Searching for a job is among the more taxing practices we live through as a result of capitalism.
It is largely on us as individuals to do the groundwork finding, applying to, interviewing for, and dealing with the personality types that we find while searching for a job. And honestly, not all of them are great.
Interviews can be extremely revealing about workplace culture. No matter how desperate you are for a job, a bad interview can really throw you for a loop. Would you rather be unemployed, or would you rather be miserable in a job?
Here were some of those answers.
Otters Are Predators, Just Watch Zootopia
At an interview for a tech startup, they asked me "If you could be any animal, what would you be?"
I answered "Otter" because you know, fun, active, work well with their hands and cute as f*ck.
They really debated whether or not to hire me because of that answer because, and I quote, "We only hire predators, never prey." and they weren't sure how to quantify an Otter, because none of them had ever paid the least bit of attention to any sort of animal documentary or read biology or you know, visited a zoo recently.
God that job sucked hard.
But That's The Right Answer....
Was invited for an IT "helper" position when I was 17. Would help fix computers for people at a shoddy PC fix shop.
They asked me "Whats the first thing you check if a customer calls and says their screen doesn't turn on?"
I said "Well, you gotta check if they have it plugged into a socket"
They laughed and said thank you that will be it. Then led me to the door and gently pushed me out.
Ah Yes, Engineer AND Janitor
Job was for a vibration analysis engineer. I knew how to do the job well.
I knew the pay should be around 95k, and they stated 55k (in the interview).
When I tried to discuss my point, they said, "don't worry, there's plenty of overtime".
They also mentioned since they weren't involved with many balancings at the moment, I would assist the cleaning crew with a lot of the cleanings. I've never been so uninterested in a job in my life.
Snitches Get Stitches!
Five interview rounds with the last interview round being with the CEO all for an entry level customer service job. During the last interview, the CEO said you weren't allowed to get sick, and you weren't allowed to leave at the end of the day until all of the work had been done.
So even though the job was 8-4 the CEO said customer service reps often stayed until 6 PM or later.
She also asked if I would be comfortable secretly reporting to her about what the customer service team is up to. I declined the job offer and the company harassed me with emails asking why and what they did wrong. Really glad I didn't take the job.
Money Troubles?Make It Rain Money GIF Giphy
An agency sent me for an interview and said "the starting salary is £33000".
The interview went fairly well until the interviewer said "so what sort of salary are you looking for?" So using the info I had from the agency I said. "Well, I think £33000 is a fair starting point"
....the interviewer practically threw me out! He started to shout about wasting his time because I expected to be paid a huge salary and who did I think I was... he was paying £20,000..............
I'll See Myself Out
Yeah I have one that sticks out. I applied to a government branch as a network admin. The newspaper ad asked for a bachelors degree. They called me into the interview. When I got there, the first thing the interviewer said was, "We wanted someone with a masters degree. Why did you apply?"
Now, I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they had other interviews that day and got them mixed up. Sh*t happens. I just informed the interviewer that the ad I applied for requested a bachelors degree, and confirmed the position I was interviewing for.
"No, we definitely wanted someone with a master's degree. So, again, why did you apply?"
"If you wanted someone with a master's degree, why did you bother calling me in for an interview?"
"You're very rude and unprofessional."
Yeah, you f*cked up at every junction thus far, but I'm the one who's rude and unprofessional.
Weird All Over
I had one for a job that was a little below my pay grade and far outside of where I wanted to work, but times were tough and I was taking all interviews. I go in and the guy asks me, "on a scale of 1-10, how excited would you be to work here?"
I said "9" because I mean what else was I supposed to say, and he says "oh really?? Why so high??"
I had to come up with some answer that wasn't just I need to pay rent so I think I said I was just really excited to work for a small company like this. The guy replied "huh" and didn't say anything.
Later they called me and said they would only hire me if I started the next day (as far as I know it was an above board, salaried secretary type position). I explained that would need a few days (was moving to an adjacent area) and he said "then never mind don't bother" even though I explained I would probably need 2 days instead of one.
Let's Reiterate Why We Hate You
The first question they asked was a statistics exam-type question. Took me completely off guard. I half-a**ed the answer - a complete answer would have taken half an hour.
The next question was about a Latin Square analysis. I answered honestly, and said that the first thing I would do would be to look it up.
Errors in Latin Squares are incredibly common, and I wouldn't trust anyone who said they could do it off the top of their head. I'd look it up even if I'd done one last week.
They REALLY didn't like that answer.
They wanted to know where my husband worked and where we lived, and they concluded that our 6-month rental location was completely incompatible with the commute to their location.
The whole thing was just super weird - it was like they sat down determined to find a reason they should not hire me. I was relieved to get out of there.
An Hour Just For A CrySad Cry GIF by Team Coco Giphy
I drove an hour away to an interview at 8:00 am. I waited outside the interviewer's office until 8:30 am with no one to tell me where to go or where she was.
Finally, another employee walks by and I ask if they know where this woman is to interview me. They had no idea where she was, why she was late, and told me if she wasn't there yet, I should leave because she probably forgot (...ok?).
I decide 45 minutes is the cut off (especially standing in a government building looking like a creep waiting. 8:45 on the dot she rushes in, flustered, wet hair, and in casual yoga pants.
With all the resurgence of patience I could muster, I greeted her and was met with a passive aggressive scolding of how the interview was at 9, not 8. (Uh... I tripled checked the email asking me to interview and it was 8. We had conducted a phone interview and she followed up with an email request to an in person interview at 8. I was 100% positive on this, I hate being late.)
Even with this, and i did say, "I'm certain you said 8 am, maam" she wasn't having it. Conversely, she also went on about why she was late, surmounting in, she went to the gym and forgot her underwear to change into and had to stop at a store and buy new ones after working out, before coming to work.
She told me this. In the first 5 minutes. Why? I didn't ask her!
Regardless, she looks at my resume, apparently for the first time, because she proceeds to tell me how it is unimpressive and my graduate studies should have yielded numerous publications after 1.5 years. (In my field, most don't publish until after 3-4 years.)
Even still, she kept saying how I had "moved up the interview time", showed me the work spaces and told me I "probably wouldn't be interested in what they do there". I politely told her I had driven, at her request, to be there and interview for employment, I was VERY interested. She waved me off.
As we left, I just tried to hold it together (I was very poor and very desperate for a job), thanked her, and she told me how great it is to work for the government, how good the benefits, the pension, the time off are. On and on. She said, "If you can find an opening working for the government, you should try to check it out and get hired on!"
I just looked her in the face and said, "Yes, ma'am, that was my hope with today's interview. Thank you."
And sat in my car and bawled the whole drive home like the desperate loser I was.
That was a low one, to be sure.
Yeah Gonna Sit This One Out
As a nanny you get some of the weirdest job interviews. It's not a professional HR rep. It's Lisa, who married her college boyfriend and works for her rich Daddy. Most were a just a little awkward with some inappropriate questions. Like, "do you have a boyfriend" or "do you plan on having kids soon?".
One definitely stands out.
I go to an interview for a family of an 16 month old. Mom introduces herself and tells me we'll be interviewing in the nursery. I follow her in and there's only one chair, the rocking chair. She tells me to sit on the ground in a not-so-nice way. It became very clear that it was symbolic for how she treats the "help". She wanted to literally look down on me.
I sit down and she gets her toddler out of the crib. Sits in the rocking chair and immediately starts breastfeeding. Ive been around a lot of breastfeeding mamas so it wasn't that weird. But she took her top off, so she was pretty open about it.
First thing she says "I hope you're ok with this because you'll be seeing a lot it".
No real hello, how's it going? Or a question. Just, "get used to seeing my tits". Then she tells me we'll be conducting the interview when she's done nursing.
So for the next 15 minutes I'm just staring at her breastfeeding.
Already super weird.
The interview finally starts and it goes well. She's clearly a rich spoiled girl. Asks a million questions which is cool. Including a couple weird ones.
When she's done. I go "can I ask some questions?" Her response is "nope."
Then she's tells me she wants to see how I'll do with the kid. For the next 2 hours I follow her around and do what she tells me. I change diapers, give the kid a bath, fold baby clothes, put the kid down for a nap, even washed breastpump parts. And she's critiquing me on everything!
She sends me on my way eventually. I actually thought I did really bad because she was angry a lot. Whatever because I definitely did not want that job.
A month later I get a phone call saying I've been hired. Starting tomorrow. I laughed out loud.
I had apparently been the best candidate by far. Probably because I just took all her sh*t.
She had even ordered me a work uniform. Which is ridiculous.
I tell her I'm not accepting and she's livid. I got messages for the next 6 months telling me how horrible I am and that I betrayed her. And others telling me I can still take the job.
The interviewer insisted on knowing why I'd left graduate school. Now, I had left graduate school because my advisor died in a car accident and the whole small department was thrown for a loop and no one seemed to know or care what was going to happen to me or my just started research project.
The a**hole interviewer wouldn't even accept "My advisor died suddenly" and dug into the gory details until I was almost in tears (even intimating that I must have had "feelings" for my advisor.)
I couldn't wait to get out of there and in my haste to leave I knocked some solutions off a cart (which had no business being in his office BTW) on my way out. I'd never been so humiliated in my life.
After that, I was sure I'd never get a job in science.
Gas Moneygas gasoline GIF Giphy
I drove 2 hrs for the interview.
Got there and the interviewer was off sick and hadn't told anyone about me coming in.
Got back in my car and drove the 2 hrs home.
Withdrew my name from consideration.
Skills Pay Off
Company was downsizing.
All employees in a specific yet exclusive division were fired and ordered to reapply for their position plus two other jobs in the company. You'd either get one of those jobs or be terminated.
The subsequent interviews were conducted with a manager and an HR person.
First interview in executive suite: Manager asks why aren't you applying for this key supervisory slot? (I had listed it second on my list.) Me: I would prefer to stay in my expertise in which I won a National award.
HR: I didn't know awards like that existed.
Second interview: Current boss likes me for my existing job (for which I was heavily recruited from another company).
HR: Wow, so you're the guy who does this job? I had no idea a real person did it.
Third interview: HR person says he's never heard of my division or that employees actually worked at night. I had listed this job in which I merely served as a minor manager as third on my preferences. Really didn't want it but had to list three.
The results: I was retained but transferred to the third dead-end day job. My old award-winning job was given to an aging staffer who never worked in that position or had a clue. The supervisor job went to a brilliant colleague who wanted and deserved it.
I quit very soon thereafter and joined a bigger company with better benefits. Skill pays off.
After all that, my old company, seeing the error of its ways in lost production and general lack of ability, offered me a bonus to return.
Nope, nope, nope. And I'm returning the corporate knife you stuck in my back.
Nothing for You
I drove an hour to be interviewed for a computer repair tech job at a rental company, and 3/4 of the way through the interview they told me I was perfect for the position, however they recently removed the position altogether. They then asked if I'd be willing to repair furniture instead until the position opened again.
In a group interview, the interviewer crossed a line through my name on the list he had after I told him what I graduated in. This was within the first 5 minutes of a 40 minute meeting...
Go to Wendy's
Not that bad, but I remember Taco Bell asked me what type animal I would be if I could be anything. Like wtf do you want me to say? "I would be a fire ant so I could work efficiently with my closest friends!" Sixteen year old me said an eagle, because they're strong and they can fly. Meh.
Not a good time...
When he said I'll give you extra hours if you bring me smokes everyday, then put his hand on my leg and said his wife gives him passes to have fun. I also got a speeding ticket on the way to the interview. Was not my month.
MOVE!!penguin falling GIF Giphy
My first Interview ever was at DQ and I accidentally knocked a 90 year old woman over.
I interviewed for a project management position, the interviewer describes the job: basically it was pure research and data entry of potential clients, then cold-calling them and documenting the results. The job ad mentioned exactly none of this but was an average project management job ad, else I wouldn't have applied in the first place.
I asked what exactly was the project management part, and got told that could (could, not would) be down the road, maybe 2-5 years in, but really only maybe. I thanked them for the interview opportunity, we wrapped things up and I politely left.
Showed up looking good in my suit with a ton of knowledge on Capital Partners.
It turned out I had researched the wrong company named Capital Partners.
Back Up Sweetie
Had a phone interview and the woman kept asking more and more intrusive questions, kept hinting I'm a total piece of crap who's totally unfit for the job (it was the easiest job description ever) and jumping to conclusions about my life that were completely untrue. For example I found out that being a freelancer who gets a lot of decently paid work each month is apparently living off my parents.
She kept going on and on like that for quite a while before I told her to piss off and hung up. Didn't really need that job too badly but it was in a different country so the travel aspect was the main reason. Years later I found out it was a "stress interview" which apparently is a thing. Forget those people.
I'm not the help...Shocked The Nanny GIF Giphy
I went in to apply for an administrative assistant position and the guy kept asking me questions about liking kids and are my passports up to date...etc. I was SO confused. Turns out what he really wanted was a nanny for his two young kids to travel with him and his wife back to India. I was so pissed he wasted my time. I noped right the heck out of there.
As the interviewer: candidate responded to a question I asked with, "is that really how you want to spend our time together, by asking me that question?" when I wrote up my notes I included that bit, it obviously came up in the debrief and a huge red flag.
Other interviewers also had similar, though not as serious, feedback on the candidate. He was not hired.
As the interviewee: interviewer immediately launched into, with a rough accusatory tone: "you're a job hopper, why are you a job hopper?" when I was being recruited for a role a few years ago. I'd been working, successfully, as an independent consultant for7 or 8 years which she equated with 'job hopping'.
I ended that interview pretty quickly with a, "I don't think this is going to be a good fit" and gave the recruiter some pointed feedback - he seemed to acknowledge that she was difficult.
I had an interview with EMC back in the day. I don't remember the specifics other than I was really nervous. I had a "we are sorry to inform you..." email waiting for me before I finished the 10 minute trip home.
So Many Questions
At an interview to be a county street sweeper, guy asks me if I have a girlfriend, proceeds to rant for 5 minutes how young people don't get married anymore. Then he asks me what I want to avoid at the job. At the time I had no idea how to answer as I'd never been asked that in an interview before. So I ask him to clarify, to which he just repeats the question, over and over until he gets super angry that I don't know how to answer that, then asks me to leave. To this day, biggest wtf interview I've had.
I've had an interview where they were looking to replace someone who would retire soon. The issue was, they wanted a super specific skill set, but someone young who could stay for many years.
The position has been advertised for about five years. I wonder if they ever found some 30 year old with 10 years scientific niche experience.
I had an interview and they told me the hiring manager was going on vacation for two weeks after the interviews were done, so a decision wouldn't be made until then. I took a bus home and had a letter from them in the mailbox telling me I was being rejected. It was the afternoon, so they either mailed the letter before they even interviewed me, or the hiring manager raced to my house after the interview to drop the letter off.
I walked in the house and my mom asked how the interview went. I just handed her the letter.
- My face tends to get really red when I'm stressed / embarrassed.
- In a previous job, my company hired a consultant to help some of us improve our presentation skills.
- Consultant gave me some good advice.
- One of the weirder pieces of advice, however, was that if my face got red, I should flex my calf muscles because the flexing would divert blood away from my face and to my legs (I had no idea if that was true or not, but it was weird enough that I remembered it).
- About 10 years later, I'm giving a presentation at a job interview (I'm a scientist and giving a research presentation as part of a job interview is pretty common).
- My research was pretty good, but it had one critical flaw that I wanted to avoid discussing during my presentation.
- Somehow, everyone in the room locked in on the flaw and directed a barrage of critical questions at me.
- I could feel my face starting to get red and all I could do was furiously flex my freaking calf-muscles, which didn't do a damned thing.
I didn't get the job.
Salty ForeverSalty GIF by memecandy Giphy
I was interviewing for a job in Houston, and lived in Austin, about 2.5 hours away. I drove to Houston for the first round of interviews, and they said it went well and wanted to being me in for a final interview, so i drove there again. It seemed like it went well and they told me they had one more interview to conduct and would have a decision tomorrow. So the next day came and went, I emailed the manager to ask if any decision had been made, nothing, waited a couple more days, left a voicemail, nothing.
Then a couple days later, I just called the main number for the company and told the receptionist why I was calling. She was like "well, someone just started in that job yesterday." They ghosted me after I drove a total of 10 hours to interview twice. Still salty about that 11 years later.
Reese's for Me Please
Interviewer, putting candy bars on the table to open the interview: Have a candy bar. Do you want Hershey's or Snickers?
Me: Neither, thanks.
I: Go ahead, pick one.
M: I don't want any candy now, thanks.
I: Take one, Hershey's or Snickers.
M: Okay, I'll take the Snickers.
I: No, I want the Snickers. You take the Hershey's.
M: No, thank you.
I'm staying home...
I interviewed for what was my dream job--something that I have a ton of experience in and two degrees (including one from literally the most prestigious school in my field). They liked me so much on my first few rounds of interviews that they asked me to fly across the country for the final one.
So I go through easily the worst travel day of my life, arrive for my interview, and the interviewer takes one look at my resume and says "I don't know why you came all the way out here, you aren't qualified for this."
Suffice to say I will never work there.
All at Once
I got invited to a "group interview." I thought it meant that a group of people would interview me, which is fairly common. I showed up and there were about ten other kids there. We all went into a conference room and they interviewed us all at once. They asked a question and everyone took turns answering. They switched up who went first each time, and one kid completely froze when it was his turn, so we all had to sit there in the most uncomfortable silence.
She said employees got marked down one point if they came in late to work, even in a blizzard. She said it was their responsibility to check the weather the day before and prepare accordingly. Some of their employees commuted from 100 miles away, so they didn't cut anybody any slack.
Usually I send a follow-up email saying thanks for the interview, I'm interested in the job, bla bla bla. But I didn't send an email that time.
Story from a former colleague. He was interviewing for a position with a local company that had a branch location in another city. He passed his tech screen, so they went for the "in person" part, which involved flying him out and staying the night. When he arrived at the office for the interview, a receptionist led him into a conference room and dialed into a bridge on a speakerphone. After 5 minutes of waiting for his interviewer to join, the receptionist had to call the guy on his cell to remind him of the appointment.
He finally joined and basically "phoned it in" (pun intended), as if he had no interest in filling the position, much less getting to know the candidate. The call lasted maybe 15 minutes. Needless to say, he didn't get the job. He later found out that the interviewer was actually back in our home city. So he flew 3+ hours each way and stayed overnight for absolutely nothing.
Had an interview, went well. I was offering the job on the spot and accepted. The HR manager went to get the needed paperwork, came back 10 mins later and said "I must have forgot that we already filled this position. I'm sorry, but we don't have an opening. I could call you if something opens back up". I said no thank you.
It was my best interview. Great rapport with the interviewer. Gave me the job on the spot. It for a transfer to QA at Johnson Control. Came in to work the next day to have the offer rescinded. The job was already given to the plant managers niece and it had only been posted because of company policy. The story is much longer and complicated afterward but it was the first of several times I had been promoted (different companies) and then been told, "Never mind."
Use Spoonsraul julia GIF Giphy
It was one of those door-to-door knife selling companies. Tried to get a second job to earn a little extra cash before going off to college. I left mid interview after being told how important recruitment would be to my job. It was a group interview too.
How about buying me lunch?
I left work on a long lunch to interview because they flat out refused to interview me at a time I was not at work. Sounds somewhat reasonable, but I had occasional weekdays off (2-4 per month). There was also a convoluted process for "validating my parking" which I did.
I showed up a bit early, waited about 40 minutes for someone I was told definitely was in, and apparently she was just eating lunch or something because on my way back to work I got a call from her asking where I was. She tried to reschedule. Stressful enough the first time; I'm not going to jump through hoops if you don't value me as a prospect enough to keep your own damn appointment.
You're a Mess
Many years ago I was interviewed for an IT Director position at a finance and legal consulting firm. Apparently, they were expecting an older-looking person and assumed I was there for the temp/admin positions. I was given a reading comprehension test, a typing test, and a spatial awareness / IQ test. These took a bit over an hour in total. When I was done the guy said "OK, thanks we'll call you."
I asked about speaking to the CIO and other tech directors for the IT Director position. He looked at me like I had three heads. They kept me waiting for about 25 more minutes, realizing the mistake, scrambling to pull things together. After 45 min of waiting, I told them I was going to leave. The headhunter called me right away really upset that their mistake may cost her a commission on finding me and wasting my time.
We had a very nice discussion about how she needed to screen/brief her clients better, and how they made several bad assumptions that could be an HR issue, within the HR dept. of the consulting firm. I never worked with her again. No idea if they ever found a new IT Director. I feel like I dodged a bullet in a potentially disorganized/toxic workplace. I did learn that at the time I was typing 80+ wpm mistake-free.
Video chat interview: red flag #1 the interview was with 10 interviewers (I was told it would be 1-on-1).
Red flag #2: towards the end they asked if I had any questions. When I asked: "Do you all enjoy working here?" they all looked at each other nervously for about 20 seconds until someone said: "Sure. I mean, as much as you can enjoy work, I guess."
Run Fastwill smith run GIF Giphy
Had an interview at an office supply store once. Guy told me straight up it was a high-pressure sales quota job. They're prices on computers and peripherals were sh!t and that's what I'd be selling.
Dude straight up said it's a lot of work for low pay, not a lot of people enjoy working there, and he finished off with the fact that he's been there for 18 years. Practically ran out of that interview screaming.
All Wrong Questions
I had an interview where I did so poorly, the interviewer wrote it up and submitted it to thedailywtf.com. It's too embarrassing to link to, plus I would prefer to remain anonymous.
It was really just a miscommunication. The interviewer presented a hypothetical problem, and I gave him a perfectly reasonable solution to the problem.
But he kept coming up with reasons why he wouldn't accept my solutions, and my answers got more and more ridiculous, until they didn't make any sense at all. I was just hoping he would drop it and move on to the next question, but he actually took my answers seriously and made me look like a complete fool.
Anyway, I learned some things from that experience.
Y'all got problems...
I had a skype interview with a private practice and the lady interviewing me literally made it sound like a stern military parent.
"You can NEVER be late" (mind you the job was an hour away)
"Even if you have a cold you can NEVER call in sick" (idk if this was meant for pre or post-covid)
"We're a small company so you won't have much of a work/life balance"
"PS our pay for all this dedication is only 3 dollars more than the measly pay your getting now"
Just a whole interview of Red Flags. And the last one was when the lady messaged me immediately after saying I got the job and had to leave my job at maximum, five days' notice, regardless of me kind of bombing the interview and claiming there were other interviewees in line. I could see why they were having trouble hiring people tbh.
Started as the worst, and ended as the best. The beginning started like this: "I'm so sorry to have to inform you of this, but we pulled the wrong resumé contact information, we didn't mean to call you in for an interview." Before leaving, the interviewer gave me a brief tour of the company grounds (because they felt so bad for wasting my time). They introduced me to the department head that I would have been working for, (if that department was actually hiring).
Had a great conversation and the department head was convinced that I would be an asset to them, and they hired me on the spot.
Edit: Just wanted to add (since this got way more attention than I thought) that I have been with this company for over 8 years now, and they are an awesome bunch of people. It was a very unlucky/lucky day for me!
I'll... Do?Say What Excuse Me GIF by Election 2020 Giphy
It was my first "professional" law firm interview. I was SO nervous. I had applied for a legal secretary position.
The attorney whose name was on the door would be interviewing me so I was a nervous wreck. When he walked in the room, I stood up, introduced myself and shook his hand. He looked me up and down and said "yeah, you'll do."
I turned around and walked out without saying another word.
Sorry I'm Flawed
1- the recruiter started to fold my cv into a paper plane during the interview. (Didn't get the job)
2- was pawned off unsuspectingly to the CFO of a company five mins into my interview with the CEO. The CFO had no idea what to ask so he went the "tell me your biggest flaws" way. I was so dejected that I said "you'll have to hire me to find out." Interview ended five mins later. I spent 30 mins crying at my hubris and stupidity in the parking lot. Got the job.
Let's do a hypothetical...
I applied for an internship at a human rights law office. They gave me questions on the spot to debate with them, like 'is bribery acceptable if it's for a good cause'.
It was me versus a panel of 5 senior human rights lawyers for a whole hour, who just ripped me apart from start to finish. Everything I said, they made sound like the dumbest response with their rebuttals.
By the end I was a nervous babbling wreck. Did not get the internship, but did appreciate the experience in retrospect.
When they got back to me, they told me 'your CV (resume) was fantastic, so we were quite disappointed with how poor your interview was.' Burn.
In the Beginning...
As the Interviewee: I told them I hated sales people when they asked why I'd left my last job, which exposed two things about me: I hadn't looked up the company I was interviewing with and that their primary line of business was sales. The mood got chilly real fast after that. Did not get the job.
As the Interviewer: Had a guy ask if it was okay if he went to the restroom real fast and then never came back. His recruiter, who had come with him, was super embarrassed by the whole thing.
Honestly, he was a young kid who'd just graduated, and while he was getting some of the more in depth technical questions wrong he definitely was asking the right questions in return, so we probably would have brought him on entry level. I think he was experiencing a case of imposter syndrome since we were asking him things he didn't know so he panicked.
Hope he received some coaching on how to handle that.
Not horrible...I will just always remember it.
Interviewer: Has a previous employer ever asked you to do anything illegal? (smug look on his face thinking I would be flustered)
Me: Yes, they asked me to take a copyrighted image and "tweek" it so we wouldn't get caught.
Interviewer: Wow...what did you do?
Me: I said no, and am now trying to determine if YOU are going to ask me to do something illegal in this prospective job.
He spent the next 20 minutes apologizing and swearing he just thought it was a fun interview question.
When not to Toot...
I told them I couldn't answer their questions, farted audibly out of stress and thanked them for their time.
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There are some questions that illustrate such vulnerability, such open tragedy on the part of the asker that we fend off tears while we come up with an appropriate answer.
Sometimes the question comes from someone who's been so steeped in struggle that they need help understanding that another possible reality exists.
Sometimes it's a question that cuts right to our own core with startling efficiency.
Whatever form it takes, it stops us in our tracks and we're likely to remember it for quite awhile after.
Curious to hear the saddest examples, Redditor julylovestory asked:
"What question has someone asked you that secretly broke your heart?"
Many Redditors responded by sharing the sad questions uttered by young children.
Kids just have the knack for cutting straight through to the essence of it all.
A Tragic Conscientiousness
"As we passed the toy aisle at the store, 'I know you don't have much money right now, but maybe when you get some we could come back and get a toy?' "
"I was not doing well financially back then and my daughter brought me to tears in the middle of the store."
Puzzled and Sad
"First day of preschool for my three year old son. The first time he would ever be away from Mom & Dad at the same time."
"I brought him to the room and expected a meltdown, but instead he confidently strutted, and I do mean strutted into the classroom."
"Three hours later, I picked him up. He was ok until we got to the car when he said, in quiet sad voice 'l thought you were coming with,' followed by an even sadder quieter 'Why did you leave me?' "
" 'Can I wish for my sister?' - A 10-year-old student of mine whose big sister died 4 years ago. We were working on an activity about dreams and aspirations for their futures."
How Bad Must It Be?
"I was like 22 and it was probably 10pm or so at a Walmart. I was on my way to a party and stopped for beer. The store was fairly empty and as I was in the beer aisle, I see this kid completely by himself."
"He was about 5 and at first I thought it was kind of funny because he was trying to pick up a case of beer. I waited like 30-60 seconds, looking around for this kid's mom/dad to come get him. A couple people walked right by him like it was normal, so then I started getting worried. I picked up my two cases of beer and walked over and kindly asked him if he lost his mom or needed help."
"The kid completely ignored the question and instead was thoroughly impressed that I was strong enough to carry two cases of beer. Eventually an employee noticed and came over as well. I told her everything I knew and she took over and told him that she was going to bring him to find his mom."
"As he was walking away he kept looking back at me and I smiled and said goodbye. The kid stopped and said 'can I just come home with you? I don't like my mom.' "
"I was caught off guard so I just laughed and told him the lady was going to help him. Now I'll never know the full story, or what happened to him but the more I think about it - that kid more than likely had a pretty shi**y childhood."
"I mean, the store wasn't busy and it was late at night on a weekday. It really makes you wonder why he was there in the first place, how he got separated from his mom and why would he ask to go with a complete stranger instead of worrying about where his mom was?"
"It still makes me sad. Hope everything worked out for the little dude."
Others talked about the times when they or somebody else realized just how tragic their own circumstances were.
"My ex asked me what I liked to do with my family growing up."
"Made me realize my family never did anything together and I literally had no answer to such a basic question."
Seeing Another Version
"During college, parents took a friend and I out to dinner. Very normal dinner, chit chatted about whatever. After we left and were walking back to my car, he turns to me and says 'Is that what a normal relationship is like?' "
"We talked more after that, I had met his parents a few times and they seemed strict but never seemed to have a terrible relationship. Turned out apparently his dad had cheated on his mom multiple times, dad had zero respect for any of my friends sisters and essentially expected them to do all the housework while the men did 'guy stuff.' "
"Hunting, training for sports, school, etc. Turned out his childhood was pretty fu**ed, dad was never around and he had to essentially be the father figure in the house. As the oldest child, never really saw a normal loving relationship that he could look up to."
"My friend is a really nice guy, still has some messed up views of relationships though. I never realized how 'abnormal' my very normal family/childhood was."
A Better Place
" 'You've never beaten me or told me I couldn't do something. Is that normal?'
"My first girlfriend told me that. I have never felt such a wave of anger, sadness, and heartbreak wash over me like I did when I heard that"
And some people discussed the time a question destroyed their social confidence.
Worst Teacher Ever
"I have a stutter, when I was a kid I had to read a page of a book to the class. I stuttered, and the teacher said 'can you even read' and that fu**ing broke my 13 year old heart."
"No one takes stuttering seriously."
There's the Answer
"When I was 19, I hung out with a cute girl from my high school that I never got to hang with when we were in school. Had a great day together, and that night she asked, 'can we be like secret friends or something? I don't really hang out with people like you.' "
"Never hung out again."
Comparing and Contrasting
" 'Oh, are you the girl with the hot sister ?' " -- JustehOK
"I worked in a department with two Melissas. One day, I was sitting next to one Melissa when we overheard another coworker say to someone, 'have you seen little Melissa?' "
"The other Melissa got kind of a defeated look in her eye and said, 'oh, I'm big Melissa.' " -- EarhornJones
It's a list that's sad enough to leave one wondering about the questions they've received that struck them as particularly hopeless.
Sometimes, though, that vulnerability can be the start of accepting new realities and new possibilities.
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If you live on this earth and you're fortunate enough to form long-lasting relationships with different people, chances are you'll know the pain of heartbreak. It's an unavoidable fact of life.
We are not guaranteed to stay with one person forever, as we were reminded once Redditor disturbance of mirrors asked the online community,
"People whose long-term relationship faded, what was the final straw that made you realize it was time to call it a day?"
"The last time..."
"When she 'broke up' with me for the 12th time.
We had a long-distance relationship and whenever we had an issue or a disagreement, instead of engaging in a conversation with me about it, she would say we were done and shut me out for two or three days before coming back and manipulating me into groveling for her forgiveness. The last time, I just said no to going back and stuck to it. She freaked out and tried to drive 6 hours to my place at 2:00 a.m... I got a call from her mom saying she had left in the middle of the night as a head's up and, upon finally getting ahold of her when she was just a couple of hours away, I was able to convince her to turn back.
That relationship f***** me up for a while but, once I began dating my now fiancee, it was unbelievable to me how wonderful a real, loving relationship with healthy communication can be."
"Her brother was living with us..."
"Mine was not a slow burn like most seem to be, but a very definitive moment.
Her brother was living with us and this was right when WiFi was becoming available to the general public. We couldn't afford it cuz we were broke kids, so her brother would take my GF's MacBook (it was a gift) and sit on a nearby bus bench and leech off someone's unsecured WiFi.
Well, one day we get a call from her sister and she says we need to get home immediately. Turns out some guys came up and asked him for change for a $20 and when he told them he didn't have it they tried to snatch the Mac and jump in their car.
He knew it wasn't his so he held onto it and tried to get it back but they were too much. He had gotten dragged by the car, kicked in the head, and then had his leg run over. He was in pretty bad shape.
As we turn the corner (didn't know what had happened yet) GF sees cop cars and an ambulance and says "This better not have anything to do with my Mac. We walk in and he's visibly in bad shape and she is just immediately "Did you lose my Mac?" I'll never forget his face. He was so ashamed and felt terrible and just started crying. She however started screaming my computer! My computer! And hitting him. To the point where the cops considered arresting her. It was an instant eye-opener."
"I'd sit in my car..."
"I'd sit in my car after work playing on my phone for like an hour because I just needed a break before going inside and dealing with him."
That would do it.
"I would find any excuse..."
"I would find any excuse to work late or sometimes go sit at a bar by myself just to avoid the misery at home. We divorced."
"He was a workaholic..."
"He was a workaholic to the point that I saw him about 6 days per month."
"Somewhere between giving up on small talk and not looking forward to the weekends anymore."
That's no way to live.
"It really forced us..."
"Honestly it was the pandemic. It really forced us to actually spend time together and I realized we kind of just didn't do much together at all. I had spent years thinking it was cool that we kept our own friends and space but once those distractions were taken away it was just really clear to me that we were more roommates than a couple."
"When I realized..."
"When I realized I was needed and not wanted. Constantly trying to make someone happy who didn't want to be happy."
This one hurts. I've been there myself. (And I have also been that person––I thankfully got help.)
"We lived together..."
"We lived together but lived completely separate lives. Basically a housemate I shared a bed with. Happened twice to me so far."
"I would have moved mountains for him..."
"I knew it was over when I cared more about his wellbeing than he cared about his own wellbeing. I would have moved mountains for him if it made his life easier and he just continuously put himself in shi!ty situations. I eventually just gave up. I can't be with someone who doesn't care about themselves. Thank God that's over."
If you think you might be stuck in a pointless or unhealthy relationship, it's worth evaluating your options. And it's never worth sticking around and risking your emotional and mental health.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below.
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There is always that "one." There is always going to be that person.
That person who you will always remember. And when they are the one who you regret losing most... they are the ghost that will haunt you forever.
I have a few escapees. I'll never know how it would've turned out. But that is part of why I'm haunted. I need to discuss....
Redditor u/AssistantNo1733 wanted to discuss all the times we've lost in love by asking:
Who's the one who got away?
Do we even have a clue that they're the "one" that got away? How long until it sinks in? And how do we not know there isn't another "one" coming behind them? I have no answers. Just asking...
The DraftEpisode 1 Omg GIF by RuPaul's Drag RaceGiphy
"The girl who summoned up the nerve to ask me out towards the beginning of high school. I was so humiliated by the life my family was living that I stalled until she gave up."
"Betsy, if by some stroke of dumb luck you're reading this... I'm so sorry. It was 25-27 years ago, but I still hate myself for that. You were beautiful, intelligent, a good person, and if I had anything resembling a stable, presentable home I would've said yes in a heartbeat... I had a crush on you since 7th-grade 'intro to drafting.'
I Love Her
"Weird, I was just confiding in my mom about this last night. I'm late but for catharsis's sake I'm going to post. My first girlfriend is a classic case of you don't know what you have until it's gone. She's the complete package. Beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, and so kind. We started dating when I was 17 and broke up when I was 21."
"For reference I'm 30 now. I was an idiot. I wanted to play the field. I wanted to party and hook up with college girls. It was fun at first but after a while I felt this gnawing hole in my heart. The feeling of doubt crept up slowly and still, a decade later my chest feels tight thinking about it."
"I didn't realize until my later serious relationships that getting along with your SO's family is so important. Her mom and step dad genuinely treated me like a part of their family. It's not a stretch to say I literally grew up with these people. I spent some of my most formative years with them. Birthdays, Thanksgivings, Christmases, you name it. They celebrated me and my accomplishments. They genuinely cared about me. Just amazing, salt of the earth, lovely people."
"Her birthday was in March and I sent her a text and we ended up talking for a bit. She's happily married and stable with a daughter and a second on the way. I'm genuinely so happy for her. She deserves happiness. I just wish I was a part of that. Sitting at work 10 years later I'm tearing up. I numbed myself out to it for years, it's so strange to me that I've been so stuck on her lately. Is this normal?"
15 Years Later
"My very first real love. I was a teenager and I didn't really know how to be comfortable in myself or with myself. I played silly teen girl games and lost him even as a friend. Now 15 years later I still think about R from time to time. I genuinely hope he's happy in his life."
"Edit: Wow this blew up while I was sleeping. Thanks for all the sweet words and to everyone with their "one" congratulations! I suppose I hadn't looked him up on social media because I'm scared, scared he won't respond, scared he will respond, scared he'll think I'm a stalker. I'm in a happy relationship now, but what if... Etc etc etc. But I'll give it a Google."
Missed You Muchrhythm nation dance GIF by Janet JacksonGiphy
A girl I dated in high school. Went on a date one time she took me out parking and I was too stupid to realize it.
"She always talked about moving away as soon as she got finished with high school. I always thought I would stay in a little town the rest of my life. Turns out I was the one who left and move to another state. Later I heard that she had told someone that I knew that she thought that we would be married at some point. Missed it by that much."
Ok... I've been a bit blind to the light. People can be cruel, but also highly creative. Why not just lead with the truth? It'll always hurt more after lies.
Chuck E.Chuck E Cheese Wink GIFGiphy
"Ah the rare AskReddit question I can answer."
"I met a wonderful woman circa 2013-2015. We worked at what I can best describe as an upscaled Chuck E Cheese. Or ghetto Six Flags. Your choice."
"We hit it off instantly, though at the time I was rather romantically inept. Eventually, she says she's leaving to join the Air Force. I tell her I'll miss her, and wished her well. The thought of asking for her number so we could stay in contact didn't even cross my mind."
"Cue the next day, I stop for lunch on my way to work, and as I'm walking to my car I hear my name being called. I turn around, and it's her, running toward me. Universe giving me a second chance, right? Wrong. My dumb butt still didn't ask for her number. She looked a little upset, and I still think about her often. Desiree, I hope you're doing well."
"He was my first and last love. I was 16 and he was 18 when we met. We bounced around like idiots, on again off again, finally got together mid 20s. We both fell into bad habits - drugs and alcohol, more booze for me, more drugs for him. We had some bad things happen that were pretty detrimental to staying sober. We would split, reconcile, get sober, fall off the wagon, split, etc... repeat as necessary. We realized we were very bad for each other unless we could BOTH just get sober for ourselves, and split."
"Ten years later, I was sober for 7 years (still am, going on 18 years end of this month, actually! Woo, go me!) and he was beginning to come back, sober about a year. He contacted me, we met, talked about trying again. He said that once he had been totally clean for a year, we'd do it. That whole "Don't make any changes for a year" thing. I would visit him, tho, things were good."
"He woke up one morning feeling bad, thought he had the flu. (This was pre-now) I stayed around because he was sick, but neither of us thought he was drastically bad, just the flu, right? He got worse and worse, finally we called an ambulance because he got up from a nap and couldn't breathe. He died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Aortic dissection."
"He got away, but someday I'll see him again. I never stopped loving him, and him me. We just weren't good for each other."
Ce la vie...
"My most serious Ex."
"Don't think I truly understood love until I met her. Loved her more than I ever thought I could love anything. It eventually ended when she told me that, through no fault of my own, she had fallen out of love with me. That was 2 years ago, still hurts to think/talk about."
"Ce la vie..."
"I'm in the middle of trying to avoid that right now actually."
"It's not worth the heartache trust me. I fought to stay in a relationship for an entire year. If I would've just let her go the first time she wanted there would've been a lot less pain. We would've left on good terms. I would've lost a lot less sleep. Rip the band-aid off because once the band-aid starts peeling it's inevitable it'll fall off with time."
Sweet...Kim Tate Eye Roll GIF by EmmerdaleGiphy
Damn man why bring this up.
"My ex and I broke up over 3 years ago. Mutual breakup through a lack of communication on both ends I feel."
"Thought I was over that hill until this week she messaged just to say hey and ask an innocent question. We text for the best part of the day and it's brought up a lot of old feeling. Feeling pretty bitter sweet right now."
Love is a mess. Why even bother trying if you can't be true? It's not hard to just spell out the situation. And if you're the one needing to put together the words... look closer. The dialogue shouldn't be difficult.
What are the odds you'd click on this link today?
What was the biggest coincidence that made you question the fabric of reality?
There's small coincidences, occurrences so minute that you wouldn't even notice them if you weren't paying attention. However, once someone makes a big deal out of them then there's no other choice but to acknowledge that what just happened was spectacular.
Each Having A Buddy Coming To Town
"My friend and I were on a road trip a few years ago and needed a place to stay. We both told each other we had a friend in the city we were going through, so we figured we'd be able to crash with one of them. Turns out our two friends were roommates and had both been telling each other that they had a friend coming to town soon."
What's That Got To Be? A 1 in 1000 Chance?
"Several years ago I was at a coffee shop with some friends and one of them had an ipad, another friend went to unlock it and asked him what his 4 digit unlock code was, so I just blurted out 4 random digits pretending like I knew it, and it actually worked. I had never unlocked it before or knew of the same numbers being used for anything else, or his phone number, etc."
Both Probably Assumed What The Best Time Was
"I passed out after receiving a flu shot when I was 28. The nurse who helped me up kept asking if I wanted my mom. It seemed like a really weird thing to offer an adult woman - the option to have her mother phoned and brought in - so I was really confused and getting progressively more annoyed at her repeatedly asking...
...until my mom walked up to me. She had the appointment after mine to get vaccinated. The nurses assumed we had come together, but neither of us knew about the other's appointment, and we lived an hour away from each other in different cities."
Living in such a big world can lead you to the conclusion that math is silly and odds are never in your favor. With over seven billion people roaming around, chances of meeting someone of significance?
Less than you think.
A Simultaneous Love Of Traveling
"This guy I went to grade school and high school with, an acquaintance at best. I've seen him in 5 different locations in different countries throughout the last 15 years.
Disney World when I was a kid.
Some beach bar in Thailand.
The Bean in Chicago.
A pub in Budapest.
A library in San Jose, Costa Rica.
We've become friends due our love of traveling, but neither of us post on social media and neither of us communicated with each other our plans to travel. We never talked outside of the random meetings. Now if I see him, its like the world wants us to have a beer together. haha"
"I Mean, The Crash, Yeah, But How Have You Been?"
"My dad lives in a national park here in Australia. It's farmland that's grandfathered in. It's the remnants of a volcano that blew itself up very violently, so it's very hilly terrain.
One day we were sitting out on the deck, when we see a hang-glider come down halfway down the valley, and it didn't look like a nice landing. "Sh-t, we better see if he's alright, they don't land anywhere near here"
So we get in the car, drive for about 10 minutes to reach the spot. We head over to the guy who is standing by a very damaged glider. The pilot is staring at us incredulously, he stammers "F-ck, Jack, is that you?".
My dad, who hasn't seen his childhood friend for 35 years shouts "F-ck, Tim, is that you?".
They both grew up in Greymouth, NZ. Found each other randomly after a glider crash in NSW, Australia."
Takes A Wedding To Bring People Together
"My wife and I were looking to hire a caterer for our wedding and when we met, my wife and her started talking about their lives a bit.
Turns out they had both literally grown up on the same street, in a city of 10 million people, on the other side of the world. Both had left the city around a decade before immigrating to our current country.
They knew the same people, had hung out at the same coffee place, attended the same church. They even used to grab mangoes off the same large tree that hung over the wall of one of the large houses in the neighbourhood.
But they had never met one another until meeting on almost the exact opposite side of the planet, in a small town of about 50,000 people."kor_hookmaster
What we can gain from these experiences is a coincidence will occur more than you think, you just have to have the eyes sharp enough to spot them.
But how would you explain these?
Position Is Key
"I dialed my mum on my mobile when I was on public transport and accidentally swapped two numbers around.
The person I called was on the same carriage."
"Go on, tell us what happened then!"
"So I was listening to my phone and at the exact moment it started the ringing sound I heard a phone start ringing and I thought it was a coincidence but then the phone answered and it wasn't mum.
All I said was "Oh, are you on the Upfield train?" and they said "Yes, who's this?" but I got shy and I hung up.
Poor guy must have been so confused."
Universal Echoes Bringing You Closer Together
"One time, me and my dad were discussing his friend while out driving at night without many other cars on the road. As we were talking, we pulled up to a red light, and the car waiting in front was my dad's friend. He didn't even live close to there."
Extremely Unlucky Odds. Go Buy A Lottery Ticket.
"A couple of years ago I was visiting my hometown and decided to sit on a bench at my favorite park. As I was sitting, I felt something land on my head. Bird poop. After heading home and washing my hair, I went back into town. While I walked around, I watched as a guy got hit with a drop of sky sh-t. As I was laughing about the apparent irritable bowel syndrome of the birds in my town, a bird flying right over me drops a fat sh-t on my head."
There's no magic at play. All of these happenstances can be explained away with simple math and rudimentary probability.
Still, it's fun to live when you're in the moment.