We've all done or said things that we wish we could take back. Especially in high-pressure, high-stakes situations like job interviews when putting your best foot forward could be the difference between getting your dream job or moving back in with your parents.
We've curated and compiled 10 of the most awkward interview blunders from young Reddit users pursuing their first jobs. As with most things in life, sometimes you just need to experience it and make those mistakes yourself in order to learn ... but hopefully you'll be able to take these lessons and avoid your own interview regrets.
1. Don't steal my identity?
Oh God, I went for an interview when they asked me to bring my passport for proof of eligibility. I was only young and I thought they were trying to steal my identity - why would they need my PASSPORT for a job interview?
Anyway, interview came. I waited, the lady came in and shook my hand. She asked me if I had brought my passport. I then TOLD HER that I was nervous about her taking copies of my passport in case they were trying to steal my identity. We still had the interview. It was awkward as hell.
I wasn't even 20. Still hurts. Didn't get the job.
2. Don't curse in your job interview...even if it wasn't held against you.
A few years ago when I was in university, I had a phone interview for a summer job. I had actually completely forgotten about it because studying for finals had taken over my life. I was studying by a river when my phone goes off. Sure enough, it's them.
I was so flustered and unprepared. The worst was when some of my pages started flying away and I was trying to catch them. Then a train went by so I couldn't hear what they were saying. Sh*t.
Fast forward two years. I'm at another summer job, and I'm working with a woman who turns out was on the interview panel of my phone interview. She tells me that she recognized my name but couldn't put her finger on it.
Then she remembered.
"You had a phone interview and a train went by so you yelled 'Shit' really loudly! "
Apparently they were laughing so hard they had to put me on mute.
At least I made an impression?
3. Double-y Awkward
After graduating college my ex set me up with an interview at his job. It didn't hit me until half way into the interview that I had no idea which position I was actually interviewing for so brilliantly I asked, "So what am I interviewing for again?" and kinda laughed thinking that was funny.
I never got a call back. I even saw them a few weeks later when going to the company Christmas party with my ex and no one said anything about the interview.
4. Know your sh*t.
My first job interview ever, I told the guy interviewing me that I had been looking at their product, and that I really liked it.
Him: What do you like about it?
Me: It's, uh, small.
5. Be proactive.
Back in college I was interviewing for a job as like "webmaster" or something for the school and arrived at the interview on time. However, I was meeting some guy who worked in an office behind one of the cafeterias, and instead of walking into the back to find his office, I simply sat in the cafeteria for a half hour waiting for him to come find me. He finally did, and it was pretty plain in his face that he thought I was a dumbass for not looking for him.
In the end, I'm really glad I didn't get the job as I pursued an internship at a company that paid well and then started working for them when I finished school.
6. Chill, Baby!
In my very first IT job interview, I was brought to small conference room and I was interviewed by one of the software managers. About 20 minutes into the interview, he appeared happy with my responses and he said he was going to turn me over to a different manager for the next round of questions. He left me in the conference room alone with the door closed. I was nervous and socially awkward. I began to mentally rehearse what to do when the door would open in a few moments and the next guy would walk in. I decided I would stand up, shake his hand and introduce myself by name. I continued to wait. It seemed like forever. Then, the door opened. I carried out my pre-planned routine: I stood up, took a pace forward, shook his and and said, "Hi. I'm such-and-such." At that point, I became conscious of that fact that 2 people were in the doorway. The man whose hand I just shook smiled at me and said that he's the guy who just interviewed me. The next guy was standing behind him. After that awkward moment, he introduced me to the next guy and I ultimately got the job.
7. Simply don't imply you don't work hard to a potential employer!
Embarrassing in retrospect: Interviewing for a summer apprenticeship at a local theater. Director asks me what my greatest strength was. Being the naive, arrogant 16-year-old that I was, I responded "Success without effort."
What the f*#%, past self.
8. Play your cards closer to your chest.
When I was at my final interview for sales rep at Circuit City back when I was in high school, right after the great interview I asked the manager what he planned on paying me because I had another interview the next week with another company.
I was stupid. It was stupid. I didn't get either of the jobs. I ended up doing lumberyard manual labor for that summer before college. It paid relatively well for my age but it was in the dead heat of Texas.
9. Leave your parents out of your interviews - physically and in conversation.
I applied online and did not lie about my age.
I had never had a job before and it was my first interview ever. I dressed to impress in a nice shirt and some slacks. I came in, and the lady was nice, but she wanted me to fill out a more extensive application once I got there. I didn't know my SSN. So I told her I needed to go outside and call my mom and ask. She looked at me weirdly and asked how old I was. I answered her: 16.
Apparently you have to be at least 18 to work at Chipotle. Still have no idea why the fuck they called me, I was specifically looking for a job where you could be under 18 and they didn't say one way or the other on the website, so when they asked online I thought I'd get filtered out when I entered 16 if they didn't accept minors.
Not that embarrassing I guess but I still remember the look on her face like I was the dumbest idiot she'd ever met for not knowing my SSN.
10. Again, don't imply you don't like hard work to a potential employer.
My first interview, interviewer asked me why I chose a particular position out of the 3 positions offered. Nervous me tried to beat around the bush to buy time but to no avail. Was asked the same question again and I bluntly answered " because it is the easiest job of all ". Needless to say, I didn't get the job.