Your worst job interviews..

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  • Your worst job interviews..
  • haydenw

    So what’s your worst job interview then?

    Just had an interview and don’t think it went particularly well so need cheering up! Any one got any horrific interview stories or moment when they thought “Did I just say that!?”

    I ended up saying, “You know – the guy who looks like Father Ted” don’t think that went down too well…. Also followed by me talking, losing train of thought and stopping talking followed by complete silence. Then me thinking to myself, it’s been 10 seconds now say something! 20 seconds now say anything! 30 seconds now Anything at all, followed by – “What was the question?”….

    Unrelated to this but once I was asked why I left one of my last jobs and the best I could think up with was – “The manager was a dick”. Didn’t get that one….

    One that started with, “Will you have a whisky?”

    I replied that no, I wouldn’t, as I was driving.

    “So what? Have a drink!”

    I left.


    How was the uni course?

    Ok, could have been better, some lecturers were rubbish.

    Oops, me a my runaway mouth, would have been an amazing design job with a motorcycle manufacturer and last stage of interviews 😆


    I went for an interview once and it went so badly I phoned up the recruitment agent afterwards and told them to forget about it. Next day she told me they thought I was great and when could I start.

    So don’t give up yet – you never know.


    A interviewer told me I should take my first Job at McDonald’s while at school/uni off my CV

    I mentioned it was significantly more successful than this business and left the interview. The guy was Just like Ricky out The Office – I was not interested.


    First interview feedback: They really like you, your laid back vibe will really fit in with the team.

    Second interview feedback: Not dynamic enough.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs

    Had an interview once for what the Recruitment Agency described as a “Technical Support” position in a chemical company (which I can do). Turned out to be mostly marketing. I know nothing about marketing.

    The interview didn’t go well, the interviewer and I both agreed to end it early as it was a waste of both our time. Next day the useless pile of shite that masqueraded as a Recruitment Agency had the nerve to phone me up and tell me I hadn’t got the job…

    Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire

    Worst job interview was for a higher post in my first employer out of uni.
    Interview panel was my line manager at the time, another former line manager and a senior manager I’d done a lot of project work with. I didn’t get any of the posts on offer as I ‘didn’t surprise them with work I’d done in the past or bring anything new to the organisation’.
    Turns out that I’d scored highest in written application and consistently high in the interview.

    I realised at that point they were never going to give me the job from the start

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Went for a job in the CHAPS department of the bank I used to work for. Great interview:

    Her: “So of course, you won’t have any relevant experience with CHAPS paymsnts”
    Me: “Actually we use them all the time, I’ve spoken to you on the phone during investigations too.”
    Her: “No you haven’t.”
    Me: “We spoke yesterday, remember this conversation?”
    Her: “Oh yes! But you don’t have experience with the payment system.”
    Me: “Yes, I do”- then described the process in detail to her
    Her: “Oh! Well that’s interesting, I assumed you’d have no relevant experience”.

    Fine. Except later in the interview she suddenly said “Of course, you’ve got no CHAPS experience” again, as if we’d never had that 5 minute conversation. So I told her to forget it, if she wouldn’t listen to me in an interview I wasn’t interested in working for her, and left.

    I still got one of those “Sorry you didn’t get the job but you gave a strong performance” letters 😆


    My bro-in-law went for a job interview at a catholic school, as a temp teacher to cover maternity leave. As it was an agency posting, he felt he had to go, despite being very atheist.

    He was under the impression he’d be teaching English, as that was his subject.

    Interviewer: “Tell me, how will you include the Catholic doctrine in your maths lesson?”

    Bro-in-Law: “Maths? I’m an English teacher”

    Interviewer: “Oh, in that case, how will you include it in your english lesson?”

    He walked out.

    A week later he got offered a weeks work at a Catholic school in Rochdale, which was very amusing.

    Went for an interview with a small support company for startup Hedgefunds in the City, first two went well, third was to meet the CEO, bit scared of this but a really nice relaxed chap. Finished the interview with a handshake and told me he was more than happy to welcome me to the team as long as my would be manager was happy with me. Fourth interview was with the manager (getting annoyed by this point) who turned out to be off ill so had a chat with a would be colleague. Nice guy who said he would give me the job there and then if he could. Got invited for a fifth with the manager again, but this got cancelled twice before I was told they werent recuiting anymore. Very annoyed as I sank over £10 into travel each time, plus skiving off work to be there. Shame as it was a huge payrise and great opportunity, all they had to say was I had the job!


    Aren’t agencies great for not having a clue how your experience and aptitude matches to jobs? I had one that kept trying to get me jobs at banks doing things like corporate finance because I had previous experience working for a bank on my CV. Experience of working for a bank, in their IT department..


    Support worker job,

    One of the service users was on the panel, so interested he was in hearing my interview he fell asleep, snoring throughout, massive distraction.

    Non the less I got the job!

    Premier Icon Northwind

    edlong – Member

    Aren’t agencies great for not having a clue how your experience and aptitude matches to jobs?

    Yours is relatively tame- we sent a job description to our temp agency that stressed high level of literacy required. Apparently their matching saw “illiterate” as a match for that, they sent us 3 people that couldn’t read or write english. Poor sods.


    I had one where I was asked to write SQL queries on a whiteboard as the interviewer came up with scenarios. I’d said I knew SQL, but what I meant was “I did it a year or 2 back and I could pick it up again quickly if I needed to.” Couldn’t do it, felt like a bit of a d!ck, didn’t get the job.

    On a different note I’ve just been offered a job even though I came out thinking my interview was pretty “meh”. So you never know until you hear.


    MrSalmon – to be fair, you didn’t know SQL then did you?


    Xiphon dont be that guy haha 🙄



    Your selling a faintly-hidden-Paedo book.

    Yes whats wrong with it/Amazon likes freedom of speach.

    I got up and walked out but I called them morally-corrupt first. The agency wasn’t happy..

    b r

    I use to run an IT Development dept and had a 50/50 perm/contract mix of developers. When I took over there was a couple of ‘lacking’ contractors, so I got rid of them and asked my Lead Developer to create a 30 min quiz covering technical areas he felt they should know.

    1st contractor sat down, read the paper and promptly walked out…

    2nd contractor sat down, spent 30 mins writing and then in the ‘interview’ raised some relevent questions about the quiz and proposed some improvements – so we hired him.


    Went for a job at BT back in the day and got held up before the interview. Luckily a mate told the manager that I was going to be there and I had the interview. It went well, ish, but I never found out anything about getting the role until after I’d taken a contract at the BT department on the same floor. I replied to the latter or BT headed paper, in a BT envelope, through the BT internal post with my BT post point as the return address.

    That was fun.


    Swoons over b r


    Mr. Murphy, what attracts you to the leisure industry?

    In a word, pleasure. My pleasure in other people’s leisure.

    What do you see as your main strengths?

    I love people. All people. Even people that no one else loves,
    I think they’re OK, you know. Like Beggars.

    Homeless people?

    No, not homeless people. Beggars, Francis Begbie — one of my mates.
    I wouldn’t say my best mate, I mean, sometimes the boy goes over
    the score, like one time when we — me and him — were having a laugh
    and all of a sudden he’s f***ing gubbed me in the face, right —

    Mr. Murphy, leaving your friend aside,
    do you see yourself as having any weaknesses?

    No. Well, yes. I have to admit it: I’m a perfectionist.
    For me, it’s the best or nothing at all.
    If things go badly, I can’t be bothered,
    but I have a good feeling about this interview.
    Seems to me like it’s gone pretty well.
    We’ve touched on a lot of subjects,
    a lot of things to think about, for all of us.

    Thank you, Mr. Murphy. We’ll let you know.

    The pleasure was mine. Best interview I’ve ever been to. Thanks.


    Last one i had was Ridiculous …

    Q1 – “what does your partner do for a living ?”

    Q2 – “… and how much does she earn ?”

    WTF ??

    Needless to say i lost interest after their opening gambit – I dont know what the point of it was but speaking to a mate in HR, Q2 was borderline illegal, and no, i didnt answer it …


    I ended up in an argument about the relevance of a psychological profiling test in which half a dozen questions were rephrased in enough ways to fill several pages.

    An interview works both ways and that was one company I left knowing I didn’t want to work for.


    I got through to the last round of interviews. It was down to me and one other candidate.

    My interview went well, when it finished, I got up, shook the womens hand and as I walked out (backwards for some reason) I fell over a knee high filing cabinet and landed on my arse in the doorway, legs in the air like an upturned tortoise. 😳

    I didn’t get the job.


    my two worst, first at Rolls Royce, mind went blank when asked how a jet engine worked.

    Second, i turned up 1 month late, they put the wrong date on the letter inviting me to interview.


    Treaclesponge sounds exactly like my first job in London.
    Turned out to be utter crooks.

    I walked out on day two. FSA closed them a year later.


    My last one was bizarre. For a well know Scottish academic organisation.

    There were four people, they kept me waiting ages while one of them had a chat with his pal in the corridor (right in front of me) how rude. Admitted they were only interviewing 3 people, then argued with each other during the interview about how much the post would work for each of their departments. One guy asked a really really obscure question about a recent journal article on a technical aspect of the profession, referred to by the writer’s name. When I asked him to elaborate he seemed thrilled I didn’t know the reference, then bored all of us for about 10 minutes explaining why he disagreed with the writer.

    They asked me straight out if I wanted the job (by that stage, NO) and when I said I would have to give it some serious thought (NO) one guy got really ill-tempered with me. I felt like writing to them giving my feedback on their performance as interviewers. While I appreciate their time there were numerous excellent interviewers, it was a difficult choice, and I will keep their organisation on file.

    It was like playing against a really crap team in sports, your performance suffers.


    best bad one was the 1 hour rant about how the ambulance service was failing (I got the job)

    Worst was for the old Avon ambulance service in Bristol. I drove from Leeds to Bristol for the interview after a night shift. The assessments went really well, the role play went well, physical was fine. In the interview I had all the right answers and was on fire, but could tell they really were looking for any excuse not to hire me. It ended with them saying that in order to take the job I had to be measured for my uniform before friday. It was thursday at 4.45 and the measuring place was across town and shut at 5. Being of passable intelligence, I rang them, explained the situation, they agreed to stay late and I was there by 5.15, fully measured and ready to go. Still didn’t get the job despite driving bristol to Leeds twice for various assessments and passing everything. I asked for feedback but never heard anything.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout

    Mr Matt_outandabout, you are the first supply teacher this term to make it through the day without walking out, calling for backup or the police. Would you like a permanent job?

    Your school has issues. Thank you, but no.


    Interviewer: Do you speak Welsh?
    Me: No
    Interviewer: That’s ok. We’ll start off in Welsh and you just join in when you’re feeling confident.


    I went for a finance job at an engineering firm about 11 years ago. The FD was an utter turd in the one to one interview. He sat ploughed in his chair, arms folded, sneering down his nose at me and was generally hostile.

    I spoke recently to a new employee at my current employer and she mentioned having to deal with this bloke as part of her previous job. He was deliberately obstructive, never paid invoices until the very last warning and just a nasty person to deal with.

    Needless to say I am glad I didn’t get the job.


    At the last interview I had I was certain I’d failed when I answered one question (full of wankspeak) with ‘Im sorry, but I simply don’t understand what you’re asking, and I don’t have an answer’. I later found out that that was the answer they were most pleased with, because they didn’t really get the question either.


    Went for an interview at an engineering standards lab once. From memory (that I’ve tried really hard to erase) it was located in the 7th circle of hell, one of the commuter towns around the north side of the M25. It was so incredibly dull, you could almost touch the lack of joy. As I was on a contract of limited time with nothing else lined up, I went for a second interview 🙄

    Got offered the job but turned it down twice after they came back with 25% more cash. Found something fascinating but paying 40% less around 2 weeks after. I still see it as akin to a brush with death, the place was so lifeless 🙂


    I had a rather lengthy interview last year for a “government instillation” I had to fill in masses of vetting paper work for weeks before hand and do an online test that took an hr,

    I was invited to attend an interview I turnede up early but was left for a whole hr in the gatehouse as the facility is shared with another agency and they failed to inform the second agency of my arrival,
    That little issue out the way I was led into the ‘inner sanctum’ ,
    After coffee I was introduced to the first interviewer a occupational psyhiatrist, an hr went by really well,
    More coffee and my second hr of the day was spent with an interviewer from hr, that went well too,
    More coffee then I was introduced to the two men who would be my mangers,
    By this time I was getting a little frazzled,
    It started fine but then they asked me a rather odd technical question which ran along the lines of explaining who I would go about designing a automatic gearbox on a mountain bike!,
    That was the nail in the coffin as I suddenly went into a rant on what a ridiculous idea that would be, I couldn’t be shut up 8| , I proceeded to undue all the good work I had done that morning finally being pulled up by the pair of them who then told me I would probably not be asked back,
    Money was crap anyway


    I have several.

    First was the interview in a hotel, where the receptionists failed to let the interviewers know I was there. I kept walking up to reception and they kept telling me they would let me know when the interviewers wanted to see me. After an hour and a quarter a chap walked into the room and called my name, I walked up to introduce myself and he said, that they have been waiting over an hour for me! I did get offered the job, but turned it down.

    Another was in another hotel, which is diabolically difficult for parking. I made it into reception about 30 seconds late and the first thing the interviewer said was YOU’RE LATE, I turned that one down as well, the bloke was a complete knob!

    Finally, there was the second interview for a large company, with the HR Director, who I had met at the first interview and also the Sales Director.

    It wasn’t apparent straight away, but I slowly realised the Sales Director was pissed, this was confirmed later in the interview when he went to sleep!

    I got the job.


    Skiboy = troll 🙄


    Give us 3 pos and 3 neg points about yourself?

    I gave them 3 neg then 3 pos.

    Err.. the last 3 we neg as well – do you have any pos?


    On my way home I got offered the job. Turned it down.
    When I got home I got offered the job again +10k.

    Must be the honesty thing…. or all the others must have really sucked.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob

    Not strictly an interview but it’s certainly the worst experience.

    This was back in summer 2000. I’d left uni with no idea what to do with myself. I’d been working for my old man’s construction company for a while as a mechanic. My then girlfriend decided to dump me so I went a bit mental and suddenly decided to move to Holland. Lasted about 3 months there then came home and got back with the ex (sort of). Her dad owned a roofing company and he gave me a job as a labourer. 8-5 Monday to Friday for £50 a week. A the time I thought this was acceptable…

    Anyway, one day I’m at a site and the girlfriend’s dad turns up and starts telling me the correct way to put rubbish in a skip 😯

    Decided enough was enough and I needed a “proper” job so picked up the paper and saw an ad for a “trainee marketing executive”. Phoned up and got an interview the next day up in Glasgow. Turned up for the interview looking like Patrick Bateman, mega cool office, unbelievably hot receptionist, interview with very slick young guy who talked about their top people getting flown to awards ceremonies and stuff. No real mention of what the job involved and I was very naive. I got invited back the next day to “get out in the field” with one of their executives. This is where the fun started.

    Turned up the next day suited and booted, looking mega slick and I was paired up with a total bam and we were given our bus fare out to some hellish council estate on the edge of Glasgow where we spent the morning going door to door trying to get people to sign up to charity direct debits.

    After about three hours the mega keen bam turned and asked me if I thought I could do the job, to which I said yes. He asked if I wanted to do it, to which I said no…

    5 minutes later I was on my own on the bus back to Glasgow. Soul destroying stuff at the time. 😆


    After three weeks of being unemployed, I finally hit the job centre in Aberdeen. Back in those days, if you weren’t proud, or very, very stupid, you were guaranteed to come out with a job.

    I went with the most promising sounding card and exited with an interview to be held at the Mariott for a sales job, OTE 30K, company car, etc.

    Turned up at the hotel, along with about 100 other folk and was immediately suspicious. 70 people were immediately asked to leave, for no obvious reason and the remaining few were called in for interview, one after the other.

    The first few questions were normal enough, then BAM! “Be a chicken”. Pardon? “BE A CHICKEN! GO ON”! So I behaved like a chicken. This was followed by a few more ‘normal’ questions, then; “Tell us a joke”.

    I can’t repeat the joke I told – last time I got banned for a week: suffice to say it was massively offensive, but it was the only joke I could think of in a high pressure situation. The interview was designed to weed out those with any sense of pride or decency. I passed and got the job.

    Southern Electric are a huge bunch of Tuesdays (see you next). Once I’d passed, they finally lifted the curtain of secrecy. The job was going door to door trying to convince people to change their gas and electric billing company. During the coldest, snowiest winter in living memory.

    Lasted two months – I could carry on all night with tales of depravity and gangster-management tactics (running over errant staff with BMWs – really) but I won’t.

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