These job-search stories are truly a fright.
The job-search process can be a horrifying experience, whether you're the one applying or the one hiring. From going to interviews that make you want to literally run away to processing CVs that are just blank pieces of paper, the number of horror stories from both sides is endless. If you're ready for a good fright, read on for some job-search nightmares:
Frightening CV mistakes
These CVs are just terrifying (or terrifyingly hilarious) for both those who sent them and those who had to read them:
We receive a lot of applications through typical job boards, such as Indeed or CareerBuilder, and when they apply we get sent an email that has their CV attached to it with the job they applied for. We received numerous applications from one person, and when we opened the CV attachment expecting to see their experience, it was actually a one page description of how this particular man cheated on his girlfriend multiple times and this was how she was getting back at him, by screwing him out of the positions he was trying to apply for by replacing his CV with this document. ‒ SuperSmash OSU
I think it was submitted as a joke (I hope), but it had official header info (name and contact info), but was blank underneath and said, in hand-scrawl: 'Me need worky.' What bothered me most is that I would have spelled it 'Workie'. ‒ CitizenCAN_mapleleaf
I helped my old boss scan through CVs a while back, and we got a student applying for a job as a barista. Their opening line was 'I don't believe coffee is a drink, I believe it is an experience and you need me to be the face of that journey.' He had a little waffle about how coffee changed his life and molded him as a person, how coffee has been his saviour in university. This kid seemed to really be into coffee. It was well-written, but we were a coffee shop in a shopping centre, we didn't need his prose. He was an English student and the CV read as if it was a piece of course work. The whole thing was in comic sans and the only experience he had down was 'Coffee drinker for 19 years'. The kid was 19. He didn't get the job, but I'm sure he graduated well with how well the opening letter was written. ‒ Monjara
I work as a receptionist. My company was recently hiring; yes, we do look at your resume/CV, yes, we do laugh if it's bad. My personal favourite was the empty one. A guy handed in a CV which looked perfectly normal, except all the bullet points under his work experience were empty. It looked like:
Job title Company Employment dates
It was two pages long. ‒ embryoectomy
Terrifying interview situations
These interviews would leave us shaking too.
It was at a cafe. About 10 people all turned up at the same time all to be interviewed individually (really, they couldn't stagger the times they asked people to turn up?). Each person must have been in there for 30–40 minutes. I wasn't last, but close to it. I'm 16, still at school and just wanted a few hours at the weekend. I go in and we're greeting. I'm super nervous. A few minutes in and they bring out this huge, bursting at the seams, binder. They say they want to talk about my job history. I awkwardly say it's my first one, excluding my paper round. I was out 3 minutes later and it was super awkward. ‒ Dazzz316
Fell for a bait and switch from one of those dodgy MLM firms. Applied to be a receptionist and went for an interview to find myself in a room with about 30 others. So began the cringe 'ice breakers' part of the interview. Long story short, the interview lasted 3 hours with each part getting more and more mortifying ‒ the people interviewing us were so over the top and were showing us how 'fun' it was to work there by doing daft challenges, like pouring water over their heads to swapping all of us there and making bog show of 'I really wanted her/him on my team please please let me have them and I'll do this stupid thing.' When I finally got my one-on-one interview, I asked what the hell was going on and why they wouldn't let me leave (they seriously locked us in). Got a whole spiel about how I was far too good to be a receptionist, and I needed to be one of their sales staff. They then sent us all out in the field, we were driven there in cars, and as soon as we got there ‒ it wasn't far from where I lived ‒ I actually legged it and jumped on a bus away. ‒ Draxmunster
I once walked into an interview pretty confident of landing the job only to be greeted by my ex-girlfriend from years back. She was unemployed when I was with her so it was a surprise to be fair. She started off the interview process with the question 'Where do you see yourself in 5 years? With some skank?' I replied with 'I guess I won't be getting this job then' and got up and left. I didn't get the job. ‒ Silver-way
It was for a development position with … a bank. The interview was with two other devs, one of whom I vaguely knew, and their manager. Because of historical frustrations, I always like to ask about what sort of testing the team does. At which point the manager launches into a diatribe about how 'f**king atrocious' (his words) the testing team is. This is about 5 minutes into the interview. The guy then ranted for a good half hour about how awful the team was, and I didn't really get to speak. The other guys just sat there squirming the whole time. It was embarrassing as hell. Eventually he asked if I had any questions and I politely said no, having decided long ago that the job wasn't for me. The next day the guy I vaguely knew got in touch and apologised profusely for it. ‒ john_C_random
Blindsided me with 'We filled the post you applied for, how would you feel about this post instead?'
'I have literally not prepared for this, but please do elaborate.'
'It's an unpaid internship. We want you to talk to politicians for us.'
'I applied for a postgraduate position with X years experience, and now you want my contacts list, uncompensated?'
'Yes. We are a very prestigious company.'
I met another interviewee on the way out, and just shook my head at her. ‒ ThatChap
It was the height of the recession, and I'd been made redundant. After months of job searching, I was finally invited to an interview as a manager at a charity in Greenwich. I had to drive there as I had no money for a train ticket, but a full tank of petrol. As is always the case there was an accident on the m25. I eventually managed to get clear of it and then hit more traffic heading into Greenwich due to a burst water main. I rang to let the interviewers know I'd be late. By the time I arrived, I was pouring with sweat from stress, and my blood sugar had crashed. I was met with a very irritated interview panel, which heightened my stress and made the entire process agonising. I then discovered that, while they had advertised for a manager, what they really wanted was a fundraiser. I received an alarmingly rude and unprofessional email the next day to let me know i hadn't gotten the job. It all worked out in the end though as a month later I landed the job of my dreams and am still there 7 years later. ‒ Crochetrix
I travelled from Manchester to Cambridge for a 9.30am interview. They had contacted me and invited me to interview, rather than me applying, so I was feeling relatively confident. I was kept waiting for over an hour before the interview started, then called in to find that I was being interviewed by 10 people. They asked me how my journey had been, all the usual chitchat. And then one of the interviewers said, "We won't be taking this any further as we really prefer to hire Cambridge grads, so we won't waste your time any longer." Definitely worth the 300 mile round trip! ‒ bunnybunnybaby
And something to lift your spirits
Not all job-search horror stories have to be absolutely dreadful, right?
I've done decently in the actual interviews, but once as I was sitting down in their reception area awaiting my interview. As I sat, the crotch of my trousers split open! I carried on, with my boxers hanging out. It was noticed and I made light of it .... I even got the job! ‒ KevlarMak
We were hiring for a position in IT recently. One applicant was this lady, around 60. Used to work in IT in the 90s, then quit to watch her daughter's children. Most recent job was cashiering in a supermarket. From her CV I learned: when she was 17 she visited the US for a couple of weeks on a student exchange program, where she met 'David'. They fell in love. Afterwards they kept in contact, until he eventually came to our country and they got married. They had an exciting life, being roadies for rock bands and such. Somewhere along the line they managed to finish Uni and had two daughters. David was the love of her life. Then something happened (unfortunately she didn't elaborate), and David isn't in her life anymore. I never found out whether he died or they got divorced or something. She devoted all her energy to her daughters and their offspring, since that was all she had left of David. Now after the grandchildren are old enough, she wants to work in IT again. David's name appeared in the application (CV + cover letter) a whopping 17 times. Sometimes I wonder what happened to him. ‒ Lazycat0204
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