The day I walked out on a job interview

by Brandon Hunter

Have I ever walked out on a job interview before?

Yes, and that was at a time in my life when I was quite desperate for a job.

I was straight out of college and had probably submitted over 40 applications and had only gotten two interviews in 4 or 5 months.

I’m Type 1 Diabetic and desperately needed health insurance (which I couldn’t get at the time as the Affordable Care Act hadn’t taken effect).

I had received a call on my way into an interview at another place. That call was from a previous place I interviewed and was to tell me: “Congratulations, you got the job! We’ll be emailing you your offer later today.”

The job was at a privately owned psychiatric hospital.

Since I was already there, I went into the next interview, this time at a state forensic psychiatrist hospital (one that patients check in and typically don’t check out).

During the interview, I was asked the question, “Are you comfortable wiping the asses of convicted murderers and rapists?”

What still surprises me is that this is actually not the point at which I walked out.

I was still in “desperation” mode because the earlier phone call hadn’t sank in fully.

So of course I answered: “Yes, it’s something I could do when needed.”

So, naturally, they told me they believed they’d like to hire me.

“So while we prepare for the next stage, let’s get you started on some paper work.”

They then plopped a 6-inch high stack of papers in front of me.

That’s when I remembered I had another “offer” and that this was for only $10/hr with my BA in criminal psychology.

I walked up to them and said, “You know what, I don’t think this is for me. I already have another offer I’m going to take.”

They were cordial and seemed to be used to the response (surprisingly).

Unfortunately for me, when I got back outside and checked my email, I had received the email from the place telling me to expect an offer.

Without addressing me by name, the message read: “Sorry, we have decided to pursue other candidates with more experience at this time.”

I almost ran back in and begged to wipe the asses of convicted felons.

But I didn’t, and maybe I should have, because I didn’t get another job for about 5 more months.

Now, I’m a computer programmer after working for 5 years in a job where coworkers, myself included, suffered head trauma on a regular basis, fighting to get paid under $13/hr in a job that required a BA degree.

Some interviews are worth walking out on, and mine was probably one, but I haven’t taken a single one for granted since then and I’ve managed to more than triple my initial salary in that first job I got in a single year.


Brandon Hunter is an ex-mental health worker, now a computer scientist.

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