Job Interview Horror Stories

Mar 22 2011 in Featured, Interviews, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

Here’s another awesome article by Amy Levin-Epstein, published 3/10/11 in her “On The Job” column at

Amy talks about a humorous (and educational!) site, where readers can submit their own job interview horror stories.

The site isn’t just good for a laugh, but readers can recognize and learn from their own self-destructive job interview behavior by reading the stories of others. But then again, you’ve never had any bad interviews, have you?

” Going on an interview can feel like a first date — except with your livelihood at stake instead of a goodnight kiss. There’s the same forced conversation and posturing, but without pleasant perks like a meal or glass of wine.

I remember an interview during which I couldn’t stop laughing awkwardly, due to nerves. And another where my phone started ringing off the hook with family and friends calling to see how it went. (Uh, badly — because I forgot to turn off my phone.)

Still, don’t beat yourself up over an interview gone awry. Better to accept the lessons (ahem, turn phone off) and move on to the next one — which is why Jon Allen started, a collection of interview tales so cringe-worthy they’ll make you laugh.

“It allows people to both vent frustrations they have about job searching and also gain some perspective. These stories are also a great ‘learn by example’ of what not to do on your next interview,” says Allen … “

By Amy Levin-Epstein

Article continued at:

Here are a few excerpts from you might enjoy:

” I Sounded Like Daffy Duck

I had received an e-mail from the CEO of the company on a Monday scheduling a job interview for the following Friday afternoon. On Thursday night before the Friday interview I lost a crown off of one of my back teeth. Since dentists in my city typically do not work on Fridays, I was forced to go online and search for an emergency dentist who would be able to glue my tooth back on before the afternoon interview. Well no sooner was I in the dentist’s chair than they announced that I needed an emergency root canal in the area of the missing tooth. I mentioned my afternoon appointment and was told that they would get me out of the dental office ‘in plenty of time.’ I thought we were going to make it until I suddenly realized that they were re-numbing my entire mouth about 2 hours before the interview … “

The Spontaneous Horticulturist

I can’t remember the fellow’s name, but a job candidate once came into my office holding the cup of water that he’d poured himself in the lobby. He drank it all, then leaned over and spit it into the potted plant. This was the closest I’ve ever come to saying, “The interview is actually over now; thanks so much for your time.” I didn’t do that. I tried to talk to the guy and carried on for about 45 minutes, trying to get the image of him spitting into my plant out of my mind. But alas, his chances of employment with us had … (wait for it, it’s worth it ….)

… withered on the vine.

What Do You Know About Me?

In his memoir Kitchen Confidential, New York chef Anthony Bourdain describes how he was once close to clinching a Park Avenue steakhouse job when the owner, a Scotsman with a thick brogue, asked: ‘What do you know about me?’

‘It really threw me (because) I had answered every other question perfectly,’ Mr. Bourdain recalls. But he hadn’t heard of the owner before, so he replied, ‘Next to nothing!’

The chef was politely escorted to the door and was halfway down the block before he realized he had misheard. The Scotsman had actually asked, ‘What do you know about meat?’

Readers – How about you? Please comment with your own interview horror stories. I’m sure you’ve got some great ones – Please share!


Want to do more than just complain about a bad economy?

To attend our next complimentary live webinar featuring action items to double your resume response rate and number of interviews, plus live career Q&A with Phil Rosenberg of reCareered, register at .

Available Now On Amazon: Job Search Secrets - Rethink Your Job Search Now, By Phil Rosenberg

Phil shows you why your current job search strategies work against you and how to replace them with strategies that improve your odds. Phil provides you with research - cold, hard statistics provided by job boards and hiring managers themselves, to show you what works for you and against you in the worst job market in our lifetimes.

Download Job Search Secrets on Amazon

Join our mailing list for newsletters, announcements of complimentary upcoming webinars and other job search resources. Sign up at

For access to more information:
Connect to Phil Rosenberg on Linkedin:
Follow reCareered on Linkedin:
Like reCareered on Facebook:
Follow Phil Rosenberg on Google+:
Follow reCareered on Twitter:
Join Career Change Central on Linkedin:

Author: Phil Rosenberg

You might also like

Job Interview? 9 Great Tips to Get You to Round 2 This is a great article by Amy Levin-Epstein published 2/24/11 in her "On The Job" column at Amy...
How To Be Successful At Telecommuting Many job seekers would love the idea of working from home at a telecommuting job. That's easy if the...
4 Common Linkedin Job Search Mistakes When I advise job search clients about their profiles, I see many who make the same mistakes. The...
Outplacement vs Career Coaching: Which is right for you? – Page 4 Which is right for you?It depends on your needs, how comfortable (or successful) you are at DIY job-search,...