I Walked Out During the Middle of an Interview — Here’s Why I Don’t Regret It

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AnnaMarie Houlis4.87k
Journalist & travel blogger
July 17, 2024 at 1:15PM UTC
Have you ever felt like walking out of an interview? I certainly have — my very first job interview, in fact, when my interviewer spent the bulk of our time together verbally harassing me and assuring me that I wasn't cut out for the job. Part of me wishes I'd walked out before his comments got creepier.
And I'm not the only one who's wanted to get up and leave an interview. In fact, one anonymous FGB'er shared with the community that she actually did up and go.
"Today I went to an interview and I did the unthinkable... I walked out... yes, just like that," she writes. "(Obviously, I apologized and thanked them for their time.) Anyone that knows me knows this is out of character for me. I'm what others would consider a respectable career woman who is always professional. Maybe it was the lack of connection with the interviewer or my disinterest in the job sector. One thing is clear today, I need to be genuinely interested in the job if I go in for an interview."
She asks the community board if anyone else out there has ever done the same. And, perhaps shockingly, she's not alone.
Many other FGB'ers are chiming in to congratulate her for standing up for herself and leaving when she realized it wouldn't be worth it.
"Good for you!" one FGB'er, Jamilla Rages, comments. "I haven't done this in particular, but I can respect that you stood up for yourself in this situation."
"I've never walked out on an interview but, at the same time, I've been pretty selective with where I have interviewed," writes Lea Fichter. "If you realize halfway through that this is not the right place for you, I think it is OK to politely tell the interviewer that, and end the interview.  They may get offended or may appreciate your honesty."
"I've never done this, but kudos to you for being strong enough to know how to not waste anyone's time (including your own)," says AliceJohnson.
Others are encouraging the move, though insisting that politely thanking the interviewer for their time is still necessary.
"If you made your mind up right then and there that you really weren’t into this job, then I feel like that was the best move," says O Orellano. "Honestly, since you did it politely and professionally it saved both you and the interviewer time, so, no harm no foul right? Good luck on job searching!"
"No point in wasting anyone's time! Good for you girl!" an annonymous FGB'er says.
Some FGB'ers are even admitting to walking out of interviews, themselves.
"Yes, I have!" Nancie Shuman responds. "When the interviewer, who was the CEO of the company, kept telling me how hard the job was, and how challenged the company was financially, and described the position in more detail as a front office person as opposed to an actual executive assistant post, I had an 'Ah,  ha!' moment. I looked at him and said, 'Thank you for your time. Unfortunately, I don't believe this is going to be a fit. Among other consideration, I don't believe that you can afford me.' He stuttered and asked me how much I expected to make. I gave him my last salary and the averages of the three previous to that.  The look on his face told the story. I thanked him for his time, got my parking validated and left.  Wasn't going to be worth it."
"I walked out of an interview one time; it was very bizarre," an anonymous FGB'er shares. "Basically I had had a phone interview and we clarified the role, but when I walked in it was a completely different role. I didn't want to waste anyone's time - so I just got up and left."
"I once left an interview crying," Ari Núñez, M.S. admits. "The manager interviewing me was so nasty and obviously didn't want me or was just interviewing me out of courtesy. I tried to wrap up the interview so I can get the heck out of there before they saw the tears in my eyes. The last thing she yelled at me as I walked out was a sarcastic, 'thanks for your resume!'"
Moral of the story: Many FGB'ers agree that it's indeed OK to save everyone the time and effort by walking out of an interview if you're not interested in the job. But maintaining professionalism is important, as you never want to burn bridges.

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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.

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