Posted on 23 February 2010


Nine Ways to Ruin A Job Interview



He threatens to keep singing until we hire him.Ask A Manager posts nine ways you can easily ruin a job interview.  I should just tweet a random number every once in a while and link to this post whenever someone uses one of these on me.  …but, then again it may be happening so frequently, I’d be going all Robert Scoble on everyone.

Here’s the nine for those of you who can’t click the link (my content is too engaging, I know):

  1. Pretend you have no weaknesses.
  2. Share too much personal info.
  3. Answer your cell phone
    (is tweeting ok? “In middle of bizoring job interview. Not sure I liek this biz, but teh marble bathroom are l33t!”).
  4. Ask questions about the company that could have easily been answered with a modicum of research.
  5. Badmouth an old boss.
  6. Be as quiet as possible.
  7. Don’t ask any questions.
  8. Interrupt.
  9. Don’t think beyond your desire to get a job offer.

The point is, you aren’t prepared for a job interview until you’re actually prepared for a job interview.  Get someone to ask you the hard questions. You know, the ones you don’t want people bringing up.  Your first two answers are wrong. Your third one might begin to be honest. The one you should say is one you can feel good about saying and not have to remember too hard. Here’s a few starter questions. (Please add your own in the comments!) :

  • So, you’ve been out of work for 17 months now… how’s that going?
  • What do you really want out of your career?
  • It seems this job is pretty different than what you’ve done in the past… why do you want to do this?
  • If you were a candy bar, what would you be? (just kidding!  Please don’t practice answering this. It means the interviewer’s only training was the “1 minute (hiring) manager for dummies”
  • What would your last boss tell me about you if she was being completely honest?
  • Why should I hire you?

In the comments, what questions have you ever been asked that totally caught you off-guard

3 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Robert Merrill Says:

    Just found @oatmeal ‘s “10 kinds of crappy interviewees” to go along with these 9 bad interview behaviors. Hmm. http://bit.ly/8ZvIXa.

  2. Robert Merrill Says:

    Another one: Pretend you live where I am hiring. When I call you on it, tell me it’s no-problem since you just need to sell your house and move your entire family, cat, terminally-ill dog and two cars in the slowest housing market in US history.

  3. Robert Merrill Says:

    Candidate thank-you: “can’t wait 2 be part of ur team”. Hiring manager: “Thanks to that reply, you will.” Interview FAIL

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