15 Employers Share the Worst Responses They've Ever Heard During a Job Interview
There are countless ways to mess up a job interview – showing up late, being too nervous, blanking on a question – but it’s likely you’ve never messed up this badly.
On Reddit, 15 employers shared the absolute worst answers they’ve ever gotten during a job interview, and we promise it will make you feel better about all of your past gaffes.
1. “One guy brought his mom in with him – she answered the questions I was asking him until I asked her wait outside. Then, when I asked him about his work experience, his only work experience was a paper route he kept for less than two months and mowing his neighbor’s lawn.”
2. “I worked at a company that did one thing; we made a very specialized kind of device. For the sake of anonymity, I’ll call these devices ‘Widgets.’ One time we were interviewing a guy, and I asked him ‘What do you think of Widgets?’ Him: ‘Oh, those are a fad. They’re actually pretty useless.'”
3. “I was conducting interviews for a photographer position. I asked the interviewee about her experience with cameras, and she told me that everyone in her generation were experienced with cameras/photographers because of their phones.”
4. “We interviewed a student for a part-time job, and he struggled a bit with the English language as a foreign Indian student. When asked what his hobbies were, he said ‘children.’ We asked for him to elaborate on his response, and he said he liked to play with children because it made him happy. Then we asked for a few words his friends would use to describe him. He said ‘stupid.’ I could feel the heat on my boss’s face as she tried to not burst out laughing. We decided not to hire him when he crashed one of our vehicles during a test drive.”
5. “I asked a teenager what some of his weaknesses were, and he replied, ‘Fire.'”
6. “I was interviewing someone for a biology teaching position at a middle school. Me: ‘And can you give an example of the last time you applied your lab skills outside of your classroom?’ Applicant: ‘I have many opportunities to do dissections.’ Me: ‘That’s great, is that over at the university?’ Applicant: ‘No, I live by some woods and animals are always wandering into my yard. If you have a scalpel I can show you.’ He then opened his backpack to reveal about half a dozen lizards and frogs, and one completely dead rodent.”
7. “I ran an interview for my valet job in college when the boss was away for two weeks on vacation, and essentially had a questionnaire prompt that I was reading off of. Me: ‘Do you smoke?’ Him: ‘Smoke what?’ Me: ‘Cigarettes?’ Him: ‘Oh, no. Not cigarettes.'”
8. “Someone an interview asked, ‘What excites you?’ She said, ‘Men.'”
9. “My boss and I were in an interview with this woman who mentioned her husband in every answer. ‘My husband would love this place; my husband started this company; my husband just made this film.’ It got so bad that my boss finally told her it sounded like her husband should work there, not her.”
10. “I interviewed this lady once for a customer service specialist type position. She referred to herself in the third person throughout the entire interview. Example: ‘Tell me about a potentially volatile interaction where you needed to remain calm and professional.’ To which she responded: ‘Well at XYZ doctor’s office, this lady came in and said she was upset about her bill, so Mary just told her to calm down and that Mary would help her figure it out.'”
11. “I was auditioning a tenor for a paid singer’s position in the church choir – an excellent group of singers, mostly professional. His singing in the audition piece he chose was flat. When I asked if he could correct the pitch problem if hired for the job, he said, ‘It’s good enough for church. Who cares if it’s accurate?'”
12. “This was a person applying for a chemist job at a state-run crime lab. Interviewer: ”When was the last time you purchased, possessed, or consumed illegal drugs?’ Applicant: ‘Uhhh, (looks at watch). Like what time today?'”
13. “I was interviewing a candidate for an IT manager-type of position. He told me that he had been fired from his last position. Before I could inquire as to the reason, the candidate added, ‘Funny thing is, the same day my boss fired me was the same day he decided that he needed a punch in the face.'”
14. “I asked a guy what his greatest weakness was. His face looked like he was concentrating really hard, and then he said, ‘Is that a trick question? I hear you guys do that to weed people out.’ I tell him no, and he continues thinking … only to tell me that ‘I don’t think I have any weaknesses.’ I still encourage him to come up with one, just because at this point I want to just see what he says … and he tells me, ‘OH! Being on time!'”
15. “I was introducing myself in the interview, saying that I had been there eight years as a Python developer, and then the dude interrupted me to explain how much he hated Python and why it sucked.”
All posts have been edited from Reddit for length and clarity.