These Job Interview Horror Stories Will Leave You Perplexed, Confused, Bewildered, And Downright Flabbergasted

If you're someone in the workforce, you know that one of the most awkward parts of having a job is getting a job.

Woman smiling behind a résumé
Woman smiling behind a résumé

TVLand / Via

Interviewing can be a real drag, and not just for the people job hunting, but for the hiring managers, too!

Airport worker saying "I am very good with people because I am myself a person!"
Airport worker saying "I am very good with people because I am myself a person!"

BBC One / Via

Recently, in a thread on r/AskReddit, u/itsPatrii_ asked the community, "What happened in your worst job interview?" and the answers did not disappoint.

From embarrassing to downright messed up, here's some of what people had to say:

1."At an interview for a tech startup, they asked me, 'If you could be any animal, what would you be?' I answered, 'Otter,' because they're fun, active, work well with their hands, and are cute as fuck. They really debated whether or not to hire me because of that answer because, and I quote, 'We only hire predators, never prey.' God, that job sucked hard."

Man and a woman arguing at a desk
Antonioguillem / Getty Images/iStockphoto

2."I fell down the stairs while I was being shown around the building. I ended up breaking both fibulas and a few bones in each foot, tearing some ligaments, and cracking my tailbone.

"After the fall, I sat at the bottom of the stairs crying for about 15 minutes and finally managed to pull myself up. The woman showing me around said, 'So does this mean you don't want the rest of the tour?'"


3."I accidentally handed the interviewer my medical marijuana card instead of my guard card. I didn’t get the job."


4."It was for a software engineering position. The entire interview was focused around finding solutions to a very specific problem. It was about 45 minutes of the interview team saying things like, 'That won't work, we tried that already.' I left the interview without finding a solution to the problem. On the way out, I spoke with HR about what the potential next steps in the interview process were. She informed me they'd already filled the position but didn't cancel any of the scheduled interviews. I was brought in to solve problems the team couldn't fix. For free."

A man and a woman looking exasperated at a laptop
Dmitry Ageev / Getty Images/EyeEm

5."I had an interview scheduled at a law office for a receptionist position. In the morning the day before the interview, I was at the beach smoking bud with my friends when the office called and said they had moved my interview up by a day and that I needed to be there in two hours. At this point I was stoned out of my mind. So I went home, threw on some clothes, and drenched myself in perfume to cover any remaining smell of weed. I hopped on a bus and went to the interview. When I arrived, my eyes were still glazed and I was still fairly stoned. My dumb ass decided to wear heels, and no more than five steps into the building, I biffed it, tripping over their carpet.

"After I got up and pulled myself together, the interviewer approached me. We exchanged pleasantries and went into her office to talk. Needless to say, I blew the interview, stumbling over every sentence. But here's the real kicker: As I was leaving, I complimented my interviewer on her hair and asked where she got it done. She replied with, 'It's a hairpiece. I have cancer.' I didn't get hired."


6."I was the interviewer for a daycare assistant job. I asked the candidate what she believed to be the proper diaper-changing procedure, and she referred to diaper cream as 'condiments.' I couldn't think of anything else after that."

Woman laughing across from another woman at a desk
Westend61 / Getty Images/Westend61

7."I’m an Iraq War Army veteran. Shortly after returning home to civilian life, I had an interview. The interviewer made a comment after seeing the Army on my résumé, saying that she 'hoped I understood that if an issue arises at work, I can’t just go into war mode and shoot the place up.' I was appalled that someone would even say something that stupid to me. I literally just stood up, told her to interview someone else, and left."


8."I got an offer where they wanted to evaluate my performance for a month and only start paying me from the second month on."


9."I showed up, and the hiring manager was on the phone, screaming at the top of his lungs, cussing out an employee. He then went outside to smoke a cigarette and left me sitting in his office. When he got back, I started talking about myself and he said, 'I don't give a shit about that! How are you going to make me money?' I asked for my application back, stood up, tore it in half, and left."

Man in office attire running
Henrik Sorensen / Getty Images

10."My first interview ever was at Dairy Queen, and I accidentally knocked a 90-year-old woman over."


11."I had a final job interview for a job I really wanted, but woke up that morning with severe appendicitis. I decided that I would try to tough it out and went to the job interview, and I was having hot flashes the whole time. I couldn’t concentrate on anything the interviewer was saying, and at one point I actually had to excuse myself to throw up in the bathroom because the pain was so severe. The interview was two hours long. I left and drove myself directly to the ER and had to have emergency surgery that day. I never told the interviewer about the surgery. Somehow I got the job!!!!"

Man bent over and sick
Runstudio / Getty Images

12."When I was 19, I applied to work at Chuck E. Cheese. I showed up in person three times for the interview and had it rescheduled each time before actually getting to speak with a manager. When I finally got to speak with one, he asked the typical questions — 'Why do you think you'd be a good fit?' etc. I said, 'I'm friendly and outgoing and a real people person, so I think I could make a great impression with the guests.' He says, 'Everyone can say they're outgoing, but actually walking the walk is something different. Hold on.' He got up and left and came back five minutes later IN THE CHUCK E. COSTUME.

"He said, 'Okay, if you're really outgoing, you're gonna come with me and hype these kids up and learn this dance.' So I had to get up and dance with the mouse in front of all these kids, trying to follow the moves. I was mortified and doing a terrible job because I was so caught off guard. He turned to me, while in costume, and said, 'Yeah, I didn't think you could walk the walk.' Bro, this job paid like $6 an hour, and this was my third attempt at interviewing!"


13."I was the interviewer. My candidate started off by making a comment about how our receptionist's ass 'looked delicious.' I was going to bring in a female engineer to chat with him and pose technical questions, but I ended the interview early and saved her 15 minutes of her day."


14."The interview was a panel with the manager and folks from his team, and it started off fine. When it was my turn to ask questions, I asked, 'So how's the culture here?' and it got super quiet. The manager asked defensively, 'Well, how was the culture at your old job?' I replied that it was a bunch of folks who had a ton of work to do and not enough time to do it, and he said, 'Well, that's how it is here, too!' The looks on his team's faces were priceless."

Man looking shocked
Kate_sept2004 / Getty Images

15."They asked when I was planning on having babies. I was literally just out of high school."


16."I had an interview for a sales position at a life insurance company. I showed up, and it was actually a group interview. One person audibly said, 'Fuck this shit' and walked out 10 minutes in. I wanted to do the same but I'm polite, so I stuck it out. Two days later, they called and asked me if I wanted to come in for an interview. I assumed they meant a follow-up interview, but I declined, saying I wasn't interested.

"Another two days later, they called me again asking the same thing. Eventually I realized they weren't asking me back for a second interview. They were so disorganized and their turnover was so high that they didn't realize they were calling the same people over and over again. It went on for two weeks before the calls finally stopped."


17."My wife interviewed with a local printing business. Standard interview, with no red flags. A few days later, she was in that area and dropped by to see if the man had made a decision. He said God told him not to hire her."

Woman at a computer throwing her hands up
Jgi / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

18."My worst eventually turned into one of my best. I’m a mechanical engineer. I only have a high school diploma and taught myself coding and how to use lots of different software. My résumé says I can do all these things, but there's no trade school or college education listed. I got an interview somewhere I really wanted to work at, and the owner himself wanted to talk to me. He's an old-school, 'no BS' kinda guy and immediately said, 'I hate guys like you!' I looked at him very confused. He repeated himself, 'I can’t stand people like you, people who PAD THEIR RÉSUMÉS!!!'

"Then he said, 'I can’t stand liars.' He had called me in there just to berate me. After getting into a screaming match, I said, 'I guarantee I can do everything on that résumé.' Then I made a bet: Hire me for $5 less an hour, and if I prove myself in 60 days, then I get a $6 raise. He took the offer/bet. I started working there, and within two weeks I was teaching his guys things. Their TOP guy didn’t know as much as I did. At the end of the second week, the owner came on the floor, shook my hand, and said I’d be getting a $7 raise starting the next week. Been working and doing great there ever since."


19."I walked in, and one of the people doing the interviewing was an ex-girlfriend."


20."I went in for an interview for a writing job. The guy started asking me if I would do sales stuff as well, and I said I didn't really have any experience in sales. He told me to hold on a minute and left the room. I sat there for a while and realized he wasn't coming back, so I got up and left. As I was leaving, he was standing outside the door smoking. He said, 'Sorry, you're not getting the job."

Man standing in a doorway smoking and holding a mug
Westend61 / Getty Images/Westend61

21."Don’t know if it was the worst or maybe best: I was working in publishing and interviewed at an insurance company. The hiring manager said, 'You’re qualified and you seem smart, so let me tell you this: Don’t take this job. We sell one product that pays only after someone dies. This is a boring industry and a boring job. You can do much better. Please don’t take this job. Think about it overnight, and if you call me tomorrow and tell me you want it, it’s yours, but please do something more interesting with your life.'"

Two women shaking hands and smiling over a desk
Laflor / Getty Images/iStockphoto

And finally...

22."I didn't get the job."


23."I got the job."


Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Do you have any job interview horror stories? Let me know in the comments!