Interview Horror Stories

  | October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

The hiring process can be a horrifying experience for the interviewer as well as the interviewee. We searched near and far for the scariest interview stories to share with you.

From faking fires to trimming toenails, you won’t believe some of these terribly true tales. Check out our top five scary picks:



“I was in an interview once and in the middle of speaking, the lead person on the interview panel suddenly yelled ‘FIRE!’ and the entire panel got up and started running around the room like crazy people. I promptly got my phone out and dialed 911.

They stopped dead in their tracks when I was on the phone to 911 and got upset because it wasn’t a real fire. They were just trying to see what my reaction was to emergency situations (which was not part of the job by any stretch of the imagination), and their policy was to get people out of the building first. I explained they did a really poor job of following their own policy and that they could explain to law enforcement, who should be there shortly, why they decided to do what they did. Then I left.”

From Interviewers Behaving Badly – World’s 8 Worst Job Interviewers By Alison Green



“When I first moved to New York, I had just graduated college and I was desperate for a job. I was going through the usual round of recruiting agency after recruiting agency when finally, one recruiter got me an interview for an assistant position at a hedge fund. The recruiter coached me on my interview, telling me what to say and what not to say, then at the end, he said, ‘If you don’t say exactly what we discussed, I’ll rip your fingernails off!’ I was honestly not sure if he was joking or not. Thankfully, I got the job and kept my fingernails.”

From 8 Interview Horror Stories By Emmie Martin

By Wendy Ryan



“We are a very dog-friendly office. In every interview we have, the dogs run up to the meeting room and greet the new guest. In most cases, the person being interviewed is very comfortable with this and loves that we have such a great office culture. But one candidate stopped the interview and asked if he could bark at our dogs. We just sat there, not really knowing how to respond, so he just started barking at them. We asked him what he was doing and he said it was to show his dominance. We were holding back our laughter and couldn’t believe what we were seeing and hearing. We quickly knew he was not a fit and cut the interview short.”

From They Did What?!? 5 Bizarre Job Interview Behaviors By Nicole Fallon



“One that sticks out the most was this one gentleman who I could tell was down on his luck.  I felt bad for him and wished that I could help but even though he had some of the relevant work experience, I knew that his personality wouldn’t have been a good fit with our customers.  When I got to the benefits that our company offered, his face lit up with the prospect of receiving dental insurance.  He interrupted me and immediately told me how excited he was about the dental insurance.  I asked him why and then he told me about a tooth that was hurting him and really needed to come out because of the decay.  And then, he showed me the tooth.  He opened his mouth wide and asked that I look inside his mouth as proof that he needed the dental insurance!  I couldn’t believe it!”

From Interview Horror Stories



“In an exit interview at the end of a summer internship, Annabel, a communications professional from the Midwest who didn’t want her real name used, said she witnessed a fright show she’s not likely to forget.

Annabel said she showed up to the meeting ready to ask for a letter of recommendation and discuss future employment opportunities at the PR firm. Her superior, on the other hand, seemed to think he was at a pedicure appointment.

“During the meeting, he removed his socks and cleaned and clipped his toenails with his feet up on his desk,” Annabel said. “I thought I was going to pass out. He even said, ‘Sorry about this, but I have these blasted corns.'”

On the up side, Annabel said, “He did give me a fantastic letter of recommendation.””

From Job Interview Horror Stories By Michelle Goodman


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