It seems like even in the best job interview scenario, anything can go wrong at any time. This is because we’re at our most vulnerable, desperate to make a good first impression, and even more desperate to get that job.
No wonder job interviews are also the subject of some of the most entertaining and painfully funny (to look back at after many years) stories. So when someone asked “What's the biggest mistake you made on your first job interview?” people delivered honest responses, and it turned out to be one hell of a read.
Scroll down, upvote your favorite entries, and hopefully after you’re done with this post, you'll feel slightly better if your interview just went sour. After all, it can always be much worse!
#1Interviewed at a bank. Was going perfectly despite how nervous I was, and I was probably in with a great chance. Then as a final question, the panel asked me "why should we hire you?" And I word-vomit replied "Because I probably won't steal your money!"
I was not hired.
Image credits: Isthatyourhair
#2"What position are you interested in taking in our school?"
"Defence against Dark Arts"
Image credits: podian
#3Showed up in person to a phone interview.
Image credits: NotCleverNamesTaken
#4Asked about my hobbies talked about sewing and reading. Guy pushed a little more,asked if there was anything else. I was confused why he would push at this question and said no. I was interviewing at a [freaking] video store, the correct answer is watching Movies dumbass. I will never let myself live that one down.
Image credits: [deleted]
#5Asked about a time I had to make a compromise and, not drawing on any past experiences beyond an hour ago, I cited the time I had to give the last blue Jolly Rancher to my girlfriend even though it's my favorite flavor. Still got the job but wow
Image credits: Kaiy0te
#6The interviewer asked if I had any "salary requirements."
I said, "I do. But it doesn't matter, because I understand from employees I know who work here that your pay standards are much lower than most workers' expectations."
Image credits: Back2Bach
#7when asked why I wanted to work for McDonald's, I said that I wanted money mainly
I didn't get the job
Image credits: roostar9000
#8The interviewer asked if I had any convictions.
I sat there and thought for a moment and said, "Well I guess I'm passionate about saving the environment."
He was very confused and said, "What are your talking about? I'm asking if you have been convicted of any crimes..."
I did not get that job.
Image credits: Nik_Tesla
#9Said “Well, thanks for coming in.” I was the one who had come in.
Image credits: morat11
#10Interviewing for a part time job at Kmart as a summer gig in college.
HR Director: "So everything looks good. If you ever need a job reference or a letter of recommendation, come see me at the end of your employment here and we'all see what we can do!"
Me: "Oh that won't be necessary, I have references from real jobs already."
I still got the job but holy s**t.
Image credits: [deleted]
#11Not exactly a mistake, but I went to the counter of the store and asked if they were hiring. They said they were and gave me an on the spot interview right there in the middle of the store with my mom standing right with me (I was 16 and she had given me a ride to the store). My mom proceeded to answer every question for me and kept talking me up. I ended up getting the job and worked there for over 2 years, so thanks mom lol
Image credits: pinkyoshi1989
#12Oh god, I still cringe at this.
Interviewer: "We expect our employees to be punctual."
Me: "Well, I am somewhat of a grammar Nazi."
Interviewer: wtf look
In my defense, I was 17 and stupid.
Image credits: dakeyjake
#13I freaked out and forgot how old I was. Turns out I was fourteen. Fourteen and absolutely terrified. And no, I didn't get the job.
Image credits: TheRabidFangirl
#14My first ever internship interview.
Me: Hi, how are you?
Him: Good, and you?
Me: I'm doing well, how are you?
It still keeps me up at night.
Image credits: [deleted]
#15Falling asleep during a group activity thing
I'd spent three weeks hiking in Nepal, got off the plane, changed in the car and went straight to the interview. It's annoying as I'd gotten through to the last 20 ish out of thousands that applied (nepotism, woohoo) but I couldn't for the life of me stay awake
Image credits: TheOkBassist
#16Was honest and said I was using it as a temporary stepstone to a better job.
Image credits: looks_at_lines
#17I wore a rival companies shirt to the interview without realizing...oops.
Image credits: freeloader11
#18This wasn't at the interview, but in my email applying for the job. It was right after college and I really didn't know what I was doing, so I just had my resume saved on my desktop under "resume."
I finished writing my cover letter, I attached my resume...or so I thought. I had accidentally misclicked when attaching and I attached this gif instead.
I had already clicked send before I realized my mistake, but luckily I was using gmail and was quick enough to be able to unsend it and attach the right file.
Image credits: -eDgAR-
#19"Why should we hire you instead of anyone else?"
"I don't even know who else you are interviewing with, how could I know that I'm better than them?"
Led to a really awkward silence.
Image credits: geeses
#20The interviewer asked if I smoked and I replied "Smoke what?" Immediately lost my chances at getting the job.
#21I had had several jobs before my first actual interview but my first interview was for a job selling hot dogs. I was asked what my biggest weaknesses were and stupid teenage me listed actual weaknesses like being lazy and not really caring about anything. I wasn't very smart back then.
I didn't get the job but found an article in some magazine(this was before the internet was used by regular people) shortly after that that gave me the right answers to that question.
Image credits: bajsnoah
#22My first interview was a disaster!
Interviewer says: "I see you've put down that you can speak German on your CV, can you say something to me?"
I reply: "Oh, I can't actually speak German, I just put that on there."
Interviewer asks: "Tell me about a time you had to work under pressure."
I say: "This one time I had an assignment for uni that was 50% of my grade, and I should have spent the last three months on it. I couldn't be bothered and spent most of that time out drinking and did the whole thing in 3 hours the morning it was due."
Interviewer asks: "Why do you want this job?"
I say: "If Im honest, its just because I'm broke and I need money."
By some miracle I got the job though, so I guess I was the only guy to show up or something.
Image credits: Wellness_Elephant
#23I was interviewing to be a dishwasher at a restaurant. The chef, who was the interviewer, asked me why I wanted this job. The real reason was the reason any high-school kid wants a job: money. I panicked though. I thought that was an inappropriate answer. So instead I started spewing all of this nonsense about dishes being my favourite household chore. He laughed in my face. I got the job, though :)!
#24My first big-boy interview at a financial advisory firm couldn't have been worse. To start, I had hair down to the middle of my back which I had just put up in a bun, and a patchy beard. I walk into the office to meet with the well-groomed, cologne-wearing, every-fashion-accessory-available-wearing salesman who would interview me. He asked me, "How would you describe a sunset to someone who was born blind?" My response was, "Yellow... Wait a minute.....orange. [Damn]. They're blind."
After the interview was over, he said that I looked like a drug dealer.
Image credits: CrakAndJaxter
#25At the end of my job interview, I asked a few questions about the position, the people involved, and other general questions. For my last question I decided to switch it up and I asked something along the lines of "if you could have any job and make any amount of money you want, what would it be?"
Interviewer A answers. Interviewer B answers. Interviewer C answers. Interviewer D answers and uses something very similar to what I was prepared to say. Interviewer E answers.
I finally answer and since Interviewer D used what I was prepared to say I decided to wing it. I said "Well since I love pizza, I'd travel the world, and eat pizza in different countries." I wanted to smack myself.
Image credits: sometimesimretarded
#26Okay, this is embarrassing but when I was a teenager I was able to get an interview to work at a major coffee chain that offered good benefits and I really wanted the job. I had one job until this point and didn't have a lot of experience with job interviews so I googled up some tips to help me with that. One of the things that I read was the importance of maintaining very good eye contact lest the interviewer thought that you were disinterested or bored. I maintained very good eye contact. It was too good. That guy must have thought that I was some sort of psychopath because I would not break eye contact at all. It was as if we were having a staring contest that he lost several times but that I would not let up on. I had to wait a few more years before I was able to get a job with that company.
#27Was sexist. I was interviewed by two female engineers, who didn't really introduce themselves beyond their name, so partway through the interview I asked them if they're the HR reps.
They forgave me and I passed but it was dumb of me, I wouldn't have asked a pair of men that.
Image credits: Antrax-
#28I was offered the possibility to get an apprenticeship as a software engineer when I was 16. That was a pretty great chance and I wanted everything to be perfect. It was about 32°C (90°F) that day and their office was in middle of nowhere.
I planned to go there by bus but I missed it, so I had to take a really slow, weird train which stopped near there and had to walk to the office building.
Since I was really late already (I would've been 20 minutes early with the bus), I ran there. So I arrived there 10 minutes late and was sweaty. I was also dripping with sweat through the whole interview.
Still got the job, somehow.
#29Wasn't my first job interview, but it took me a few tries to realize that its a bad idea to NOT ask questions when prompted to at the end of the interview.
It shows that you aren't interested in their company, and implies that you're just in this for the paycheck. I find that a lot of companies these days care just as much about your interest in them as they do your skills and background.
Image credits: [deleted]
#30I was applying for a fast food job. We went over my application and all that jazz. So far, so good. Then the manager says "Who's important?"
Me (totally confused) "Excuse me?".
Manager-" Who's important?"
Me (still clueless) "Everyone is important".
Manager (nearly weeping at my cluelessness) "The customer! The customer is important!".
I didn't get the job.
Image credits: bishkek2lebanon
#31This one still haunts me.
It was for a job a trampoline jump house where you pay to jump. My gf and I both applied and both got interviews. I was about 17 or 18 at the time and I believe this was my first one on one interview, only one I've ever done was a group interview.
I felt, and still do, that I was doing so well throughout it all. But towards the end of it, the interviewer asked how would I describe myself in (or "with" can't remember the word) 5 words. It took me a few seconds to think of something, and then I said it. "I am a good worker". There was a weird look on her face and she said," that's it?" In a concerned and I'm waiting for more type of look. I said yes and we finished up the interview.
It wasn't until on the ride home I started to realize my mistake and asked my gf what she said, and behold, she said 5 different adjectives instead of a 5 word sentence. I still felt confident about the interview, but later that week I was with her when she got the call about getting the job and I was excited to get mine soon after. No call :(
#32I dropped my suit off at the dry cleaners and went back to get it the morning of the interview and they had lost it. With the interview only about twenty minutes away the owner gave me his suit to borrow. It was a tan suit,way too big, had a striped pattern, and reaked of mustard and sweat. Safe to say I did not make a good first impression at that interview.
Image credits: GitCommit_Deez
#33Interviewer: "So why do you want this job?"
Me: "You took my CV..."
Image credits: JenRedmond
#34Not my first interview, but this one always stands out to me.
I was in the Army at the time, and was looking to get a part time job after work to help out with the bills. Little Ceaser's was doing open interviews so right after work I rush over for the interview. The hiring manager is looking my resume. Before joining the Army I was a manager at Dominos.
So resume shows that I was a manager at Dominos, and then a month later I join the Army. He looks up at me wearing my uniform since I just came from work and asks why I left Dominos. I answered because it was time to get a real job...
I didn't get the job
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#35After not being able to answer one of my questions, I had an interviewee lay her head down on the conference table and announce "I'm failing!"... well, thank you for coming in.
Image credits: BoiledForYourSins
#36I was interviewing for a sweet teachers job at a private school when I was asked the question: How much do you like kids on a scale of 1 to 10? The only answer they want to hear is 10. For some reason, though, I decided to level with the guy and say 6. As soon as I said it I knew I'd [messed] up.
Didn't get the job, obviously
#37When applying for a position as process technician at a one of the top 5 food producers in the United States, one of the interviewing board members asked, "What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished?" Instead of talking about a work accomplishment, I spoke about recovering from a severe industrial head injury. Up until that point I had the job in the bag.
#38A company called to schedule an interview with me once and i answered the phone like a complete jackass. Something along the lines of "ohhh herro" in a stereotypical asian voice. When they said who they were and if they could speak to me i said "hang on" in a deep voice, covered the phone with my hand for a few seconds, then answered politely in my normal voice. Got the job and nobody ever questioned why i apparently have a cartoon asian man as a secretary.
#39It was at a popular craft store. They asked what crafts I like to do and I have zero craft talent. I lied and said I liked making jewelry because I did so in school once. They hired me and whenever a customer had a jewelry question they always asked me. I eventually learned the ropes though.
#40I was interviewing for a job doing programming. After aceing a phone interview and tech interview, I was flown to their headquarters for more interviews. During the HR interview, she said "We're actually trying to fill multiple positions. We have some openings in customer phone support, would you be interested in that?" Me, being a dumbass, said "not really" when honestly it would have been fine, but the job I was interviewing for seemed cooler. They asked why and I said that my father does similar work and hates it. She then says, "Oh, well, to get our employees to really become familiar with our product, we have them spend 50% of their time in customer support for the first 3 years." I backpedaled a bit but it wasn't if any use.
Pro tip: when you don't get the job, ask where you were lacking or what you can improve. They confirmed that this is where I screwed up. My new interview technique: "Hell yeah, I love that awful thing you just mentioned!"
#41I applied with UPS at age 18 after dropping out of high school. There were maybe 5-6 other people interviewing that day as well. When it was my turn, I sat down and he asked me why I wanted to work for UPS. I told him that I was trying to save up for a month long roadtrip to Alaska that started in 3 months. Needless to say I did not foresee how that would not make me look like the best candidate. I was the only one in the group not hired.
#42I was young and applying for a job in a home department store that I really didn't want but was just doing so to appease the benefit payment gods.
The interview was going too well, so after them briefly talking about health and safety responsibilities associated with the job for a bit, they then produced a couple of laminated photographs of a (clearly hazardous) warehouse and asked me to point out what was wrong. Being the smart ass douche I thought that I was, I studied the pictures for a few seconds and said "Well, they're terribly underexposed and out of focus for a start. The horizon in the second one is completely askew and both are suffering from pretty severe chromatic aberration."
Didn't even end the interview. They just clarified that they meant to point out the hazards and carried on. Didn't get the job though obviously.
#43Not my first interview, but:
I was working the night shift at a cafeteria all by myself, and hated it. My job consisted of standing around for hours on end, since I had already cleaned and stocked everything by 4PM.
Went in for an interview for a big-box store.
"So, this job will consist of you standing at the registers for hours on end. Are you okay with that?"
"Okay. What do you do for your current job?"
"Stand at the register for hours on end, hating life."
I didn't get the job.
#44Was interviewed by a panel for a security job at a hospital. I answered all their questions how I thought they'd like to hear. Turns out they thought I was a cold, emotionless sociopath who values money over life.
Q - How would you react to bodily fluids making contact with you?
A - I assume I will, by this point, be trained in proper biohazard training, so, follow the steps and guidelines for handling and cleaning the waste.
Q - Even if it was blood or fecal matter?
A - Of course. There are procedures in place for a reason.
Q - Okay. What about transporting bodies?
A - Same thing. Follow protocol.
Q - What about children?
A - Post mortem?
Q - Yes. Dead kids.
A - No difference. All loss of life is sad, but everyone does in the end.
Q - Thank you for your time. We will let you know our decision in a week's time.
#45The boss agreed to the first salary I suggested for myself, so I took that to mean I should have asked for more.
#46I got asked what I would do in a high stress situation, and I was like "Oh, you mean if an axe murderer came in?"
Blank stares for a few seconds before the hiring managers started laughing. Got the job!
#47My boss (who is in a wheelchair) was conducting the interview. When he decided to give me a tour of the building, I said, "Autobots, roll out" mainly because this is high school and I was an idiot. Boss was not amused, but I still got the job.
#48Black Pants, Black shirt, black tie.
What's up cool guy, have a nice life.
#49They asked if I was ever late and I replied with yeah who hasn't been late? Tried to redeem myself with it was only once or twice due to my car being broke down but I got a taxi straight there... oops
#50Dominos Manager: "why do you want a job here"
Me: "It's close to my house, and I like pizza"
...I got the job.
#51went for a job interview in a basement nught club. they were refurbing and there was s**t everywhere. i confidently walked straight to the bar to talk to the manager who had been pointed oyt to me. turns out the s**t on the floor was a makeshift barrier because thet had just painted a load of concentric rings on the floor, i didnt realise and walked through. didnt get the job.
#52Manager "how'd your drug test go?" Me (without hesitation ) "I don't know, the results aren't in" Manager lols with coworker "haha she doesn't know, see? She should KNOW!" then says with a smile "this question is the best drug test I know." He was an awesome and funny boss. Thank god.
#53went to an assessment centre recently for a job at a very big it/business company
I told the interviewer 'I'm nervous' when I walked through the door
I said no when asked "do you have any further questions?"
I was very bossy and uncooperative in the group activity task
I applied for a job that was unrelated to my degree
I suggested cheating when doing a group activity task which resulted in the assessors sighing loudly (usually they dont interact with the candidates at all)
and to top it off i lost my train tickets so i couldnt get reimbursed for the £100 journey fees
#54First time I was honest about why I was leaving my old job and the reason was negative. Next time I had a story about how -while I loved my current job- the new job gave an additional positive push to my career path. You have to bend the truth for sure.
#55Interviewer: So, what job do you think you're talented at?
I was young, did not get the job.
#56Phone sales job. They asked me if I thought it would be easier or more difficult to sell over the phone than in person. My answer was that phone would be easier. Judging by their facial expressions that was the wrong answer.
#57Did 4 hours of research on the wrong company.
Back in uni, had mock interview with a company I wanted to work for and at the last minute they swapped the company rep cuz the other was busy.
"So, why do you want to work with us?"
#58I kept saying etcetera after every question...
#59Once I went to an interview and I had to bring with me my curriculum. It was raining and it got wet. I tried to explain but they never called me again.
#60Interviewer: "Do you think you're capable of doing this kind of work?" Me: "Yeah, I guess. Yes, yes I am." I saw how the interviewer was trying to hide his laughter.
#61Not my first interview... but one of my firsts.
I had a typo in my resume that my B.S. was a B.A. The interviewer pointed it out after I said I was detail oriented. I had interviewed three other people in that company who all loved me up until then and the job was going to be a shoo-in because I knew someone who worked there who really wanted me on his team.
I did not get hired because of that typo.
#62Not for a job but for a position for the student government at my university.
"So why are you interested in this position?"
lists legitimate good answers to the question, then
"....and cause it looks good on my resume"
Didn't get the position