My Most Embarrassing Job Interview Moment

I wrote this years ago but I thought it was a funny story about job interviews so I thought I would share it here, enjoy!

I had an interview today. I think that not caring if I get the job or not helps me relax and works to my advantage. I think I actually did pretty well at the interview and I would like to think that I would be surprised if I didn't get a call back for the second round of interviews. But with the amount of competition out there, and the amount of people all going for the same job, I'm probably screwed no matter what....

Have you ever been in a situation where you didn't want to look stupid so you just pretended to know what you were doing to avoid the awkwardness of the situation? I did that today.

I got to the building where my interview was supposed to take place and looked on the board in the lobby and saw that yes indeed I was in the right place and that the company I was looking for was at #1200 within the building. So I get into the elevator thinking that I knew where I was going but after I got in the full elevator I looked at the buttons and realized, I have no clue what floor to go to. Someone in the elevator asks me,

"What floor?"

And in a panic and trying not to look like I was lost I just reached over and pressed the button for floor 6. Since the button was not lit up I figured I would be safe. When I got to the 6th floor I walked out and turned the corner, once I heard the elevator door shut I turned around and took the lift back down to the lobby.

I got back out into the lobby and asked a woman behind the desk that I was supposed to be going to company X for an interview but was not sure what floor they were on. She smiled at me and said that they were on floor twelve.

"Oh, right..." I said, "That makes sense."

I turned around and headed back to the elevators again thinking, how could I not put #1200 and floor 12 together.... Dummy. Anyways, it was back to the task at hand, I had an interview to get to.

I check in at the front reception for the companies office and take a seat in their waiting area. It's a nice place with an amazing view of the bay, from twelve stories up you can see both downtown Oakland and still make out the San Francisco skyline.

When the person I've come to interview with comes out, he smiles and says,

"I thought it was you."

I didn't recognize him at first, then he contined, "When I was getting in the elevator I was thinking to myself, that guy looks like he's on his way to an interview."

It was the man in the elevator that asked me "What floor?" just minutes before.


I somehow manage to say something about how I wasn't sure what floor it was on, and I think I even made it seem normal. Though I still have no explanation for getting off at the 6th floor, but that's besides the point.... I think that because I was so unprepared for something like that to happen I actually was just shocked and not embarrassed. Maybe the word I'm looking for is stupefied. If I was shocked I would have probably revealed to him that I was caught off guard, but I somehow just drew a blank and talked through it.

The interview seemed to go well, he even seemed to be amused with my first question that I had for him when he asked if there was anything I wanted to know. I said, "My first question is probably the least important, but what does XYZ stand for?" (XYZ being the company name in this situation) After the interview he walked me back to the elevators and once again mentioned the elevator incident. Maybe I'll stand out because of that, who knows.

I'm not sure what's worse, interviewing for a job that I'm not really sure that I want, or the fact that even though I'm probably overqualified there's so much competition for it that I probably won't even get it.

Maybe the whole, "I'll just pretend to know what I'm doing" with the elevator thing sealed my fate anyways. Or it could possibly just give them something to poke fun at me about later. My guess is he went and told the other people in his group about it and they got a laugh at my expense anyways.

I wrote that back in 2009 after a job interview. The economy was terrible and a lot of people were out of work. I was one of them. I found that interview through a staffing agency, and I was later told that it was down to me and one other person for the job. They gave it to the other person because they thought that I was overqualified and would get bored and leave the company. They were possibly right, but that didn't make me any less unemployed at the time.

Anyways, does anyone else have any good interview stories? You don't have to be the idiot in the story, you can also be the one who did the interview and the candidate did something embarrassing.

Image by N.C. Winters


  1. Hah! What are the odds that it would be the same guy? I would have done the exact same thing actually. There's a ton going through your head during interviews than elevator levels :) This was a fun read, thx man.

    1. Seriously though, the same guy in a building full of people. Glad you enjoyed it.

      Hope everything is going well with the new baby!

  2. It's actually an embarrassing one. I can feel how you hide your feelings by laughing, I have done that too. haha. It's okay I know you learned from that experience and continue to grow better.

    1. Yeah, I always make sure I know what floor I'm going to from now on :)

  3. It's funny how buildings work like that. Suite 1200? 12th floor. Suite 770? 7th floor, yet I too have made the same awkward mistake. Or getting out of the elevator and turning the wrong way even though you have been there a ton of times because you exited the elevator on the opposite side of the hall.

    1. Yeah, I know... 1200... 12th floor... *facepalm*

      I never did claim to be the brightest crayon in the box.

  4. Once you start reading this, you can’t stop without completing it. That’s how much you get absorbed into it.

  5. It was a bad experience. However, that was also a lesson. Never repeat this again "interviewing for a job that I'm not really sure that I want".

  6. There are several reasons why people prefer doing temporary Jobs in London, but I did it because I am still pursuing higher education.

  7. IBPS PO 2018 Notification, IBPS PO 2018 Apply Online : Standard IBPS PO 2018 notification pdf out for 3562 vacancies. Entitled prospects can apply online for IBPS PO CWE VIII by submitting the application form.
    IBPS PO Syllabus 2018 (Probationary Officer)
    IBPS Clerk Syllabus 2018 (Specialist Officer)

  8. Your good knowledge and kindness in playing with all the pieces were very useful. I don’t know what I would have done if I had not encountered such a step like this.
    fire and safety course in chennai

  9. There are other ways to ensure you’re highlighting yourself as the top choice for the job at hand beyond the obvious, though. Here are some of our top tips. -