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Worst job interview stories: Twitter users share their most terrible interview experiences

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Megan Murray
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Could these be the worst interview stories ever? We certainly think so. 

Does anyone like going for a job interview? If you’re already in a job, you’ll have to go through the stress of convincing your boss you have a legitimate reason to leave early. Then there’s the prep work to do before, the nerves on the day and – of course – the daunting reality that, really, you have no idea what they’ll throw at you.

Although there’s plenty of ways you can prepare yourself beforehand (like techniques to calm your nerves and knowing what questions to ask), prospective employers have been known to drop some absolute clangers. And, in doing so, they’ve helped to create some impressively bad interview stories.

It’s with morbid fascination that we’ve scoured a recent Twitter thread, in which social media users spill the beans on their worst job interviews, ever. 

It all started when writer and mental health activist Harriet Williamson asked her followers: “Twitter, what’s the worst job interview you’ve ever had?” Clearly it was a question that needed asking, as over the last week the tweet has drummed up over 5,000 replies.

From the woman who was told that she was the best candidate for the job, but they just weren’t ready for a female in a senior position, to the person who got the role only for one of their fellow applicants to burn down the building anyway, these stories are…

Well, like we said, they’re bad.

Read on, if you dare…

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“Not me but a colleague once went to an interview across London in his lunch break. Client locked him and two others in a room and refused to release them until they ‘found a solution to his problem’. One of them called police and the man was charged with false imprisonment,” says @q1t3d0.

“Once called in sick in order to go for an interview only to find my current boss had done exactly the same and was sitting in the waiting area. Neither of us got the gig,” says @harriepw.

“I walked up the stairs to the very top and met the woman. I thought she was gesturing to the door ahead of her so I walked over, opening it and went inside. It was a storage cupboard. She stood there and watched,” says @missmillythomas.

What's your worst job interview story?

“I once went to an interview for a ‘marketing agency’ who asked me to name all the types of marketing I knew. I listed about 30 but they pressed for more until I said ‘well, there’s door to door but the hit rate is so low it’s not worth it.’ Guess what they specialised in,”says @KrisWould.

“Doing the student milk round for finance jobs. Night before interview for a major player, did my pub shift. Woman in there was blind drunk, aggressive, lairy, and then took her top and bra off. Threw her into a taxi. Walked into interview, she was the (badly hungover) interviewer. Behind the bar, I had been in leggings and a tee, hair in a ponytail. In the interview, I was in suit, heels and makeup, so it took her a few seconds before the penny dropped. She looked me up and down, said, ‘Oh, it’s you’. And then said she didn’t see any point in continuing. I agreed (apart from anything else, she was a WRECK). I was, understandably, very cross. So I phoned their head office and snitched like a good’un. Several interviews later, I got the job. Took one with a different firm, honour satisfied. Just to point out: I am not a natural grass. If she had wanted to pretend we had never met and just got on with a fair interview, I would have been happy to keep schtum. It was very difficult not to look her in the nipples (again), though! Still traumatised,” says @TheStopthecoup.

“In my early 20s I was interviewed for a position and afterwards was told I was highly suitable BUT they also didn’t quite think they were ready for the first woman to hold the position. So it went to a man and I was given a position at the next level of seniority below,” says @kirstinferguson.

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“I went for a second interview for a job in Mayfair and towards the end one of the women interviewing me said ‘so just wondering what your thoughts are on this’ and pulled out a printed out copy of my tweet mocking their portrait of Margaret Thatcher from the previous interview,” says @possiblyel.

“I had an interview where at least two members of the panel were passive aggressively fighting and another was either in the fight or deliberately stoking the conflict. As they were the team I would have been working with I declined the position when it was offered,” says @Karnythia.

If The Office is ever resurrected for another series, there’s some pretty good material here.

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

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