Getting to the interview part of a job search can be an exciting time, and most of us hope that it will be the beginning of the end to what is a grueling and not-at-all fun process.
You’d think it would take a pretty strong reason, then, for someone to get up and walk out in the middle.
That’s exactly what these 14 people say they did, though, and if you’re curious about the reasons why, they’re sharing below!
14. Alarm bells were ringing.
I finished up four hours of interviews in their offices when I asked my final question to the three senior software engineers in front of me: “Do you enjoy working here?”
I was one of the three people they were looking for to replace them. They were unhappy.
13. Seems like the best answer.
I had a phone interview one time and we had scheduled it for noon. He called me at 7am. I was still asleep, so when I answered the phone it took me a moment to figure out what was going on.
He said that in our line of work we should be ready for anything (lol). It was a 4 month position with fish and game doing carcass surveys (looking for dead salmon). He kept asking a lot of hypothetical questions like “if you’re walking a stream and a guy jumps out of the bushes and points a gun at you, what do you do??”
Apparently the correct answer is call the cops and then get back to work.
The questions got nuttier but they always involved a guy pointing a gun at me, and I said, “look, if people are going to be pointing guns at me I don’t want the job.”
And I hung up.
12. Well that’s awkward.
It was a commission based sales job selling kitchen knives. The interviewer pulled out a knife and it fell apart in his hands.
I am also not a salesperson.
11. It’s like some kind of weird prank.
the interviewer (who was the CEO) was 25 minutes late, and right when I dropped out of the Webex, he called my cell and asked “oh you ran off so fast, you need to be more patent”.
I got back on the Webex, he didn’t apologize, made fun of me for leaving “so quickly”. He asked me what he thought the position was, where I read him back the job description and said I actually had questions about it. His response was “everything you need to know is in the job posting, if you had paid attention you wouldn’t have questions”. He asked me again what the role was for, and didn’t accept my answer.
After trying to move on, he was insistent I answer that question. I tried again to no avail (reading back the position he had posted), to which I just said “I don’t think this is a right fit, thank you for your time”.
10. Sorry this sounds awful.
Showed up and the manager practically bragged about how the job offered no breaks for an 8-10 hour shift, and if there was a food break it would be 5 mins max at a hip-height table with no chairs. She said that you’d be fired if you sat down even for 30 seconds.
Im more than capable of doing that. I did that every day at my last job. But when you brag about how your employees are so over-worked that they don’t get breaks or an option to rest their legs, it tells me all I need to know about how little you value your employees.
I should also note that this job wasn’t paying exceptionally well. Above minimum wage, but not at a level that was even enough to live on.
9. A bullet dodged.
Third and final interview (all same day) at a tech company. First two went well and I was told this last one just was a formality – they wanted me to join.
Interview with the head of the office guy seemed to start well. We walked to the cafeteria, grabbed a couple coffees, and with some small talk we learned we knew some of the same people. We get back to his office and sit down. He looks at my file, “It says here you’re looking for [certain salary].”
I said yes, and explained it’s really close to market for someone with my skills and experience. He looks at me and says, “I don’t think you’re worth it.” I said “Excuse me?” He repeated it. I laughed, grabbed my bag, stood up, thanked him for his time and walked out.
The company went out of business like a year later, so I feel I dodged a bullet there.
8. Like a ghost town.
Slightly different – I actually interviewed and was hiring by a call center that focused on getting donations for a variety of non-profit organizations (i was desperate). It was on a Thursday, and I was told to show up the following Monday.
When I showed up Monday morning, the entire business unit was completely empty. Like, stripped to the floor, wires hanging from the roof empty.
When I was there the week before, I saw around 20-25 cubicles of people all working diligently, a managers desk at the far back, and waiting area chairs with a table, all in one large room. To this day I have no idea what happened, I just know they got out of there quick in 3 days time.
7. A big red flag.
Told the hiring manager I would like to give more than just 2 weeks at my current job as a courtesy. He raised his voice and said “everyone is replaceable and they’ll find that out”
Yea that seems like a good mentality for your boss to have. Later tater
6. Good for him.
I once showed up for a job interview in a suit and tie after answering a newspaper ad for a “warehouse worker”.
Instead of a job interview at the warehouse, they had me get into some truck with one of the employees who drove me a few hours away, pulled over in some random neighborhood, and explained to me that the job was going door-to-door trying to sell cuts of meat to people, unsolicited.
I told him this was not the “warehouse worker” job that they had advertised and if he didn’t bring me back home immediately, I was going to call the police and report a kidnapping. I was brought back to my car, but I was not paid for the several hours of my wasted time.
5. I mean heck no.
I should have; I stayed there out of morbid curiosity to see how low they would go, but I had made the decision I wasn’t gonna work there early in the process.
I’m glad I stayed. The last thing that happened in the interview was the CEO personally asking us all to promise that, if we ever make a mistake, the company will calculate how much that mistake cost us, and we will voluntarily pay the company that amount.
4. A bait-and-switch.
1st was a mall kiosk job selling phones. The interviewer was brand new and you didn’t start earning commission until you had made X number of sales. And I had recently been fired for not making sales.
2nd was some sort of call center job. I had done one before and the job posting was an analyst position. I had the listed experience, applied, got called in for an interview, and quickly found out it was for a regular call center position. When I asked, the interviewer said, “Do you want the job or not?” I replied that I had been lied to in our very first interaction, and left.
The 3rd was for a manager position at a big box store. I got a callback some time after applying but needed the job. After driving across town to the interview, the interviewer opened with it not actually being the manager job but he always needed cashiers.
3. Pyramid scheme alert.
I was approached at work (bagger for a major grocery store chain when I was 16) by a guy who asked me if I would be interested in making $1100 a week. He told me to meet him at one of the empty businesses in the same plaza after work.
He went on this long spiel about the melaleuca tree from Australia and how his company made soaps and shampoo out of it. Then he told me for $500 he would train me how to sell the products. I just turned and walked out the door with him yelling behind me that I would never amount to anything with my attitude.
2. A big ol’ trick.
Not quite an interview, but…
When I finished University I didn’t have a sensible job to go to immediately. I went to a job agency and said I was looking for a temporary job for experience working in my chosen field (IT) – I didn’t mind exactly what it was, or really how much it paid. We talked about my existing qualifications and experience.
At the end of the “interview” they said they had the perfect job for me. Someone will pick me up the following morning. I said that I could drive, but no… they would pick me up. Fine.
As I said, didn’t really care where it was or exactly what I was doing as long as it met my (admittedly vague) requests, and they assured me that it was.
The following day a minibus came to get me. So where did they take me to work?
A salad packing factory, to spend the day literally packing salad.
I was getting paid, so what did it matter for one day… The worst was finding out over lunch was that if I had literally just turned up at the factory they would have probably given me work. That is what happened for most of the staff there, who were largely seasonal workers from eastern europe…and those folk were also paid more than me, not because I was new, but anybody who just turned up would likely get work and get paid more than I was.
Obviously they took us there by minibus so we wouldn’t just leave once we’d been tricked into going. So I did exactly that, finished my lunch and then walked home.
1. Thanks for letting me know.
Interviewer: What would you do if an employee of 15 years asked for a raise?
Me: I’d remind him that he already gets a yearly raise…
Interviewer: I don’t give out raises.
I hope that I would have had the guts to walk out in these scenarios, too.
Have you ever left a job interview before it was over? Tell us what happened in the comments!