13 Seriously Embarrassing Job Interview Stories

Wendy Robinson | May 19, 2016 Money

job interviewThere is nothing like a job interview to make you start feeling nervous and sweaty. Even if the outcome is good and you get the job, the process of interviewing is always stressful. But sometimes things move from stressful to disastrous when an interview goes totally off the rails.

There are so many ways an interview can go wrong and we've got 13 stories prove that for sure!

A word of warning -- don't read this if you have an interview coming up anytime soon. This post will give you way too much to worry about in addition to the normal interview nerves. Poor #7.


Image via iStock.com/Wavebreakmedia

  • Copies


    iStock.com/ krisfoto

    "I was in an interview and I talked for about five minutes about why I don't drink coffee.

    It turns out that they asked me if I knew how to make COPIES." -- Rachel T., Austin, Texas

  • Awkward


    iStock.com/ Yuri_Arcurs

    "The interviewer was very pregnant and said she was due on December 25. I said, 'Ooh! A Christmas baby!' and she said, 'We're Jewish.'

    It was awkward, but I got the job though!" -- Suzie H., New York City, New York

  • The Questions


    iStock.com/ rilueda

    "I had an interview with a capital management group for an executive and marketing assistant position. The guy leading the interview liked me on paper, loved everything I had to say about my work experience, and so on. Then it fell off the rails when he asked the following questions:

    'Someone asks you to push a button that gets someone in the world beat up; how much would it cost for you to push that button?'

    'What can you do with a wooden log?'

    'What is something you know to be true but actually isn't?'

    I tried my best to answer them, but he shot down every answer I gave and picked them apart. I left feeling very small." -- Regan P., Austin, Texas

  • Inappropriate


    iStock.com/ kaspiic

    "I had an interview that was textbook for what not to do in an interview. The woman asked all sorts of illegal questions: Was I going to have more kids? Were my kids in daycare? What did my husband do for a living?

    It was awful because I wanted the job but I also wanted to point out that -- hello!-- you can't ask that!" -- Jules W., Toledo, Ohio

    More from The Stir: 100 Best Jobs for Moms

  • Mind Freeze


    iStock.com/ Wavebreakmedia

    "I was in an interview and it was going well until they asked me a question about diversity. The question is totally one I expected and I had practiced a great answer for it, but my mind went blank. Totally blank.

    I sat there for what felt like an eternity and then said, 'Can I come back to that one?' and they were like, 'No, you need to answer it now.' I ended up mumbling something about liking all people. AWFUL.

    Yeah, didn't get that job." -- Name Withheld

  • Wake Up Call


    iStock.com/ chinaface

    "I got flown in for an interview and put up at a hotel the night before. I was so nervous that I tossed and turned all night. I finally fell asleep around 5 a.m. and slept through my phone alarm. I didn't wake up until hotel security came banging on the door. A member of the search committee was in the lobby waiting to pick me up and they'd been calling the room (I'm a heavy sleeper).

    I dressed as fast as I could but ended up over an hour late for my first interview. Totally embarrassing and I didn't get the job, of course." -- Jill Z., Colorado Springs, Colorado

  • Bad Clams


    iStock.com/ Piotr Marcinski

    "I had a two-day interview and the first day went really well. I had dinner at a seafood place with the search committee and it was fine. About five hours after I got back to the hotel, I woke up needing to vomit. I was up all night, sick from both ends. I had food poisoning!

    I tried to rally for the second day of interviews but was feeling miserable. The real low point came when I was giving a presentation on branding strategies and, well, there is no easy way to say this -- I shit my pants. And then burst into tears. So awful." -- Name withheld

  • Flameout


    iStock.com/ Madiz

    "This didn't happen to me, thankfully, but I was on a search committee when I saw a candidate self-destruct in front of us.

    She was smart and polished and was actually our best candidate on paper for the position. The interview was going well and then she got nervous, I guess? All of the sudden she stopped talking and then said, 'I've blown it. I've blown this interview. I'm withdrawing as a candidate.' And then she just stood up and walked out of the room.

    It was so bizarre. The other committee members and I couldn't believe it happened. Poor woman." -- Laura D., Des Moines, Iowa

  • Huh?


    iStock.com/ Christopher Futcher

    "I was living in South Korea and applied for a job teaching English at a school there. I showed up for my interview and realized as soon as it started that the interviewer didn't speak any English. I barely spoke Korean. I have a Korean name, so I'm guessing they just assumed I spoke the language? We just sat there for 10 minutes and tried our best to communicate, but it was hopeless." -- Anna P., London, England

    More from The Stir: What to Wear to a Job Interview

  • Drunk


    iStock.com/ Christophe Bourloton

    "I work in human resources so I have TONS of bad interview stories. The worst I heard was a woman who showed up for her afternoon interview absolutely drunk. We actually had to call the police because she drove herself there and was trying to leave the building to drive home when the committee declined to interview her.

    We got an apology letter a week later. Apparently she was so nervous that she did some shots to take the edge off. Bad plan." -- Mary R., Boston, Massachusetts

  • Ouch!


    iStock.com/ DragonImages

    "My interview for a job at a college actually went okay, but I didn't realize that I'd have to do a lot of walking around the campus. I was wearing new high heels, which was dumb, and I was hobbling by the end. I took my shoes off before my last interview and my feel were so swollen that I could barely get them back on. I limped to my car at the end of the day." -- Kelly S., Las Vegas, Nevada

  • F Bomb


    iStock.com/ Steve Debenport

    "I was interviewing with two really nice women and at one point I gestured with my hand and knocked my coffee cup all over the table. I accidentally blurted out, 'Oh for f*ck's sake!'

    Did I mention that I was interviewing for a position working in a church nursery?" -- Bethany E., Grand Rapids, Michigan

  • Wet Shirt Problems


    iStock.com/ Marcus Clackson

    "After quitting my job to have a baby, I decided I wanted to work after all. The first interview I had was scheduled for 1 p.m., so I nursed my baby and then left. Well, the committee was running late, so I waited and waited and waited. By the time they finally got to me, I was starting to get engorged. Halfway through the interview, I started to leak breast milk. I had pads in but the thought of my milk showing made me so nervous that I fumbled the rest of the questions. It was the worst." -- Paula J., Minneapolis, Minnesota


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