28 Poor Unfortunate Souls Who Made Job Interview Mistakes That They Still Cringe About Years Later

Getting to the job interview stage feels like it's tougher than ever, so it's only natural to feel nervous when you're finally sitting down with HR or a hiring manager. Unfortunately for everyone in this Reddit thread, it's all too easy to slip up in an interview and make mistakes that will haunt you for decades to come. Here are some all-too-relatable stories of job interview mistakes:

1."The manager had a picture of a naked mole rat on his desktop, and I said, 'Gross.' He then told me it was his pet."

A close-up of a naked mole rat standing and facing left against a plain white background
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2."I thought I was at a different company. I did their interview, and when they asked what I knew about them, I provided all the information I read (I thought this was a construction company, and I had applied to their tech support.) The guy tells me, no; they are a router company. Surprisingly, I did not get the job. I don't know how I mixed it up so badly, but I learned to double-check the company I am interviewing at, lol."


3."It was a silly server position, but during the interview, the guy asked, 'Do you smoke?' My nineteen-year-old stoner brain responded, 'Cigarettes? No.' I didn't get that one.


4."Interviewed at a bank. It was going perfectly despite how nervous I was, and I was probably in with a great chance. Then, as a final question, the panel asked me, 'Why should we hire you?' And I word-vomit replied, 'Because I probably won't steal your money!' I was not hired."

Bankrobber driving a getaway car
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5."I asked if I should negotiate my salary. To the guy interviewing me. I said what I was thinking OUT LOUD. His expression still burns in my brain to this day. But I got the job, impressed the heck out of him and myself honestly, and really enjoyed it. But yeah, that moment still embarrasses me to this day."


6."It was going pretty well until I inadvertently dropped an F-bomb."


7."To illustrate my excellent attention to detail, I mentioned that I had noticed a spelling error in their job ad. Never heard back. I don't wonder why."

A hand holding a red pen is editing a printed document with corrections marked in red ink, placed on a desk next to a laptop
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8."I showed up for an 'interview' once and found about 50 other people milling around in a large room. Then I saw a table in one corner stacked high with vitamins. It was an MLM. I just shook my head and got the fuck out."


9."Went negative and bad-mouthed my current-at-the-time company. Apparently, that's a huge no-no. You should always make it sound like you want to go to the new company and not escape a bad one."


10."My first job interview was a bullshit group interview, and they were asking a bunch of questions related to pop culture and movies I hadn't seen because, at the time, I lived a fairly sheltered life. They then asked what our favorite animal was, and I knew I had to say something to stand out from everyone else, so when it came to me, I just blurted out, 'Flamingo,' since I thought that would be a unique animal that no one would think of but didn't think far enough ahead to actually justify why it was my favorite animal and so completely blanked on the follow-up question. Pretty sure I came across as a raving lunatic."

A flamingo stands in shallow, clear water with greenery and buildings in the background
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11."Interviewer: 'What's your biggest weakness?' Me, Mr. Funny Man: 'Bullets.' The panel of interviewers gave me concerned looks and stared in silence for a good 10 seconds. I got the job, been here for 13 years but man, that was BRUTAL. They said that they didn't get the joke at first and assumed I misheard the question and were giving me time to re-answer. After I left the interview, they went over everything and then realized that I meant being shot was my weakness, and they all laughed."


12."I was dead asleep when a hospital supervisor called me for a transport position. Being half asleep, I answered like it was a driver position in the middle of the interview. He stopped me mid-interview like, 'You know this is an internal position, right? You move patients in house.' I apologized and mentioned I worked third shift and just got to sleep and asked him if we could redo the interview. He laughed and said he had time. I was hired a week later. And he picked at me (jokingly) for a couple of months about it."


13."I didn’t do my research and didn’t realize one of the main people I’d be interviewing with was a girl I had hooked up with a few years prior."

A woman in professional attire holds a document and talks with a man sitting across from her in an office setting
Antonioguillem / Getty Images/iStockphoto

14."Accepting the job when they offered it right on the spot. I didn’t know at the time, but that’s usually not a good sign. They’re usually either desperate or the job just sucks."


15."First job out of high school, it was for an ER tech (think nurses aide but in the ER) position. The interview was a group interview between myself, HR, and the director of emergency services. He introduced himself to me as Dr. Charz. Through the entire interview I, without realizing it, kept calling him 'Dr. Sharts'. Luckily, he had a good sense of humor, as did everyone else on the panel. I thought I majorly crashed and burnt but the following week I got a call from HR to start onboarding for the ER tech position. I have to say I didn't expect things to go that way, but I'm glad they did."


16."My interview was at six in the evening. The interview was at a coffee shop right across from the business; the owners were going to close up for the day and then meet me at the coffee shop for the interview. I got there early but since I didn't want to loiter, I bought a coffee so I could sit at a table to wait for them. They eventually showed up, maybe 15 minutes late. I never noticed until that day, but I'm pretty sensitive to caffeine, so by the time they showed up, I was a little too high-energy. I was rambling a lot more than I needed to. In the moment, I thought I was doing well, but it wasn't until afterward that I realized I probably should have ordered a tea or something. I didn't get the job."

A person is pouring coffee from a pot into a white mug while holding the mug with the other hand. Their nails are painted, and they are wearing a sweater
Juanma Hache / Getty Images

17."When asked where I saw myself in five years, I said in their seat. Don't think he liked that. Was not hired."


18."Interviewed to be a flight attendant. They asked something about what I thought would be the downside of the job, and I said, 'Another 9/11.' Immediately everyone’s face changed, and I knew I fucked up. But honestly, why was that bad? Like, that would be a bad day/part of work, and I’m acknowledging that is a possibility with the job. I think they just wanted friendly/dumb/smile and nod types."


19."I was a teenager interviewing for a hotdog place. They asked what the most important thing is about their organization, and I shrugged and said, 'I don’t know, the weiners.' I didn’t get the job."

A grilled hot dog in a bun with mustard, served on a plate with a side salad, placed on a wooden table
Lauripatterson / Getty Images

20."I smoked some weed on the 30-minute drive to the interview to calm my nerves; it was such a poor choice. I could barely have a conversation, let alone try to sell myself. They ended it very quickly and awkwardly. They asked me what one of my best qualities for the position was, and I said, 'My smile.' My god, I just sat there chastising myself in my head. It was a mercy they ended it soon after that. Don’t get high before an interview, lol."


21."I didn’t know it was a multi-part, back-to-back interview. I think I really aced the first part, conversation was flowing, everyone was laughing and having a good time. By the end of the first part, I had completely worn down my battery for social interaction. And then they all stood up and told me the big boss would be in soon. I was just completely zapped and not on my game at all. Struggled with basic interview questions. Didn’t get a call back."


22."I answered a question about my biggest weakness by saying I work too hard, classic cliché, and it sounded insincere. They knew. I knew. Awkward silence followed. Didn't get the job."

A woman interviews a man at a desk with documents and a laptop in a professional setting
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23."I was young and nervous and forgot my own address."


24."I was doing fantastic at the interview; it was for an admin/sales job, and at the end of the interview, my top few shirt buttons let go and showed the panel of interviewers a whole lot of boob, lol. Most embarrassing thing to happen, but I still got the job, lol. Unsure if it helped or hindered my chances."


25."Going to the wrong building. I went to their shop, where I met the foreman before, and not to the administration place. I was there 30 minutes early and sat in the car. If I would have gone in, I would have had enough time to make it to the proper building."

A road sign states "WRONG WAY GO BACK."
Philhillphotography / Getty Images/iStockphoto

26."I brain-farted during salary negotiation, and the number I pulled from my notes was my total compensation — my salary, health insurance, bonuses, 401(k) match, etc. I essentially asked for twice the salary cap for that position. As I was saying it, my brain did the slow-mo, 'Nooooooooooooooooooo.' They exhaled loudly, thanked me for my time, and hung up on me. Oops."


27."It was an extremely hot summer day in Australia. I went for a web development job interview and had to take public transport. Got the interview through a job agency. The train that I took didn't have any air conditioning, and it was packed, and it was about a 50-minute journey. Got to the job interview, I was very excited, so glad that there was air-conditioning and I was in the waiting room. Interview went really well. I answered all their questions without hesitation, and I was extremely happy with how it went. Got a call from the job agency later that day. I was declined the roll on account of BO. So, always bring deodorant, and always use antiperspirant before going to an interview."


28.And finally, "I had allergies, and my eyes were watery AF. The interviewer asked me how I handled conflict at a previous job, and I had a very solid answer. However, my eyes were itchy and watery, so I was trying to subtly dab them. I never heard back from them, and I swear it’s because she thought I was crying during the interview!"

Man in a blue shirt sits at a desk in a modern office, wiping his eye with a tissue while holding glasses, next to an open laptop
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Have you made a job interview mistake that still haunts you to this day? Tell us all about it in the comments.