'If You're Passionate, You'll Work Overtime With No Pay.' Job Applicants Share The Moment They Actually Walked Out On An Interviewer.
Job searching can be a stressful experiences the working world is riddled with so many unforeseeable obstacles. It's hard enough starting out especially, without all of the businesses out there looking to exploit you with your limited career knowledge. But sometimes, you are able to recognize the warning signs and get out of the situation before getting in too deep.
Here, people share stories of when they actually walked out of a job interview.
1. "Are you deciding to have any kids soon? We'd rather not hire you then have to fire you when you're knocked up". I was 15 at the time.
2. They flat out lied to me about what I was interviewing for. I was told it was for a technician trainee position but it was really for an unpaid internship that had 12 hour days and a mandatory 6 month period before I could move on to a paid job (which would have started out at $11/hr.)
When I was told, I just told him it wasn't worth my time and got up to walk out. He got all mad and said "Son, you have to show your worth first" and I just said "Sir, I have bills to pay and as much as I'd like to conform to your wishes so that I could have a career, I don't live in a fantasy world where I can just focus on work."
3. The man interviewing me asked me if I was planning on getting married in the near future, and if so, would I think of having children immediately.
A male acquaintance of mine was up for the same job. Obviously, he never got asked that. Sure, men don't leave work when their wives are pregnant, but even so.
Pretty sure that's illegal in some countries, right?
4. I was told about 40 minutes into an interview that the job I was interviewing for was going to be a 11pm-6am 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.
5. I walked out on an interview only once. 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 affairs 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).
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6. Them: "We have a very dedicated team, we often stay after normal office hours, is that ok with you?"
Me: "Sure, I mean I'm single without kids, so if it's adequately compensated I'm happy to do as much overtime as necessary, no problem."
Them: "Oh no no, we're passionate about the work we do here, so overtime is not paid."
Me: "Okay then, thank you for your time and goodbye."
7. Walked out of an interview before it began once. The interview was scheduled for 10am, 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.
8. 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).
I sometimes wonder how I get through life considering how socially inept I can be.
9. I was finishing my degree in Music Education, and my university held a job fair for future teachers. It was great, and I actually landed my first job from it.
School districts would set up little booths, and a representative would do on the spot brief interviews, looking to move selected candidates into the next round of applicants. There was one district from Indiana that just had a battery of questions they asked every applicant. I can't even remember why I wanted to talk to them, but I did.
Several questions weren't applicable to a music situation (like, what would you do if a student failed a test, what are your views of how you would address standardized testing in your classroom, etc.) The weird part was, I would ask a clarification question, and the interviewer would look kind of annoyed and just repeat the question slowly.
After 3 of those questions, I said "Thank you for your time, but I have no interest in teaching in your school system." If this is how you treat your prospective employees, I would hate to see the people that make it through this system, and then get to teach kids.
10. I had placed my resume on a few job sites and accidentally left my resume open to the public (you should not do that). I had gotten a call for an interview for an insurance thing. I was young and lacked common sense so I excitedly went (story continued on the next page...).
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When I got there, there was about 20 other people waiting to be interviewed. Turned out to be a "group interview" where some handsome bleached teeth dude talked about how great the job was where we could set our own hours and make as much money we wanted!!! All we had to do was pay a lot of money for their special training and riches beyond our wildest dreams would come of it.
Somehow it suddenly hit me and I got up from my chair and started to walk out. The con man asked me where I was going, and I calmly said, "this is a scam, and I advise others to walk out too..."
2 others left with me.
11. 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.
12. Too many leading questions- not stuff that would be illegal, but would get the same responses. "So how do you spend your weekends, what's your Sunday morning look like?"
13. 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.
14. 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 crappy 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 (story continued on the next page...).
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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.
15. I recently went to an interview for a bank in my area.
First, the woman I spoke to on the phone misrepresented herself. She'd told me she was the assistant branch manager. Upon arrival, she told me she was Head Teller.
The Branch manager would be arriving shortly. I waited for an hour. After an hour of me double checking the time and wondering if I'd gotten there too early, I got up to leave.
The Head Teller said she'd be there in 5 minutes, but at that point I just figured I obviously wasn't important enough. I left. I got a call back 3 days later apologizing and asking if they could set up another meeting, at a bank I was nowhere near. I politely declined.
16. Went to a job interview for a listing listed as job at a huge high tech firm on the west coast. All it was was a recruiter scouting for people. There was no interviews with the company, he just wanted to build my profile. He explained that if he found me a job I would be an employee of his for 2 years before I would be a employee for the actually company. I wanted to bail then, but as soon as he said I wouldn't have any benefits and minimum wage - I got right outta there.
Got up, grabbed my coat. I was shaking my head while putting on my coat and as I was walking out he said, "I'll just put you down as a lost cause." I am familiar with head hunters and was working with two other head hunters at that time. His terms were just straight robbery.
17. I was around the same age, I was being interviewed for a babysitting job. All of a sudden she hands me a sheet of chores including making dinner and being a waitress for the parents, laundry had to be washed, folded, and put away, toilets cleaned, and every room had to be vacuumed. She then said that the kid would be on daycare so I'd have plenty of privacy. I just left.
18. I never got as far as the interview. So much was wrong.
I received a call asking me about my availability to attend an interview, based on my posting on a professional website. I indicated that I was currently in the middle of a project, but, would be available to interview in two weeks. The woman on the phone yelled, "Then call me back when you are available".! Click. She called me. She yelled at me. I wrote that company off.
Two days later she called me again and asked to set up the interview. She said she would call me as soon as she had finished a meeting. (YOU called me. Then you tell me you don't have time to finish the conversation that YOU initiated)? Wrote her and her entire corporation off.
Get a phone call three hours later (story continued on the next page...).
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So and so, wants you to call her to schedule an interview on Monday. I definitely, no longer want this job, but, I do want to see if my predictions come true. I call on Monday. The person who answered the phone told me that it was the woman caller's day off. I am a genius. They call me and give me the run around. WTF?
Two weeks later... yesterday, they call me again. Again a person asks me to call at a later date, to schedule an interview with a woman who couldn't bother to call me herself. I told them that based on their behavior in the past month on the phone, that I did not have any desire to work for their company.
I broke my own code and fired off an email to their director of Human Resources.
This company is a luxury retirement community. There are golf courses, hospitals, clinics, four to six bedroom homes. clubhouses, town homes, etc. It seemed like it might be a lovely place to work in my field.
If they would treat me in such an unprofessional manner, how must they treat the residents of the community? There were three total callers involved. I can only imagine the motives for calling someone, asking for an interview and then behaving in such a strange fashion.
Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.
19. I graduated in 2009 with a degree in print journalism, and after a summer of doing random retail stuff, I decided to find a job in my field.
I see a job posting for a marketing specialist, with emphasis in graphic design work. I brought my portfolio, and they told me they were impressed, and that I would get to do some design, writing, and editing. They said they represented big time companies, so 22-year-old me was incredibly excited.
They told me to come back the next day for a job shadow, dressed professionally. I showed up bright and early in my nicest business clothes and heels, and they told me I would be riding with this redheaded girl (side note: she started where I wound up working a few years later and didn't make it through training). I live on the north side of my city, and we drove all the way south to a residential neighborhood. I wasn't 100 percent sure what was going on, but they gave me a catalog and said we would be doing door-to-door sales for Sears Home Improvement.
I made it two hours in the Midwest humidity, dealing with pissed off homeowners who didn't want to have their homes improved by Sears. While walking onto a driveway, my foot got caught in rabbit hole and I felt a snap. I couldn't put any weight on it, and told red-headed girl I needed to go. She panicked, saying she needed to meet her quota for the day. I asked if we could take an early lunch, so we went to Arby's, where she and the rest of the sales crew left me with a swollen foot. I had to call my dad to pick me up (he worked an hour and a half away). He dropped me off at my car, and I drove with my injured right foot home. Yeah, that helped... nope.
I went to Urgent Care, and discovered I had an avulsion fracture on the top of my foot.
20. I once turned down a job offer because the whole point of the position was traveling around the area, representing the company at sales events... but they didn't reimburse travel expenses. I told them politely but firmly that while the job sounded like something I'd enjoy and be good at, it wasn't worth my time, gas and wear on my car. It's a legitimate company, too, and the interviewer seemed genuinely nice. They just apparently can't be bothered to fairly compensate their lower-level employees.
21. I was really short on cash while waiting to hear back from a job opportunity with a company that takes a notoriously long time in the hiring process and saw a job that was offering $25/hour for some fire safety company (no other info) with a tagline saying, "Just because it seems too good to be true doesn't mean it is!" I thought it was at least worth looking into. Went to the interview which apparently was a group interview.
The guy stepped out and the first thing he asked was if anyone researched this company on the Better Business Bureau. A few people did, he spoke with them in another room, and then they never came back.
Then he started to launch into this drawn out story about the last 30 years of his life, how someone gave him the same opportunity he was offering one of us now, and that it honestly made him cry thinking that people were so cynical that they would think he was a scam artist (story continued on the next page...).
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And he actually did begin weeping in front of everyone, at which point his 20-something assistant ushered him out of the room before coming back and emotionally launching into his own story about how this guy saved him and was a genuinely great guy.
Honestly, I didn't have a lot to do that day and the "interview" was catered, so I stuck around to see what would happen when the guy came back into the room. And he did, with the vigor of an infomercial host, promising everyone that with a $600 deposit, they would be making $100K in 6 months time. He just wanted a chance to interview each of us one-on-one. At the one-on-one, he started to talk a bit more about how this would be a great fit for me, blah blah blah, and I just stood up, asked for the application I filled out - it had my personal information on there - told him that this was so obviously and clearly a scam that I hoped that there wasn't anyone dumb enough to actually write him a check.
He called me a cynic and had his assistant escort me out.
22. The job was advertised as morning shift. The interviewer starts to explain how I would be used as a wild card to fill any shift that was needed including short notice.
23. I applied for a position as a manager of a restaurant. At the time I was already a General Manager at another restaurant, and I had years of management experience. They called me and asked to set up an interview, which I accepted. When I arrived 15 minutes early I checked in, and was told to take a seat, where I waited for 45 minutes past my scheduled interview time. When I was finally interviewed the interviewer was mumbling something about, "f ahole servers" then ranted to me about how upset he was that a server was refusing to pick-up a night shift. Then he used a bunch of derogatory terms for women about that server. As the interview progressed he would start side tangents about his staff, and past managers. He then told me that while I applied to a managers position they actually didn't have one available, and that I could serve tables until a position became available. I asked when that might be, and he said maybe 6-8 months.
I read him the riot act in front of staff and customers about how much of my time he wasted, and how he should never talked about his staff like that, and about his professionalism. 8 months later the restaurant closed.
24. I went on a job interview while employed at my current company. A company that is safe, with great co-workers and a laid back fund environment. However the salary was less than industry average, and a long commute. So I applied at another place. As I am in the interview, it is going great but then the reality of leaving my current job hits like a ton of bricks. I start bobbling questions I was aceing before. And then I realize I just wasn't ready to leave yet. I knew me leaving would hurt the company immensely, and that leaving would hurt people I know considered more friends than co-workers. So I told my interviewer and he understood completely. He saved my record on file and ended the interview on a good note.
Growing up is hard to do. Suddenly, life flashes by you at a speed you didn't think possible and you're a grown adult. You didn't see life leave you behind so easily, but it has.
What are the signifiers of being an adult? Does it just mean things become less special, or that you can't ignore certain kinds of responsibility, or that you just don't have any money? What does it all mean?