10 Recruiter Fails That Will Make You Say “I’m Glad It Wasn’t Me!”

From the job seeker’s perspective, interviews can be really tough. They’re nervous, and aren’t sure what the recruiter is going to ask. Despite careful preparation, even the best job seeker has botched an interview.

But recruiters are always in control. They never say anything inappropriate or have any mishaps, right?

Yeah…not so much.

But, that’s ok, because at least these stories aren’t YOU! And, secretly you can now let go a sigh of relief at whatever faux pax you committed last month.

We asked on both Twitter and Reddit, “What’s the worst way you’ve seen an interviewer or recruiter mess up during the interview process?” The results were both hilarious and educational, enjoy!

A Bit Flaky, No?

A few responses showed a serious lack of organizational skills on the part of the recruiter:

“A corporate recruiter told me an interview was at 10am instead of 9. He calls me at 9:30 and asks if I’m coming. I was in the parking lot already, so I just came in. The guy refused to acknowledge that he made a mistake, and led me into the interview with the hiring manager, whose first question was “you’re 30 minutes late for a job interview. What reasons can you think of that will make me want to hire you?” After trying to rectify the situation, I decided after 10 minutes this wasn’t going to work, so I packed up and walked out.”

Candidates love it when their process goes into a black hole, right?

“The interviewer showed up 30 minutes late, and only told me part-way through that it was the first of a 2-or 3-stage process. And they never did bother to tell me the outcome.”

You can acknowledge me, it’s ok: “The two interviewers took time to discuss business with each other…in front of me while I waited patiently.”

“I was asked a question I had just answered, because filling in the blanks on their list of questions was more important than actually listening to my answers.”

Shady Stuff

We’ve all heard of applicants stretching the truth and trying to make themselves look better during interviews, but as it turns out, some recruiters do it too:

“He told me that no infantry positions were available, so I’d have to choose a different job. Turns out infantry positions are always available, but he got more credit for placing me in a different job because I scored really high on the ASVAB.”

Not a great retention strategy: “Employer told me during the interview that there were no split shifts (I had told him I was a single mom and that split shifts wouldn’t work for me). My first week’s schedule? Split shifts.”

“I had a recruiter interview with the employer present, where they grandstanded at my expense to win favor with the client.”


There are some things that you just do NOT ask during an interview, either due to legal considerations or just common decency. But these recruiters did not get the memo:

“Had one ask if I was planning to have kids anytime soon. The interviewer was a woman, too!”

“Last year, I was told by an interviewer that I could work in a window seat and be ‘window candy’ in a skirt. He actually giggled after saying this.”

“A hiring manager asked me if I was a minority, and I said no. He replied, ‘Okay, good.’” SMH, enough said.

Fortunately, interviews like this are few and far between, but they definitely had negative effects on those companies’ employer brands!

This post was originally published on the NextWave Hire Blog where we write about tips and trends related to employer branding and talent acquisition.

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