An interviewee decided to end the interview in the middle of it because he felt insulted by the level of some of the questions that had been asked. would you hire him?

Some background:

What happened was this person was recommended to us as super genius software developer, but he was not a computer science graduate. In order to assess his skill level, we decided to ask questions from basic to advanced level to see where he would fit in with us. He felt insulted by the basic question and decided not to complete and left yelling. I'm wondering that is there any excuse for anyone to behave like that?

  • 16
    No I will not hire him because I didn't interview him. You did. Will you hire him?
    – rath
    Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 16:07
  • 2
    If you interviewed someone who yelled at you when asked about daily tasks, then why would you hire them? Could you provide more information about any reason why you should: e.g., are they friends/family of the company, somehow important, etc.?
    – Mikey
    Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 16:26
  • 22
    "Would you hire him?" doesn't make sense as a question. The interview didn't complete, how could you possibly make a decision? Also, even if you decided you wanted him, he apparently doesn't want you - so why would it matter?
    – dwizum
    Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 16:48
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    What I'm trying to say is in our area is common to gave more value to XP instead of graduation.
    – LMaker
    Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 19:08
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    Yeah, for programmers, don't get hung up on degrees, they're far less valuable than experience. That was your mistake. But that mistake happened to reveal that the interviewee was somewhat unstable, so all worked out. Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 19:36

5 Answers 5


No. Such a person is far too thin skinned to hire.

What if the person gets offended by a customer? What if the person gets offended by my boss and I'm the one that hired him? How would my boss feel if this person walks out because he doesn't like something the CEO says?

Nope, wouldn't risk it.

No matter how good a person is at the job, if they cannot get along with the team, or take offense to questions, they will not work out and any "genius" that they contribute will be far-offset by the fact that they simply will not be able to fit in with the company.

  • 1
    You are in effect making a hiring decision based on information handed to you by another party who failed to run the interview.
    – maksimov
    Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 17:39
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    I always believe in team. I don't mind if someone has ego. But keep it healthy. Keep the team and work environment healthy. Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 17:40
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    @maksimov er, no. Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 17:40
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    As a developer, I can tell you this person would be a terrible fit for any team. Being able to interact with other people on a basic level is the first test of a job interview. He failed that one right away.
    – Seano666
    Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 17:57
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    @Seano666 I'm an allegedly "great" programmer. Part of my current job was to train up a consultant we hired to assist me. He was not up to the job when he first started. I didn't shout at him, I didn't call him incompetent because he didn't know what I did, I brought him up to speed because we are a TEAM. I agree with you entirely. Oh, and welcome to TWP Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 18:02

You are in the right to cut an interview in the middle of it if it is especially bad. That being said, that's basically telling the interviewers you are no longer interested in the position.

I would be actually concerned if I were to receive an offer after walking out an interview. Are they desperate enough to extend an offer to a candidate that did not even finish the interview?

  • Defining and interview is bad is subjective. What makes an interview bad? Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 16:08
  • It can be anything that the interviewee considers offensively bad. There is no objective definition of a "bad" interview, can be anything from the candidate realizing the company misrepresented themselves to something more dramatic like being yelled at.
    – Layman
    Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 16:09
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    If I were a senior candidate, I could possibly, maybe, see that as a sign of the company not knowing what they wanted from me if they were asking about trivial stuff. I would not go into a yelling match or walk out though. But again, the candidate was offended enough to walk out. It's their problem, not yours.
    – Layman
    Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 16:40
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    If the interviewee is insulted and walks out, that makes it a bad interview.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 16:53
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    That sounds like you dodged a massive bullet there if that's actually what happened. Why are you even reconsidering extending him an offer?
    – Layman
    Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 17:25

Differences in opinion on "trivial" details of a job can often lead to conflict or disputes over more complicated matters, so it makes sense to cover the basics in an interview and ensure compatibility.

Plus, starting with "easy" questions allows you to evaluate the candidate's communication, thoughtfulness, and overall fit for your team, with no pressure on the actual content of the response. "How do they frame up their answer?" is just as important as "what is the content of their answer?" in many jobs. So - again - it's perfectly legitimate to start with the basics.

A candidate becoming "insulted" during an interview and walking out seems like a clear sign that they are a bad fit culturally for your workplace. Moreso, because you (apparently) weren't able to get to the more advanced questions, you were presumably left without being able to fully evaluate the candidates skills. This leaves us with a very clear answer to your question of, "would you hire him?" of "no".

Further - in a comment you mention that another company hired him and that company considers him a great programmer. To be honest, I don't see how that holds any weight - firstly, I'm guessing you don't have a solid idea on what their criteria are for "a great programmer." secondly, as alluded to above, even in programming jobs, cultural/team fit, communication, and general approach to challenges (like being asked "insulting" questions in an interview) are often just as important as actual skill.

Finally - since the candidate walked out of your interview I don't see what the real value of this question is. It seems clear that they are rejecting you regardless of what you think about them. I don't think there's any precedent for an employer to offer a job to someone who walked out of an interview.

  • 2
    Yep, a "great programmer" is one who provides an overall great benefit to the company. An egotistical hotshot is not a great programmer. That kind usually sew dissent. Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 17:30
  • The company hired him because of shortage of devops developers in the local market. Secondly it is was a startup that got funded with huge amount of money which made them grows exponentially and hires tens of employees. Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 17:37

You are asking the wrong question. It’s not “do we hire him”, it’s “does he hire us”. Your company failed the interview. He’s not accepting the job.

And what made you ask him basic questions when he came most highly recommended? CS degree means nothing compared to actual experience, so your interviewer blew it.

  • 17
    If the interviewer ask a question, no matter how basic it is, you should answer it. How do we know his resume is not fake. We respect his actual experience. But in this time of copy-paste development you need to test his knowledge, analytical skills, etc. A question was to him: "You added in the CV that you worked with Tensorflow and you know machine learning. What is gradient descent? How do you solve overfitting?" He doesn't know either of them. Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 16:58
  • @YasserSinjab From the Gradient descent Wiki page, I do not think your question is at basic level. Unless the interviewee had gone thru some real experience or formal education, I think he/she would not be able to answer.
    – Nobody
    Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 6:04
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    @scaaahu Yes I slightly agree. We started with the easy questions and then increase the difficulty. But I still consider this question is very trivial if you are a machine learning engineer. In his resume he claimed he built and trained a model and deploy it to production using tensorflow. I asked him this question just to get if he really knows what he actually did. Or just copy paste getting started solution from Google documentations which is full of "helpful" resources. see this as an example github.com/GoogleCloudPlatform/cloudml-samples/tree/master/… Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 14:24
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    @YasserSinjab You never mentioned the interviewee's education. Did he/she have bachelor degree in STEM fields? I asked this because I'd like to know if he/she has the necessary background to understand the math behind gradient descent. If he does have math background, it is conceivable he felt insulted because the math is at undergrad level. If he never received formal math education, I suspect he was trying to cover up his incompetence of math knowledge.
    – Nobody
    Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 14:39
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    @YasserSinjab: I would agree that question is basic even if you just dabble in ML (provided "dabble" means you study what it is rather than grab a pre-made example and pretend you solved something). In addition, I have never met a Data Scientist or developer who knew something like that and would not delight in explaining it. Declaring it as "too trivial" and having a fit about it is very extreme - something odd is going on. From the question and these comments I think you dodged a bullet on this hire. Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 19:48

Either yelling is unacceptable or the interviewer has done something terribly wrong. If for instance the interviewer has asked for a bribe or physically assaulted the interviewee, it may be acceptable to yell on the way out.

Otherwise, one should thank the interviewer for their time and depart in a calm and dignified manner. Being insulted by the questions being too basic and then yelling on the way out, sounds a lot like a smoke screen for incompetence.

Now, too many basic questions would be another matter, asking for FizzBuzz would be fine, asking for a Fizz program, and then a Buzz program? That might cause some to leave, because it’s basically the same question, even Fizz followed by FizzBuzz might drive some away. Covering a range, making sure the candidate knows the basics and the intermediate stuff as well as the more advanced stuff, certainly, but a focus on the basic stuff is probably going to be taken as bad interviewing or that the position is looking for someone less experienced. Either way, a mark against the company. But the candidate should depart without raising a ruckus.

  • Those second and last paragraphs look like they might add something to the existing answers, but you should re-word your post to appear a bit less accusatory towards OP, especially the bit where you seem to accuse them of soliciting a bribe.
    – Haem
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 12:28
  • @Haem: I’m not accusing the OP of anything, I am in fact defending the OP. Unless the OP did something truly terrible (and I assume not, because otherwise the question make no sense), there’s no excuse for an interviewee to yell. I am also defending the OP on the too basic question issue that is the supposed excuse for yelling, as basic questions (in moderation) should be acceptable. Even if the OP asked nothing but basic questions, that indicates a bad fit, not an excuse for yelling.
    – jmoreno
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 12:59

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