Tell Us Your Worst Job Interview Experiences

Tell Us Your Worst Job Interview Experiences
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Job interviews have the potential to either be exciting, hopeful experiences, or be a complete disaster. What was your absolute worst job interview experience?

Photo by David Blackwell

Maybe the job description you read beforehand didn’t line up with the job they ended up talking about. Maybe the interviewer got a little too personal. Or maybe things looked bad from the start so the whole process just felt like a complete waste of time. Whatever the reason, we want to hear about your biggest nightmare interviews.


  • I have been asked if I have kids. I knew it was a banned question, but I wanted the job. It’s not like you can say ‘Sorry – you can’t ask me that’, and then continue to get the job.

    This was from a big firm as well that should know better. Ended up getting the job. If I didn’t I would have reported them.

  • My worst experience was when I umm’ed and ahh’ed over every answer and couldn’t answer a basic question surrounding writing a formal document. Why? When I walked in to the interview I was greeted with: “Just so you know, we have already decided to make an internal hire for this role. We are required by HR to interview five people for this role, so let’s just treat this as a practice for you, ok?”

      • I would have walked out and charged them for my petrol, bus or taxi fare.
        Or plane ticket if I was in another state.

    • O_o
      Never mind that you’ve reorganised your entire day to get there in time for an interview. That’s just downright ridiculous.

    • I would have demanded to see a rep from HR and demand to be reimbursed for my wasted time…. if not then I would then report them to ACCC for fraudulent advertisement and the website that posted the add.

  • I had a third round interview. The interviewer said “I have the transcript from the last interview, I know you had to provide unique answers to the questions, I am going ask the same questions again and you have to give new unique answers”.

    I gave it shot but he kept telling me I was giving the same answers. Eventually I said lets not waste any more time here thanks for the opportunity shook his hand and left.

    HR called me a few hours later freaking out – no one has ever walked out before (global consulting firm), I explained the situation and said I did not want to work for a company that had people like my interviewer (he was a real d*%$).

    The interview worked in a way as I was not what they were looking for.

    I spoke to my friend who proposed me and explained and all he could offer was that the interviewer was a real d*%$.

  • Went in for a basic web dev/data entry type job which was for a local government members office and ended up being asked if I would be interested in doing a S&M/Bondage website….I left pretty quickly.

    • I don’t see the issue with a Web developer being asked this question, if a client is a porn company it might be good to make sure if a new hire is OK with that.

      Clearly you where not right for the position…. or did you mean they wanted to be IN a BDSM S/M website and got the leather cuffs out and a whip… because that would be very different (and I bet the pay would be better and a Web dev/data entry job)

  • I was one of the two final interviewees applying for a International Marketing Managerfor a Sports Apparel brand. I had gone through 4 interviews and on my final one I was interviewed by somebody different. All my hard work went down the drain when I was asked if I could start the next day.

    The company had outlined in their job description that there was a two week probation period once the successful applicant had been found and the interviewer decided to screw us over by changing the hand-over period at that moment.

    Would have said yes, could have said yes, but I had told my previous interviewer and the boss that I needed 2 weeks notice.

  • Not so much a nightmare interview, but more me being a moron. Out of uni, I was applying to some mining companies up in Queensland, and had several interviews coming up.

    So I went into the first interview having thoroughly researched Rio Tinto, and why I wished to work with them. The first question of the interview comes up: “So what do you know about XStrata?”

    … oops. Turns out the Rio interview was the one 3 days later.

  • Worst experience I had was being interviewed for an authoring role. It was conducted by the head of the dept and her assistant. Basically they greeted me, but then let me wait 10 minutes in a heated room with no aircon that had the brightest interrogation chamber lights ever.
    During the interview I was asked a number of standard questions, but each time I answered (some hesitantly and some with confidence) a question they would stare at you with faces that could eat through your soul. They also wrote EVERYTHING down on their notepads, up to a point where if I would scratch my ear or adjust my seating position slightly, there it went on paper.
    They also asked me to elaborate more on the simplest questions like, how to change a light bulb.
    You disconnect, take lightbulb out, insert new one, turn power back on. But they wanted more?
    So all they did was stare at me and then when 10 seconds were up, they actually shouted
    TOO LATE!! on to the next question.

    I didn’t get the role. But would I really have wanted it after that ordeal? haha

  • I was interviewed for a role, it went fairly well and I was invited to complete a psychometric assessment. After completing the assessment I was turned down for the role without any further feedback or explanation.

    When I asked for feedback, I was offered it – “Verbal feedback is $250 + GST and the Written Report is $400 + GST”. Probably the single biggest act of bastardry I’ve encountered from a prospective employer.

  • Was going to an interview on the other side of town that I wasn’t familiar with, and was told the wrong train station to get off at.

    After wandering around a very sketchy industrial area for half an hour, getting increasing creeped out by the few people I did see around, a divvy van pulled up and the cops asked if I knew where I was.

    Turned out I was wandering around an area rife with junkies and dealers, looking like someone ripe for mugging/stabbing/worse.

    Cops offered to give me a lift to my interview (which was in 10 minutes, and we were a 10 minute drive away), catch was, being a divvy van, the only spare seat was in the cell in the back.

    Got to my interview on time (thanks to liberal use of sirens/lights), but spent the entire interview paranoid that I smelt like the back of divvy van (mixture of alcohol, piss, poo, vomit and that awful smell people’s skin gets when they don’t wash for over a week). Did however get the job 🙂

  • I got to the almost final round for ASIO. Interview was with a stone faced guy but was going well. Then he asked me about drugs and when I last indulged. How the heck can you look at a trained spy in the eye and try to infer that you experimented but once or twice in your life when a few weeks before you were off your tits laughing at a wall?

  • Went for an I.T. job at Phillip Morris. Interviewing manager greets me and sits down. He pulls out a ciggie and asks if I mind if he smokes. I say “yes, I do”. He says “you’re not going to fit in here are you?”. I say “no” and we stand and shake hands. Interview over in less than 1 minute, beat that.
    I hope PM are getting lawsuit after lawsuit from ex-staff claiming damages for passive smoking in the office. Every other company had banned smoking in the office years before this happened but I guess when you’re making the cancer sticks it looks bad to ban it in your own offices.

  • I went for an interview at a “casino” and the interviewer asked me to close the door when I came into his office. It was on one of those gas strut things (that close the door slowly) and I gave it a gentle push which didn’t speed things up at all – in fact it slowed it down. The interviewer said to push it harder and I pointed up at the strut and he yelled “Just push the door closed!”
    So I did, and it shattered the wood frame and sent the gas strut bouncing across the floor.

    He jumped up and spent a few minutes examining the door and mumbling under his breath, then he walked back to his desk and motioned for me to sit down.
    I apologized for the 20th time and passed him a copy of my resume (which he flicked back towards me as if it was poisonous to the touch), so I started to tell him about my self and my work history. For the next ten minutes he did not say a word, except to grunt for me to continue, while glaring at me the whole time with big wide eyes and gritted teeth.

    When I was done he said, “You know where the door was.” and refused to shake my hand even though I held it out for a good 10 seconds. I thanked him for his time and slowly walked out.

    The receptionist asked how it went and I apologized because her boss was going to be in a bad mood for the rest of the day, she smiled, said “No, I’m sorry.” and nodded knowingly.


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