Interview fails - Part 2

Interview fails - Part 2
Marie Ryan

Marie Ryan


We scoured the web for the best (or worst) interview fails. We're sharing the ones that made us laugh the most.

Fashion disasters

  • A candidate showed up for an interview wearing a wife-beater vest and baseball shorts. 
  • One time a guy showed up wearing flip-flops, a tank top, and swim trunks. This was not appropriate attire for a job not involving a pool or beach.
  • A lady showed up in flip flops and a big gulp.


  • I once interviewed a guy who told me I could not assess his candidature by asking a few questions and we would only discover his greatness once we had already hired him.
  • I received a cover letter/resume submission and the first sentence of the cover letter was, "I'm probably overqualified for this position, but..." Delete.
  • Had another where I asked the usual “what’s your weakness?”. His very snarky response “what’s yours?”.
  • I interviewed a young woman who interrupted me over and over. "I know all about that". I know so much that I can probably teach you. "That's so easy everybody can do that." 
  • My wife was interviewing a person who received a call during the interview and held up their finger in the old "please hold on a second while I take this" gesture.
  • I was hiring for a senior position paying somewhere in the region of $90k. Not a horrible salary, especially in the location I was hiring for. I explain to the guy how the interview process will work. I then ask my first question. 

Candidate: "That's your first question?”

Interviewer: “Yeah”

Candidate: "Well, that's an odd first question. Most people want to know about the gap in my resume."

Interviewer: "Nope, don't care. Can you answer my question?"

Candidate: "The gap is there because I wrote a book."

Interviewer: "Okay. I wasn't concerned. Can we get back to my question?"

Candidate: "It was optioned for a movie. I'm shopping a second book around now."

  • "We both know I'm going to get the job." The candidate did not get the job.
  • The candidate spent the entire interview talking about how awesome they were and how we would be lucky to hire them.
  • I had this guy that just kept telling me how much better he's made every company he's worked for and how it will be the best decision I ever made to hire him.
  • Company’s female office manager walked into the conference room to interview a young male candidate. Before she could introduce herself, he said, “I’m all set, I don’t want any coffee.”
  • I was in a group interview where a guy answered his phone not once... not twice... but three separate times.
  • When I was interviewing for a training position, a candidate said "It's not my job to make people learn".
  • A candidate argued with one of the interviewers when they told them how they could improve their presentation.
  • During interviews, my old boss liked to walk people around the area (if he'd thought that they were going to make it to the next round of interviews).

During one such interview, the interviewee pulled out his phone and was texting the whole time. Each time my boss would say something he'd get a "uh-huh" or "yeah k" as a response.

  •  We interviewed a young man for a customer service position who wore his jacket, slid halfway down his chair, played with his keys, and looked like he could not have been more bored. When we told him he did not get the job he was shocked!


  • The interviewee question was answered with a "yeah" or "naw." We skipped at least half of the interview questions. 
  • Interviewed a candidate one time and got to ask two questions in an hour. He talked the rest of the time. Didn’t get the job and the applicant couldn’t understand why.
  • A candidate barely answered any of my questions with answers that related to the question.  When we didn't hire him, he emailed our HR department to say I was clearly using unfair hiring practices and that we wasted his time even interviewing him if there was no intention to hire him at the start.
  • So our industry is finance and the job spec talks about 'securities' which is basically stocks, shares, bonds, etc. This guy turned up and started talking about hackers.
  • The one who didn't speak English was a highlight. It lasted less than 5 minutes.
  • One guy was only able to confirm his name at the start, and blanked every other question out of nerves, even what his hobbies were or if he found finding the place easy.
  • A candidate’s phone rang during the interview. She actually took out her phone, checked it, and replied, while I was asking her a question.
  • A candidate shows up on time, but smelling lightly of french fries. "I hope you don't mind, but I didn't get to take a lunch break yet today..." she said, opening a fast food bag.

"Then you'll be pleased to know that our lunch room is down the hall on the left, and when you finish eating, you are free to go. This interview is over," and he left without another word.

  • I recently interviewed a guy who kept talking about his parents. Not helpful. I don't want to know what kinds of challenges your mom and dad faced in their careers. They're not the ones applying for this job. It sounds like you have no idea how to navigate the world on your own.
  • I look very young for my age. It's probably my fault but I keep getting asked "Are you REALLY the manager/interviewer?" The person who does the interview with me just laughs after.
  • We had a really smart guy that answered all of our questions perfectly. Then at one point, I think we maybe asked him what one of his weaknesses was, he launched into this discussion about how he's really stubborn and when he thinks he's right he'll fight for it. Now that's actually fine, but then he went on to imply that he had a job previously where a colleague disagreed with him but was wrong and shit hit the fan. No details, but the way he talked about it sounded like it came to fisticuffs. Can't hire a guy that's going to punch one of us in the face if the team wants to override one of his decisions.
  • I had a guy forget what company he was interviewing with, what position he was interviewing for, and what time the interview was. It was pretty impressive.

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