30 Ridiculous Reasons People Were Denied A Job

Published 8 months ago

Applying for a job can be a frustrating experience sometimes. You go for interviews all hopeful on your best behaviour, and things seem to be going well but finally, in the end, the job is disappointingly not offered to you for some trumped-up reason. 

One Redditor got curious about these rejections and asked, “What’s the most laughable reason you’ve been turned down for a job?” Scroll below to read a collection of stories that will leave you flummoxed as to what may be going on in some recruiters’ heads and we’re quite glad these people were not hired for these particular jobs as a matter of fact. 

Read more


Image source: MightbeWillSmith, LinkedIn Sales Solutions

“you are overqualified for this position and you aren’t likely to stay long term”.

It was a seasonal role for 3 months. I was in college and needing a summer job. It’s EXACTLY what they asked for.


Image source: Trulymad87, Marten Bjork

Because I wasn’t comfortable sharing a hotel room with someone I don’t know for out of state training. I offered to foot my own room bill but I was told I wasn’t getting the job for “not being a team player”. The roomie in question? A 40M, while I was 25F and newly married.


Image source: Agitated-Cockroach41, Marten Bjork

I said I wouldn’t leave a $46k /yr job for $30k and no benefits with a “promise of more as they grow”. But they wanted someone with experience. Seems I wasn’t the right fit?


Image source: beevyhoots, Marjan Blan

That my answers weren’t detailed enough. It was a shelf stacking job in a supermarket and I already had half a year of retail experience. I’m so sorry that I didn’t go through a detailed analysis of how I pick up boxes, take the products out and and put them on display.


Image source: watabby, Hunters Race

I was “too qualified” for the job. After getting a unanimous approval from everyone that interviewed me the hiring manager turned me down cause it was be too easy to promote me and raise my pay. That’s literally what they said to me.


I applied to work at a gunshop when I was 22, they told me I didn’t meet the criteria and they were looking for more experience in sales. Fast forward 10 years and one of the guys who told me that is applying for the company that I work at where I am the lead salesman. He didn’t meet the criteria I was looking for.

Image source: Mark_Br3


Image source: Purple_Station7030, National Cancer Institute

I worked for the company recently but had to be off for 6 months before I could apply again. Got told my husband almost dying and having a failing liver wasn’t a good enough reason to take time off and live off my savings. They wanted someone who would put the company first. I’m never putting a company first (and yes I’m only there for the money!).


Image source: CreekLegacy, Metin Ozer

“I’m not hiring you because your achilles is strained and you need a cane to move around.”

For a data entry job.


Image source: alicia_angelus, Vlad Patana

Some job recruiter gave me shade because I wore a red jacket to my interview and she specifically said that’s why I wouldn’t be right for the job. ? Whatever, enjoy being crazy


Image source: Atasha-Brynhildr, Felix Fuchs

I once went to an interview for a sales job at a car dealership. I was told to sit and wait for the manager, and even though I arrived at the specified time, 45 minutes went by. Eventually, I get asked to go ascend the staircase to the manager’s office. Inside, he tells me that I failed the interview, which was a shock because it hadn’t felt like it had started yet. And he was like, ‘I’ve been observing you since you got here,’ to which I replied, ‘I’ve been waiting since I got here.’ He goes, ‘That’s the problem.


Image source: KaedeF, Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu

I was turned down by multiple jobs in 2005-2007 for “failing the personality test”????? I still don’t know how I failed them, aside from picking the answer of “get the manager” when someone was being a twatwaffle? Almost 2 decades later I know now it’s because I am on the spectrum, and those tests were designed to screen out the neurodivergent. It’s fine, I never wanted to work at McDonalds, Banfeild Pet Hospital, or Family Movie anyways.


When they asked why I left my last job my reason was that the company shut down and everyone was laid off. They said that my answer was negative and was trying to shift the blame.

I didn’t badmouth them or even complain, I actually said I loved it there which was true, but they decided that for some reason saying that they shut down was negative.

Image source: Imjusttired17


Image source: Gingerbirdie, AbsolutVision

I applied for a job clipping newspaper articles for businesses. Back in the day, before Google, businesses would hire this company to go through all major newspapers, magazines, professional journals and clip out any articles related to the business or their products. Then once a month they’d get a big envelope with all their clippings.

Anyways, I went for the interview and the old man interviewing me said he thought I was capable of doing the job but that the work was soul crushing and the other people who worked there were so bitter that it would break my spirit and I was too young for that. I was around 25. He was very sweet about it and right as I left, two employees got into a shouting match over a pair of scissors and I realized I was really grateful for not getting hired.


Image source: TheAngryLala, John Hreniuc

When I was about 21 or so I applied at a local computer repair / custom build shop. Two people in my friend group already worked there. One of them referred the other. They both referred me as I was kinda known as the “hardware guy” of our group.

One of the managers interviewed me. It was quick, awkward, and felt more like he was doing it out of obligation rather than interest.

I successfully and easily answered the few hardware, build, and troubleshooting related questions that he asked. When he asked why I applied there I told him: I love fixing things, solving problems, am really handy with building things, and am super passionate about computers and technology in general.

He told me right then that I wasn’t hireable because I “knew too much.”

I stopped and asked if that’s not the point of a repair/troubleshooting job…. Having experience with the product so you can fix it.

He said no. He wanted people he could teach.


Later found out from one of the friends that the owner was overheard having a rant about the audacity of someone like me applying there as he reprimanded the manager for interviewing me.

Apparently the owner was notoriously racist. I’m on the more tan side of skin complexion and have an obviously ethnic name. Until that moment it never even occurred to me that I had never before seen a single poc working there at all.


Image source: PsychedelicMagic1840, Ben Mullins

They had those dumb aptitude tests, and the interviewer said he won’t bother taking me into the interview room because I got a high score in the math section, and they wanted someone who could learn on the job…. wtf does that even mean???


Image source: TheGrumpyUncle, Andrea Natali

I showed up too early.
My interviewer told me, he didn’t appreciate me hovering before the interview.

I had just been sitting on a chair for half an hour


Image source: adultingoth, Adolfo Félix

I went through 4 rounds of interviews for a startup to be an entry-level sales rep. I’ve worked in sales for 8 years. They wanted someone with more experience. For entry-level.


I have a very small nasal piercing with a small stud in it. Most people don’t even notice it.

The interviewer (for a receptionist job at a car dealership) said if I got the job I would have to take it out. I said sure, I’ll wear a clear spacer.

No, she says. I have to take it out and let it close up. No spacer.

This isn’t exactly outrageous…except it was in Seattle. Seattle. Do you know how many people here have visible tattoos and non-earlobe piercings? Literally everyone. They turn you away at the county line if you don’t have at least one piercing or tattoo. It’s not considered unprofessional here.

In another city years before, I was interviewing for a temp agency job. The interviewer explained the agency was owned by two “traditional” older women and female employees were require to wear panty hose AT ALL TIMES. Even if you were wearing pants (which were discouraged) and close toed shoes. I mentioned wearing trouser socks with slacks and it was like I’d suggested coming to work naked. Absolutely not, full length, to-the-waist panty hose *at all times.*

Sge asked how I felt about this requirement and I said I’d do it if it was required because I needed the job. Apparently this was an inadequate quantity of panty hose enthusiasm, because I didn’t get the job. Boo hoo.

Image source: notreallylucy


Image source: Adorable-Tangelo-179, engin akyurt

I wouldn’t hold the interviewer’s hand and asked him to please not touch me. It was a lab job studying fertility and he wanted to hold my hand while explaining the 4 phases of the menstrual cycle to me (I’m a female).

ETA he told me I was a beautifully qualified candidate and that he would’ve picked me had I been friendlier. Ew

ETA 2: I was only 20 at the time.


Image source: KSCarbon, Marcel Heil

The one that still gets me is when I first entered the workforce and got turned down for entry level retail and fast food jobs because my only reason for wanting to work there was to get money. I remember one manager told me “we don’t want people that are only motivated by money to work here”.


I took about 6 years off from working full time to be a foster parent for teenagers.

Apparently to hiring managers, this means I’m unreliable . . .

Meanwhile, I had to buy a minivan to drive them, their friends and their stuff all around. I drove them to thousands of medical, dental, vision and therapy appointments. I sat through hundreds of meetings with teachers and school principals. I bargained shopped for clothes, backpacks, and more since the DCS clothing budget was $25 per month for each kid. I coordinated bio-parent meetings, testified in dozens upon dozens of court cases and set up sibling playdates.

Terribly unreliable, huh?

Image source: NoeTellusom


I was offered a job, but it was then revoked immediately because I told her I would need to give notice at my current job. I told her the fact that she thinks it’s ok for me to just ghost my current job and start immediately tells me everything I need to know about how she operates her business, then wished her luck.

Image source: tinaxbelcher


Image source: R3DEMPTEDlegacy, Scott Graham

“I don’t have time to train you ” so why did you offer me the job ?


Chemist with 6 years of experience at the time. Got turned down for a job because “you seemed overconfident in your abilties”… This was a place that was doing the exact same stuff I have been doing. They even had the models of instruments I use every day. I brought them through how to operate it to demonstrate my knowledge in the interview. How is knowing what you know “overconfident”?

Also, that is the first time someone has ever called me overconfident in my life and it sent me reeling for weeks. I suffer from a great lack of confidence.

Image source: ProfessorGluttony


Image source: Lady_Purrsia, Jonas Leupe

After being turned down for a job I was highly qualified for, one of the employees reached out to me ‘off the record’ just to tell me why I was turned down. It turns out they wanted to give the job to the director’s friend, and the job posting was because they were required to do that legally, to ‘show’ that nepotism or favoritism does not exist. Then he proceeded to tell me to keep applying and not get discouraged. I cried so hard that day after thanking him for being honest. I applied to their sister company and got the SAME job, making more than double the pay. I guess things work out the way they are supposed to for a reason.


Image source: dogwoodcat, Dan Gold

“You don’t have reliable transportation”

Job site was literally 2 blocks from my house


Image source: Arsegrape, Campaign Creators

I was once rejected for not giving enough examples to answer a question.

They asked me for an example, singular, not plural.

My background was from industries where you follow instructions exactly or people can die.

Another time I was rejected for giving an incorrect answer to why something was magnetic. The next day I asked a colleague who knew magnetism inside out if I was wrong. I wasn’t.


Image source: lowerbainite, nappy

I walked into the interview, sat down and the guy looks at me and the first thing he said was “I’m not hiring you, you’re not aggressive enough”

And I said “okay” and left.


Turned down a job offer due to not being ready to work 70-80 hours a week in a country where its indeed illegal to work that long, also unpaid overtime…

Image source: CollectionThen8101


Image source: Nerdbag60, Headway

I didn’t get a job teaching Computers 101 for a nonprofit because I couldn’t produce references for a job that I left several years before that had gone out of business.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

Got wisdom to pour?



Application, hiring, HR, job, recruitment, work
Like deMilked on Facebook
Want more milk?
Hit like for a daily artshake!
Don't show this - I already like Demilked