I once told a future employer who I voted for during an interview. Did I die of shame? No, and amazingly, I got the job. Still, every once in a while, I revisit that moment and wonder to myself, What was I thinking? We may never know.
It’s comforting to remember that no one is perfect, and hiring managers shouldn’t expect you to be. It’s better to just be yourself, flaws and all.
To show you how relatable you are, InHerSight asked women to share their most embarrassing interview mistakes—the ones that still make them blush when they think about them. We heard about quite a few trips, memory lapses, and stutters. Here are some of our favorite responses:
What's the most embarrassing thing you've ever done during an interview?
"I fell when leaving and ended up damaging a door."
"Accidentally hung up the phone with, 'Bye, I love you.'"
"Cried! The HR person asked who is the most influential person in my life, and I said my mom, and all the sudden tears—a lot of them—snuck up on me!"
"I forgot the company's name."
"Talk about my divorce. I did that at Hulu because I was nervous and blurted out an answer to the question, “What is the most challenging thing you’ve been through in your life that shaped who you are today?” I know they probably wanted to know of a work-related challenge and not a personal one, but they listened, were respectful, and I still got hired even though it probably seemed a little unprofessional of me to bring it up."
"I wore a dress to my interview in the very hot summer. For my interview, I was sitting in a leather office chair, and I got stuck to the seat when I tried to stand up."
"Used a phrase that had innuendos—unplanned."
"I called a former employer a d****e."
"Told my current boss, 'I’m from (insert home town here) so I’m pretty sure I can handle these machines.'"
"I forgot the interviewer's name."
"Having to admit to my overactive bladder to explain my productivity may be a little off."
"I get very emotional when I am nervous, so I have cried during an interview before."
"Showed up for a position that didn't exist."
"I had a hiccup attack that wouldn't quit."
"The interviewer and I went through my Facebook page! Nothing bad, but old photos are VERY embarrassing!"
"Tell them I needed the money :-D"
"I was asked to explain my military service and began explaining it to the two people."
"Tripped over the manager's huge shoes going to sit down."
"Hiring manager asked me if I had any questions for him. I asked, 'If you weren’t working here, where else would you choose.' He gave me his answer and then asked if I had any other questions, and out of nervousness, I asked the EXACT same question again."
"Told them how excited I was to be there. And then let out a nervous silent fart."
Wait, you shouldn’t be embarrassed about these...
"A male VP started laughing at my interview answer, which wasn’t meant to be humorous. I immediately didn’t care to get the job and asked him what he found funny and asked for his opinion on the subject. After offering a counter argument which he bought, I was later offered the job by the woman director in the room, but I passed."
Good for you, lady.
"Stay silent. My interviewer was a very creepy man who kept telling me for my bartending position I would need to be 'conditioned to be touched and grabbed on many parts of my body by many random men' got the job and I never came back for orientation."
Ugh, no one blames you for that.
"I bled all over the chair. Needless to say, I did not get the job."
A woman's worst fear. Their loss.
"Expected a living wage from a corporation."
Have you heard about InHerSight's job-matching function? ;)