People Share The Hardest Job Interview Question They’ve Ever Had To Answer And How They Handled It
Job interviews are the worst; mostly because of the anxiety leading up to them. You have no idea what they’re going to ask. If they ask expected questions, it’s a struggle to sound natural. If they pull questions out of left field, it’s hard to come up with a clever, appropriate response.
These netizens spill the beans about the absolute hardest job interview questions they’ve ever faced, along with how they responded. Some answers are inspiring, while others are, well, not so much. Perhaps the experiences of the latter folks can serve as lessons for all of us on what not to do in a job interview.
#38 Trick Question?
When I sat down, the very first thing the interviewer asked me was: “Do you know what time it is?”
My gut sank. Was I late or something? Did I mishear the interview time that the HR person told me over the phone?
I told him it was 1 p.m., which was the time the HR person told me to come in for.
He shuffled his papers and said, “Good, now we can get started.”
I guess he was just testing me or something.
#37 Not A Trainwreck
I was asked by my interviewer how much money I made at my previous job. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the interviewer wasn’t someone I knew from high school. She wasn’t someone I was friends with back then, either. At that point, I expected the interview to be an absolute trainwreck.
I stayed professional and just told her the truth. “I made $40,000 a year.”
She smiled and said, “Don’t worry, I’m sure we can offer you much more than that!”
She turned out to be super sweet. I’ve been at the company for two years and we’re literally best friends at work now.
#36 The Customer Is Always Right, Usually
Interviewer: “Is the customer always right?”
I had to think about this for a bit. I knew most businesses live by that rule, but realistically everything is on a case-by-case basis.
So I just said, “Usually, but not always. Depending on the situation, we also have to look out for the good of the business, as some customers will abuse that principle to get what they want unfairly.”
I got hired a few days later.
#35 Reverse Psychology Didn’t Work This Time
Them: “Why shouldn’t we hire you?”
Me: “Because I care about my family more than my job, and if I have to choose between them and work, I’ll choose them.”
#34 Sit Down, Be Humble
I recently had an “email interview” before I had to attend a second, in-person interview. No big deal. It was a list of ten questions. I answered them, double-checked my work, and submitted them.
When I got to the in-person interview, the guy laughed at my “attention to detail,” saying that I had only answered half of the questions. I just sat there stupefied until I asked him if the rest of my email was on the back of his paper.
It was. He had printed it double-sided and not checked.
But the hardest part of answering was my stammering and trying not to call him out for his own mistake.
#33 Making It Without Even Faking It
About a year ago, I got called in for an interview at a company I applied to.
They started interviewing me with questions that seemed kind of strange. Questions like, “Can you tell us more about your event planning experience.”
I was thrown off. It eventually became clear that they were not asking me questions for the job I had applied for.
They were interviewing me for an event planning position, and I had applied for a job in tourism and marketing.
I finished the interview, shook hands and went on my way.
I ended up getting the job in event planning despite having little to no experience in the field.
#32 Shoes Matter More Than You Think
Me: “Um… what?”
#31 An Existential Interview
They asked me some pretty deep questions. It got to a point where they asked me why I was alive. Not in a “What’s your motivation in life” sort of way, but in a “Why do you exist, human?” sort of way.
Confused, I said, “You’re asking me why I’m alive?”
They took a short pause to realize where their follow-up questions took them and replied, “Yes.”
I’ve never had anyone question my existence during a job interview before.
#30 Learning From Past Mistakes Is Crucial
I was working a part-time customer service job for two and a half years. It was not in my field, and I HATE customer service.
My answer, with a smile on my face: “That I never want to do that again!”
Got the job.
#29 Unconventional Questions Require Unconventional Answers
Interviewer: “You’ve suddenly been shrunk down to the size of a quarter and dropped into a blender. It’s turning on in 10 seconds. What’s your plan?”
Me: “Sing in a high opera voice and shatter the blender’s glass, of course!”
#28 Commuting Is The Worst
“The only thing we foresee as an issue for you is the commute, which is just over an hour. How do you feel about it? We lost the previous person in your role because of a similar commute length.”
I had never commuted more than half an hour before, so I genuinely didn’t know. I said I didn’t think it would be an issue but genuinely couldn’t say for sure.
They offered me £4,000 more than the full amount advertised. My agency said they wanted to give me an incentive to take the role and cover the commute/drive cost.
I ended up moving closer to the office a month into the job. The commute drove me crazy, and I happened to need to move anyway.
#27 Be Prepared For Anything
I applied to an administrative job at an elite university on the East Coast and made it to the final round of the interview. It was just me and one other candidate, and we both met with one of the vice presidents.
The question itself wasn’t difficult, but the manner in which it was asked threw me off. The vice president essentially walked into the room, shook my hand, and before we even sat down, he asked me: “So, what can you do for me?”
I was expecting the first two minutes to be small talk, so I was caught completely off guard by the straightforwardness of the question. I mumbled out an answer, but I knew right away I didn’t impress. The interview only lasted another 15 minutes and needless to say I didn’t get the job.
#26 A Seriously Hands-On Interview
“The company is rolling out new customer rewards cards across the country, but they’re not sure if they will be profitable. In addition, certain provinces have regulations that restrict the use of selling these cards. Do you decide to launch it or not? What are the key considerations?”
I had to draw up some master plan with calculations in 30 minutes in front of them. It was one of those hypothetical case questions. I got the job.
#25 An Interview Gone Morbid Doesn’t Usually Sit Right
“One day your parents are going to die. After you bury them, you will never talk to them again. They’re gone forever. You will have to look in the mirror and ask yourself, ‘Was I a good son to my parents?’ Well, are you a good son?”
This was for a post-law school interview with a judge. I didn’t take that job.
#24 Pulling Out The Race Card
“You like black people? Ok, yeah, well, what’s the best flavor of Kool-Aid?”
Back story: The manager had forgotten about my interview and told the two guys working that night to interview and hire me.
#23 Pay Attention Or Pay The Price
It was a lunch interview, and at the end, the manager asked:
“Who was our server today?”
I had no idea because I was more focused on hearing the specials than her name. Must have made me look like a snob though because I didn’t get the job.
#22 Are You Messing With Me?
The interviews were pretty standard. I could tell they were trying to see who would fit best into their company culture, as well as perform the job well. We were all qualified, so it came down to personality.
Everything was standard until the third manager that interviewed me. He came in, shook my hand, and sat down. Average height, maybe 220 pounds. He had thick, oily hair, cropped neatly on top of his head. He had an odd posture, kind of holding his head back, the way anyone would do when trying to give themselves a second chin, pushing his jaw down into his neck a bit. I remember every detail about this guy because of the interview.
He began talking to me a bit, but then it happened.
In the middle of his sentence, he straight up just made a fart noise by sticking his tongue out of his mouth, closing his lips and blowing. It was quick, but it caught me completely off guard. He went right back into what he was saying.
He only did it once before finishing what he was saying, and I started to answer. However, as soon as he stopped talking and started listening, I began to get assaulted by loud, longer, face-like-a pufferfish, fart noises. It was clear he was trying to suppress it, but that it was very hard.
I thought this guy had Tourettes. Either he had Tourettes, or he was messing with me on a major level.
Whenever he spoke, it was less. Less often, less intense. But whenever I was talking, I could tell he was trying to listen intently, but he couldn’t contain himself nearly as well.
The interview went on and eventually finished. I was stone-faced. I made it through two more rounds and they took us for lunch. He continued to do it occasionally there, with the rest of his coworkers. None of them reacted, so I felt affirmed that it must be Tourette’s.
After a long day, they took my classmates and me back to the airport. As soon as we got through security, we all completely broke out into laughter.
We had all come to the same conclusion, but to this day I don’t know if it was some kind of interview tactic or not. I’ll never know.
#21 Takes One To Know One
I replied, “I’ve been stealing things for years, and I have yet to get caught. I know all the tricks.”
Got the job and made a great friend.
#20 Sick Children Trump Deadlines
“If you had an important deadline and your child was also very sick, which would you attend to first? Come into work for the deadline or tend to your child?”
I almost did not take the job once they offered it to me because this question bothered me.
#19 Give It Your All Or Go Home
“Would you rather focus on one thing and do it 100% well while doing two other things poorly, or would you rather do three things at 70%?”
It was a tough question.
I told them off the bat that I give 100% in my projects and I hate presenting things that I don’t feel are up to my standards.