“HR Recruiters: What Is The Worst Job Interview You Have Ever Had?” (47 Answers)

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What is it about job interviews that turns so many of us into bumbling idiots? Sweaty palms, the inability to form coherent thoughts and the stress of knowing that your fate is in the interviewer’s hands is a terrible combination. And yet, this painful experience is a necessary step to take. So we put on our best outfits, practice our answers in front of the mirror and just pray that we’ll come off as eloquent and intelligent when the pressure is on. But unfortunately, not every interview can go according to plan.

Recruiters and managers have been detailing the absolute worst interviews they’ve ever experienced on Reddit, so we’ve gathered the most painful stories down below. Be sure to upvote the responses that make you feel a little bit better about your own worst interview, and if you have a story that would fit right in on this list, well, at least you know that you’re not alone. Enjoy reading these stories, and thanks for coming in. We’ll get back to you with our decision within the next 7 days.


I work in a financial institution: I had a person say that they cannot work more that 4 hours a day and only Monday, Wednesday and Friday. She did not want to interfere with her Welfare Benefits. She also asked what we do if there is cash missing at the end of a shift.

Image credits: mjmurphy984


HR director here. Here is a few over the years:

Was told to give an interview for a manager position for some girl right out of college. Could tell it was someone pulling strings, because she had no experience in the field, and her degree was in criminal justice. This was an IT position.

Had a a guy with a killer resume, all the credentials, come in for an interview. Though it was going to go well, he instead was drunk and high. He couldn't even string a full sentence together.

Had a woman go ballistic on me when i asked her about her career goals. I thought i was on an episode of punkd.

Best one was calling a reference a guy had left for me: "Yeah Stans a nice guy, shows up on time, keeps to himself. If you need someone to warm a chair for 8 hours a day, he is your guy. If you want someone to do a little more work, i got a cinderblock here thats a little more motivated."

Image credits: AM_Industiries


have to say this...
Not HR but...

Watched a guy walk into where I work for an interview...He was wearing a t-shirt that said "Things that get my d**k hard"... He didn't even get the job.

Image credits: Macollegeguy2000


Worked as a manager for a small company. I did preliminary interviews. Guy shows up in jeans and a plain white t shirt, an hour early to the interview. There's no chairs in the tiny front office so he has to stand there awkwardly while other applicants come and go. Finally, as I call him to the back office, I notice that he's got a pair of boobs tattooed on the side of his neck.

I know this interview is going to go nowhere; my district manager isn't going to hire a guy with bare breasts on his neck, but I have to do the interview anyway. He proceeds to interrupt me every other sentence as I'm explaining the job duties and expectations, because he has a friend in the same industry and knew all about it. His answers to my interview questions ramble on without pause for me to cut in. The interview lasts twice as long as any of the others that day, and I even skipped some of the questions.

I couldn't stop staring at his tits.

Image credits: apathyczar


I had a recent college grad interview for a job. Asked if we had a nap room. Said his doctor required him to take an hour nap a day. If he got hired he will provide the appropriate medical records but requires a nap room. He also asked if when he got hired if he would be one of the bosses of the developers who interviewed him. I asked why and he said he felt off about the developer and said he would let him go. He then asked where his office would be located and whether they would compensate him with stock options or ownership. Finally he ended the interview saying he had an 3pm appointment and it was nice talking to me. I asked him to leave. He was applying for an entry level support analyst position.

Image credits: mgoode87


I interviewed a women for an IT position. A few minutes in she started rubbing one of her eyes. Within a few minutes it was all red and started to swell.

She kept rubbing at it and rubbing at it.

By the end of the interview she couldn't see out of the eye at all and a HUGE whitehead had formed on her eyelid but the whole time she never acknowledged the problem even though I asked if she was ok.

When the interview wrapped up she tried to shake my hand with the same hand she had been rubbing all over her disease infested eyeball from hell.

I politely declined. She didn't get the job.

Image credits: tizod


So I recently got to recruit for a position a lot higher than mine. I do project management, but without the title. Anyway I interviewed this lady with my boss, and this older just bombed the interview process. She came in dressed in a very casual wear(Like a muscle shirt with a logo, and yoga pants), and her hair kind of a mess. Okay no big deal, it's kind of windy. As we walk to the room she starts asking me question like," Do you like your job? What do you dislike? What's base salary?" No biggie, she just wants to get some insight. Well once we sit down with my boss, the older lady starts to treat me like baby. (Now I'm fairly young compared to the others you see doing my job.) Her body language completely changed, and even her speech when talking to me. She turned her body to where I saw her shoulder/back. Even when I asked her questions she wouldn't turn around, and would even interrupt me while I was asking questions. My boss took notice as well as to what was going on and would say "If you have any questions, lets try to hold it till the end." After 30min of that we decided to end the interview and thank her for her time. As you can guess, she didn't get a call back.

Image credits: That479Guy


Did a phone interview with a guy whose resume said he lived a couple of hours from the job. It became obvious pretty quickly that he had just filled out the application without looking to see where we were. After asking him more than once if he knew where we were, and him not really giving a solid answer, I asked him directly about how he was going to manage the commute. He said that we weren't that far. When I told him where we were, and how far away he was, there was a brief silence, and he blurted out, "S**t! I'll move!" I told him to wait on a follow up email to find out the next step. He did not move on to the next step. I liked the guy, though.

Image credits: Deweyrob2


I was hiring for a sales position at my company. The guy I was interviewing was going great and he was really good and knew his stuff. I mentally had a plan to call him the next day to offer him a job. As standard procedure, the last question I ask is "Did you have any questions?" to gain insight and also to obviously answer questions. The guy says "If I offer you a block of hash, will that give me an foot in the door?" The company has a strict no tolerance drug policy, so I said "no thanks" and tossed his resume and interview.

Image credits: mrsheikh


I'm not an HR Recruiter, but I can tell you one of the worst interviews one probably had.

My buddy worked at a good paying job... but, it was very dangerous. He managed to get me a job interview with the advice to stress how safety-conscious I am. Fair enough. So, I'm sitting in the waiting room and I see a very tiny bump on my finger. Like a very small wart or a larger pimple. Anyway, my idea is "I need to get this off my hand" because f**k weird growths. Anyway, I use my teeth to pull it off.... and blood EVERYWHERE! Like gushing. From a wound that's barely the size of a pen point. I ask the girl at the front desk for some tissues, but I pour through those in seconds. Then, the person for my interview enters the waiting room ready to shake my hand. "eh, heh" and he looks at my hand with blood-soaked tissues stuck to it. I already see it in his eyes. He's like "are you f*****g kidding me? This guy manages to butcher himself in a matter of 3 minutes??"

The interview was very rushed. Very obvious he had no interest in talking to me, but he had the obligation to. So, he gets to the end of the interview and I could tell he didn't listen to anything I said. He's like "I have 8 other people applying for this job. Why should I hire you?" Uh... yeah... that safety speech I was all about? Not going to happen. So, I open my wallet, pull out everything I have ($6), and say as seriously as possible: "this could be yours."

Image credits: anon


Few Favs..

* When asked about his work ethic.. he scoffed and said "I work like a F'n beaver." F Bomb drop in an interview not recommended.

* Had a guy say "is a felony disqualifying?" I stated we had background check criteria and a 3rd party performs our checks. He says "ok but I'd like to tell you about mine, it was for sex with a minor but what happened was I slept with my wife's younger sister and she was underage. So It was a mistake but not as bad as the charge sounds." Holding my poker face during that was a stretch.

One guy asked "Are you guys all uptight with policies, like if I look at a girl's a*s am I going to get fired?"

Resumes and Interviews are comedy gold.

Remembered one more classic: I flew to Seattle to be on an interview panel. While grabbing a cup of coffee for the road, I heard a guy making noises in the breakfast area. I turned around with the rest of the folks in the lobby and proceeding to watch this guy in a suit puke all over his breakfast plate. Like it literally re-filled his plate. I scooted out of there to avoid any mercy puke on my part. Guess who rolls in as the first interview of the day... Could not get that image out of my head...

Edit: Added the last one

Image credits: ThatCrazyL


The worst candidates I had never made it to the interview stage. I had numerous persons sending me cover letters of three sentences ('I apply to this-and-this position', 'I'm available for interview', 'call me for more info') on note paper, written with pencil, with just their phone number on the bottom, no resume. They clearly just applied because they had to for benefits.

The worst interview must have been the guy who was so extremely nervous he was sweating like a pig, threw coffee over his own shirt, forgot most of his English (he was from Belarus) and completely blanked out with every question.
I felt bad for the guy, but this was for a lead engineer position where he would have to have lots of customer meetings so we really couldn't hire him.

Image credits: Abusu99


I once sat in on an interviewer's debrief for a large organisation where you need professional skills. They were open to recruiting internally for a new position at a higher level, so a few people already in the organisation at a slightly lower level applied and were interviewed that day.

One candidate performed so poorly in the interview and demonstrated such a severe lack of skill, not only did she not get the new position, they decided to have a private meeting about whether or not to fire her from the job she already had.

That was in my view, a really terrible interview.

Image credits: Waitingforadragon


Not a recruiter but I am a restaurant manager. We were opening a new location and doing interviews. Woman comes in for a management position. During the interview, she reaches into her purse and pulls out a bag from Wendy's and starts eating. The other manager tells her to put it away and she tells him it is okay, she can multi-task.

Image credits: Mynameisinuse


I was a director at a company and was asked to interview an applicant who I had worked with at a previous company. The last time I saw him, security was escorting him from the building because he had listed one of the co-founders as a reference on an application to moonlight for our direct competition. Co-founder got a call asking "Does this guy work for you?" to which the answer, naturally, was "Not anymore."

We found out he had been freelancing as a consultant for quite some time around our industry, which is just leaps and bounds outside the terms of his employee agreement. All his access was immediately revoked, his phone and laptop were confiscated, and his personal belongings from his desk were mailed to him after we finished the security review. Not sure if the company pursued litigation, but they would have had a case.

So naturally, I tell my boss at the new company that he's untrustworthy, and point out that he lists the consulting on his resume as a current position along with another full-time gig that he's leaving, so he's not even being discreet about it. Boss asks me to interview him anyway because "his skill set looks good."

In the interview, I brought up that had two current jobs, and asked him how much time he was spending on the consulting, and whether that would impact his full-time work. He dodged by saying to me "It hasn't ever been a problem in the past." I was just blown away. Like, I was there, dude. I was the one who revoked your access.

He didn't get the job.

Edit: the problem was that he was sharing the company's trade secrets. I worked with him at an industry leader, he took the training he got there and brought it to our competition. Not only was this in violation of his non-compete and non-disclosure agreements, it was very against the ethos of the company. Everyone else who worked there focused on getting an edge, being better in a competitive industry, while this dude actively worked against that. It's one thing to work for a year and then go freelance if you want to hustle that way, and I respect that, but to lie to your employer in order to sell their secret sauce across the street after hours is deeply uncool.

Edit 2: It's probably important to note that this was a technology company in a competitive landscape. Both old co and new co were highly dependent on proprietary tech, methods, and processes. All this was made really, really explicit and the penalties for violating it were also laid out clearly.

Image credits: data_wrangler


Was interviewing an internal candidate for a position in a parallel department. I was embarrassed for him - he seemed to think he had the job in the bag, and so came totally unprepared and behaved so arrogantly that it was frankly shocking.

He failed to silence his phone (it rang four times before he excused himself to silence it.) and proceeded to grill us on other candidates during his 'do you have any questions for us?' portion. He had dropped by the desk of a coworker the day before the interview and THREATENED HER, 'you know, I hope this interview goes well, I've got dirt on you all LOL!'

He played it off as a joke, but his wife was our boss. He'd been hired as a favor to her for a job he wasn't suited for, was trying to parlay the limited experience he'd gotten into this higher level position, and was so confident in her ability to push this for him that I took particular relish when alternate hiring decisions were made. She'd also clearly fed him info about the role and written his resume/cover letter for him, and was in a snit herself with the hiring manager for passing him over.

Image credits: Aleutienne


Not an HR Recruiter but done some interviewing. Best one was, when we got to the "have you got any questions for us" portion, candidate said "oh yeah!" then pulled out a book called "answering interview questions for dummies", leafed through and went "ooo, here's a good one!" and asked that. Can't even remember what question candidate asked!

EDIT: This person was clearly unprepared, they had a notepad that they had brought, where they could very easily have noted down questions they thought would be prudent to ask, rather than pulling out a book that says "for dummies" on it. This strangely wasn't the reason this person wasn't offered the job; they failed other parts of the interview, this was just a bit of an interesting cherry on the cake!

Image credits: VanillaVelvet


Not HR but had to interview people for a helpdesk position in 2005ish. Dude comes in, kinda odd but whatever. Has a strange, halting way of speaking which now I would equate with a neck beard/autist. I asked the second question and his phone rings. He takes it out (some thing with a stylus, dont even remember what kind of phones there were then) holds up his finger and says "One moment please."

I looked at the co-interview and mouthed "I'm done."


Not pro HR Recruiter, but I was doing numerous help in interviews for my previous company, as a tech specialist to evaluate technical IT knowledge of candidates. And now I am hiring manager (three interviews this weeks so wish me luck, as it will be the first time I am gonna do it alone)

From top of my head: the worst was one guy, around 36 - 37 yr old, who was school teacher, and applied to work for IT Service Desk, guy had no idea about IT, all the questions like: can you tell me what is IP address, and how you can find it, responses were: no idea, and sad face. Also, the target for our company was students and graduates, so the overall interview was going really really bad, that guy was afraid of responsibilities, failures, he was stressed out, and when we finally asked: why did you applied for that position - he said, that he is receiving around 1200 pln (less than 300$) per month, and he is struggling to survive. We asked him: how much you would like to earn, he said 1600 pln and that would be AMAZING with almost tears in his eyes, because he had a hunch that we will not hire him. I gave him IT test (not usual procedure, only used to have a quick chat with hiring manager) for 10 minutes, and we went out with HM to discuss him. We were so sad, and sorry for him, that I said we should hire him on the spot, and I can teach him thing or two, as long as he can absorb new knowledge he will be fine. Guy almost break in tears when we said to him that he is hired, and base salary is 2000 pln. Worst job interview ever.

Another one was with the young, 20-something student who would like to be a film maker. No IT knowledge whatsoever, he lied in CV typing stuff like MS Access, but he had no idea what is a database etc. And he was not even trying to get the job, he had attitude like: yes, you can hire me, BUT I want to make films, my short movies were recognized on some independent local screenings or whatever, BUT I will accept this offer ONLY if I can choose on what days I will work, and WHEN, because I am doing important university stuff etc. (we were working 24/7 so it was very flexible thing for all the people, but ARE YOU SERIOUS?)
He even came dressed like he didn't care. I know that this is stupid that you should wear suit, and yes - it is acceptable to come in with iron shirt, and even black jeans pants (throw in a jacket and it is perfect), but if you are coming with yellow t-shirt and sandals...
- surely he didn't get a job.

EDIT ABOUT ex-teacher:
Good news about our ex-teacher. He is moving to other company for higher tech position + better salary, so everything is fine. Good for him. They are saying that he will be missed, because he was doing outstanding job for all that time, and he was eager to learn.

Image credits: veder284


I had to sit in on a group interview for our emergency dispatch center. We're interviewing this white lady from Montana (or Idaho? Or Utah? One of those states.) who had experience with the job and everything was going well, until one of the questions from the book that we have from HR is, "are you experienced with communicating with people from diverse and low-income backgrounds?"

Her reply: "Oh, yeah, I deal with coons all the time."

My supervisor ended the interview right there.


My manager did a telephone interview the other day.

He asks her what her qualifications are.

She says they are on her CV

He says they are not (they weren't), that's why he's asking.

She says "A-Levels"

He asks what grades.

She says "Cannot remember"

He stresses a few things about skills required for the job.

She hangs up on him.

Apparently that is the only time in his life he's had someone hang up (or the in-person equivalent which would be to walk out) on him.


Ok, not an HR person, but I was (part of a group) interviewing someone.

It was an audition for a TV commercial (auditions can be soul-sucking, acting is not for everyone.)

It was for a middle-aged woman who was supposed to be..a brassy shopkeeper, who was supposed to belt out a few lines from a Bob Fosse musical.

Sadly, we were not videotaping, but when one hopeful threw out her arms and did her big finish, the casting agent's dog (who had been sitting quietly until now) leaped up, and bit the woman on the boob.

Didn't draw blood, and I feel bad about it now, but we just fell about the place. She, on the other hand, wasn't so impressed.


Not an interview, but here's a resume we received. We were looking for a salesperson to handle software consulting services in the northeast region.

*"from July of 2003 up until October of 2014 when the store owner died and the store was closed I worked as a salesmen and a stocker for franks bedding and furniture a small store located at 2765 Kensington avenue in Philadelphia pa"*

That's it. That's the whole resume, verbatim and without edits.


I was interviewing a gentleman for a position at my hotel in security. I set up the skype interview. As soon as we connected, there was a lot of loud commotion from his room he was in. He was yelling at his wife and daughter in his language (I think he was telling them to give him some space because he had the interview). His daughter was hysterically crying and would not leave him alone. his wife kept trying to pull her away but she'd break free, hit him, which only made him yell more, she (the daughter) tried to take the tablet away. The guy tried to *push* through the interview. I only got through about 5 questions. He constantly got up and yelled at his family - because they wouldn't leave him alone.
It was...very awkward.
This was when I was the candidate being interviewed. They had called me at 7AM (8AM their time) for a phone interview. I had worked a night shift the night before and was "awoken" out of my beauty sleep. They asked me if I wanted to reschedule the interview...but **OLD DUMMY HERE** wanted to **DO OR DIE** so I decided to "Go forward with the interview". It lasted all of 10 minutes because I was too out of it to come up with good answers. I made a bad joke of how I hope to one day be in a position to call and wake people up for interviews.
*I still cringe thinking about that interview*


I'm not HR, but...

Arranged to meet for a group interview for a low level IT position, attire was "smart-casual". Pretty standard affair. 2 other people were going to be interviewing as well and I was initially nervous as any 21 year old would be.

I show up a few minutes early, there's one guy there, no sign of the other, and the one who is there is dressed in sweatpants and a hoodie. About 20 minutes into the briefing of the roles and responsibilities of the job, guy #2 shows up. Dressed in full pinstripe business suit + tie and It was obvious it didn't fit. He then proceeds to loudly verbally comment on literally everything the interviewer was saying. Nothing bad under any other circumstances, but for an interview? If i could summarize the way this guy handled things in 2 words it would be "Wildly inappropriate".

Individual interviews come up and the one guy that was there before me goes first and after 10 minutes leaves pretty nonchalantly. Next is me, standard affair; I give him an overview of my technical background and work history.

And he just sorta sits there quietly for a bit after I finish, leaving a bit of an awkward silence, then chimes in "I think we'll just go ahead and give you the offer". Sweet! We leave the office and as I beeline for the door I hear guy #3 get told to just leave.

That people can screw up an interview so bad is baffling. Properly dressing, showing up on time, and basic politeness should not even be a limiting factor in an interview about your skills.

Image credits: mc_kitfox


1. Woman shows up to a 1pm interview at 4:30pm with no apologies or excuses, we shredded her resume at that point and had to print a new copy. She seemed like she didn't know which job she was applying for. Quickest and easiest "Thank you but no" interview I've had.

2. Dude shows up looking like he's high and seems like the most shallow human being on earth, not in a vain meaning but in a way that there was ZERO depth to the guy. What you saw is what you got. Answered the question of "What were your responsibilities at your previous job?" With "I did stuff". I gave every chance to the guy and tried to lead him into answering questions the best I could, but he was either stoned or plain old stupid.

Image credits: BF1shY


Not an HR guy, but was in management. Our HR manager told me about a prospect he was interviewing for my location, and how everything was great until the end where they were just chatting and asking general "get to know you" questions. The guy started going in on his casual crack use, and how we shouldn't worry because its just on weekends with his mates out on the lake and that we were invited...

Another tried to parley his years of running drugs up from Mexico and distributing them as management experience...

Image credits: PayData


Ahhh! My time to shine! These come from my time as an agency recruiter.

I can split my worst ones into two categories: skin-crawlingly awkward and apocalyptically bad.

First (awkward): a woman came in for an interview, and her husband demanded that he be included in the interview. i refused twice but after he started to raise his voice and complain, i said f**k it and took them both into an interview room. she would start to ask a question, he would silence her and ask the same question. when I would ask her a question, he would answer before she had a chance. after i told him that this isn't his interview, it's hers, he started sulking and (i assume) talking s**t about me in what I think was Arabic. meanwhile the wife is just shaking her head and i have a grimace on my face. Soooo awkward. i felt terrible for her and was a hair away from punching her husband for his disrespect.

The apocalyptically (sp? actual word?) bad one was when a woman came in reeking of menthol cigarettes and vodka. she also had the worst teeth i've ever seen on a human. they were like a meth head ate nothing but candy for a decade and then rinsed with dip spit. this in itself wouldn't have made the interview *that* bad, what was worse was that she hadn't read the job description, had lied on her resume, and was combative when i asked about the most basic of skills. screamed and carried on about her problems and discrimination (she was 40ish years old and white) until asked to leave, she didn't get the job.

Image credits: AlmaMaterFcker


Well I was the one being interviewed and i'm nervous guy so when I was leaving I said "thank you for time" and the interviews got a really weird look and said "no, thank you for your time". I'm getting better at people-ing I swear.

Image credits: anon


"What would your friends say are your best qualities?"

"I don't have any friends."

Image credits: papafree


Not a recruiter. Insteaad this is about an interview I did with Wendys. This happened last year during the end of my hs senior year. My family doesnt make that much so I wanted to have a job to help pay for my college. The only problem is that my mom is extremely protective and doesnt trust "non-arabs". After months of asking her to let me apply she finally said yes but only nearby since she didnt want to drive me there (my parents didn't want me to get a license fearing I might run away. Im 19 and I still dont have one). After a few applications I managed to land an interview with Wendys and on the day of the interview my mom said she got me a "congratulations gift", a bluetooth ear piece. Turns out she wanted me to go to the interview wearing while she was on call with me. Once I arrive there the hiring manager does give me weird look but doesnt mention the earpiece. Anyways the interview was going well and in the end she starts mention some of the requirements needed for the job such as being able to talk to people handle food and pick up 50 pounds in weight. That's when I hear in my ear the sound of the phone being picked up and about 2 min of screaming how she doesn't want me to hurt my back, this job is dangerous, ect. I try to maintain composure but then my mom tells me to get up and leave right away. I ask the manager to give me a moment and she say ok. I go to the bathroom area pleading with my mom to let me stay however to no avail she tells me to leave without saying a word and that she is waiting for me outside in the car. As I walk out I look at the manager with a sad look ajd just wave good bye to her and without saying a word I leave.

TLDR; mom busts in and doesnt let son get the job

Edit: Thank you all for your kind words and advice. I'm going to attempt getting a job once more and see how it works out

Image credits: TheHeita


Not exactly what we're looking for here, but a similar story, pretty funny. I had a good talk with an HR director for the manufacturing portion of a pharmaceutical plant, and he told me this -

>Right now we're hiring anybody who can show up to a job interview currently sober, not dirty or smelly, and not currently wanted for arrest.

> Low standards, I know, but you'd be surprised how few people aren't one or more of those things.

They were hiring with the lowest standards possible, and were having a hard time finding people who could even meet that.

Image credits: The_Juggler17


I am a recruiter who works in a recruitment firm. I have been doing this for about 6 years and have seen some and been around some amazing stories. Here are some of the highlights.

IT project manager: Please keep in mind that this candidate had already passed a skills test with flying colors and his resume has amazing experience exactly what we were looking for. The interview was a rubber stamp. At the interview he man was dressed like a homeless person and smelled like he was rotting from the inside out. Interview rooms at an agency like mine are small and we have many of them. This smell emptied out the entire area and had people reschedule their interviews to Starbucks or for other days. It was like a mixture of feet, hot week old diapers and vomit.

Sales manager: This guy is currently employed but wants to make a move. I had head hunted him out of his current job and was looking to move him to a competitor with a larger sales staff for more money. He wanted to interview early in the morning prior to his work day and that was no problem so I met him at my office at 8:00. The issue was he had driven in but was fall down drunk. Like just finished a 26 of rye for breakfast in the elevator up. He was actually getting drunker as I talked to him.

These are just some of the standouts. I've been insulted and belittled, prepositioned and attempted to be bribed by candidates. There is a saying in recruitment. You have to kiss a lot of frogs.

Image credits: ElderlyPowerUser


A girl who showed up in moon boots and a fluffy gilet for a front of house role. She chewed gum the whole time and when I asked a bit about her work history she started talking about how she'd been to see Bombfunk MCs the other night and how she was a massive obsessive fan...

Okay bear in mind they're one hit wonder from what I know.
From like 1999.
This interview was at least 4 years later.
What happened, did they just turn up and play Freestyler 12 times and then everyone went home?

So yeah I'm all for honesty but would you pay this person money to represent you or your company? Unless you're Bombfunk MCs I'd hazard a guess most people would swerve that mess.

Image credits: dukeofbun


I had a dude tell me my sister was going to hell to my face. That was exciting.

It was for a software internship, and we asked a question like "Given a list of people, group them by gender". It was very open-ended, to see what questions they asked, how they would return the data, how they handled error cases, etc. Only one guy thought that you might need more categories than male and female... which had us excited until he followed it up with an unbidden rant about how immoral that was and how insane society is for allowing that and they should all be killed anyway.

When I mentioned that my sister is trans (which she isn't, but I kinda wanted to see what his reaction would be), he looked me in the eye and said she was going straight to hell.

Well, if you're going to bring up stuff like that unbidden in an interview, I have rather strong concerns about what you'll rant about when million dollar clients are touring the office. Made my decision easy.

Image credits: yellowjacketcoder


Looked down the hall to see applicant in blue jeans playing on his phone. His application nunber came up and it was filled out in pencil. Went to save both of us time and tell him no thanks but he had decided to lay out for a nap across half the available chairs.


Everyday, on the phone or asleep in the breakroom. He was still there when I left the company.

Image credits: anon


Not an HR Recruiter, but at my wife's company three dudes left with a stolen customer list and tried to start a company in direct competition with the wife's company. One of the dudes was supposed to bankroll the new company but he couldn't come up with the cash so the other two dudes dumped him. The dumped dude tried interviewing with the wife's company to try to get his job back.


HR manager and recruiter in México here. In my first recruiting job I had to hire people for a private security company, wich is a very basic position here, the kind of just "Is alive? Don´t have a criminal record? Hired!".
I had this one guy come in the office with his wife and we start the interview; all ok at this point.
When it comes to requirements in image, I tell him that he have to cut his hair (shoulder lenght to a buzzcut, the client asking for the personnel was very strict about personal appearance), he told me "oh no miss, I would not cut it, I have it long because it´s a vow I made to the Guadalupana, and I rather keep it than work".
So that's it, 3 kids and uneployed wife but with a very strong religious commitement.


Not in HR but had to interview a bunch of people for several roles. I have so many stories, but I think I'll go with the most idiotic.

Unprompted, the guy talked about how he went to a contractor and saw them mixing this white powder, and the contractor insisted it was the best glue ever. He was sceptical at first, but then saw the results and was amazed. He had to find out the name of the glue immediately, and it was our brand. It was fate that the recruitment agency offered him a job with us.

Our glue is a powder glue, but it doesn't come in white. It's a brown powder. You can even see it in the videos all over the website.

I was tempted to pick the guy who sent me [this](http://i.imgur.com/aJrTOXD.jpg) as the worst, but tbh, his actual interview must have been unmemorable because I don't remember him at all.


I don't think this dude ever had an actual interview. I worked at a big box store because like everyone there other than management, we couldn't find better jobs at the time. For retail they paid decently, so most people took the interviews seriously, dressed nice, etc. Not this dude. He comes up to my area (tech bench) and asks where to go for an interview... he's wearing jeans hanging off his a*s, baggy cartoon shirt, basketball shoes, and a baseball cap with a sticker on it. All very expensive brands and brand new, but still unprofessional even for a big box. This is not in my normal wiring, but he seemed like a decent kid outside of this, so to help him out I told him he was not going to get hired if he didn't dress professionally, we would get him rescheduled, and he needed to come in wearing business casual at least. He doesn't say much, agrees, and leaves.

I worked a later shift and came in to see him leaving his failed interview... wearing more expensive, slightly less falling off his a*s jeans, a more expensive, slightly less baggy shirt, really expensive jacket, and a different hat and expensive pair of shoes... A $30 Walmart business casual outfit would have gotten him a decent job, but instead he came in wearing an outfit that cost more than my wardrobe and was probably confused as to why he didn't get hired.


"Sorry I missed the flight, I thought the interview was tomorrow". We did not reschedule his flight....


I used to be a grooming salon manager for PetSmart. We needed a bather so I was calling applicants. There was one that had just graduated high school and had no work experience which can be a crapshoot, but I was willing to give pretty much anyone a shot if they seemed like a good fit.

So I call this applicant (we'll call her Jane). A woman picks up, and I ask for Jane. This woman straight up yells across her house, "JAAAAAAAAAAAAANE, PHONE'S FOR YOU" and asks me if I'm Jane's mom. Uh, no, this is Nunca from PetSmart and I was just following up on Jane's application. The woman then explains she's Jane's aunt and that Jane's mom is in Europe and oh wouldn't it be great if Jane got this job also they're decorating the Christmas tree right now and isn't that great. Eventually Jane gets to the phone and we set up an interview time (I didn't let Jane's aunt's behavior affect her chances of getting the job, not to mention it was just a PetSmart bather position, not super srs business).

So Jane comes in for her interview. She shows up in an oversized plaid flannel shirt, huge basketball shoes with no laces, a baseball cap, and some big blingy necklace. We're waiting for the ops manager to come to the manager's office so we can interview her together, when Jane tells me that she really hopes she gets the job because she lost her wallet last week.

So we sit down and ask her to tell us about herself. Jane loves cats. She tells us about her cat, Taco. This is great. We love people who love animals. Since we run a dog grooming salon, I ask her about her experiences with dogs: has she ever had a dog/does she have one now? Is she afraid of any breed of dog? Has she ever been bitten, scratched, or threatened by a dog? And so on. No matter how many times I ask her about dogs, she keeps steering the conversation back to cats. I never found out her opinion on dogs, but man does Jane really love cats.

Somehow Jane completely took over the interview and told us this really sad story about how she saw a cat get hit by a car. She and a friend took the cat to the vet but the cat didn't make it, so they took the cat home and buried it in her friend's backyard. Jane had some butterscotch candy in her pocket, so she threw the candy in the grave and named the cat Butterscotch. While telling the story Jane had an appropriately sad expression on her face, but then she got to the end and said that they went out for ice cream afterwards and ice cream makes everything better!!! and she was weirdly bubbly about that. My ops manager and I could only stare, mouths agape. We ended the interview very shortly after her story.

Jane did not get the job.


I've had a lot of bad interviews *because* of HR Recruiters. The problem for me has been that most HR Recruiters are certified HR specialists and aren't technical specialists. They often can't tell the difference between certain very technical skills and don't know if they're job specific or not.

The worst I ever had was a girl who must have been right out of college (maybe 22 or 23). I was being interviewed for a more senior position, but she kept asking me irrelevant questions, especially to the role. Had I ever used Stata? How many classes in econometrics had I completed? The thing is, the job is in no way related to economics or econometrics, but she asked about my knowledge of economics (I had done 2 gradaute-level econ courses), MPL, ATC, etc etc. Eventually, I had to ask her why this was necessary as I had been led to believe that this position was not an economics role. She begins to get flustered and annoyed and thanks me for coming in. I leave with the impression that the company didn't know what the hell was going.

I get a call 2 or 3 weeks later from that recruiter, without so much as an explanation, where she begins to rattle off questions at rapid fire. She says they'd like to interview me, but I politely declined. She called me two or three times after that and then I found she left the company.

Sometimes, it's not always the fault of the interviewee.


I was scheduled to be the first interviewer for a guy that was coming in once, HR meets with them first to go over paperworkd and other prep stuff, then hands them off to the interviewers.

So, I'm waiting, and the HR rep comes to my office and says "there won't be any interview today, so your hour is free".

I said "oh, did he have to reschedule?" it happens, people get sick, have emergencies, can't get away from their current job...it's really no big deal to reschedule.

She says "uh, no..." closes my door, and sits like she's about to bust if she doesn't tell someone.

Apparently as she was doing prep paperwork with the applicant, he started hitting on her. very aggressively. Demanding her phone number, wanting to know when she was free to go out, not taking "no" or even "I'm married" for an answer and eventually saying "I'm not leaving today without your phone number".

She got him back out at the front desk and had him wait there while she called building security to escort him out.

That wasn't even the end of him. The guy kept applying for positions in the company...I'd see his resume come up again and again.


A long time ago, I was a manager for GameStop. GameStop was very particular about the interview process. "Here's a sheet, ask these questions"

I don't work that way. I'll get to this later though.

So I have a whole line of seasonal hires lined up. And I have one guy call me and say he's going to be a little late. That's fine, c**p happens, minnesota's weather sucks, I get it.

An hour passes, I have another potential hire come in for their scheduled interview. I take them in the back and the interview goes great. I walk out and there he is.

The only way I can describe this guy is hungover without taking a shower. I could smell the bar on him from across the store. I ask him "Can I help you?"

"Yeah I had an interview today, I've been waiting for 10 minutes."
"You had an interview at noon. I've been waiting for 60 minutes."

I can already tell this is going to be a good time.

We head to the back and I sit down with him, getting slightly intoxicated on the smell of what I suspect is well tequila.

Me - "So why gamestop?"

Him - "I dunno, I like video games and stuff."

Me - "Well not a requirement but it definitely helps."

I'm still trying to keep a sunny attitude, because you never know, maybe this guy is a hidden gem of a person, just had a rough night. I never try to pretend I know what's going on with someone. But I've already got quite a few red flags.

Him -"Yeah, I guess. When are you gonna ask the questions on the sheet?"

Me - "I'm sorry?"

Him - "The questions you're supposed to ask me."

Me - "I don't interview that way. I want to get a feel for the type of person you are and questions like, 'Tell me about a time you worked as part of a team.' don't really get me the information I need to know about you."

Him - "Well that's stupid. That's not how you should interview people."

So now I'm over the guy, but hell I deserve some fun.

Me - "How should I interview people then?"

Him - "The way GameStop says to do it."

Me - "Well GameStop as a corporate entity doesn't have to work with the people I hire on a daily basis. I like to have people that fit with my team. People who don't call in that they'll be a little late and then show up an hour later. People who don't show up to a business where they work or intend to work smelling like the inside of some cheap tequila bottle."

Him - "It wasn't cheap tequila."

Me - "Well, I've heard all I need to hear. I'll call if we make the decision to hire you."

He then proceeded to mumble some stuff under his breath before leaving the office. I have never had my employees run in to make sure I wasn't dead so fast.

"Jesus, we thought he might have killed you."

"He did. On the inside."

This was 6 or so years ago. I'm now a network engineer and don't worry about that s**t.


TL;DR: Guy tried to stab me in the eye with a pencil during his interview, after a few insults towards me and refusing to provide his basic certifications.

I used to do hiring for a healthcare staffing company, think of it as a place that sends out substitute teachers to hospitals, but instead of teachers, we send nurses, physical therapists, behavioral health techs (psych techs) and other medical positions. Some of these people just liked being able to try different facilities or have a flexible job that was just a few days a week, others were basically people scraped from the bottom of the barrel who couldn't keep a stable job because they suck at life, so we sent them somewhere on a contract or for a day or two to do basic stuff, and before the facility/hospital knew how s****y they actually were, they were gone and we took our cut of the money.

I was 22-24 during the time I worked there, and regularly interviewed people 2-3 times my age. If hired, I was their immediate supervisor as well, so some people took it poorly when someone their kid or grandkid's age was their boss.

The interviews were constant, I maybe averaged a dozen a day. Half I might actually have hired, the other half I would've laughed away, but since I had to provide as many as possible, basically anyone got hired if they weren't a clear immediate issue. You only didn't get hired if you showed up drunk/high, had terrible hygiene, or had a REALLY s****y attitude. I had people break down crying and begging me for a job, drug rehab therapists showing up drunk, people showing up hours late, and several older women (and a few men) who spent most the time talking about their love for Jesus but otherwise refusing to talk about the job they were interviewing for.

I had one man who really stood out in my experiences. I interviewed him over the phone beforehand, we had his resume, and his work history looked solid. He had worked in the behavioral health field for about 25 years on and off, so it sounded like he knew what he was doing, and he was very friendly and nice over the phone. In the phone interview I gave him all the details about how the job works, how they are basically on call certain days to sub in at behavioral health facilities as behavioral health techs, usually in group homes or psych facilities. I sent a follow up email confirming the date and time for the in person interview, that there would be paperwork afterward so we can get him on our roster, and that I would need all his certifications in order to hire him and get him ready to go. This includes first aid/CPR certifications, proof of bachelors degree (or higher), and some other records.

He shows up to the interview (late), and according to our secretary he walked in, looked around the lobby, then asked where the bags of money was because he wanted to get paid. She sat him down in one of the interview rooms, came and got me, and said the guy seemed a little off. I sat down with him and started asking the usual questions to try to get to know an interviewee, and got some surprising answers:

* "How long have you been working in this field?"

> Why do you care? Ive probably been doing this longer than you've been alive.

* "Which is about how long..?"

> I've been doing this for 25 years.

* "What about this line of work are you passionate about?"

> What the hell does that matter?

* "Well *IF* I decide to hire you on, I would be your boss, so I'd like to know why you might enjoy this job."

> Because it gets me paid.

* "Did you bring any of the certifications I asked for in the email?"

> You never asked for anything, why would I bring it? I read that email and you didn't tell me to bring anything.

It was already obvious that I would never hire this piece of s**t, and after the few insults, I decided to put him in his place for wasting my time. I has the secretary give him the first few hiring papers, just to keep him busy while I printed out the email I had sent him that specifically listed the first aid and CPR certifications, his degree, and other certifications that were necessary. After highlighting the exact lines he claimed was never in the email, I walked back into the room, placed it down on top of his hiring paperwork, and walked out for a few minutes so he could have plenty of time to read them.

I came back in, sat down, and told him that since he insulted me, refused to provide even the most basic certifications, and was just rude in general, there was so way he could represent our company. his response was something along the line of "Oh that's fine, that's just fine", followed with him standing up, tearing all the papers in half, then trying to stab me in the eye with the pencil he was using to fill out the forms. Luckily there was a table between us so his reach sucked, so I was able to knock his arm out of the way, he hit my forehead with the pencil, then I slammed his a*s against the wall and told him to leave before we called the cops. He started screaming, then stormed off after knocking some stuff around in our lobby.

No serious injury or anything to worry about for me, but that was one hostile interview that Ill never forget.


My job was to hire nurses for new physician practices the medical management company I worked for was creating in small towns. One of these small towns in Eastern Tennessee had little to no candidates apply for the job, so I decided to interview everyone that was minimally qualified and close geographically.
First two interviews of the day are uneventful, but the third sticks out in my mind as the most mind blowingly ridiculous excuse for a person I have ever seen...
There is no office yet, so we agree to meet at the local Starbucks. I'm waiting, and around the corner comes a woman in her mid to late thirties with the longest, greasiest, most unkempt hair I have ever seen. It hangs down past her rear end, and is loose...and clearly hasn't been washed in days, if not weeks. She has on gray sweatpants that couldn't have fit more than one more ounce of person in them, and white athletic socks. She also has on the highest pair of bright red hooker heels I have ever seen, and every third or fourth step her ankles take turns rolling on her...I was waiting for the scream of agony. She decided her shirt for the day would be a "used to be white" shirt, complete with several holes near the untucked bottom of the shirt - that did not completely cover her very large stomach. The shirt was a picture of Tweety Bird, and said "I Tawt I Taw a Putty Tat!". She had on Whore in Church Bright Red Lipstick, and had a cigarette hanging out of the left side of her mouth. I honestly thought I was being punked. this position was not for an entry level position - it was for an RN with at least five years experience and a nursing license in good standing. I made sure it was her, and concluded the interview quickly with a "Thanks for coming out, we'll be in touch". I strongly suspect that this was a box she needed checked off to continue receiving her unemployment check.