Hiring Managers Share Cringey Interview Stories

First dates have their own special breed of nerves that come along with the territory. However, I can think of something much more anxiety-spiking: job interviews. We tend to twist the truth during job interviews, which is likely a panic reaction that stems from a cocktail of nerves and desperation. Regardless of our own personal horror stories of interviewing for dream (or even interim) gigs, we should all feel better after the hiring managers share their worst interviews on Reddit, because damn, at least you aren't one of those humans.

Job interviews, I suspect, are the truest form of self-sabotage with which we biologically set ourselves up. Physical responses trigger and suddenly any room is way too hot. Breathing can grow strained as we pilfer through our mental arsenal of positive, professional traits, unable to think of all the great things about ourselves right at the moment when we most need to be able to articulate them. It's cruel, really, that exactly when you need your brain to be running on prime and your body to not mimic a fountain of sweat, there are really no promises. What's your own personal worst? I have a story similar to that time Rachel accidentally lip-kissed the hiring manager on Friends, but still not quite to that extent of suckdom (pun included, you're welcome).

Let's scope out some truly cringeworthy tales of job interviews gone very very wrong below:

DaTedinator couldn't act his age

I was interviewing with a relatively young tech startup, most of the execs around 30, that sort of thing. So we're laughing and joking and having a good time. Then the one guy in the office over 40 comes in, and they tell me he's probably who I'd be working directly under, so he's going to do a short interview now.

The first question was something like, "Would your friends say you're a hard worker?"

Still in the jocular mood, I reply, "Let's be honest... I would say yes to that even if it wasn't true."

His jaw drops. "Are you saying you would lie to me?" I searched desperately for a sign he was just messing with me, but no, he was seriously offended.

I didn't get the job.

mrcchapman actually found the perfect human

When asked about strengths and weaknesses, the candidate replied "I crave KFC and often get myself a bargain bucket."

I just didn't know what to say next, let alone whether they considered it a strength or a weakness.

babwawawa probably should have felt a little nervous

My first management job in IT, it was around 2001 or so. Hiring a general Windows/Solaris sysadmin. One guy comes in with a HUUUGE backpack. Do the interview, he's clearly on the spectrum, but I like him OK. Pretty smart, functional. As he's leaving, I casually ask, "What's in your bag?" He then explains that it's mostly O'Reilly books that he brings to all his interviews so he can prove people wrong if he needs to.

dainty_flower could stand to learn basic research skills

Me: can you tell me about the gap in 2010-12?Them: I took time out to work on myselfMe: Ok, so can you tell me why you left you last position?Them: I was asked to leave, and I have to disclose this, I embezzled from them.Me: So, did you work on yourself in prison between 2010-2012?Them: I don't think that's important.

Now I google people every single time before I interview them :)

maddomesticscientist accidentally discovered an ideal party buddy:

The guy showed up to his interview wearing pigtails, chunky club kid shoes, a kilt, striped tights, and a shirt that said "fuck" on it in big block letters. I passed him on to my boss to interview.

ishkabibbel2000 is basically the luckiest human of all time

I dunno... I once bet a friend that I'd to go to an interview looking like I was right off of the set of Miami Vice. Showed up with slicked hair, bright white suit, bright blue shirt, and a glowing white tie.

I even referred to the manager and asst manager as Crockett and Tubbs once. (called the fat guy Crockett)

I played the interview straight but I had no interest in actually getting the job. Until they offered it to me along with a ridiculous salary. Turns out, the hiring manager was a big Miami Vice fan, thought I was good for the job despite the schtick, and felt the office could use one less stick in the mud employee.

qrayons got a blazin' good follow-up

Not during the interview, but I had a candidate send me a thank you note from an email address that started "easyskanking420". This was for a finance position.

designgoddess saw a candidate with great family relations

I interviewed a kid straight out of college who showed up with his mom. I think they thought there would be a lobby for her to wait in, but the elevators opened right into our office. I happened to be standing there and saw their surprise. Nice kid, not a bad interview. I didn't hold it against him that his mom was there. I did tell him that next interview if his mom drove him in the city she should wait in a coffee shop.

Battlescarred98 learned about new levels of vague

Me: "Tell me about your strengths and areas for improvement"

Her: "pretty good"

Me: ".....and your areas for improvement?"

Her: "not really".

-Beardface- spoke with my new #goals BFF

At my previous job, I was interviewing candidates for a position within my team. One of the applicants was internal, so I knew of her and knew she had a few cats as pets.

So the day of the interview arrives, in she comes and we start with the basics. I then ask a few competency based questions and she starts to give answers not based on her work experience (she had trained overseas teams and had an impressive CV), but relating the answers back to her cats.

For example, I asked 'Can you give me an example of your leadership skills'. I sh*t you not, her answer was along the lines of 'Well I have 2 cats and around feeding time I need to make sure [cat 1] gets fed first as [cat 2] has a weight problem and will try to eat [cat 1's] food. I need to ensure I lead by making sure [cat 2] is kept well away from [cat 1] until he's finished his food'.

She then showed me pictures of the cats in question. Don't get me wrong, they were some mighty fine beasts (cat 2 was a fat old f*ck) and I have a pet cat, but I was a bit surprised. I did get some decent answers from her on occasion, but it was a very surreal interview.

She didn't get the job.

Snorkleboy13 spoke with an ultra-chill bro

I had a sales candidate tell me, "I don't get out of bed for less than $200K USD per year." I let him stay in bed.

Learn from these mistakes, y'all. And join me in finding the cat lady so we can form a kitten coven. I mean, if you want.

Images: NBC; Giphy(4)