The Professional – 5 Utterly Fantastic Ways to Flub a Job Interview

Do you despise the mere thought of working? Do you enjoy unemployment, but outside forces beckon you to peruse Indeed? Do you want it to seem as if you are searching, but secretly you want to botch the next interview? Well friend you are in the right place. I kid, I kid. Today, I am here to assist you in your job hunt. And today, I want to make sure you are not committing any terrible offenses in your job interview. To be sure, interviewing for a job can be an extremely stressful experience. It is an audition of sorts for meaningful employment. The stakes are indeed high, and there lies a myriad of ways a candidate can effectively blow an interview. In this post, I won’t painstakingly state the blatantly obvious. The obvious? Well, for starters, showing up with Jack Daniel’s seeping out of your pores, slurring your speech, and stumbling about the premises.

A word to the wise: Calm your nerves with an adult beverage of choice AFTER your interview. Trust me, you will thank me later. No, today I offer advice regarding unforced errors you may be committing as seek your dream job. Well, perhaps, not exactly your dream job. Regardless, you don’t want foolish mistakes standing between you and a coveted paycheck. Now, this is just the opinion of a man that has interviewed hundreds of job seekers. Nevertheless, it is my sincere hope that you are able glean some wisdom from the advice below.

  • As a potential employee interviewing for a job, it is simply idiotic to express or voice prejudice toward individuals based on characteristics such as race, gender, age, or sexual orientation. Trust me – it occurs. Strong opinions regarding your previous employer outsourcing your job offshore to individuals with limited English – keep it to yourself. If working with the opposite sex elicits acrimonious feelings deep within your soul – keep that under wraps. Proudly waving the flag, representing your generation of workers – don’t deride others as you bathe in your own greatness. In a job interview, you must not assume the interviewer(s) belong to your tribe. And to be honest, if you belong to any of the aforementioned tribes, you might want to practice some self-examination and refine your core values.
  • As a supervisor that has interviewed hundreds of job candidates, I prefer my time not totally wasted. So, showing up to an interview totally unprepared is not acceptable. To be perfectly clear, I am not referring to any form of anxiety that may intrude and potentially derail your interview. A case of the nerves is understandable, and nervousness may present as being unprepared. However, a seasoned interviewer should be able to discern the difference. What does an unprepared candidate look like? An unprepared candidate cannot recite their work history clearly, they do not understand the basic requirements & responsibilities of the desired position, and they display a lack of genuine curiosity regarding the company or job itself – outside of salary and paid time off. Do the homework. Granted, you don’t need to recite the full history of the company itself. However, ensure that you adequately educate yourself regarding the company’s mission and vision, as well as the core responsibilities of the position itself.
  • No company wants to hire a malcontent. Sure, a candidate may be able to pull a fast one and mask their discontentment from the hiring manager(s). Nevertheless, there are individuals that are terrible poker players and show their hand straightaway in the interview. They launch headfirst into the interview on fire. Unabashed and unfiltered; they proceed to complain, name, shame, and blame. Oh yes. They name-drop previous or current management figures they despise. They blame and shame colleagues they hate. And they complain about company culture & policy whilst eschewing accountability and growth. Fantastic. Seriously, with those factors working in your favor, who wouldn’t want to hire you? The company you are aspiring to work for – that’s who.
  • So, we have established that a bad attitude toward previous or current employment will hinder a job opportunity. Now, let us talk about how a bad attitude directed at the hiring manager(s) is also a foolish, if not bold approach to a job interview. Yes indeed, a sure way to tank an interview is to stroll into a room with a cantankerous, condescending, or arrogant demeanor. Being the subject matter expert that you proclaim; you talk over the interviewer, force answers before a question is even finished, and even project an unpleasant attitude if the series of questions or details about the job annoy you. You might as well fold your arms, kick your feet up on the table, and beckon the hiring manager(s) to bow before your greatness. No worries superstar – you won’t receive the opportunity again.
  • If you are interviewing for a job, it is best to remember that honesty is the best policy. Misrepresenting one’s qualifications and work history will turn a first impression into a last impression. Now, you may be wondering how an interviewer would be able to know a candidate is being dishonest. Well, an experienced interviewer will be able to see through the facade of fanciful lip-service and grandiose declarations. An experienced interviewer should be able to discern a verbal hustle by deploying probing and follow-up questions to a candidate’s previous answers. It is no different than spotting any liar that will dance around an issue and never answer a question directly. You may believe you are being sly, but do not be surprised if that job offer eludes you. Sure, there are individuals that may be able to hustle their way to a level of success. However, you are only performing a disservice to your professional growth and development. And sooner than probably later, you will have to account for your deeds.

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