Almost nobody has gotten every job they've ever applied for, and we've all had a few bad interviews here or there, but these were complete disasters.
So Fast They Didn’t Believe It
“I walked into the interview. It was a coding interview. They had asked me to write (as part of my interview) an application that can encrypt and decrypt a file when someone clicks a button. They allotted me 4 hours for the interview, which was the fastest their in-house engineers could do it. 10 minutes later I’m done, and they accuse me of cheating. I show them the code, tell them the process I used, showed them how I found the information I needed. They then said I would have to wait for another 3.5 hours because it would throw off their schedule otherwise. When I said I’d be leaving and I don’t think the company was a good fit, they immediately gave me an job offer with a salary 1/4th what I got from the job I ended up taking.” (source)
“I had placed my resume on a few job sites and accidentally left my resume open to the public (you should not do that). I had gotten a call for an interview for an insurance thing. I was young and lacked common sense so I excitedly went. When I got there, there was about 20 other people waiting to be interviewed. Turned out to be a ‘group interview’ where some handsome bleached teeth dude talked about how great the job was where we could set our own hours and make as much money we wanted!!! All we had to do was pay a lot of money for their special training and riches beyond our wildest dreams would come of it.
Somehow the stupid slapped me in the face and I got up from my chair and started to walk out. The con man asked me where I was going, and I calmly said, ‘this is a scam, and I advise others to walk out too…’ 2 others left with me.” (source)
“I had the same experience when I was in my early 20’s. I actually had my life insurance license because I recently left a job selling securities. They STILL wanted to charge me 200+ dollars for their ‘training’ and insisted it was different. I actually pulled my cell phone out, called another office that offered me a job the previous day and accepted the offer in front of the entire group interview. The bullsh*t con artist running the thing was seething. It should be noted the job I took was at guitar center…but that’s besides the point.” (source)
A Classic Scam
“I got a call about a marketing position I applied to in NYC. The posting seemed legit, but after I applied the red flags started flying. Their website said nothing about what they do or what services they offered. Just about how much their employees looooved working at this place. Then they made the mistake of calling me within 30 minutes of applying. I know I had a damn good resume, but a response within a half hour was absurd. Then they just raved about me, told me they wanted to move me up to the group interview in three days (on Monday) in NYC. At this point I said yes, but I was highly suspicious of their super fast pace. Then came the research. I looked into the phone number they called from and that lead me to a company with a similar name, which showed me that they were being deceptive of who they really are. The company was in the business of selling energy. Basically in the area, there are companies that resell energy from the electricity provider. No call, I just didn’t go.” (source)
Ended On A Positive Note
“I went on a job interview while employed at my current company. A company that is safe, with great co-workers and a laid back fund environment. However the salary was less than industry average, and a long commute. So I applied at another place. As I am in the interview, it is going great but then the reality of leaving my current job hits like a ton of bricks. I start bobbling questions I was aceing before. And then I realize I just wasn’t ready to leave yet. I knew me leaving would hurt the company immensely, and that leaving would hurt people I know considered more friends than co-workers. So I told my interviewer and he understood completely. He saved my record on file and ended the interview on a good note.” (source)
“Did a group interview once for a family-style restaurant. They referred to it as a ‘casting call’. There were at least twenty of us and the manager kept going on and on about how much she wanted employees who were ‘PEOPLE-persons’ (said with a large fake smile on her face). She then went on about what a strict regime she led at the restaurant and just acted like an all around horrible, micro manager. I mean, at least she was honest about it all. But in the middle of her little speech, I just got up and walked out.” (source)
Nope Nope NOPE
“I was 19 when I showed up for a ‘shift interview’ as an administrative assistant at this ‘business’. He told me over the phone that he owned his own business, it was growing, and he needed someone to pay bills, write letters, answer the phones, etc. The ‘business’ is a residence. He answers the door wearing shorts and a t-shirt; he’s about 35. He ushers me into his empty house and into the office in his basement. The office is a single desk. Other usual basement stuff fills the basement: old couch, storage tubs, and an old TV. He explains that the other two employees are off today and asks me to do some filing in the one drawer of the desk! He steps outside to take a phone call and I am completely freaked out. I am alone in this guy’s basement. I realize no one else knows I’m here. While I sort his messy desk, the guy sits on the couch reading a book, and goes outside several times to speak on the phone. Finally, at lunchtime, he says he prefers if I bring lunch and eat there. I tell him I had planned on picking something up for lunch, so he offers me food from his fridge so I don’t have to go out. I politely decline, grab my purse, and get out of there. Never looked back. Maybe this was completely innocent, but it felt very, very strange.” (source)
GM to Busser
“I applied for a position as a manager of a restaurant. At the time I was already a General Manager at another restaurant, and I had years of management experience. They called me and asked to set up an interview, which I accepted. When I arrived 15 minutes early I checked in, and was told to take a seat, where I waited for 45 minutes past my scheduled interview time. When I was finally interviewed the interviewer was mumbling something about, ‘fking ahole servers’ then ranted to me about how upset he was that a server was refusing to pick-up a night shift. Then he used a bunch of derogatory terms for women about that server. As the interview progressed he would start side tangents about his staff, and past managers. He then told me that while I applied to a managers position they actually didn’t have one available, and that I could serve tables until a position became available. I asked when that might be, and he said maybe 6-8 months. I read him the riot act in front of staff and customers about how much of my time he wasted, and how he should never talked about his staff like that, and about his professionalism. 8 months later the restaurant closed.” (source)
That’s All I Needed To See
“When I had an interview in a bar for a part-time student job, I would always come in an hour or so early, sit down, have lunch or a couple of coffee’s and just taste the atmosphere, so to say. I mean, the place is going it pay me peanuts, which I know and accept, so at least the vibe has to be good. One time while I was ‘scouting’ the place, a girl dropped a tray of drinks, breaking some glasses and wasting the drinks. No big deal, sh*t happens. A guy who was working with her started yelling at her, in front of the guests. An absolute no-go, even if there are no guests. Right there and then I got up, paid for my coffees and asked to see the guy I had the interview with, which turned out to be the yelling guy. Told him thank you, goodbye.” (source)
The Dreaded Group Interview
“Went for an interview at a school, which turned out to be a group interview – something I absolutely hate, because to my mind it shows a lack of respect for the individual candidates. It quickly emerged, from how buddy-buddy the other candidate was with the interviewer, that they had known each other for some time; it was obvious to me that the school had already decided who they wanted to hire, and that they had plucked some other poor sap at random from the pool of applicants to make the process look above board. I had already been given my travel expenses, so I had no qualms about saying, ‘Excuse me, I think we’re done here’ and leaving. Really pissed me off, given that I had traveled halfway across the country.” (source)
Aussie Breakfast/Indian Restaurant
“Background: Australian chef, Usually breakfast chef. I was looking for a job as a chef, I have the right skills, experience and background, SO I get in the interview at what seems to be a Chinese food takeaway store that has recently been closed down and sold to the person who is interviewing me. The store is at the opening to a food court, he explains he wants to open up a breakfast/coffee store and goes on and on about the coffee machine he’s going to buy and I start wondering where this is going, I’m a chef not barista. He proceeds to show me the kitchen, where there is only two stove tops, the rest of the fit-out is these MASSIVE woks that were obviously used by the previous business and it was not suitable if I was going to have to make to-order cafe style breakfasts. I could not cook on the woks and two single stove tops are simply not enough if I have more than two orders at all, I think maybe he is planning to re-fit the place and continue the interview, Then he takes me on a tour of the nearby foodcourt, there a McDonalds and lots of cafes and he says to me ‘I want to make what they don’t, I want to have customers coming for what we will be selling, big AUSSIE breakfast!’. Then we return to the empty store and he wants me to list ‘Aussie’ breakfast food I will make, Along with ingredient lists for each, Then suddenly he adds I will have to work from 7am till 3pm, Not only cooking ‘big Aussie breakfast’ to order but I will also have to make coffee’s to order from the new machine he is supposedly buying, By myself. Be a chef and a barista, open the store by myself everything, red flags are going up EVERYWHERE. The Second bombshell: I will not be paid hourly, I will be paid a flat rate of 400 a week, I almost nope out of there but wait long enough for him to hit me with his finisher: ‘After 3pm my wife will come in and this will change over to an Indian restaurant’ I briefly wonder how he is going to do this with giant woks and two stove-tops and just shake my head, thank him for the interview and leave.
Also two weeks later I had gotten a new job in a nice sane little cafe and the guy calls me and begs for me to come work at his stupid breakfast/barista and Indian takeaway job with it’s big dumb woks because other people he have interviewed have not wanted the job, please?, he even upped it to 450 flat a week, I just hung up. I wonder if he ever got that place off the ground?” (source)
Pyramid Scheme At Its Finest
“I was really short on cash while waiting to hear back from a job opportunity with a company that takes a notoriously long time in the hiring process and saw a job that was offering $25/hour for some fire safety company (no other info) with a tagline saying, ‘Just because it seems too good to be true doesn’t mean it is!’ I thought it was at least worth looking into. Went to the interview which apparently was a group interview. The guy stepped out and the first thing he asked was if anyone researched this company on the Better Business Bureau. A few people did, he spoke with them in another room, and then they never came back. Then he started to launch into this drawn out story about the last 30 years of his life, how someone gave him the same opportunity he was offering one of us now, and that it honestly made him cry thinking that people were so cynical that they would think he was a scam artist. And he actually did begin weeping in front of everyone, at which point his 20-something assistant ushered him out of the room before coming back and emotionally launching into his own story about how this guy saved him and was a genuinely great guy. Honestly, I didn’t have a lot to do that day and the ‘interview’ was catered, so I stuck around to see what would happen when the guy came back into the room. And he did, with the vigor of an infomercial host, promising everyone that with a $600 deposit, they would be making $100K in 6 months time. He just wanted a chance to interview each of us one-on-one. At the one-on-one, he started to talk a bit more about how this would be a great fit for me, blah blah blah, and I just stood up, asked for the application I filled out – it had my personal information on there – told him that this was so obviously and clearly a scam that I hoped that there wasn’t anyone dumb enough to actually write him a check. He called me a cynic and had his assistant escort me out.” (source)
“Lab Position” Painting Houses?
“This was a lab position interview for current undergraduates. It turned out to be a total fraud that was partially enabled by the university. How I got this interview was through a bio class – at the last 10 mins of lecture, a speaker took over and announced that they were part of an organization that placed ambitious undergraduates into internships in the biological sciences. ‘Great’, me and my classmates say as we put our contact info down. I go through two phone interviews and they deem me ‘in the top 15% of applicants’, and as such I’d be attending an in-person interview. I excitedly go the next morning to the location and see two other people already waiting, which I find weird (but not that weird if some university-associated program is helping you find an internship). We do a group interview in some classroom on campus, where we talk about medical and graduate school, science skills and knowledge, etc – and we are told how they can put us in a unique opportunity for success in these fields. He asks us to silently read over a brochure for one minute. It’s a brochure for f**king painting houses. College Works Painting is in bold on the front, with pictures of smiling students doing manual labor. The guy is sitting there with a big white smile, and starts the high pressure tactics (implying we are already sealed into the job). I just packed up and left, as the guy peppered me with jabs about being a failure. One other interviewee left right after me, but the third unfortunately was hoodwinked into signing a contract-thing on the spot (she told me right after and was really regretting it). Don’t know what happened to her. Apparently this happens all over the country, and once students catch on they leave and then return a year or two later. I try to spread the warning to my incoming undergraduate friends.” (source)
The Ol’ Bait And Switch
“My vision is so bad I can’t drive. I applied for a retail job a number of miles from my house, going for a day shift that would allow me to use public transportation or get a ride from family to get back and forth. I arrive a bit early, and they are not ready for me, so they direct me to wait in the greeting card section. I end up reading almost every greeting card and feeling awkward as customers pass and stare at me as the clock ticks away past my appointed interview time. It was a full 45 minutes before the woman who told me to wait in the greeting card aisle shows up, complaining they were wondering where I was, before leading me back for my interview. I speak with the woman handling the interviews for about three minutes before she tells me they don’t have any openings in the shift I applied for, never you mind they advertised it. She informs me I’ll have to work the evening shift, and that I should expect to be working well past the closing time of 11PM to clean up afterwards. I got the distinct impression she was discussing unpaid overtime with regards to that. When I explained that I couldn’t do that, and that I had even brought up that fact in my initial phone interview I was told I could take it or leave it. The smile on her face indicated that she thought I was between a rock and a hard place, and that I had no choice but to take the job. I just turned and walked out, apologizing to my ride for having to wait so long due to a bunch of a**holes. My would-be boss thought someone with a disability would have no choice but to work for her with no accommodation for the disability.” (source)
“Was at an interview for a call center sales position at the local telecommunications company. I’ve had a few interviews that has a test, usually it’s questions like ‘you’re in X situation, what do you do?’ ‘show how fast you can type’ kind of crap – administered to a group to eliminate a group of candidates faster before doing in person. However, this interview turned out to be a 2 hour test that was the MMPI with the critical questions blanked out. If you don’t know, it’s a 550+ True False test used with psychologists to assess personality and mental health issues, with the critical questions that figure if you are schizophrenic and seeing sh_t or suicidal (it’s been years for me since I’ve had to remember whats on this test). I was like 1. Why do they need this data. 2. could they hold it against me later if they think I’m crazy. 3. Why should I waste my time for doing a test for hours for a $14hr job. 4. These interviewers are idiots. Best is the test has a lying scale, so if you just checked whatever it would know (if they were even scoring it right). I walked up with the test and said I was a psych major, I know what the test is, and what was the point of this as it has nothing to do with selling phone plans and noped out of there. Buddy of mine got a job there and said it was the standard soul-sucking call center sh_t hole so I didn’t miss out on anything.” (source)
How Do They Sleep At Night?
“I went to an interview for a debt consolidation job – the kind of people who help those in debt work their way out by making it manageable for them. When I got there the interview went fine – then all of a sudden I was told I’d have to pay £1500 (Around $2300) – for licensing fees/business cards/leaflets etc etc. Not once in the application process did that information arise. About halfway through my question about the costs involved and why I would want to pay the interviewer gets a phone call and apologizes but still answers – it’s another person in my position calling with an update about how much money he’s made this week. After some digging once the call was over I found out that I’d be self employed, operating a ‘franchise’ and would make my money by being the face of other peoples debt, all collectors would come to me for payments – I would take a monthly payment to cover all costs payed out to creditors by the debtor – how I got paid was that I’d actually keep 100% of the first monthly payment and negotiate directly with the creditors for lower monthly repayments… but wouldn’t let the debtor know, I’d simply pocket the difference as commission. I declined and left without finishing the interview. It was only after I’d left that I realized the call he took was probably fake too.” (source)