People Are Sharing The Dumbest Reasons They Didn't Get Hired For A Job, And Some Of Them Really Dodged A Bullet

·11 min read

It's so common these days to apply for a job and simply never hear back. Or to get a rejection email literally years after you submitted an application. But from time to time, a lucky few get to find out the reason why they didn't get the job. Sometimes this feedback is helpful, but other times, well...

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Recently, u/rustinspencercohle asked Reddit to share the weirdest and wildest reasons people got turned down for a job, and there were some stories. Here are some of the top comments:

1."About a year ago, there was an opening for a general manager position with a car dealership that I had some interest in. When interviewing, probably 20-25 minutes in, the owner of this dealership asked me if I have ever done cocaine before, which is very specific, you know?"

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"I replied with a no. He says, 'You look like someone that I've bought cocaine from before.'

I responded, 'Well, I've never sold cocaine before, so I don't know what to tell you.'

Long story short, he told me that he wouldn't hire a druggie, to which I responded 'Well, I'm not a 'druggie,' but even if I was, that's kind of odd. I mean, you just admitted to doing cocaine, right?' He asked me to leave his property immediately."


2."I moved my legs too much during the four-hour, no break, panel interview. It was a group interview with five other applicants. My bladder was about to burst and my legs were falling asleep. When the regional manager spoke with me a week later, she told me that I had been the top contender but the panel felt my body language communicated, 'I'm a shoe-in. I don't even have to try.'"

"When I explained the reasons for my movement, her reply consisted of a weak apology and the realization that applicants should be seated at tables and maybe, just maybe, given a bathroom break at the two hour mark — especially as the interviewers were allowed to get up and go when needed."


3."I wore a suit. I passed every technical interview. The round with the CIO was the only non-technical round. He walks in, looks me up and down and says, 'Aren't you overdressed.' I laugh nervously and reply, 'Well, best to err on the side of caution.' To which he replied, 'You REALLY erred.' Then he proceeded to dismissively throw my resume back across the table."


4."I asked about the salary. They said they don’t want people who only work for money and instead want people who are passionate about sales."

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5."I didn’t know five different types of grains. This was for a job bagging groceries. The only defense I could come up with for this place was that it was a trendy organic health food store. I guess they expected everyone to have some familiarity with some basic health food concepts like grains."


6."I had a lady tell me they won’t hire veterans because 'you can’t take a fighting dog out of his cage and put him in a family’s home.' Never mind the fact that I’m human and am fully aware I’m not in a combat situation anymore. Nah, I’m a baby killer who will snap at any moment. Like, Rambo was a cool movie and all, but that’s not what vets are like."


7."I was five minutes late to the interview. Why? The clock on their plaza was off by 10 minutes. I was watching that and entered what I thought was five minutes early. 'If you can't be on time I don't think this is a good fit.' 'Huh, that clock by your sign said it's 3:00' 'That is never correct.' He proceeded with the interview through gritted teeth."

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"It was for a position serving coffee. I'm glad I dodged that bullet. If you have no chill about a misunderstanding, I can't imagine you would have much compassion in things that matter."


8."This was one of my first ever job interviews for an office job: filing, data input, and stuff. It was in a typical building with some stairs leading up to the entrance and reception. Now, just outside the main doors was a sign saying 'Visitors must wear plastic bags on their feet,' with two boxes underneath, one containing a bunch of rubber bands and the other containing blue plastic bags. 17-year-old me dutifully placed a plastic bag on each foot, secured them with a rubber band, and headed in to the office for my interview."

"I spoke to the receptionist and she told me to go down the hallway and take a seat. I did just this, and as I approached the seating area and the other applicants, I noticed that I was the only one wearing the mandatory plastic bags. 'I've got this,' I thought. 'These fools can't even follow simple instructions!'

Finally, it's my turn. I enter the room and shake their hands. After a few questions the main interviewer stopped me and advised me that there was a building site next door. The construction workers are allowed to use this building's facilities as long as they wear plastic bags on their feet.

This sort of registers with me, but as I'm young, scared, and have bags on my feet, I kind of just nod and don't rip off the bags in utter embarrassment. After a short silence the interview continues but in a much more somber fashion.

The interview ends, I leave the room and exit the building in a daze. Yes, I put the bag and bands back in their respective boxes and no, I didn't get the job."


9."My age. My friend worked there and was close with the hiring manager and discussed the applicants afterward. I was 25, very qualified, and had a good interview, however my age disqualified me since they don't want 'too many kids running around.' The person they hired instead of me was apparently terrible."


10."They called my period of working for myself 'a gap in my work history.' I was a small business owner working for myself and looked for work after the business fell apart. Apparently that's the same to them as 'not working.' The best part is that the business went under a year later, and I always picture that guy in an interview having to explain that owning a business is not the same as having a gap in your work history."

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11."I had interviewed for a job at a chemical plant in Texas. At some point during the interview, they asked about my interests and I talked about an upcoming trip to Milan. When I got the rejection notice, I was told it was because I enjoyed traveling too much."


12."I have a pumpkin tattoo (Tim Burton style) and apparently that means I'm either 'one of those Wiccans or a Satanist'."


13."One time I didn't even get an interview because I 'didn't have any relevant work experience.' My work experience was the exact same job at the same store in a different city."

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14."I was interviewing for a sales position. When we got to the experience portion I began explaining my current position at the company I had been at for 12 years. The guy interrupted and said, 'Yea, I saw that. What’s up with that?' I asked him to explain. 'Aren’t you ambitious? Why would anybody stay with one company for 12 years?'"

"I was taken aback. I thought this was a positive attribute and showed character and consistency. He viewed at as a negative. He was a young guy just out of college and probably couldn’t imagine working for one company that long."


15."The pen they gave me for a group test didn’t work, and they didn’t have any others for me to use. Lesson learned — always bring a pen and a pencil!"


16."Someone on the team who interviewed me, not someone I would work with or see on a daily basis, dated my sister in high school. He flat out said in the interview, 'It took me a while to get over her.' They were 15 at the time and it was 17 years later."

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17."My makeup. I had already had a phone interview and basically had the job, but I had to do an in person interview. I came in and the interview was going fine. She was showing me around and telling me the ins and outs of the place, but she stopped and asked me if I always wear my eyeshadow like that (kind of a rosy pink eyeshadow that was pretty basic). I told her not usually but I wanted to look nice. She told me she's more interested in 'natural' makeup and the interview was over. Never got a call back."


18."I was passed over for a manager job at one of those chain tutoring centers because I was 'the best' tutor and they could not afford to take me out of the regular schedule. I ended up finding a job in an unrelated field a few months later and left. Amusingly, once I put in my notice, a management job opened up for me. I never looked back!"


19."I was up for my boss's job. I had been there a matter of months before she left, so I was not fully onboarded yet. They said I interviewed well and would be able to fill the position perfectly, but that I interviewed more like an external candidate not an internal one. So they passed me by and hired an external candidate..."

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20."I lost a dream internship because my acceptance email got stuck in the outbox and I didn’t know about it. I followed up a week later after not hearing back, and they said they had decided to 'move in a different direction' after not hearing from me. I’m still pissed."


21."There used to be a trade show type thing that came through my city called Sexapalooza. Mainly different companies with booths selling their stuff. I was called by a recruiter for a really good job. She said my resume was great and in our conversation, she thought I'd be a great candidate and that she'd forward my resume on to the company that was hiring. She called me a few days later and said she couldn't send my resume to the company. She had searched my social media and found my Facebook. Which had pictures of the one time I went to Sexapalooza."

"She saw pics I took of a burlesque show and mentioned the pics of the 'girl with tape over her nipples' and that if the company saw that, they'd reject my resume.

That sucked, but she gave me great advice about potential employers searching social media accounts. She told me how to lock down my Facebook, and I went a step further and used by husband's last name rather than mine.

What I do/see/go to when I'm not at work has ZERO bearing on how I am as an employee or manager. I do my job, and I do it very well. I'm glad she told me that as I've had no issues since with potential employers searching for me online."


22."The interviewers actually told me that I'm over-qualified and under-qualified for the job. I had too much direct past experience for the job responsibilities and was previously paid over what they were offering, therefore, overqualified. I also did not have the higher degree that they wanted, so therefore under-qualified too."

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23.And finally, "I once applied for a job — a very casual, entry level, no experience required, they hire anybody, and they're always looking for staff kind of job — after a friend of mine who worked there told me they were hiring. After hearing nothing back, I asked the friend to see if he could check whether they'd looked at my application. It turns out that I happened to have the same first name and surname as the manager (despite being 30 years younger than him and providing a full resumé), and he thought the staff were trying to prank him."


Have you ever lost out on a job for a ridiculous reason? Share your story in the comments.

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