Job seeker says 'strange' interview made her turn down job

@scratchqueenlauren/TikTok NAMPIX/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘Do you have to ask for consent now to shake somebody’s hand?’: Job seeker says ‘strange’ interview made her turn down job offer

‘I have never been treated like that before.’


Alexandra Samuels


A job-seeker went viral on TikTok after sharing the strange interaction she had with a recruiter who interviewed her for a full-time, office role. 

“I just had the craziest thing happen to me at a job interview,” Lauren (@scratchqueenlauren) said. As of Sunday morning, her five-minute video had amassed more than 1.4 million views.

By the time she recorded her TikTok, Lauren was already at home. Sitting in her car, she said she was “reminiscing” on “what just happened.”

What happened in the interview?

Lauren said she arrived for her in-person interview five minutes early, but that the recruiter was already withdrawn. 

“When I [went] to meet her, she was very standoffish,” Lauren said of the interviewer.

The job-seeker added that she felt like the interviewer didn’t like her and gave her “a weird vibe.”

The two started on the wrong foot minutes after meeting, when the recruiter criticized Lauren for wearing a shirt that revealed her shoulders. In fact, the interviewer called Lauren’s outfit “unacceptable workplace attire.” (Lauren showed viewers the outfit she wore that day: A short-sleeved turtleneck and “a formal skirt.”)

“I had brought a little blazer with me because it’s a little breezy outside, but it was hot in there,” Lauren said. She added, too, that her “shoulders were barely showing.”

Lauren then put her blazer on and continued the interview. Throughout the process, though, she said she was peppered with “weird commentary” and questions. For instance, the woman apparently asked Lauren what she considered “workplace toxicity” and asked how she’d handle workplace drama and gossip.

Then things got really awkward.

After the interview ended, Lauren said she attempted to shake the woman’s hand. But the woman wanted no part of this. Instead, she told Lauren to not touch her, and Lauren said she was taken aback.

“I didn’t know what to say,” Lauren said. “I just put my hand out to shake her hand.”

Lauren said that she apologized to the interviewer and clarified that her handshake was only intended as a thank-you.

“I’ve never been treated like that before,” Lauren said. “Do you have to ask for consent now to shake somebody’s hand? What the hell?”

@scratchqueenlauren what in the world? worst interview ever! #fyp #job #interview #weird #help #work ♬ original sound – scratchqueenlauren

How did the job-seeker handle the interview?

Lauren said that she’s been out of the workforce for a few years, as she’s been taking care of her daughter. Still, she said she didn’t understand why the woman interviewing her was so harsh. 

“I’ve never had an issue with that,” Lauren said.

At this point, because of the strangeness of the interview, Lauren said she didn’t want the job anymore. (In a follow-up video, however, she confirmed that she did get the job, but ultimately turned it down.) But the interaction also led Lauren to question whether she was in the wrong for trying to be polite.

“Am I the bad guy here?” Lauren asked viewers. “Can someone tell me if what I did was wrong?”

Viewers advise on what she should do next

Even though Lauren ultimately passed on the role, commenters said they were baffled by the recruiter’s attitude. Some encouraged Lauren to email either the recruiter or the company. 

“I would notify the [company’s] HR manager immediately,” one person wrote. “She was totally out of line!”

“Send an email saying her treatment of you was shockingly rude,” another advised.

“Now I understand why there’s an opening,” a third viewer quipped. 

Other job-seekers, meanwhile, said that shaking hands is routine and that Lauren shouldn’t feel bad for attempting to do so. 

“It is literally customary to shake hands after an interview,” one worker said.

“Too many red flags,” another added. “It’s proper to shake someone’s hand after an interview.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Lauren via TikTok comment.

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