There is nothing like going into a company for an interview. Firsthand, you see the people, the walls, and the culture. You are immersed in the nature of how the business operates in a way that using the product, reading a job posting or researching the company cannot explain.  There is no better time to ask yourself, could I work here?

For better or worse, not all places will make you think, this is the place to be. My co-workers all chose to work at SmartRecruiters because something about the vision, purpose, and culture just made them say, yes. But we did not find SmartRecruiters without professional hiccups.

In the career path of SmartRecruiters employees, we have each walked into a job interview, and been rudely surprised. Here are our true stories of the 7 worst job interview experiences:

Interview at Animal Shelter

A lady literally threw a cat at me. Luckily, I caught it. Trying to control my temper I asked, “What were you doing?”

The interviewer calmly said, “I wanted to make sure you’d react correctly to an animal jumping on you.”

Interview at Investment Bank

The interview process involved 10 to 12 people, one after another, entering the room. One guy walked in and said, “Hello. What did you get on your SAT?” He wrote down my answer.  Then asked, “What was your GPA?” He wrote down my answer, and left the room.

I asked the next person who entered the room, ‘Why do you like working here?’ and he told me, “I like going to parties and seeing people at other banks and knowing I make more money than them.”

Interview at Large Corporation

They asked me, “Why are man holes round?”

Interview at Tech Company

The phone interview began with, “You’ve got 10 minutes, and if my new born baby starts crying you’ve got five.” The baby cried.

Interview to be Bartender

They asked, “How easily do you cry?” and I told them, “Not very easily.”

The owner continued, “I’m gonna’ try to make you cry.” I thought he was really going to try and scare me. He pulled down his ears, crossed his eyes, and flapped his fake teeth at me.

“Are you an idiot while you are drunk?” I responded, “No.” He poured three shots of Crown, saying, “Take them like a man.”

 Interview at Uniform Services Company

It was the second round of interviews. I put on their hard hat for a tour of the facility. When we reached the laundry section, my interviewer picked up the clothes covered in mold and poo and whatever else children leave on school uniforms, saying “I live for this!” Taking nostril flaring sniffs, he shoved the dirty laundry in his own face before continuing, “If you wanna’ be a manager you gotta love this.”

Interview for Sales Position

There was a toy elephant on the desk. He said, “Sell me this elephant. But I want you to be really uncomfortable first, so take off your shirt and sell me the elephant.”

Always remember, as a job seeker you are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you. Interviews help you learn what you want in a career. Stay true to your values, and don’t be afraid to say, “Thanks for your time, and good luck!”

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