“I Was Too Nervous To Know What To Do About It”
“Interviewer: ‘You have any disabilities?’
Interviewer: ‘You know I can’t ask that question, right? It’s illegal.’
Interviewer: ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’
Me: ‘No. Why?’
Interviewer: ‘Just kidding. I can’t ask that question either.’
That was my first interview for my first job when I was 16 years old. He did this the entire time. He’d ask a question, wait a beat or two for my answer, and then say something along the lines of that being an illegal question.
I was too nervous and needed the job too much to know what to really do about it.”
Some Names Are More Misleading Than Others
“I talked with the marketing guy at a ski resort for a few weeks over email because he wanted an in-house designer. I’ve got a first name that’s become a lot more androgynous over the last 20 years. When I finally met with him for an interview, he saw my beard and the fact that I’m a 6’1” guy who weighs upwards of 200 pounds and said (more than once), ‘I thought you were going to be a smoking-hot blonde.’
He was 45 minutes late to the interview and I had another meeting with my current boss immediately after (where I accepted my current job). So obviously, I wasn’t broken up about it, but it was weird that he said it out loud multiple times.
At the interview for my current job though, the CEO walked in and asked, ‘Has [my boss] told you about our substance-use policy?’
My now-boss said, ‘I hadn’t gotten to that yet.’
The CEO then explained, ‘If you see any weed or substances, try them. We’ve got a stash jar in the basement.’
My boss gave me two weed plants about three months ago and they’re doing really well. It was really fun to explain to my grandmother what would happen ‘if people at my job found out.'”
“It’s No Surprise The Company Doesn’t Exist Anymore”
“I wasn’t being interviewed, but rather I was the interviewer. Let me explain.
A few years ago, I was working for a start-up. I had just graduated and needed the money. There were just 3-5 employees.
One day, the owner/founder, let’s call him Ben, came to my desk to tell me a man, let’s call him Mike, would be arriving in five minutes to interview for a job, and that he (Ben) would like me to interview him.
Up to this point, I had no knowledge about the position, Mike, or what I was supposed to be asking. My boss merely told me he had another meeting and then disappeared.
So feeling completely off guard, Mike showed up right on time. I greeted him, invited him to sit down in a meeting room, and then just made conversation. About 10 minutes in, Mike said, ‘I have to be honest. I thought I would be speaking with Ben today.’
‘Oh?’ I asked.
‘Yes, 15 minutes before I arrived, on my way here, I called Ben to confirm our interview. Ben told me that he was here and we would discuss the final details of my hire.’ (This was probably the third interview.) ‘So I am confused as to what is going on.’
‘You know, so am I. I didn’t know about your existence until a few minutes ago. I really don’t know what to tell you. I’m sorry.’
Mike and I ended up chatting for a few more minutes. He was just getting out of the military, had a young family, and was genuinely excited to be working for Ben, who was another veteran.
After Mike left, I approached Ben to let him know that I didn’t appreciate having this interview dumped on me.
He said, ‘That was a test. In corporate America, you have to rise to the occasion all the time.’
I also let him know that Mike was confused why he was a no-show.
‘I don’t even know why he came,’ Ben responded.
‘So this would have been Mike’s third interview, you tell him 15 minutes before he arrives that you look forward to seeing him, and you’re surprised he’s confused?’ I asked him.
This was just one example of many insane things to happen at that job that led me to quit in epic fashion. It’s no surprise the company doesn’t exist anymore.”
She Had The Most Hostile Attitude
“I was a college freshman and applied for a part-time work-study gig at the library. Young, beautiful, and wanting to make a good first impression, I went to the office I was supposed to be at 15 minutes early. I walked in, saw the lady I was to be interviewed by, and introduced myself.
‘Hi, I’m here for the 10:30 interview? Sorry if I’m a little early.’
This grown woman proceeded to have a freaking meltdown.
‘It’s only 10:15! You are early, go sit down, go sit over there, outside!’
It was totally unprecedented and caught me off guard. She was honest-to-God yelling at me so I just wandered to the sitting area and waited. 10:30 on the dot, she called me in and muttered about how I was early.
Okay, so the rest of the interview went alright, but this lady acted like I blew up her childhood dog with roman candles. It was just a very hostile attitude. Eventually, we went downstairs to introduce me to another employee. She called him over and said, ‘Sorry we are a little early, she came at 10:15 and not 10:30.’
At this point, I was getting kinda fed up. I’m normally super shy and chill, but this lady was getting on my nerves. So I interrupted her and said, ‘I’m sorry that coming in early for my interview was a bad idea, but you really shouldn’t treat candidates like this. I couldn’t imagine working for someone like you. Bye!’
I walked out of the interview and got a job with the local massage parlor instead.
This lady had the biggest bug up her butt. Just a rude, awful woman. I left that college after my first year, but I still remember that nasty old hag.”
“Religion Has Nothing To Do With Flippin’ Burgers”
“I was asked if I believed in God for a job at McDonald’s. Let’s call my interviewer Wanda.
The interview was going well. I was telling her about my plans after graduating high school and what I was involved in at school, then she stopped me mid-sentence.
Wanda: ‘I see you’re nervous.’
Me: ‘I’ve had a really rough day before this interview, but I’m okay now.’
Wanda: ‘Hmm…let me ask you something off the record. Do you believe in God?’
Me: Thinking about the student who was killed in Columbine high school after she was asked that, ‘Yes, I do,’ I hesitated.
Wanda: ‘So did you “pray” before this interview or something?’ She leaned in.
Me: ‘I did.’ I looked away feeling like she was getting off on this.
Wanda: ‘So why are you nervous? If you believe in God, then you know that the Bible says there is nothing to fear, but fear itself.’
Me: ‘It doesn’t say that. I think that’s a Roosevelt quote.’
Wanda: ‘Oh yeah? Well, I actually read it!’
Me: ‘You know what? If you want to hire me, fine. If not, then whatever, I’m done.”
I walked out of the interview and slammed the door, ran out to my car, and balled my eyes out. I was 17 years old, strung out for cash and I was in an abusive relationship that had ended hours before the interview. I was a mess and that interview just made everything so much worse.
Wanda, if you see this, I hope you’ve learned by now that religion has nothing to do with flippin’ burgers.”
Assistant Manager Does Not Mean Personal Assistant
“I had applied for an assistant manager position. The manager told me in the interview, ‘So one of your duties would be going on runs for me.’
Me: ‘What exactly does that entail?’
Manager: ‘Well basically if I need something, you’d go get it for me. Whether it’s groceries, dry cleaning, lunch, whatever,’ they said.
Me: ‘Well. I suppose,’ I agreed, knowing how much I needed the pay. ‘Will I be provided a company card and transportation?’
Manager: ‘No, you can take your own car and I’ll have you use your card. Save all the receipts and I’ll cut you a reimbursement check at the end of each week.’
Me: ‘So. You’re saying…that I need to spend my gas money and put miles on my car to run your errands that I’m paying for until you reimburse me at the end of the week?’
Manager: ‘Yeah, pretty much.’
Me: ‘I’m applying for assistant manager, not your personal assistant. I’m here to help you run the store, not run your personal errands. And furthermore, it’s wildly inappropriate to ask me to use my own money to cover your errands until Friday. I’m 18. I don’t have money to pay for my crap and your crap. I’m young but I’m not stupid. I know when I’m being taken advantage of.’
Then, I left and immediately called corporate to make a report. I have no idea if anything came of it, but I sincerely hope nobody else fell for that crap.”
All The Rules Went Out The Window For This Interview
“I was the store manager for a video game store and the district manager decided to sit in on interviews. I was fairly new to the company, but not new to interviewing. Still, he wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing. He spent about 20 minutes before we opened explaining laws and rules about what you can and can’t ask someone.
The first interview was a very attractive and very well endowed young woman. I started the interview by asking normal questions about past work experiences and what not. I glanced over at the district manager and he was full on staring at her chest. She looked over at him and saw him staring at her chest. She became uncomfortable and shuffled around in her seat.
I started to ask another question, but he interrupted me and, while still gawking at her chest, asked, ‘Does your back ever hurt?’
After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I tried to steer the question to a more legal-ish question. ‘What he means, is we require you to lift 20 pounds or more, would you be able to do that?’
The manager shook his head and said, ‘No, I mean do you ever suffer from backaches from carrying around those?’
She was visually upset. I tried to change the subject again, and without missing a beat, he looked at her and asked if she had a boyfriend. I couldn’t end that interview fast enough. I left the company about three weeks later.”
Be Careful Who You’re Loyal To
“I work in a bar and had an interview at another bar last summer. I applied solely to get some extra hours.
During the interview, the interviewer asked me if I planned on staying at my other job. When I said yes, and explained I was just after some extra hours, preferably during the afternoon/early evening, he scoffed.
Then he asked a couple other questions, like if I know how to change a barrel/gas canister etc. He then asked, ‘If I were to offer you more shifts than your other job, to plug the gap in other words, who would you be loyal to?’
I was taken back by this and said, ‘Well, honestly, if you were to give me more, I’d still be loyal to my other job because they’re the ones that I work for and you haven’t offered me a job yet.’
After that, he said straight up that I didn’t get the job and asked me to leave saying the interview was over.
Since then, I’ve been into the nightclub part of this bar and had him stare me down on multiple occasions. He also had the security search me multiple times on one night as it was ‘suspected I was in possession of illegal substances.’
Luckily I can still go to the bar part and not have any problems from most staff, bar, and security because a lot of them drink in the bar where I work and I get along with them very well. The only one I have a problem with there now is the manager.
“The Longest Three Hours Of My Life”
“I showed up to an interview way outside of town on a train. The interviewer picked me up from the station and took me back to the office. I got in the car and noticed that the interviewer was a very large-in-stature transwoman. Being the classical liberal I am, I didn’t bat an eye at a that and I don’t really care. Someone’s gender identity doesn’t enter into the equation of us working together… until they shoehorn it right in there.
Somehow, within 15 minutes of actual interview starting, she started telling me all about her life and how hard transitioning had been and yada yada yada. It was super inappropriate for an interview, but again, I shrugged it off because I assume she doesn’t have many people to talk to in real life.
Without interrupting, I steered the conversation back to work-related things a few times. Then things got a little more inappropriate. She started telling me how hard it was for her to find a boyfriend to openly be with her and how she’s so tired of hooking up with younger men. She said the majority of men that sleep with her are in their ‘late 20s, early 30s,’ which is my age group.
Around that time, I realized that we were not just the only people in the office, but likely the only people in the building or even office complex. I also realized that she had about one foot and easily 100 pounds on me. I excuse myself to go to the bathroom and pocketed a box cutter that I carry in my gig bag.
Thankfully nothing bad happened aside from really, really awkward conversation. After the longest three hours of my life, I finally realized I had to make up an obligation for her to take me back to the train station.
I got an email saying I got the job. I deleted it and set all following emails from her to go straight to trash. Then she called me. I blocked the number. Then she called me from another number. I blocked that one too.
I’ve had a lot of bad interviews and bad work situations, but this definitely was the worst.”
They Were Skeptical That A Woman Could Handle A Man’s Job
“I had a job interview for a position with a construction company that was building a major (well-known and very popular) casino complex (not in Las Vegas). They had four candidates: me and three guys. They hired one of the guys instead. He showed up for work the first day, but not the second.
Then they hired the second candidate. He left three days later to go to work for one of the Big 3 automakers.
Then they hired the third guy. He lasted about a week…then he was fired for harassment of the female electricians.
I was their last hope. They re-interviewed me, skeptical that a woman could handle the job. My qualifications were actually better than all three of the male candidates, but they hemmed and hawed. Finally, one of the three corporate bigwigs that interviewed me said, ‘Well, you’re not going to go and get yourself knocked up in a month, are you? We don’t need no woman who’s just shopping for a husband.’
I took the job anyway because I really needed it. I worked for the company until the end of the construction project three years later. Fortunately, I was out in the field, not in the office, and never had to see that prick again.”
The Job Was More Like A Prayer Group Than Employment
“I want to preface this by saying I hold no ill will towards Christians and this is not an attack on them.
I went to an interview at a pest control company once. They had me do a test to make sure I could read house blueprints and went over my resume, etc. Then, they started asking personal questions about my spouse and such. Then things got weird.
The lady said, ‘Now my husband and I are both followers of Jesus. We go to the Baptist church down the street. Our business is a faith-based organization. We seek to serve others not only through pest control, but in our work to glorify God. Would you have a problem with that?’
Well you see, I would have a problem with that. I’m a former Christian for good reason. At the time of the interview, however, I just really needed a job, so I said no.
‘Yeah, I saw that you went to a Baptist university so I figured,’ she said. ‘My husband and I will sometimes have prayer and devotionals in the mornings, sometimes he may read something from the bible and you would be expected to attend. Would that be okay?’
Of course, that was not okay, but I needed a job, so I said yes. They continued with the interview and said part of their interview process (which was the longest interview process I’ve ever seen) was that they would have to have a spouse interview to make sure that ‘you guys are a good fit for us and that we are for you.’
She was being very careful not to say explicitly that I had to participate or anything, but I knew from how carefully she was treading that she knew it was illegal. Luckily, I got another job offer and never responded back to them.”
He Should Have Known His Comments Were Illegal
“‘So you hate Trump, right?!’
I was interviewing for an internship at my county’s Democratic Party headquarters and was being interviewed by the lawyer that would be employing me for special projects. His son, who was also a lawyer and the Democratic Party chair, came in the office for something so we were introduced. My interviewer/boss was telling him about my experience when he hit me with that question.
I was really shocked because that’s so obviously illegal to ask, and even more surprised because he was a lawyer! He should have absolutely known. I figured he must be kidding, so I was laughing when I said, ‘I don’t think you’re allowed to ask me that!’
But he kept pressing, ‘You don’t like Trump, right? You’re interviewing for the Democratic County office!’
When I realized he was really serious, I replied more sternly, ‘You’re not allowed to ask me that.’
His father/my interviewer backed me up and said, ‘She’s right, you can’t ask that in an interview.’
He didn’t apologize. He just looked frustrated and left the room. Afterward, my interviewer apologized on his behalf saying he’s ‘a true believer in the cause (of the Democratic Party).’
I still accepted the job and I don’t work with that lawyer most days. I still choose to not discuss politics that often at work (it’s impossible to avoid it altogether), because I don’t want my views to stop me from networking with people who could employ me in the future.”
“This Also Acknowledged The Biggest Elephant In The Room”
“‘When was the last time you spoke to your mother?’
Whoa, boy. I never know how to answer that. It was a follow-up to a technical skills question. I guess he wanted to see if I was keeping up with my due diligence towards my parents, you know, as opposed to not keeping my family together. Either this was a way to see if I’m responsible and can keep social connections, or he’s in it for something different.
Eff it. I decided to left field.
‘She disowned me for coming out as trans a few years back. I don’t even know where she is or if she’s alive. I don’t care either,’ I said.
This also acknowledged the biggest elephant in the room.
I ended up getting the job.
I left the job a few months later when the dude started making me scared to come into work. It was even affecting my mental health when I wasn’t at work.”