People Are Sharing The Ridiculous Reasons Why They Were Turned Down From A Job, And Ridiculous Might Be An Understatement

We all know the act of applying and looking for jobs can be actual hell. Between building a resume just to re-type the whole thing into an online application, ghosting, and infuriating rejections, it's enough to drive anyone up a wall.

Yara Shahidi rolling her eyes

So, a while back, I shared some very ridiculous job rejection stories, which invited more people from the BuzzFeed Community to share their experiences of being rejected from a job for the most absurd reason. Here's what they had to say:

1."I interviewed for a mattress store once (not a furniture store, mind you, they just sold mattresses). The interviewer handed me a pen and said, 'Sell me this pen.' I went into a long spiel about the quality of the pen, the craftsmanship, the brand name, and even went so far as to say that it came in multiple colors to fit their individual needs."

Hiring manager looking at a candidate questionably

2."I interviewed to be a real estate assistant once. The agent asked me how I would choose between my mother's funeral and showing a listing. I chose 'wrong.'"


3."I had interviewed for a security-type position, and the manager of the department told me that 'I couldn’t handle the job.' His reason? Because I’m a female — his exact words! I said, 'Buddy... I guarantee that I have more experience than you, considering I worked for the government in a similar but much harder position than this! You can shove the job and your shitty opinion up your ass, misogynistic pig!'"

stressed woman in a job interview with a male hiring manager
Visoot Uthairam / Getty Images

4."I was a recruiter for two and a half years a long time ago, and I was very good at it (queen of the cold call). I left because paychecks were a problem. When I was looking afterwards, I decided to try for an admin assistant job since I did that work while recruiting. One company that called saw I was a recruiter and said they were interested in that, but didn't see where I went to college."

"I told them that's because I didn't go. They told me they couldn't hire me without a degree, and I called them out on it: 'You'd hire someone straight out of college with no experience, but not someone with over two years and no degree?' They said, 'Well, yeah...' Needless to say, neither of us were interested in moving forward at that point."


5."I went through the last stages of testing to be a 911 dispatcher. I was told at the end of the interview with the head of the department that they would love to hire me, except my (now-ex) husband worked for a company that was rival to her husband's company in Lafayette. She actually told me that if I really wanted the job, I needed to have my husband apply for her husband or get a divorce."

A woman in an interview with another older woman with her hand thrown in the air
Rainstar / Getty Images

6."I got turned down from a job cleaning kennels as a high schooler in the '90s because I came in to ask if they were hiring and they opted to interview me on the spot. I had just gotten out of school and was wearing jeans and a World Championship Wrestling Sting T-shirt."

"The office manager told me it was too 'dark' of a shirt, and she didn't want that cleaning for her (in the back, never with customers, scrubbing feces out of kennels). Many years later, I lost out on a financial research job after passing all the interviews because I went to shake the hand of the owner and she saw a small tattoo on my inner wrist in the late 2000's. Just randomness."


7."I went to a job fair at my university. We all had our majors on our nametags, and most booths I walked up to told me, even before I could open my mouth, that they weren't looking for me. So by the time I got to a booth for a local government agency, I was already feeling discouraged. The woman at the booth was very encouraging, saying I seemed like a 'good fit' for a position; they were looking for people with my major, and I needed to apply."

a smiling woman with a clipboard in a college classroom

8."I was a supervisor applying for a management position in the same company. An outside guy got the job. The director told me the new guy had more grey in the hair and that's why he was chosen..."


9."When I was applying for jobs in February 2018, I applied for anything and everything, from receptionist to secretary to retail. ANYTHING. I had worked at Books a Million for three years, so I applied for [a national bookstore chain]. I didn't hear anything back, but I got a job elsewhere, so it was fine. I got the new job in April 2018."

a woman placing books on a bookshelf

10."I didn't get hired because I didn't have a job at the time. Think about that for a minute. Seriously, they did not hire me because I was out of work (you know, the main reason why people apply for a job)."

"It was a VERY last-minute interview (approximately 30 minutes from call to office chair), which couldn't have happened with someone who had a job at the time because they'd have been at work. So I didn't get hired...because I was available."


11."I found a job posting listed on Indeed for a receptionist at a salon. I sent in my application, and the same day, I received a message asking to set up an interview. I quickly replied with my information, and then...nothing for two weeks. Indeed will let you know if you've been rejected or if your application has been looked at by the poster."

a man in a library with a laptop, headphones, and coffee, thoughtfully looking out of the window

12."I applied for an entry-level retail job as a cashier. They told me I didn't have the look they were going for. They said, 'Your appearance is not welcoming to customers.' I was denied a job for being too ugly."


13."I once had one of those annoying informal coffee shop interviews with someone who ran a local non-profit. He asked me what my skills were (I was more than qualified for the job). He asked if I knew how to use a particular computer program. I didn’t, but I said I had learned many programs on the job, no problem."

two people sitting  at a restaurant

And finally, this person shared their job rejection experience which led to a hard but much needed realization:

14."Several years ago, I applied for a paralegal position at a medical malpractice firm. I was almost immediately contacted by the firm’s managing partner, asking for my salary requirements. I was newish to the paralegal field, and I had done my research about what I should be making, but I still low-balled myself (asked for $17 an hour)."

a man in a very nice office space, sitting at his desk on the phone and wearing a shirt and tie