Navigating the Job Interview Maze: Tales of Frustration and Red Flags

Mason Riverwind

Updated Tuesday, November 21, 2023 at 12:00 AM CDT

Navigating the job market can often feel like running through a maze blindfolded, and sometimes, the journey ends in disappointment. A recent story shared on Imgur titled "Didn't get the job" has sparked a wave of empathy and shared frustrations among job seekers who have encountered similar obstacles and red flags during their own interview processes.

The tale begins with a candidate reaching the fourth interview stage, only to be asked to pivot to a product demonstration they were unprepared for. Despite clear communication about their expertise, the company's sudden shift in expectations left the candidate in a lurch, highlighting a common grievance: companies expecting candidates to adapt to "adverse conditions on the fly."

This story has resonated with many, prompting a discussion about the often unreasonable and taxing demands of the interview process. Job seekers are sharing their experiences, from being led on with promises of a position only to be ghosted, to enduring multiple rounds of interviews that seem excessive. A common sentiment is that more than two interviews, especially if they include a technical test, can feel like the company is "dicking you around" while they wait for their preferred candidate.

Moreover, some comments suggest that the lengthy interview process is a facade, a policy to appear diligent in considering external candidates when, in reality, the decision to hire internally has already been made. This can leave external candidates feeling used and undervalued, as they invest time and effort into a process that was never truly open to them.

Another shared frustration is the lack of communication following interviews, leaving candidates in a state of professional limbo. The story of a candidate who quit their job after being verbally offered a position, only to be met with silence, serves as a cautionary tale. It underscores the importance of not counting on a job until the official contract is signed, echoing the lyrics of Richard Marx, "It don't mean nothin' till you sign it on the dotted line."

In the face of such challenges, advice from fellow job seekers is to maintain professionalism and express continued interest in future opportunities, closing the loop with class. Yet, the overarching message is clear: job seekers must be wary of potential red flags and protect their own interests in the volatile world of job hunting.

In conclusion, while the job search can be fraught with disappointments and challenges, these shared experiences remind candidates that they are not alone. It's essential to recognize the red flags, such as excessive interview rounds and shifting expectations, and to approach each opportunity with a balance of hope and caution. Remember, the right opportunity will value a candidate's time and skills, and the job search maze does have an exit—it's just a matter of finding the right path.

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View source: Imgur

Top Comments from Imgur


Any company that does that to you is not really a company you want to work for.


A different scream, but similar feeling: Got to a 4th interview. "For your mock demonstration, we need you to demonstrate either product A or B." "I know product A really well, so I'll do that." DURING the interview, "We don't have any interest in A so can you pivot to B?" "Well, no, I don't have anything prepared for B... because I told you I wasn't familiar with it, and you said no problem." "Well we're looking for someone who can adapt to adverse conditions on the fly. Thanks for your time."


Tell them you would like 2 be considered 4 upcoming roles if they have a position open up in the future & thank them for their time. Classy way to close that loop. I’m guessing someone got overruled in the corporate structure & that “hire from within” has some other drama attached. Those interviews took their time 2 so I doubt it’s a purposeful move, especially involving higher-ups. Just so you don’t feel completely sidelined- t’s most probably not you. I hope the next 1 is more worthwhile +1


"4 rounds“ should have been enough of a red flag.


If it's more than an interview and a tech test I'm already out. 4 rounds is ridiculous.


Had a similar thing a few years ago, guy who interviewed me offered me the job on the 2nd interview, we shook and he told me to standby for contract & joining paperwork. A lot more money, better company. So I jumped the gun and quit my job, but weeks went by with no contact. Nobody answered my calls when I tried him on his cell. Agency guy who got me the interview not returning my calls either. Eventually called using GF's phone and told they had offered it internally and it had been accepted...


It's probably policy that they consider people from outside the company. So they already knew who they wanted, but had to show willing.


Even Boeing only had a single interview. I feel like companies that do interviews with that many rounds are trying to act more important than they are, even when the actual important companies don't lol


Well, in the words of Richard Marx "Welcome to the big time. This race is for rats, it can turn you upside down Ain't no one you can count on in this s***** little town, Oh no … Lots of promises in the dark But don't you open your heart … Cause it don't mean nothin' The words that they say Don't mean nothin' These games that people play No, it don't mean nothin' No victim, no crime It don't mean nothin' Till you sign it on the dotted line


I refuse to interview past 2. First interview should be a screener for HR and a quick background check, second should be a more technical interview with the hiring manager youd be working for. Anymore than that is them dicking you around just in case they cant get the one they really want. Tell them you bow out if they try to give you 3 interviews, and especially tell them to f*** off if they want to do group interviews.

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