Think you had the worst interview? Well some interviewees take unprofessional to the next level. Read on for some of our hiring managers’ craziest bad interview stories.
V for Vendetta
“I always ask interviewees about a conflict they had in the past and how they fixed it. People usually respond with stories about disagreements that arose during projects that they resolved through conversation and compromise. One girl however, told me about a long running vendetta she had with a coworker.
She felt like her coworker was undermining her at work, and in response she sabotaged his computer, hacked his email, and sent embarrassing messages from his account. She would also mess with his food in the break room fridge, like dumping a ton of salt into his lunch. She played it off like it was just a funny joke, but I started worrying she was an actual psychopath. That was probably my worst interview ever.”
A Loose Understanding of Business Casual
“As a hiring manager for a big box retailer, I’ve really seen it all. It is crazy the stuff people think is appropriate to wear to a job interview. One time, I had a man come in to an interview with a dirty stained T-shirt that read ‘I Honk for Blondes.’ Another time a young woman came to turn in an application in an outfit that could only be described as Coachella worthy: super short denim cut offs and a neon bikini top under a see-through white tank. A different interviewee showed up in a full fishing outfit, including rain boots, a fishing vest covered in pockets, and a floppy canvas hat. Our store does have an outdoor sporting good section, but he was applying to be a cashier up front.”
Claims They Were Framed
“I swear some of the people I have interviewed are completely unhinged. The worst interview I had was a woman who went on a 10 minute tirade about how her last boss hated her and framed her for stealing clothing from the boutique she worked at. She said that she was only ‘borrowing’ them for a friend’s wedding and was going to bring them back later. Needless to say, I didn’t hire her.”
An Interview Cut Short
“One time a man came into my office for an interview. We had just sat down and I started describing the job responsibilities when he jumped up and walked out of the room. ‘I’m sorry I can’t take this job, I am scared of bees,’ he said as left. Apparently he had seen a bee flying around my office. He never contacted us again. So strange.”
“The worst interview I ever had was with a young man in his early twenties who arrived for his interview with his mother in tow. While this seemed unprofessional, I assumed she had just driven him there, or was there for moral support. But when I called him back to my office, his mom got up to come in as well. I politely informed her that I conducted job interviews on a one on one basis. She was very resistant, saying that she needed to be there to help him answer the questions. I insisted, and she reluctantly stayed behind in the lobby. Halfway through the interview, the young man got stuck on a question and texted his mom for advice!”
You Know Nothing
“The worst interviews in my opinion are when the applicant seems totally unprepared. I conducted one job interview where the applicant responded to basically every question with ‘I don’t know.’
‘Why are you the best candidate for this job?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘What is the greatest challenge you faced and how did you overcome it?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘What is your best quality as an employee?’
‘I don’t know.’
The most confusing thing was that I’m pretty sure that he thought the interview went great!”
The Woman Who Didn’t Take No For an Answer
“I once gave a job interview to candidate that was pretty mediocre. At the end of the interview we shook hands and I told her I would be in touch after speaking to the other candidates. She showed up to the office on Monday ready to start work. We politely informed her that we were still interviewing other candidates and she went home. This scene repeated on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday before we straight up told her that she didn’t get the job and she could not come back to the building. That was definitely one of the worst interviews I’ve ever had.”
Avoid Being the Worst Interviewee
If you’re worried about about being the worst interview an HR manager has ever had, keep these cautionary tales in mind and avoid becoming one of many bad interview stories.