. After getting unanimous approval from everyone that interviewed me, the hiring manager turned me down because it was too easy to promote me and raise my pay. That’s literally what they said to me."

Kel as Ed in "Good Burger" blinking his eyes and taken aback

8.They told me, 'You don't have reliable transportation.' The job site was literally two blocks away from my house."


9."They told me, 'I'm not hiring you because your Achilles is strained and you need a cane to move around.' For a data entry job."

A man on the phone saying, "I'd like to sue someone please"

10."I tried to get a job at a local lawn mower/small engine repair business, working their front desk. Owner questioned if 'I know computers well.' I said, 'I do,' and I asked what software they used primarily. He said he just wanted to make sure I could move around on the computer and open programs in their computer version.”

"I replied, 'I think I can manage that.' He asked, 'What programs do you know?' To which I said, 'Well, the standard things like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, email, etc., but I might just need a quick once around whatever sales program you might have.' He said, 'Well, we use Windows 95, so I don’t think this is going to work out.'"


11."I was turned down from multiple jobs in 2005–2007 for 'failing the personality test.' I still don’t know how I failed them, aside from maybe picking the answer 'get the manager' when someone was being rude. Almost two decades later, I know now that it’s because I am on the spectrum, and those tests were designed to screen out the neurodivergent. It’s fine; I never wanted to work at McDonald's, the pet hospital, or Family Movie anyway."

A teenage girl putting an "L" up to her forehead and saying "see ya losers"

12."I once went to an interview for a sales job at a car dealership. I was told to sit and wait for the manager, and even though I arrived at the specified time, 45 minutes went by. Eventually, I get asked to go ascend the staircase to the manager's office. Inside, he tells me that I failed the interview, which was a shock because it hadn't felt like it had started yet. And he was like, 'I've been observing you since you got here,' to which I replied, 'I've been waiting since I got here.' He goes, 'That's the problem.'"


13."The one that still gets me is when I first entered the workforce and got turned down for entry-level retail and fast food jobs because my only reason for wanting to work there was to get money. I remember one manager telling me, 'We don't want people who are only motivated by money to work here.'"

Amanda from "The Challenge" saying, "I'm here to secure the bag"

14."I wouldn’t hold the interviewer’s hand and asked him to please not touch me. It was a lab job studying fertility, and he wanted to hold my hand while explaining the four phases of the menstrual cycle to me (I’m a woman). He told me I was a beautifully qualified candidate and that he would’ve picked me had I been friendlier. Ew. I was only 20 at the time."


15."After being turned down for a job I was highly qualified for, one of the employees reached out to me 'off the record' just to tell me why I was turned down. It turns out they wanted to give the job to the director's friend, and the job posting was because they were required to do that legally, to 'show' that nepotism or favoritism does not exist."

a woman drinking a cup of coffee and rolling her eyes

16."I walked into an interview completely, if not over-prepared, for some sort of charity. We were to design a brochure as part of it. Me being me, I thought that was a bit silly and thought a bookmark (this was a long time ago) was a much better idea that would reach more people. Who really reads a brochure? They loved it! They loved me! It would have been a really interesting job. They called me to tell me that they were hiring a friend they knew but loved the bookmark idea, and if they could keep it... Christ. Buffoonery."


And finally, this person shared their experience about not getting hired for a job, and honestly, the man who didn't hire them could've been an angel in disguise:

17."I applied for a job clipping newspaper articles for businesses. Back in the day, before Google, businesses would hire this company to go through all major newspapers, magazines, and professional journals and clip out any articles related to the business or their products. Then once a month, they'd get a big envelope with all their clippings."

Hasan Minhaj saying, "It was a simpler time"

Have any super ridiculous ways that you've been turned down from a job? Let me know in the comments!

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity