This post was written by Alison Green and published on Ask a Manager.
It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes:
I bombed an interview today. Like seriously bombed, worse interview of my life. My brain just turned off. Could you request stories of other humiliating interviews so I don’t feel so alone? I went straight home and got into bed and right now I am feeling like I might never come out. Commiseration might help.
Ask and you shall receive.
Three of my favorite mortifying interview moments that have been shared here over the years:
“I was interviewing for basically a dream job and was asked, ‘What accomplishment are you most proud of?’ I proceeded talked about how proud I was for maintaining a healthy long term relationship. The interviewers didn’t push back, but they did seem awkward. I obviously did not get the position.”
“Phone interview for a bank role. They asked about how I would handle confidential information. I gave examples of experience I had with HIPAA info and handling private information and then I blurted out, ‘But ya know, everyone gossips!’ I have no idea why I said that! I’m not a gossipy person! I think I was trying to say something funny or friendly or whatever to connect to the interviewer.”
“I once went to an interview where they asked for an example of a time I’d resolved conflict – and I responded with a terrible laugh and said, ‘Well, I’ve caused some trouble.’”
Readers, let’s hear about your own bombed interviews and other job search mortifications in the comments.