When interviewing for a job, it’s important to make a good first impression. Duh. Everyone knows that. But in reality, it’s impossible to ace every single job interview you’ll ever have in your life. No matter how much you prepare, sometimes thye just don’t go well. Maybe you’re not a good fit for a particular company, or maybe you and the interviewer don’t have chemistry, or maybe you’re just having an off day. It’s no fun to walk away from a job interview empty handed, but it happens to all of us. Best just to learn from the experience and move on.
But you know what’s even worse than that? Screwing up a job interview so badly that it you still cringe when you think about it years later. Yep, that happens to people too. We’ve collected 15 bona fide job interview trainwrecks from Buzzfeed and Reddit.
If you’ve screwed up a job interview this badly, you know how it feels. And if you haven’t screwed up a job interview this badly, consider yourself lucky.
To be fair, these “outside the box” sort of questions are already pretty stupid.
The woman interviewing me for a job as an assistant for a magazine asked me what a weakness of mine was and I replied very seriously:
“Well, I do not know how to hoolahoop”.
“I pretended to sneeze because I was trying to think of an answer. It was super obvious that it was fake, and one of my interviewers laughed.”
“During an interview I had “Everything Comes Down to Poo” from the My Musical episode of Scrubs running through my head. I kept laughing, but tried to play it off as a tickling cough.”
“I was once asked what type of furniture I’d be, and rather than thinking through the best way to phrase my response, I blurted out “lawn chair because I’m cheap and easy”. I immediately regretted my impulse answer.”
“I went to the bathroom prior to my interview…turns out I sat through the entire interview with my fly down.”
I once panicked after getting a call back while cooking and ran outside away from my barking dogs with only the phone, a knife, and a potato where I accidentally locked myself out and told the employer “sorry, sorry, hold on I’m writing the number on a potato”. In the next interview, I accidentally said fuck.
Still got the job.
“Wore my shirt backwards by accident and spent the whole interview with a red face trying to hold my neck just in case she could see my tag seams.”
“I used the term abreast while answering a question about technical expertise. No big deal except I couldn’t stop using it after that. I said abreast approximately 10 more times…it was a tragic broken record that I just.couldn’t.stop.”
“Closed by accidentally saying “thanks so much! Have a bad day!”
“I was looking to move departments when I worked for my school’s library and I had an interview with one of the directors in his office. I was trying to make small talk and noticed a picture on his desk of a woman and a dog. I gestured toward it and said “is that an Irish Setter?” He looked up at me, paused, and with the straightest face said “no, that’s my wife”.
He didn’t laugh or smile. I didn’t laugh or smile. And a long awkward silence followed.
I ended up getting the job.”
“I had a video interview for a very large company. The computer would ask a question and record your answer to send to management. You had 30 seconds, no more no less, to answer the question. For one question, I ran out of things to talk about so I decided to stand really still and not blink for 15 seconds to make it look like the video froze…”
“Flew in for an interview, had 102 fever. When one of the interviewers asked if I had flown in that morning, I responded ‘yes, and boy, are my arms tired!’ Crickets. Not a sound in the room.
Needless to say, I did NOT get the job.”
“A few years ago, I was interviewing at an organic grocery store. The interview was held in an upstairs office. Once done, the lady who interviewed me walked me downstairs. Being the clutz that I am, I tripped walking downstairs. On my way down, I grabbed the interviewer lady’s hair (hard) to try to help myself. I pulled her all the way down with me and we both tumbled down a few stairs. She tried to be cool about it, but she was very obviously pissed that I pulled her hair in an attempt to save my clumsy ass. Not to mention, I’m pretty sure I must have ripped out some of her hair.”
“I was talking so fast I didn’t realise I drooled on the conference table!”
“I was young and the only stockings I had were the kind that attach to garters. As the interviewer and I walked to her office, I felt the first two garters snap. When I sat down across from her, I felt the remaining two garters snap. I knew when I stood up my stockings would fall to my ankles. I spent the entire interview fishing under my skirt with both hands trying to attach one garter to each stocking. The interviewer probably thought I was diddling myself!
Didn’t get the job, but I did get out of there with my stockings in place!”