Have you ever left a job interview replaying the thing in your head and facepalming over something you said or did?
Well, don't be too hard on yourself. Chances are your slip-up wasn't nearly as fatal or as legendary as some of these epic interview fails. They were recapped on Reddit when bosses were asked, "What's the worst interview you've ever seen?"
Next time you feel nervous before an interview, just remember: The hiring manager may also be meeting characters like these!
15. Dude, where's my job?
This kid comes in with an open Hawaiian shirt and khakis — for a state job.
When asked if he had any questions for us, he goes, "Yeah, do you drug test?"
And when walking him out of the building, he's looking at the pictures of all the heads of that department and stops at the only woman on there and goes, "When can I meet her? I want to know about her life."
We immediately shredded his application.
14. Hold the phone
[A] fella comes in to interview for a graphic designer position. Five minutes into the interview, his phone starts vibrating.
He looks at the screen, looks back up, and says, "This is the company I interviewed with before coming here. I need to take this."
He stood up, left the room, and spent 10 minutes on the phone.
He didn't get the job. Not in this life, not in the next.
13. Scout's honor
I sat in for RA (resident assistant) interviews at my college.
We had an Eagle Scout come in and take us page by page through a scrapbook about his scout career.
PAGE. BY. PAGE.
It was 10 or 20 pages of him explaining each and every one, taking a minute or two each time. We interrupted him to continue the interview, to which he got a little angry and said he was almost finished.
He was able to add a page after the interview on how being an Eagle Scout doesn't guarantee you an RA job.
12. Not the supportive type
I interviewed candidates for a tier-two support tech job. Part of the interview deals with mock scenarios to see how well the person troubleshoots an issue.
I once had a candidate have their suggestion for troubleshooting be to call tech support. I had to seriously tell them, "Pretend you are tech support, what would you try next?"
They had no next step.
How this person got past the phone screen is beyond me.
11. No violence necessary
[I] was interviewing someone for an overseas teaching position. As long as you have a degree in ANYTHING and aren't an absolute monster, you'd get hired.
Question: How would you deal with classroom discipline?
Almost everyone had some answer about rewards-based incentives, etc., but one guy was like, "Well — I probably wouldn't hit them. Unless that was necessary."
Access to children denied.
10. A matter of priorities
I had to interview a guy for some contract labor, and when I showed him our work vehicle he shook my hand and said "I'm sorry but I refuse to drive a Chevy" and left.
I was speechless. He was giving me the story of how hard he is having it. I decided to give him a shot, and because we had a Silverado for the work vehicle, he turned it down.
He has three young children.
9. Beyond repair
We needed an appliance repair guy. They didn't need to have any formal training, but they needed to know what they were doing.
The standard test was we tossed 'em in a room with a broken whateverwehadaround and asked them to diagnose it.
One guy completely dismantled it, and couldn't put it back together again. I walked in, and he's got his hat off, he's rubbing his head, muttering to himself surrounded by parts. I asked him to leave.
So the next guy to apply for the job got shown to the same room, and was told, "Put this back together."
8. Not a very cute answer
When my mom was a manager for a small coffee shop, she would always ask, "What kind of animal would you be and why?" to get their type of personality and the like.
Usually people would say something like "Dogs, because they're loyal" or "Cats, because they can work independently."
Well, this one lady comes in, and my mom asks her the question, and her response was "Raccoons, because they're sneaky and get away with things."
Needless to say she wasn't hired.
7. Wrong way to make an impression
One guy came in and interviewed with us for 44 minutes. My second question in I asked, "What do you like to do on your free time?"
He spent the next 40 minutes doing terribly awful "impressions" of celebrities and voices he makes up on his own. Some of them were OK, most of them were just unbearably awful. He was trying to become a famous voiceover artist.
You may wonder why I let it go on this long; I didn't. I put in six attempts to stop him and steer the interview in another direction. After the sixth attempt failed, it was just kind of funny. And so on he went about his incredible voice-acting talent.
Needless to say, he did not get the job.
As a dishwasher, for the restaurant I was hiring for.
6. She needs a microphone, not a job
[We] interviewed a girl who looked perfect on paper and was doing well in the interview. Half way through a question, she seemed to sing a really high note which completely caught me and the other interviewer off guard.
We said nothing and carried on, and then she did it again. I stopped her to see if she was OK to continue, to which she replied that when she gets nervous, she sings. Yep.
So apparently, now that she has told us this she is even more nervous, as no word of a lie, she fully sung the answers to the last three questions.
We wrapped up the end of the interview quickly and thanked her for her time. I then rolled around on the floor for the next 10 minutes letting out the tears I had been holding back.
Best interview ever, and she didn't even get the job.
5. Rush to judgment
[I] applied to a pool service company. They wanted me to do a "ride-along" for a day, to see how I'd work out.
Now, pool cleaning is easy. A chimp can do it. It turned out the real reason was to give me what I call the "Rush Limbaugh Test."
There was a point in the day where the guy took a break and turned the truck radio on to listen to Rush. My reaction was monitored very closely. I stayed completely neutral.
Well, it turned out that anything less than a rabid and enthusiastic response to Rush disqualified you from working there.
4. Bursting his bubble
[I] interviewed a guy for a position once. I turned my back to him to diagram a few things on the whiteboard, and I started hearing this popping noise.
Whenever I turned back to him, the popping stopped. Turn back to face the whiteboard, and the popping started again.
Dude had brought some bubblewrap with him to the interview, and was popping it every time I turned away from him.
He did not get the job.
3. Interview gone out the window
Interview for a tech position: [The] guy's resume didn't list any previous tech jobs, but I've worked with a lot of self-taught people, and so was willing to give him a chance.
First interview question: "We work with both Linux and Windows systems, so can you summarize your experience with both?"
"Well I don't know that first one, but I've done shower doors, so I should be OK with windows."
I ended the interview and apologized to him for the waste of time. [I] immediately went to HR and demanded they fire the recruiting company.
2. Twisting slowly in the wind
My boss was interviewing a candidate who listed his ability to complete a Rubik's Cube in under 2 minutes on his resume.
My boss walked into the interview about 15 minutes into it, interrupted him halfway through an answer, and tossed him a Rubik's Cube.
Evidently the kid's hands started shaking pretty bad after about a minute, and he had only one side completed by the end of regulation.
He also had "Works well under pressure" on his resume, so my boss immediately called him out on that.
Rest of the interview didn't last long.
Me: "What do you dislike about your current job?"
Her: "The phone — it just never stops ringing."
Me: "Oh, bad phone system? Drops calls — calls pop back in? That kind of thing?"
Her: "No, the phone just rings too much"
She was interviewing to be a receptionist.