Working in food service is already a difficult task, but trying to get past the crazies who are in charge is even harder. People share the time their interviews went south real fast.
(Content has been edited for clarity)
After The Way She Was Treated, She Wouldn’t Accept This Job If It Was The Last Thing On Earth
“I had a job interview at a restaurant where I showed up at like 3:50 when the interview was at 4. The host sat me at a table and walked away. After 20 minutes, I went up to the host stand, and there was a new host so I told her that I was waiting to be interviewed at the table. She called the manager, and I was told to sit back down. 20 more minutes went by, so I walked up there again and told the host I had stuff to do.
After five more minutes, the manager came out and sat down. She never apologized and started reading my resume out loud. I was confused because it wasn’t my resume. When I told her that it wasn’t my resume, she got upset with me. She went back into the office for ten minutes to find my resume, just to tell me that I wasn’t qualified for the job after she looked over my resume. She called me a month later saying I was hired for the job. Soooo stupid.”
These Basic Questions Caught Her Absolutely Off-Guard
“I once went to interview for a waitressing job at this small cafe. The owner was a little old Greek man. We sat down and I started talking about my previous waitressing experience when he stopped me and asked what my favorite animal was. I paused and said, ‘I like pigs.’
This seemed to please him, since he replied, ‘Ah yes, yes…pigs. And what is your favorite color?’
‘…Blue.’ I didn’t know what he was getting at, but waited for his next question. No more questions, he told me to come in the following Wednesday for my (unpaid) training. It was bizarre and I never went back.”
He Needed The Money And That’s Why He Stayed
“I went in for my second interview for a popular Americanized Mexican food place. The general manager told me she had to finish something real quick in the back office and she would be back to interview me properly. She ended up forgetting about me as I waited approximately four hours for her to come back. I, being an inexperienced 18-year-old desperate for a job, didn’t want to come off as pushy. She ended up saying she got held up that entire time, but I have no doubt she forgot about me. I ended up getting the job anyway and I’m pretty sure it was out of pity but, whatever, I needed it.”
The Problem With Doing Phone Interviews At Your Parent’s House
“I was in high school and wanted a second job over the summer. A pizza place was hiring for their call center where you can work at home. Sounds like a pretty chill job right? I just had to take calls from home. They called to do an over the phone interview. As I was doing my phone interview with the lady, my dad picks up the phone…
Dad: ‘Hey! Are you ordering pizza?’ Me: ‘No dad!’ (trying to let him know it’s an interview) Dad: ‘HEY! Get some pepperoni and um…what’s that one with pineapple?’
I paused, ‘Hold on a second…’
…As he shouts out to the rest of my family to take their pizza order.
It was quite the awkward situation.”
His Impressions Didn’t Impress
“My interviews typically last, on average, 6-8 minutes.
One guy came in and interviewed with us for 44 minutes. The second question I asked was, ‘What do you like to do in your free time?’
He spent the next 40 minutes doing terribly awful ‘impressions’ of celebrities and voices he makes up on his own. Some of them were okay, most of them were just unbearably awful. He was trying to become a famous voice-over artist.
You may wonder why I let it go on this long; I didn’t. I put in six attempts to stop him and steer the interview in another direction. After the sixth attempt failed, it was just kind of funny. And so on he went about his incredible voice-acting talent.
Needless to say, he did not get the job…as a dishwasher, for the restaurant I was hiring for.”
They Gave Very Little Benefits And Expected Extreme Loyalty
“I was applying to wait tables at a semi-fancy restaurant during college. I had previous experience waiting tables, and I am at least somewhat put-together as a human being, so I figured I was qualified. The whole interview went great until he asked me if I was willing to accept a job as a busboy instead of as a waiter. I told her that no, I would not, as I knew the money was better as a waiter and I thought I was qualified to be a waiter.
I didn’t get the job, but it turns out he was one question away from offering me the job as a waiter. I found out from my friend who worked there that they wanted me for the waiter position, but it was because I said I wouldn’t be a busboy that they didn’t offer it. Apparently, saying I’d waited tables somewhere else before being a busboy for them showed a lack of corporate loyalty. What the heck? I’m a college student asking for a $2.25 hourly rate AND I don’t work for you yet. What kind of corporate loyalty did they expect?!”
She Was Not Dressed For The Occassion
“I ran interviews for a grocery store. The worst one was an 18-year-old young ‘lady’ who came in 10 minutes late. She was wearing pajama pants and a white wife beater style tank top. She also had a half-smoke stuck behind her ear. To top it all off. she also had her 1-year-old baby, who was only wearing a diaper, on her hip. She was only available certain days and times and had no car (where I live, you have to have a car to get around). Needless to say, I gave her a pity interview and sent her out the door.”
Her “Multi-Tasking” Skills Weren’t What They Were Looking For
“We were opening a new location and doing interviews. A woman comes in for a management position. During the interview, she reaches into her purse and pulls out a bag from Wendy’s and starts eating. The other manager tells her to put it away and she tells him it is okay, she can multi-task.”
She Had Too Much Dignity To Say Yes To This Job
“I was applying to be a waitress. At the interview, they handed me a bra and a pair of panties and told me to go put them on and pretend to flirt with them to get them to buy a drink. Since waitresses at that casino wear dresses and drinks are free for gamblers, I passed on that job.”
He Totally Misunderstood The Question
“I have only had one interview that went really terrible; it was the only job I have ever interviewed for and did not get. Granted, it was my first job interview ever so I would have been somewhere in the middle of my teens.
It was for a local restaurant. I didn’t really want the job but my mom got it in her head that it was time for me to get a summer job, so she set up the interview and was all excited for it.
I went into the restaurant and sat down for the interview with the general manager. He began describing the position to me, which if I remember was just a food busser position. At some point, he asked me what I was interested in doing, as there were other positions available. All I remember is me talking about how cool it would be to work at a golf course/range (since I was really into golf at the time). This went on for 10-15 minutes. After I was done talking, the GM just stared at me and said, ‘I don’t think this is the position for you.'”
The Manager Was A Little Too Intense For Their Liking
“I was in high school and applied for a job as a delivery driver at a Domino’s Pizza. The manager was this slovenly dude who told me he was wasted and high. Then he asked if I wanted a cold one. He then went on a tangent about how this (working for Domino’s) was his whole life and how it was really important to him. This was all before he started telling me to really think about how important a job like this was to me and to come back in the morning if I was ready for it.
I did not return.”
“When I was 16, I brought my resume into a Boston Pizza. My plan was to politely give it to the hostess and leave, but it just so happened that the hiring manager was there that day. The hostess excitedly went to grab him from the back, and lucky me got to speak to him face to face. He introduced himself and told me what Boston Pizza was all about. Being a sports bar, he half-jokingly told me that all the staff had to be big sports fans to work there. Then the first and unfortunately last question he asked me is what my favorite team is. I panicked, (I thought, ‘What is sport?’) looked at the nearest TV monitor which was playing a basketball game and said, ‘Basketball.’ My dumb behind thought I had absolutely nailed the question, too, until he awkwardly smiled and thanked me for coming in. I didn’t realize what I had said until I was walking out, replaying the conversation in my head…”
“Next Time I’ll Stick With Tea”
“The interview was scheduled at a coffee shop near their office. I got there early and decided to get a coffee and sat down at a table while I waited instead of awkwardly just standing there. By the time the interviewer showed up, I was pretty amped up. It had been a long time since I’d had coffee in the middle of the day, so even though I wasn’t nervous, I rambled on for every answer like I was on coke. I thought I nailed it. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized how badly I’d blown it. Next time, I’ll stick with tea.”
He Had A History Of Bad Candidates
“As a restaurant manager, I had an interview scheduled at 3 pm. At about 2 pm, it slowed down a bit so I sat at an out-of-the-way table to observe everything and get some paperwork done. Right at 3 pm, a guy who had been drinking at the bar for a couple hours finished his drink and then asked who he is supposed to see for his interview. He smelled like a brewery. I politely told him thanks but no thanks. I checked his tab after he left – he had six drinks while he was waiting.
When I was on an interview panel for a clerk position in the Sheriff’s Office, I had a lady start the interview by asking if it was a problem that she had an active warrant. We told her to go across the hall to the court clerk and get it taken care of right away.
Another time I was interviewing a high school kid for a Community Service Officer position and I asked him what activities he was into. He responded that he really liked smoking.”
They Didn’t Expect This Audience At Their Interview
“I interviewed at Domino’s when I was in high school.
I went in and they said we’d do the interview at the picnic table behind the store, so out we go. Then as we started, everyone else working just came back and stood around watching the interview. Zero pizzas were attended to. It definitely felt weird interviewing with an audience.
I didn’t get the job. I ended up working at the Arby’s across the street after a far more normal interview. Just me and the bearded female manager of the store. Got to eat a ton of ‘roast beef’ though so I enjoyed it.”
He Was Only Trying To Help, But His Boss Didn’t Care
“When I was working as a ticket taker at a small movie theater, the boss asked me to let him know when people showed up for an interview. A guy showed up so I called the boss over and he proceeded to interview him not 10 feet from my position. About five minutes later, another person comes in for an interview, so I had them sit down across the lobby, and I called a manager to bring me an employee handbook so he could look over it while the boss was interviewing the other guy. The boss then called me over and berates me for not letting him know the second guy came in for his interview.
He’d stopped his interview to just be a jerk to me. I apologized and told him I just didn’t want to interrupt the interview and I was going to tell him once that interview was over. I walked back to my podium, and as soon as I stepped behind it, I heard my boss tell the kid he was interviewing, ‘See, this is the incompetence I have to deal with.’ Like seriously? Who the heck says that to a future employee.
Well about four months later, he found out his dad had Alzheimer’s, so he retired. After he retired, it was discovered that employees were supposed to get a 25 cent raise every year they worked for the company. He had been pocketing everyone’s raise. Several long-time employees got a TON of back pay because of that. I don’t know if he ever got into trouble.”
He Wouldn’t Be Making Freaky Fast Deliveries For Them
“I was new to town and desperate for a job. I was born in a small town that didn’t get a Starbucks until about 2004 and we didn’t have a lot of fast food joints. My college was in a somewhat rural area for a college, so similar scenario.
So here I am in a ‘big city’ interviewing at Jimmy John’s. Everyone else applying is in a t-shirt and jeans. Some look pretty scrappy and have tattered clothes. I’m in khakis and a button up. The guy interviewing me isn’t even remotely warm or friendly. He’s about 40 and seems offended that I’m even sitting across from him in the little booth. His assistant beside him looks more bored than aggressive. He asks standard questions for a minute or so then asks me what my favorite Jimmy John’s sub is.
I flat out admit, ‘Sir, I’ve never had Jimmy John’s because there just aren’t anywhere I’ve ever been my whole life and I just moved here.’
‘That’s bullcrap, we have 3,000 locations in the country.’
Well, not in rural South Carolina, you jerk. No, I didn’t get the job or even a callback. The interview was basically over at that point.
I’m currently in a city littered with Jimmy John’s. To this day, I won’t buy a dang thing from them because of that jerk. I used to live a five minute’s walk away from the one I interviewed at and would take the extra quarter mile for Subway or Five Guys.”
They Quickly Backed Out Of This Shady Situation
“I dropped off a resume at a rather dingy, local bar. I got called back for an interview and actually got laughed at by a couple of staff members for being pretentious enough to have turned in a resume.
They wanted me to bartend for a shift to see if I was up to par, which was a little unexpected, but I was just excited to work. By the end of the shift, I was informed that I got to take home my tips but wasn’t going to be paid the hourly wage.
The whole thing was pretty shady so I just never went back.”
She Just Had Bad Luck When It Came To Interviews
“I’ve had a couple stinkers.
- I interviewed at a coffee shop (one that I’d worked at previously in a different city). The interviewer told me he liked to keep his workplace mostly women. He was kind of a creep and didn’t offer me the job. I’m okay with that.
- I once interviewed for an accounting job at a lawn and landscape company. All the red flags popped up: the ‘work hard play harder,’ attitude, the ‘we need a dedicated problem solver,’ etc. The real problem, though, was when he asked me if my last name was related to a company in town. I said yes, that is my grandfather’s company. He started screaming at me to get out, saying all sorts of profanities about my family. Apparently, a deal he had with my grandpa went sideways.
- One was a pyramid scheme. The interview was going well and I was just looking for some side cash, which is why I took the interview in the first place. I backed out as soon as he wanted me to put in about $350 a year in membership dues. He started calling me every day and following me when I would run into him at a gas station near my office.
- Another time, I was interviewing for a regional manager position based out of Atlanta. The interview actually went really well, they were pulling together an offer that included relocation until all of a sudden, they ghosted on me for two months. Turns out my company was going through a merger and they canceled the position because it was going to be redundant after the merger. I still wish they would have told me instead of disappearing.”
If Only He’d Watched His Step
“I attended a job interview in the deep, dark bowels of a supermarket basement. The interview itself went well, but on the way out of the office, I did not notice the hallway was one step down. I stumbled and did that run where you pick up speed as you try not to fall. I came to a stop at the other side of the hallway where I headbutted the payphone off the wall. I didn’t get the job.”
She Really Needed The Job, But Then They Sprang The Hours On Her
“It was my first summer back home since I’d started college. I spent about a month looking for jobs before I got called for an interview at a 24-hour buffet out by a truck stop just outside town. It was for a dishwashing position. I went there, and the first interview went fine. I got along with the assistant manager pretty well. After we talked, he told me to come back the next day to talk to the restaurant manager to hopefully formalize things.
So I arrive there the next day, and as I enter the restaurant, I ask for the manager. The guy at the front counter said, ‘She’s busy. You’ll have to wait a few minutes.’
I replied ‘OK, that’s fine. Where can I sit to wait?’ The man led me to a booth on the other side of the restaurant.
I waited there for 20 minutes, not looking at my phone, just sitting. I was looking at the old grimy floor tiles, at a spider crawling across the floor, and at the design of the menus (they were very corporate). When the manager eventually arrived, she apologized for the wait and I said it was alright. After some formalities, she asked, ‘So, did the assistant manager tell you the hours?’
‘Oh…no, he didn’t.’
‘Well, you’d be working nights only on weekends. About 10 hours a week.’
My face contorted, calculating whether or not it was worth it. ‘I’m not sure about those hours.’ I replied, ‘Are you sure that’s it?’
‘OK, I’m not sure if this is gonna work out.’
With a look of empathy, she escorted me to the front door. ‘Look, if you still need a job in a week, call us.’
And with that, I left and drove home. Luckily, I managed to find another job a few days later, but geez that was terrible.”
Mothers Don’t Always Know Best
“This happened last year during the end of my high school senior year. My family didn’t make that much, so I wanted to have a job to help pay for my college. The only problem was that my mom was extremely protective and didn’t trust ‘non-Arabs.’ After months of asking her to let me apply, she finally said yes but I could only apply to somewhere nearby since she didn’t want to drive me there. My parents didn’t want me to get a license for fear that I might run away. I’m 19 and I still don’t have one. After sending out a few applications, I managed to land an interview with Wendy’s.
On the day of the interview, my mom said she got me a ‘congratulations gift,’ a Bluetooth earpiece. Turns out, she wanted me to go to the interview wearing while she was on the phone with me. Once I arrived, the hiring manager gave me weird look but didn’t mention the earpiece. The interview was going well and in the end, she mentioned some of the requirements needed for the job, such as being able to talk to people, handle food, and pick up 50 pounds in weight. That’s when I heard, from my earpiece, about two minutes of screaming. She kept going on about how she doesn’t want me to hurt my back, this job is dangerous, etc. I tried to maintain composure but then my mom told me to get up and leave right away. I asked the manager to give me a moment and she said ok. I went to the bathroom area and pleaded with my mom to let me stay but to no avail. She told me to leave without saying a word and that she was waiting for me outside in the car. As I walked out, I looked at the manager with a sad look and just waved goodbye to her and, without saying a word, I left.”