Getting a job can be tough. You have to network, send resumes, check out career websites, and take a number of steps before you get called in for an interview. It’s exhausting work, but it can pay off. However, for some unlucky job seekers, their hard work doesn’t quite pay off.
We found some unfortunate tales of job interviews gone horribly wrong on Reddit’s career thread. Here are some of the ridiculous reasons these people didn’t get the job.
Losing a coin toss
Choosing a job candidate is serious business. However, some hiring managers don’t see it this way. For some, it’s all just fun and games, and the top pick is literally left up to chance. This job seeker, who goes by the name Twerps, was told he didn’t get the job because he lost a coin toss.
I interviewed for a job as a field tech with a company that makes outdoor LED displays. Everything went well, was all but told that I had the job, and I was surprised to get a rejection email. Six weeks later, they called me and asked if I still wanted the job. Sometime down the road, I asked why they delayed hiring me. [The interviewer said], “Well it finally came down to you and another guy. We couldn’t decide, so we tossed a coin and you lost. Then he turned out to be a flake, so we fired him and hired you.”
Next: This candidate knew a little too much.
Writing the company manual
There are times when your answers to job interview questions are a little too good. You’re the magical, unicorn candidate and the hiring manager thinks you’re just too good to be true. This job seeker, who goes by the name AQuietMan, found out that being qualified enough to write the company’s manual put him at a disadvantage. He was just too perfect for the job.
I was interviewed for a software development job in Silicon Valley several years ago. Their interview was based almost entirely and almost verbatim from the FAQ for this particular software. They didn’t hire me because my answers were almost word-for-word the same as the answers in the FAQ. They thought I’d just memorized it. But I didn’t memorize the FAQ. I wrote it.
Next: She couldn’t get to Dunkin’ Donuts.
Not being able to get the boss coffee
Some managers are pretty serious about their coffee. So serious, in fact, that it could cost a candidate the job. This candidate, who goes by the screen name Seizuresrock, said her inability to drive and pick up coffee for the boss caused her to lose out on a job.
I didn’t get a job because legally I cannot drive (due to epilepsy). This meant that I wasn’t able to drive to Dunkin’ Donuts every morning to pick up the boss’s coffee.
Next: This hiring manager just couldn’t make up his mind.
Not having enough experience—for a job that doesn’t require experience
Decoding a job description can be frustrating. One thing that drives some job seekers crazy is when the job requirements suddenly change without notice. This is what happened to a Redditor who goes by the name Notanangel_25.
I’ve kinda had that: “I actually prefer you not have any experience as it can be tiresome to break bad habits and I’d like to think of myself as a teacher/mentor.” The job ad also explicitly stated no experience necessary. Never got a call back. When he finally emailed me, he said I didn’t have enough experience.
Next: This candidate didn’t put on a show.
Not being “bubbly”
Depending on the corporate culture, a hiring manager might be looking for someone with a bright, cheerful personality. But some roles might not require so much cheerfulness, especially if you’re not dealing directly with customers. A job seeker who goes by the username Zfolwick said he felt the cheerfulness requirement was a bit too much.
I didn’t get the job because I couldn’t act all bubbly and giggly in the interview. They wanted someone super passionate. They actually used the term “a rockstar programmer.” I guess me putting in 12+ hours a day at my job while only being paid for eight isn’t passionate enough.
Next: It’s all just so confusing.
Being overqualified—and then under-qualified
When a manager says you’re overqualified, that doesn’t always mean your job search at that company has to stop in its tracks. You can always ask about other positions. However, sometimes being overqualified in one area could mean you’re underqualified somewhere else. Sometimes you just can’t win. That’s exactly what happened to a Redditor who goes by the name MrPeppa.
I got rejected for a position because I was overqualified, but they asked me if I would like to be considered for another position they felt I would be perfect for. “Definitely!” I said. “Sorry. Under-qualified.”
Next: This candidate didn’t do enough of this.
Not smiling enough
Some managers want to hire someone who is just full of smiles and sunshine. Apparently, a Redditor who goes by the username Onid8870 didn’t fit the bill.
I interviewed for a proofreader position at a financial company. First, I met with the HR guy and he told me that this was going to take a half hour and then I would go to another building down the street to meet the “girls.” We go over my resume and this guy settles in and starts asking me questions (greatest strength, greatest weakness, all of them). An hour and a half later I was still there. He gets a call and takes it, then he tells me that was the “girls” wondering where I was.
This was when he told me that he has a side business as a career coach and that he felt that I didn’t smile enough when I came in and he felt I also did not talk enough. He sent me on my way to the other interview. That one went great, and I went on my way. I get a phone call from him a week later telling me that though the “girls” liked me, he picked a woman that was a bookkeeper. Two weeks after that, he calls me back to tell me that the bookkeeper stopped showing up and asked if I was still interested in the position. I had moved on by then to another job.
Next: This candidate couldn’t get high enough.
Not having a high grade point average
Some people say your grade point average doesn’t matter once you graduate. However, not all employers agree. Some still compare job candidates based on how well they performed in school. A Redditor who goes by the screen name [deleted] said her grade point average became a problem.
I made it to the final round of an interview. There had previously been three, one-hour phone interviews over the course of three months and the final round was an entire day of interviews with the team. I drove five hours each way to the interview.
They emailed two weeks later with an automated, generic “thanks for applying” email. I emailed the main person I had been communicating with in the company. She said, “You were more qualified and likable, but the other candidate had a higher College GPA. Our corporate suggests hiring those with X GPA.” But they knew our GPAs from the beginning and there was nothing in the job posting about GPA requirements.
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