Interviews are always stressful: you’re trying to sell yourself, you’re being judged, you’re nervous. Usually, you make it through alright.
Sometimes, though, you find out the company lied in the job posting, or the interviewer is creepy or rude–or one of your interviewers starts driving away as you’re still getting in the car and you roll out onto the street. And you have no choice but to get out of there as quickly as possible.
Here are 50 stories about people storming out of terrible job interviews.
50. The Doctor Wants To Play Doctor
I went to an interview for an executive assistant position for a doctor who did a lot of work from his house. He seemed impressed with my resume, and eventually, the interview grew more casual. He offered me a glass of some decent whiskey. Being young and somewhat naive and also desperate for a job, I accepted. When he offered the second round, I politely declined and left soon after.
Later that night, I got a text saying he wanted to hire me and was hoping for a friends-with-benefits situation with him and his wife. That was definitely not the job I thought I was applying for.
49. A Perfect Personality To Be A Scammer
I once got an interview for what I thought was a home security company. I had a great first interview. I was told that they were very interested in hiring me for a position that hadn’t been advertised. He said, “You have the perfect personality for what we want. You’d be helping us advertise through TV and radio!” Of course, I was beyond excited. I set up a day for my second interview and left.
The day I showed up for the next interview, I’m dressed in office clothes and heels, fully expecting to be in the office. Nope! I’m sent out “into the field.” Turns out, we were going door-to-door scamming low-income families into giving us their credit card information. I left.
48. You Need To Work Your Way Up To Receptionist
I went in for an “Office Manager” position. When I arrived, there were 20 other people waiting for interviews with me. That raised a major red flag, but I thought I’d roll with it and see what was going on. One-by-one I started seeing people emerging from the interviewer’s office looking confused and dejected. They pulled me in for my appointment and said the position was cold-calling insurance sales.
I confronted them about it immediately, and even pulled up the job description on my phone. They said, “Well if you sell really well, you can get a promotion to office manager.” Get a promotion to be a glorified receptionist? No way. I flat-out told them they were unethical for lying to desperate people during a bad economy and walked out.
47. “To Get Far In Life”
I interviewed for a receptionist position. The owner of the business was interviewing me. Everything was going great. He told me about how he started his own business, his work history, normal interview stuff.
He proceeds to ask me if I’m willing to work hard. I said yes. He then asked, “Even if that means giving your boss a massage sometimes?” Confused, I asked him what he meant by that. He explained that sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get far in life. I told him I’m not comfortable with that and he said, “Well, I don’t think this will work then” and I left.
46. Be A Professional Catfish-er
I should have walked out. I was living overseas for a while in Israel and applied for a job off Craigslist that was seeking native English speakers. The position was described online very vaguely as some kind of customer service or tech support job. The interview went on for 20 minutes before the interviewer began describing my job as being some kind of text message catfish for lonely men in Scotland, Wales, and England, pretending to be a chick and carrying on a text message relationship with some creeps in the UK.
Later I found out this is an adult entertainment company that runs some dirty videos and dating sites and adult chat rooms. The interviewer told me this was a position that allowed for creativity as I would have to create different “characters” and tailor them to guys into different crap (like a divorced housewife, smart college girl, crappy stripper, etc.) and reminded me sternly that I would be required to “keep in character so I don’t ruin the fantasy.” The whole time I’m thinking “what the heck?” and think I should just decline this and get out of here, but I am too scared to just get up and leave. So they end it and tell me to call them the next day to schedule a second interview (which was basically an orientation) but never did and never answered their calls after that.
45. Chillin’ Like A Boss
Answered an ad for a receptionist. End up at a table with 10 other people. Then the guy starts pitching a multi-level marketing scheme. I’m angry, but it’s summer and their air-conditioning is top-notch, so I decide to chill there for the duration.
Eventually, the guy calls me on my non-participation. “What’s the matter? You look like someone ran over your dog.” I said, “Well, guy, the matter is that you’ve pulled a bait-and-switch, I’ve driven an hour for nothing and now you’re talking to me when all I want is to chill under this winter wonderland AC vent.” Then I walked out.
44. What A Creep!
My wife walked out on a job interview once. She was applying to be a cake decorator at an Albertson’s grocery store. She brought a portfolio of cakes she has decorated and as the guy interviewing her was looking at the cakes.
When he came to some pictures in the back that were covered he asked what they were. She told him that they were adult-themed cakes and they contained nudity to which he replied, “Cool, may I look?” My wife said yes and when he found a cake of a female private part and all he looked at her and said, “Did you model this after yourself because it looks great I would love to see it in person.” That’s when she walked out
43. Lemme See Your Teeth!
I sat for an hour waiting for the manager. I could see some of the employees muttering and snickering. It made me feel really self-conscious. I was watching them and I saw one of the fry-cooks drop an entire wire basket of fries. They went everywhere. He scooped them up off the dirty floor and popped them in the oil, looked at me, winks, and blew a kiss.
Also, during the interview, the interviewer told me to smile and show my teeth. I did. He said I had great teeth. Then asked why I had to show my teeth. He replied, “To see if you are a substance user.” I stood up and said, “Thank you, and please do not contact me.”
42. Let’s Not Waste Time Here
I was told multiple times the starting wage was $16 per hour plus medical/dental. Basic warehouse work pretty much. Loading freight, very physical and not a problem for me. So, I’m in an interview with the manager and a couple of supervisors. Everything went really well until they asked me how much I make, which at the time was $14 an hour. “Why are you willing to take a step down in pay to work for us?” What? I said, “The offer was $16 an hour, that’s why I’m here.”
They actually laughed and said, “Oh no, you can get up to $16 an hour maximum pending performance reviews.” They wanted to pay me minimum wage. I said, “Sorry to waste your time, but this is wasting mine.” I got up and left.
41. So Into Social Media
I was interviewed for a job at a firm when I had just moved to the country. They proceeded to bring up my Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter on the screen in front of me. They laughed at me over photos of me in a dress at a Christmas party. They also said I didn’t have any endorsements on LinkedIn, which was really important to them for some reason. And I only had 20 Twitter followers which they felt they needed to bring up.
I had all the required experience for the position, they were just so ridiculously caught up in social media profiles that they felt like they needed to belittle me from the get go. They told me to send through some references, but I was so embarrassed and disheartened by the interview, it drained any interest of working for them at all.
40. A “Job” That Requires Many “Positions”
I was 18 when I interviewed for a receptionist position at a law firm. I thought it was strange that they’d even interview me, and even stranger that it paid so well. I also thought it was strange when I showed up and there were half a dozen other young, pretty girls in the lobby waiting to be seen, and the woman who took me to the back mentioned they were looking to fill “several” positions. How many receptionists does one law firm need?
The interview lasted several hours and consisted of questions surrounding how comfortable I was among strangers, how social I considered myself and if I’d ever waited tables before. Eventually, it was relayed to me that I wouldn’t be the firm receptionist so much as I’d be the managing partner’s hostess for private events at his home. I would need to be willing to devote my weekends to “interacting” with his “colleagues in the industry” and providing “entertainment.” I thanked him for his time and basically ran to the elevator.
39. Now, That’s A Bold Move!
I went in for an interview and after a few minutes of waiting the receptionist told me I could go into the office to meet the manager. As I walked in, he was on the phone so he motioned for me to have a seat. He then proceeded to talk on the phone for 10 minutes. It was clearly a personal call and not business-related. He just let me sit there while he talked. When the call was done he didn’t say anything, he just opened up a folder and started filling out some papers. After about five minutes of him doing paperwork, I asked if there was anything I could help with. I was just looking to break the awkward silence. He said, “Nope, be with you shortly.” And he went back to work.
Another several minutes went by and he finally finished. He then looked at me and said, “Why do you want to work here?” I said, “I don’t think I do.” He then asked what I meant and I told him, “If you are going to act like a jerk towards me before we have even spoken, I can’t imagine what it must be like to actually work for you.” With that, I got up and left.
38. How About No?
When I was 20, this woman tried to hire me for “juggling lessons” for her 17-year-old autistic son. I perform at a music therapy event every year and do a group lesson for all the kids, most of which suffer from some disability.
So I drive 45 minutes to her house and she starts talking about how “this is a full-time job, we need to to be on call all the time, you are going to have to stop taking college classes; your duties include helping him wipe and giving him a bath every night and the pay is $8 an hour.” Yeah, no thanks, lady.
37. 80 Hours A Week? Are You Even Serious?
I work as a software engineer. I always ask how often the team works overtime. One interview they responded with, “Well, you’d be salary, so that doesn’t matter.”
I followed up with, “How often do the people on your team work more than 40 hours in a week?” This felt like rephrasing the question, but I really wanted an answer. “Oh, I don’t think anyone has ever worked less than 50 hours as long as I have been here. Sometimes it is closer to 80, but that is just the biz, you know?” Yes. I do know. I doubled my asking salary and they didn’t seem interested. Go figure.
36. It’s A Bed, Bed Job
As a very naive 18-year-old, I responded to an ad that said they were looking for masseuses and were willing to train. I gave them a call, and the woman I spoke with was very nice and said lots of positive things about the job.
She must have caught on to how clueless I was though, because at one point she just kind of bluntly asked, “You do know this job involves sexy and naughty acts, right?” Flustered, I thanked her and hung up.
35. It’s Like A Sitcom
I was desperately hunting for a job during college and found myself answering ads in the paper. I responded to a few vague “no experience necessary” ads, and was surprised to find that all three of them were for Kirby vacuums. Annoyingly, none of them admitted it over the phone and I wouldn’t find out until arriving for the interview and wasting my time and gas. I decided that it was likely all the vague ads were commission-only scams and responded to an ad looking for a secretary. They promptly scheduled an interview, and I arrived to find they were Kirby vacuums. They justified themselves by saying that I would be filing some paperwork during the course of sales, so it somehow was a secretary position. I walked out. I responded to an ad that clearly stated they were looking for people to help load and unload electronics at a place called Aloha Sound Systems. When I got there, they too were Kirby. They met me with a lame excuse about occupying a building that had once housed Aloha Sound Systems, so they were somehow justified in using their name, and that vacuums were electronics, so they never lied. I walked out.
I was mostly through college, and had some limited knowledge of computer animation, and took a chance and responded to an ad looking for an assistant to help with some animating. I drove out for the interview and was shooting the breeze with the secretary, and we came to the series of job interview bait-and-switches Kirby had pulled on me and how happy I was to see an ad for a job that couldn’t possibly be Kirby. I looked over and the secretary was staring at me red-faced and tight-lipped, and I just said, “No freaking way,” as she launched into a hasty justification about being allowed to make multi-media presentations to help me sell vacuums … It was like a scene out of a sitcom.
34. “Do You Want To Be Jailed?”
I was 18 years old and applying for a sales job at a large retail store that was just about to open. The very first sentence this woman said to me during the interview was, “We work on a demerit points system here; this should keep you in line, and if it doesn’t, you’re out after your fourth demerit. No excuses.”
Literally no introducing herself, shaking my hand, nothing. She just looked at me and immediately said that. I thanked her for her time and walked out of the building. No thanks. I was looking for employment, not a detention center.
33. Making A Girl Cry Won’t Make You “Bigger”
When I was 15 or 16, I had an interview at San Francisco Sourdough Eatery in my hometown. I showed up, excited at the prospect of making an extra 50 cents an hour and was told the owner would be right with me by one of the most frightened-looking, sweetest teenage girls I’d ever seen. After waiting for nearly 15 minutes, she asked me if I’d like something to drink while I waited. As she was bringing me just a small glass of water, the owner comes up from the back.
First, he apologized for the wait, but then fixated on the young worker and asked if she charged me for the water cup. Then, proceeding to take it from her and pouring it down the drain, tells her that he’d fire her if it happened again. He came back to sit down and start my interview finally, and I just asked if it made him feel bigger for bringing an 80-pound girl to tears over a piece of paper. I threw a quarter on the table to cover the “cost of the cup,” and never went back.
32. No Means No
I was doing a phone interview with a company in Florida. My interviewer tells me that I would be expected to fly out to Florida on my own dime for an in-person interview. Then he asked, “Can you fly out Wednesday?” It was Friday, so I was like, “Five days from now?” When he said yes, I started laughing and said, “Are you kidding me?” He snapped at me, “Yes, I’m serious! We are trying to get this position filled as fast as possible! If you’re not serious, maybe you’re not right for the position!” To which I replied, “You’re right, I don’t think I’m right for this position.” He immediately softened and started saying stuff like, “Well, wait a minute, let’s talk about this.” And when I kept saying, “Look, I am clearly not a good choice for your company —” he kept cutting me off and insisting that we continue the interview.
A few days later, I got a call from the company again, informing me that I was one of the top three candidates. So when should they expect me for my interview? Cue another five minutes of insisting that I didn’t want the job, before finally cutting them off and hanging up.
31. A Different Kind Of Home-Based Job
Twenty years ago, I interviewed for a telemarketer position: fundraising for a “disabled sports” event. It was a brand-new charity, a very generic name, nobody had heard of it and this was the inaugural event. I arrived at the interview. It’s a family home in a residential neighborhood. Their call center was literally four phones on a table in their living room. The call list was pages photocopied straight from the Whitepages directory. And the sales pitch was an entire sheet of single-space text.
They couldn’t understand why it was nearly impossible to read out that much text in the two seconds before a person would hang up. I pruned the text and got in trouble for it. I walked out after four hours “for a break” and just kept on walking straight to the nearest bus stop.
30. A Manager’s Hidden Agenda
I was interviewing at Journeys (the shoe store) and the manager just got creepy as hell. He kept commenting on my legs and how good my shorts made my butt look. It was completely inappropriate especially since he was a 30-something-year-old man and I was maybe 17. So we get through the interview process and he asks me if I’d like to check out the store room. I’m already feeling uncomfortable but I’m like … well it’s probably normal to see the super dark, creepy stockroom during an interview right?
He takes me back there and literally in the middle of the stock room is a mattress with a box of condoms on it. The dude ignores the mattress and goes on to show me the rest of the store and I’m just wanting to get out of there as quickly as possible. Fast forward a couple of weeks, I see the guy on the news for “touching” a minor.
29. Sunburns And Sores
My wife did, sort of. She got roped in by one of those “marketing” companies that basically makes you go sell coupon books door to door. In her defense, she was young and didn’t know much about how to read between the lines on those types of job listings. She goes to the “interview” and there are seven other people in the room with her. The speaker throws around some buzzwords and exorbitant promises of salary expectations and then tells all the applicants that they’re going to go out in the field with “seasoned staff” to evaluate them.
Turns out this means the “seasoned staff” will drive the newbies out on the door to door sales calls with them. Into parts of town they have never been to before and with no idea where they were. My wife calls me in tears around noon because she’s exhausted and wants me to come to get her. She’s at a gas station calling from their office phone. I go pick her up; she’s sunburnt as hell and has two ugly sores on her heels where her shoes had been rubbing. She went to this interview in her business suit, so she had sweat through it during her Bataan Death March interview. She got a call from the “interviewer” later that day telling her that since she hadn’t finished the interview, they weren’t going to extend a job offer to her. She broke our home phone during this call.
28. Awesome Opportunities, They Said
I was interviewing for some kind of a marketing company that did something for big clients. I never really understood what it was they did. During the interview, the manager kept dropping all these buzzwords like “synergy” and whatnot. I tried asking some clarifying questions about the specifics of the job, and she just kept giving me generic answers.
I then interviewed with a few more employees there and got the impression like I was being inducted into a cult. They were all weird, some had a manic glint in their eyes when they talked about the “awesome opportunities” at the workplace. I politely declined any further information and left. To this day I still don’t know what that company does.
27. A Job In The Closet
There was a promotions company that needed a graphic designer to add to their team of four. We were walking and interviewing, so they could show me the office, and they got to where I would be working. It was a closet. There were four people in there, desks pushed along every wall. The back of their chairs touched, they were so crammed close together. Their MacBook screens were edge to edge all the way around. There were no lights. I repeat: literally no lights.
They looked up at us as we opened the door with a giant computer screen glowing eyeballs. It was the creepiest and most bizarre workspace I’d ever seen. When we started walking back to the interviewer’s office, I basically said I had to go.
26. Congratulations! Wait, Whut?!
A year ago, I responded to an ad looking for a general manager of a popular local café. I had lots of experience so I decided to apply, even though I had just started another job at the time. I planned to give notice immediately upon hearing a word back from this café. I came in for the first interview and waited one hour for the owner to free up. He handed me a stack of paperwork which had me reiterate my résumé and finally sat down with me for five minutes. At this time, he noted that we graduated from the same program at the same university. We got along alright and I liked my chances. I didn’t hear back for a week. He finally called me for a second interview. This time I waited for half an hour and he gave me some paperwork. This time it was how I would react in different situations as a manager. Afterwards, he brought me behind the bar and I made coffees for the café for an hour (without pay, which is very illegal in Canada.) They were impressed with my ability and I finally excused myself and left. I didn’t hear back from him for two weeks.
Finally, one day he calls me and asks me to come into the café. I show up and there is one other guy there. This jerk of an owner informs us that the position is going to one of us. He then spends half an hour interviewing us both. We leave the room as he thinks about it and finally invites us back in. As we sit down he announces, “(Other guy)! Congratulations! You are the new General Manager! And Jason (me), congratulations on being our new barista!” I literally laughed at him. I then told him I was leaving and he cursed me out, claiming that I had been wasting his time.
25. Bye, Jerk!
After filling out paperwork for the pre-interview, the employer comes in and brings me back to his office. He asks how I’m doing. Now, it was pouring down rain that day, so I say I’m doing great, but I wish the weather was a little better. He stops and goes, “Well, what’s wrong with the rain?” I reply that there is nothing wrong, I just wished it was nicer out. He then asks if I like sports. After saying I do, he asks if I think Tom Brady is paid a million dollars a year to not play in the rain. I’m not sure how I responded to that, but a weird question, right?
So then, he looks at my resume and goes, “so I see you’ve worked at Burger King the last three years.” I replied that, no, I actually worked at a full-service restaurant as a waiter during college. His reply: “Same thing.” At this point, he tells me it’s not going to be a good fit. I told him I agreed and that he needed to work on his interviewing skills. Then I called him a jerk and walked out.
24. Thrown Out Of The Car
Mid-way through the interview, the president (small company) comes into the room and introduces himself then says my interviewers, Bob and Rich, should bring me up to another building to see a good presentation. They agree and lead me out to the parking lot. It was raining so they decide to drive up to the other building.
I open the rear door on the driver’s side to Rich’s CR-V, get one foot and maybe half of my body in the car when Rich starts driving away. I get thrown out of the car, fall to the ground, and look up to see Rich roll down the window apologizing profusely. I get up and tell them good luck with the other candidates and go straight to my car.
23. “Forget About The Interview, Let’s Talk About My Personal Life”
I once had an interview with the owner of a small company. I thought it was going well and we were wrapping up and eventually getting to innocuous chit chat. But it didn’t stop. She just kept going. Eventually, she starts telling me about how disappointing her employees all are, how hard she works and no one appreciates her.
Then it starts getting personal’ she starts telling me about her ex-husband, her current dating situation and how she resents her father. She starts crying. She finally excuses herself for a minute. She returns, sees me out and calls me back two hours later. I didn’t answer. She left a voicemail offering me the job, and she was crying again. I never called back.
22. A Monthly-Paying Job
I was out of the university for a few months and was looking for any kind of job since staying home was horrendously boring. I surf the web and find a job where I’d get paid $15 an hour for selling water filters. I apply and get the interview. The interviewer confirms what the job post said regarding the payment, and then gets the applicants into a room to watch a lengthy presentation about the company.
Afterwards, we all got sheets to finalize everything and insert our desired working times. That is where I notice it. The sheet says something along the lines of, “Employees will only be paid AFTER a filtering unit has been successfully sold” and that we’d only get paid AFTER a month of working. 80% of the interviewees just walked out, including me.
21. This Job Isn’t For Math Wizards
It was a sales position at an air filter company. He liked me enough to start talking salary, but that’s when it took a bad turn. Basically, I could make UP TO a certain amount, but really, realistically I’d be making less than minimum wage. He kind of got red-faced when I kept saying, “But wait, this means I’ll be making like $5 an hour. I must not be understanding this right because you advertised this position as $40,000 year. Can you explain?”
The employer would rope people in with bad math and false promises and got people to agree to work under false pretenses. They’d quit and the cycle began again. Once this became clear, I politely declined and left.
20. No Paid Employment Promised
It was a phone interview and the interviewer said, “We’d like to bring you on as a full-time District Attorney. Due to budget constraints, we will not be able to provide relocation compensation or compensation for the first year. Budget permitting, we will consider compensation and benefits after the first year.”
Confused, I asked, “So, you want me to relocate across the country, work for free for a year without a promise of paid employment after that year?” He answered, “We understand if this isn’t for everyone.” I then said, “I appreciate the opportunity to interview. Please let me know if your search expands to include paid employment for a District Attorney.” And with that, I hung up. Shortest interview ever.
19. The King Of Garbage Men
Well almost ten years ago, I was really suffering for a job. A municipality a couple of towns over from mine was looking for somebody to man the dump; they were advertising it as “Transfer Station Attendant,” and I was desperate. I decided I would apply to be the King Of The Garbage Men. I was brought in for an interview and came to the address given. The room was straight out of Harry Potter. I sat in a chair surrounded by all of the council members up on a raised dais.
I was given papers to read and potentially fill out but only had my lap to write on and I had to supply my own pencil. I was already a little sketched out by this, but then they started talking about the job. I was responsible for the dump seven days a week. I would not receive any days off. If I wanted days off I would have to hire my own replacement. I would be responsible for my replacement’s taxes and wages. If I wanted to take anything home I had to submit a written request to the council to be read at the next monthly meeting. I would be on call 24 hours per day. The pay was $20,000 per year. I took it all in. I nodded my head. I asked a couple of clarifying questions. And then I suggested they look at hiring an illegal immigrant and left.
18. No Sane Person Would Want The Position
I interviewed for a position at a company and it went great; the job seemed similar to what I was already doing but for much more money. The interviewer told me she wanted to bring me back for a second interview with my direct supervisor. I show up. The lady spent an entire 10-15 minutes looking down at her hands, speaking very quietly, constantly looking over her shoulder.
She basically told me that no sane person would want this position, and that the people she worked under were awful, horrible bosses: unorganized, never in the office, relied on her for everything, expected her to work overtime with no notice and so on. I thanked her for her time, called my recruiter and asked them to take my name out of consideration for the position.
17. From Administrative To Sales
I was brought into an interview with the information that the company was looking to hire administrative assistants. I sat through about five minutes of my interview when the interviewer says to me, “Before we get started, how quickly can you purchase a vehicle?”
Confused, I explain, “I am currently unemployed, so purchasing a vehicle is out of the question. Does the administrative position require errands as part of the duties?” The interviewer says, “Oh, we hired the administrative positions already, but we felt you would be perfect for sales.” I let them know they had completely wasted my time and it was incredibly unprofessional and left.
16. Seems Legit, Right?
I had an interview with a marketing company. I walked into their office, and on the wall it said “Marketing Company” (that was not their name). Everything looked like it had been set up the night before.
At the end of the interview, the interviewer gave me a business card. Not his business card, but the business card of some other company that used to have his current phone number. He crossed out their name and put his own.
15. I’m Not Buying It!
I found a job looking to hire someone for a “management” position at a sales company. Before I applied, I called them up and asked if this was actually for an entry-level job. They assured me it was not. When I got there for the “interview” I was led into a room with about 20 other “interviewees.” We then watched a product demo video about whatever junk they were selling.
After the video, they started to tell us about how much of the product we were expected to sell. I politely interrupted the speaker and asked if this position was a sales job or a management job. The speaker gave me a subtle, “Oops, you got me” look and confirmed that it actually was a sales job. I stood up and walked out of the conference room without looking back.
14. It’s Like 3 In 1
The interviewer said, “We’re actually looking for someone that can write and knows all the rules of SEO, that can shoot and edit videos quickly, and who is a master with Photoshop.”
Not only do I not have the skills for the last two (at least not professionally), but also in my line of work it’s a clear indicator that they expect the person to do the work of three people for the salary of one, with very short deadlines. Meaning: You’ll be overworked, underpaid and absolutely miserable. I didn’t walk out of the interview, I don’t have enough courage for that, I just sabotaged the interview by giving evasive answers.
13. The Shortest Interview Ever
This was a life insurance company. I applied to be a financial analyst intern after I graduated from college. The first thing they said after I introduced myself was: “Your compensation will be entirely commission-based. We’ve found in the past that employees who target their family and friends have the highest sales.”
I stood up, said I didn’t think I would be a good fit for the company, shook hands with the interviewer, and walked straight to my car. The whole thing lasted a total of 10 minutes, including the time I parked to the time I left. Shortest interview of my life.
12. My Conscience Just Can’t Take It
It was actually after the interview. It was an insurance broker/sales team and I had some reservations because insurance sales people are THE WORST. At the interview, they said all the sales came from good leads, that people had filled out a questionnaire online and wanted to hear from us. I was assured that we provided a great service to people that were actively seeking us out.
On the first day on the job, I went on a ride-along with a current employee. When I saw the demographics they were targeting and how they purposefully tried to scare poor people into thinking they needed insurance (when they could barely afford rent), it just made me ill.
11. Excuse Me?
The guy asked me which of the seven dwarfs I most closely identified with. That should have been a red flag, but I answered “Doc” and we moved on. After telling him I wanted a part-time job for a little extra spending cash, he asked me if it was because I was pregnant. I got pretty testy with him about that, because I was not pregnant.
I ended up making an excuse to leave mid-interview. They called me a day or so later to tell me I got the job. I took the job despite knowing better. Horrible things happened. I quit two weeks later.
10. And You’re Asking Me Why I’m Leaving?
When I was in college, I applied for an internship at a marketing company. After about 20 minutes of a group interview/sales pitch, I caught on that they were not marketing but sales. Not just any sales, but CutCo knife sales. I knew they were not a great place to work and I was looking for an actual internship. So after the presentation was over I informed them I was leaving and started towards the door. The guy giving the sales pitch could not handle this, apparently, and blocked my exit asking me why I wanted to leave. I told him frankly but politely that I wasn’t interested and was looking for an internship, not a commission-based sales job. He let me pass and I started out towards my car.
At this point, the sales pitch guy and a second guy from the company jogged out to my car in the parking lot and started grilling me again about why I was leaving. I gave my reasons again, which prompted sales pitch guy to pull out my resume and asking me what I thought I was going to able to do with my life, “Psychology degree? Do you think you can get another job with that? You’re on student council; that’s worthless.” At this point, I’m in my driver seat and they are blocking my door so I can’t close it. I start saying how this is making me very uncomfortable. Finally, they relent and let me leave.
Over the next 48 hours, I get two or three calls from the company that I ignore, but the voicemails essentially say they saw a lot of potential in me and wish I stayed. I am so glad the 20-year-old me saw through their bullcrap and high-pressure tactics. After that “interview” I would write “Sell CutCo knives!” in big letters on their fake internship program flyers that were all over campus.
9. You Should Be More Advanced Than The Technology
The interviewer was 25 minutes late. She was rude and bratty. She asked questions that were extremely irrelevant (more so than normal job questions). The interviewer had no knowledge of the job or technologies involved, misspoke and used incorrect words to describe things. She stated their leadership style was “essentially do what I say or leave.” They also had a strict dress code of suit and tie even though the department was not customer facing at all. I asked why– she said that wearing casual clothes is a bad practice because employees wouldn’t be serious and get work done. When I asked her what she thought would happen she basically (in so many words) said we would all just forget we’re at work and goof off all day because we would be relaxed. She was dressed like a crap wearing a mumu. She stated they wanted someone who had 5+ years of experience with Windows 8/8.1 and MS office 2013/One drive.
When I explained that these technologies had only been out recently (at the time) she became furious and stated plenty of people applied with more experience than she was asking…so… Basically, this lady was incompetent, not sure how she got her job but she basically told me there was no work life balance no teamwork or camaraderie and she knew jack crap about software development.
8. Not Gonna Waste More Time!
Well, the first “interview” was spent with me being told how wrong all of my answers were, even the ones that would obviously need some kind of training to know. Then they told me to come back with my college transcripts in a few days since they were “very busy.” I left the second “interview” after the person who had told me to show up on that date and that time met me in the lobby, asked me to sit down and look over the guidebook and they would be right back.
About 15 minutes later, another staff member came by to ask if I was waiting for Person #1. I said yes and they informed me that Person #1 had gone to their hour long lunch and then would be going to the hospital to visit a client. They told me I could go get lunch and come back. Instead, I informed her that I would not be returning and to please let Person #1 know how unprofessional this waste of time had been.
7. Yellow For Life!
I interviewed and was hired at Kaplan (a major U.S. test prep company). I have a high school teaching license and years of experience teaching everyone from sixth graders to college seniors. I was told that there was plenty of opportunity for personal teaching style.
On the first day of training, the trainer gave us instructions on exactly which color of highlighter markers were approved for teachers to use in our own notes: Purple, orange, and green. I walked out, YELLOW HIGHLIGHTERS FOR LIFE!
I interviewed to be a journalist for a small newspaper in my hometown. The editor was just a complete condescending jerk. He said he didn’t believe my resume. I was pretty young and had done a lot of work, as I had been supporting my family since I was 14 years old.
He then told me to write 28 samples right in front of him (the interview had gone over for about an hour already) and that he would read them and decide if I was good enough. I reluctantly started to write and he said, “Just because you have experience doesn’t mean you’re not a loser without a degree” and walked out.
5. Crappy Pay, Crappy Company
When I finished college, I applied for an Accounts Payable Manager position at a petroleum company. The ad stated, “Bachelor’s Degree REQUIRED.” I had a Bachelor’s in Finance. Since I needed to get my foot in the door, I was going to settle for a $40,000/year salary when the bottom 10% in my state earned $46,000/yr. When the interviewer asked my salary requirements, I told him $40K.
He literally laughed in my face and said, “$40,000? We were looking to pay $8 per hour … tops.” I said, “$8 per hour with a Bachelor’s Degree?” He said, “Hey, gotta start somewhere.” I ended the interview with, “Did you start out at $8 an hour?” The interviewer said, “We’ll be in touch,” and didn’t shake my hand out the door. A friend of mine ended up getting the job and got paid $8 per hour. She only lasted six months because they overloaded her with work and the company was really crappy.
4. Come On, It Was 15 Years Ago
I applied for a position with a company that usually gets students right out of college, only I was 30 at the time. They had me bring in my high school transcripts (nothing about college, mind you) and started going through them asking about my grades in particular classes in depth.
I joked of course that it was not quite as relevant as my experience since then that made me a very strong candidate for the position, but they kept going, even after I asked them, “You realize this was almost 15 years ago, right?” I soon told them they were looking for someone else and just left. Smart move on my part.
3. That’s What You Call “Multitasking”
I had an interview at Taco Bell when I was in high school. The manager interviewing me had a headset on to help out with the drive-through. We could also hear what the customers were saying when they ordered.
When he was interviewing me he was talking to the other employee on the headset about the customers. He said things along the lines of them being fat and sounding like a girl and just really rude things about customers. Not the right environment for me.
2. “Military Crap”
I was 19 and fresh back home from boot camp (I was National Guard). I applied for a simple, entry-level position as a tester for a company that designs and manufactures arcade machines. I interviewed with the staff and various managers. I’m killing it the whole way. I find all the bugs in the program they give me, answer all the questions in the verbal exam correctly, have a great conversation about music with the testing director, and even have 15 minutes where I was invited to play Battlefield 2 with the staff (and was the match MVP). I was positive I had the job … until I interviewed with the branch manager. Things were going great for a few minutes. Then he asks about my military service and expresses his hesitation about hiring someone who could “leave at a moment’s notice” to go do some “military crap.” I kept my smile and enthusiasm intact but this guy was adamant about finding any reason not to hire me.
Towards the end, he said something like “We might have to set up a second interview … assuming you’re not too busy digging holes or whatever.” At that point, I gave up and said “Sir, your employees and manager are great. I’d love to work with them and I think they’d like someone like me. But I get the distinct feeling my military service somehow offends you. You have my contact information if you’d like to hire me. Otherwise, have a good day.” Then I left.
1. A Messy Business
I was pretty desperate for work so I went to every interview I could get. This one job was a sales position for a company that made air movers. A flat metal panel with a rubber bladder under it. You hook an air line to it and whatever is on the plate gets lifted like a hovercraft. Neat concept. Used in data centers where the floors hide wiring chases and wheeled dollies would punch through the floor panels. Anyway …
It was a small operation and I interviewed with the owner. He asked all kinds of questions you shouldn’t ask in an interview: age, marital status, health, religion (my wife is HR so I know how to interview). Then we tour the shop and no one is doing crap. The place is a mess. Employees are having jousting contests on the air movers and the owner jokes about how “we like to have fun here.” That’s cool and all, but he clearly has no idea how to run a business. Thanks, but no thanks.