It’s hard to get a job in this economy. Job seeking is basically a full time job, with many people spending a full work week’s hours just to get an interview. Even when you’re well qualified for a position with a resume tailored perfectly to the job listing, there’s a good chance you won’t hear anything back from anyone, not even a negative response. No matter how desperate you get, however, there are just some jobs you should never take.
An AskReddit thread has revealed that job seekers might want to wait until AFTER an interview to get excited about a position. People from all around the world shared their stories about interviews gone awry, from false listings, to pyramid schemes, to irate bosses and visibly unpleasant working environments. We assembled 24 of the best replies for your reading pleasure. If anything, we hope it teaches you to never accept anything less than you deserve. After reading these, you’ll probably wonder how any of these companies were able to employ anyone at all. Take it away!
1. I was told about 40 minutes into an interview that the job I was interviewing for was going to be a 11 PM-6 AM position. This had never been mentioned in the original job posting, or in the preliminary call prior to the interview. This wasn’t for a gas station job or anything either. High-profile law firm who basically needed a graphic designer to put together presentation materials overnight for use the following day.
They also set it so that I’d be working hours just barely under the limit to qualify as a full-time employee with benefits. Again, none of this was ever mentioned in the job description up to this point. The last straw was that they gave me a 30 minute test to prove I could work on a deadline, based on the actual materials I’d be working with- chickenscratch post-it notes, unintelligible audio-recordings, and other horrible sources I had to base my designs on.
I walked out of the test about five minutes in.
2. I walked out about half way through because the dude was too busy on his phone. I thought maybe he was recording my responses in his phone. Then he laid the phone down on the table to write down some of what I was saying and noticed it was his Facebook open. I got up and walked out, I had a feeling he wasn’t paying attention to anything I was saying. The dude was the head paramedic at the ambulance company I applied to, I’m just imagining people are dying in front of his face while he’s using his Facebook.
3. I walked out of an interview before it began once. The interview was scheduled for 10 AM, which I double-checked from the voicemail that they left. I showed up about ten minutes early, signed in, all that jazz… and waited. and waited. and waited.
45 minutes later I got up, asked the receptionist (who looked seriously embarrassed) to let my interviewer know I was no longer interested, and left.
Two hours later I got a rude call asking if I had forgotten the appointment. I laughed and hung up.
4. I went into the interview with my prospective supervisor. I looked around the office and noticed that the garbage cans were full, the walls and carpet dirty and the supervisor’s desk was old and had chips out of it. So I mentioned that the company didn’t seem to be doing any basic upkeep and then asked point blank “Is this a good company to work for?”. She replied no and hung her head. I said “thanks” and walked out.
5. Got a phone call from some guy, claimed that my former manager at the restaurant where I used to work had recommended me for a position at a company that “helped brick & mortar businesses transition to online sales.”
I was desperate for work, so I agreed to meet this guy at a Starbucks in the suburbs, without even really knowing what the job was. 5 minutes after I sat down and he started talking at me, I realized I had been swindled. He was talking maniacally all about their top earners, 100 grand a year, make your own money on your own time, “we make dimes, you make dollars!” and drawing fucking bubble diagrams. It was like this scene in The Office where Jim draws the pyramid over Michael’s chart, but this guy drew the pyramid himself and saved me the trouble. And then he name-dropped his “parent company,” Amway. At that point I totally checked out.
I let him wear himself out, and said “I’ll call you.” He tried to approach me again when I was smoking in the parking lot and I just waved goodbye until he walked away. These companies are monstrous — the only people who can succeed in them are monsters, and the other 95% are dumb victims who don’t know what they’re getting into.
6. I accidentally walked out on an interview. I had driven four hours to apply for a bar/gaming room job in preparation for moving cities for study (I had purchased an apartment, so I kinda had to take job searching seriously). I had spent about 20 minutes talking to the gaming manager (during which time the venue manager joined us), when some guy came up to them and started chatting to them. I sat there for maybe 5-10 minutes, wondering if the interview was over, when I decided that most questions had been asked and my existence had barely been acknowledged since the guy had rocked up. I half interrupted, shook one of the interviewers hands and said thanks, and exited the premises with no idea how the interview went. Was crossing the road to my car, when one of the interviewers chased me across the road and offered me the position (turns out the guy interrupting the interview was one of the owners of the venue).
7. Just after I had been given three months notice of layoff due to office closure from a job that I really liked, I took off early one day for an interview across town. When I arrived, I entered a waiting room full of people at least twice my age, in suits, resumes in hand. Upon seeing this sight, I realized I had very little chance at the position being offered, but since I was there I may as well try.
What I didn’t expect is that we were all scheduled to interview together. We were all herded into a conference room, where the group interview commenced. After a few rounds of questions, learning each others qualifications, how we would handle various situations, and so on, we collectively learned that this position was part time, not what had been advertised, and paid a mere $9 an hour.
I walked out along with three other people.
8. Back in high school, I had an interview at Cold Stone Creamery. They made us break into groups where we had to create and sing a catchy tip song. I’m really shy so I wanted to walk out before the singing commenced, but I really needed a job so I decided to try and stick it out. I sang the stupid song. After the songs, they interviewed us one on one. For one question, they basically asked us what we thought the weaknesses of our group members were. I told them I didn’t know the people well enough to say and that I really didn’t want to get a job by bad mouthing someone else. As I got up to leave, they asked me if I wanted to hear what some of my group members had said about me… I just kept walking. Should have gone with my gut and left before the singing.
9. I walked out on an interview only once, and it was because the people organizing it were insane. They had arranged a large scale interviewing process for the entire city. After getting there early I realized there were quite a few applicants so I didn’t mind the fact that I had to wait for about 3 hours. Eventually they asked a group of three of us into an office where we waited again for about 45 minutes.
Again I was happy just to have an interview so I waited. Eventually I met with a manager for the store who asked the standard range of questions and I thought I did pretty well. At the end of the interview though I was asked to sign a waiver and when I asked why I found out that they had recorded the entire interview for the purpose of an episode of A Current Affair and didn’t tell me beforehand. After waiting for so long just to be disrespected like that I just walked out.
I happened to catch the episode later and it featured some of the people who I had waited with in the room. Thank God i didn’t sign that waiver because the angle of the investigation was that unemployed people didn’t put any effort into getting jobs (completely ignoring the fact that everyone had to wait for hours just to get a chance).
10. I had just graduated art school with a design degree and was scraping by, unemployed and living 5000 km from my home town for six months. I was getting desperate and antsy when a saw an ad for a ‘multimedia designer’ on a job board.
I called and set up a time for an interview. I didn’t have a car, so I called a cab to take me to the address. I was still relatively new to the city, and the cab took me very, very far out; like a half-hour drive. Eventually, the cab pulled over in front of a bland, suburban house. Something was … off. Even the driver was suspicious.
“Are you sure you want to get dropped off here?” he asked, sensing my nervousness. I was confused. I didn’t really know where I was. This was an era before iPhones, not that I could have afforded one. And my shitty flip phone was dying.
“Um yeah, sure. Just wait for me. If you see me go in, you can leave.”
I walked up to the front door, which had a sign with an arrow, instructing visitors to go around back. As I walked alongside the house, I turned back and noticed that my taxi driver, assuming I was fine, had driven away.
When I found the back entrance, I was greeted by two middle-aged, balding white men, in a basement rec room that had been converted into an office.
“Hi … I’m here for the interview?”
One of the men got up. “Yes, yes. That’s fine. We just need you to fill out a questionnaire. It should take 30 minutes.”
I looked to my left. A poster hung on the wall — the portrait of a vaguely familiar, bald white man, surrounded by a glowing rainbow of swirling colors and energy beams. It was L. Ron Hubbard.
“Sure,” I said. “I just have to let the cab driver know he can leave.”
I promptly proceeded to walk out the door, picked a random direction, and walked for forty-minutes along the road until I found a bus stop.
11. It was for a political job. The guy gave me a salary range the evening before. When I came in for the offer, he said that they could only pay 40% of what he told me 16 hours prior.
12. It was a bait and switch. Looked like a film/TV production job, but turned out to be this weird sales/marketing position. Outbound calls and traveling to stores to sell displays, something like that. I wasn’t rude, but I called the guy out. Said the job he was talking about didn’t really match the description on craigslist (that should’ve been my first indicator). He said something like “It’s a job, right?” and shrugged. I thanked him for his time and walked out. I couldn’t have been there more than 5 minutes.
Turn to page 2 for more stories.