Young Professionals Share Tips On How Not Immediately To Tank A Job Interview
With more and more people entering the labor force, it's important to have great interview skills. Let's be honest, though, a lot of articles about how to give a good interview are kind of boring. This article ain't that.
One user gave Reddit a challenge:
Your task is to ruin a job interview in the first 30 seconds. What do you do?
Reddit responded like they do to pretty much all challenges - and stepped up to the plate in a big way. We've got some suggestions that made us cringe and laugh, and some stories that convinced us some people shouldn't be allowed in public without a chaperone. Have fun!
Keep referring to the interviewer as "tough guy." Works equally well for both genders, works even better if the interviewer happens to be younger than you.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich - No Cheese
I can tell you what one young woman did when I was a hiring manager. She had a perfectly positive phone interview for a business casual, sit-down sales type job with our non-profit, so we scheduled a time for her to come in.
I arrive in the lobby to find this young woman wearing a stained, oversized wifebeater t-shirt, a pair of yoga pants in what I can best describe as an Arizona iced-tea can fake desert pattern, and crocs.
And literally the first words that came out of her mouth were, "I bet I don't look anything like I sound on the phone, do I?"
I was so stunned, I just took her in for her interview with me and my boss. The interview lasted all of five minutes during which she displayed all the personality of a grilled cheese sandwich missing the cheese.
She was not hired.
Ask the interviewer how qualified they are to be taking your interview, and as a bonus, ask for their salary.
I work in a call center as a supervisor. I had this rep who could have been amazing but she just was a miserable person and didn't want to be coached or told what to do.
A few months go by, she had stopped talking to me or even looking at me by this point (literally would not look at me as she walked by and I said "good morning").
Her performance continues to suck and I finally put her on a performance plan. As I'm administering I have my team lead present because at this point I refused to be alone with her with concerns of allegations (for the record....I'm gay, so not that kind of allegations). As I'm administering the plan I'm stating how my team lead will be helping her through the process. The rep interrupted me and starts asking my lead what qualifications she has to be a part of this. My lead being taken aback started to answer. I quickly shut that down and moved on.
She essentially failed on day 1 because she said "I have worked in call centers for many years and I know what I'm doing to take a good call. I'm not going to change my actions just because you think otherwise."
She didn't make it past 30 days after that meeting.
"I Don't Have A Boat"
I once interviewed a guy who was unbelievably high. A few minutes in, he stops and stare out the window and says "Hey is that my car? I think someone is stealing my car. Oh wait, no, there's a boat on that one. I don't have a boat." Job offers are contingent on passing a drug test.
"Hi, I do not want to work with black people, do you have any of those?"
In For The Hug
When he goes for the handshake, step in for the hug. Refuse to move until he reciprocates, and throw in a "mmm," in his ear.
They might go ahead with the interview anyway as a professional courtesy, but you're not getting that job.
I used to be a hiring manager and was having a hard time finding a decent employee for the office. I had a phone interview with a guy that seemed really legit. At the end of the phone interview I set up an in person interview with him and ask him to please bring a copy of his resume to the interview. After hanging up I send him an email confirmation of the interview and state "also, please remember to bring a paper copy of your resume."
Day of the interview, he shows up with a briefcase and in a full suit. A little overdressed, but whatever, I'd rather someone over impress than under impress. We go in to the meeting room, he puts the briefcase on the table in front of him and opens it so that he can see in and I can't. He doesn't close it....
I start by asking him if he has a copy of his resume, he responds with a quick "I'm sorry I forgot!". I tell him it's no problem, I'm thinking as long as there are no other red flags it doesn't matter too much. And I proceed with the interview.
Literally every single question I ask him he responds with "well if you look at my resume you will see..." Or something along those lines. I reminded him about 4 times I didn't have a copy because he didn't bring one (ya I had one on the computer but he forgot it and should be able to answer basic questions without referencing it). When he continues referencing it, I give up, finish the interview, thank him, and say goodbye.
One thing still really bothers me... If he forgot his resume... WHAT THE HECK WAS IN THE BRIEFCASE?!
The Birthday Present
you can do what my brother did and have a hip flask of whisky in your jacket pocket and let it fall on the floor as you take your jacket off
BTW he is not an alcoholic, i had given him the hip flask as a birthday present two weeks before
Passing On A Question
Most mind blowing interview I ever note took went something like this
Interviewer: Right well we're going to start with 6 standardised questions. Take your time and think about your answer. Tell us about a time when you exceeded in the workplace, what results did you get and how did you achieve them?
Our Hero: thinks for about 5 seconds and then says ... pass
Attendance Not Required
I actually once got a job that I ditched the interview for.
I was in my early 20s, submitting a ton of applications because why not? Got a call for an interview, said I'd be there, went out partying the night before and slept through the interview time.
I figured that job prospect was shot, so I just gave up on it. The next day, though, I get a call from another manager saying they found my application and it said my interview date was yesterday so they'd like me to come in to fill out all the new hire paperwork. It must've been a miscommunication between all the staff, or something. Either way, I thought it was amusing.
Turning The Tables
Bring a starter kit from each of my five MLMs in, and "answer" every question by weakly tying the content to at least 3 of the "great opportunities" I have. If called out, admit cheerily that I never wanted the job, I just want to help the interviewer quit theirs, or would they like to host a party for free product??
That's The Stuff
"Got any pictures of your kids?.... Yeah, that's the stuff."
Establish Dominance Early
Walk in and go straight for the handshake while making direct eye contact. The second the handshake is engaged let out a nice long fart while maintaining eye contact and don't let go of their hand until your done.
Screaming At The Hiring Panel
Was on a hiring panel, called a candidate in, the boss asked him, "so, why do you want this job?" Candidate screams "YOU CALLED ME" we all looked at each other, went around the table, questions? no, no, no. Okay, we will contact you, if there is ANY interest.
Ask That Guy
After going thru the high level interview process , as hiring manager I was brought in to interview someone
I like to break the ice and get a feel for someone's comfort and how they conduct themselves by asking "tell me about what you do now"
Now I have their resume n in front of me so it's not like I can't read it , it's just an easy question that usually gets people talking
So I lob my softball to this candidate ..
And his reply ...
"Man why don't you ask that guy !? " (the hr person who first interviewed him)
"I already told him everything..."
It was at that point I looked at my phone and said "oh no I have an emergency"
And walked out of the room
Blow It Before You Even Show Up
I've seen 2 situations where someone blew an interview before they even came in for the interview.
-One person got called about an interview for a job they applied for where I was working. They asked what the starting pay was because they didn't want to waste the gas driving across town (10-15 minutes) if the pay wasn't high enough.
-A guy got offered and interview and asked if he was offered the job if they would allow him to wait 1-2 months before taking his drug test.
Both people were told not to bother showing up for the interview.
How to blow one in 30 seconds when you're there? Ask if they test for marijuana because that's not really a drug right?
The Honest Answer
I did this one time lol. I don't think was quite 30 seconds. Their first question was "so do you think you have any skills that will help you with this job?" I said "I don't think so." That was pretty much it lol
Don't Wait To Be Offered An Interview
Do what my favorite interviewee story did and show up without being offered an interview.
2 hours later he left (usually a 30 min interview) shouting that he's a team player and that he'd be back.
I had the pleasure of being in the interview process for other resident advisors in college in year 3. A guy sat down and said "Gotta be honest here. I really don't like black people." Quickest interview ever.
Failing A Drug Test
I had to tell a guy his application was unsuccessful because he failed a drug screen. he test positive to marijuana.
Conversation was like
Me:"Hey Mate, just wanted to let you know that unfortunately you were unsuccessful with your application due to failing the drug and alcohol test"
him: "Oh really ? but i don't understand, i only had like one or two puffs of a joint the day before the test, surely only a few puffs doesn't show up"
Spent the next 20 minutes explaining to him that if you smoke weed, you will fail a drug test.
He just didn't understand
Fam. Weighted blankets.
Best $31.99 we have ever spent. Ever.
Lappy<p>A foldable laptop stand for 15€. Always thought you didn't need this stuff, how different from without one can it be - but it does wonders for my neck. Travels everywhere with me now.</p><p>It was an Amazon Prime sale back in November, but I'd say the 20€ it's priced at now is definitely still worth it. </p><p>I like it because the dark gray metallic color matches my laptop and the aluminium material feels way sturdier than a plastic stand would. I chose a very slim model that's basically just a framework for the laptop, no table or anything, because I mainly need this to take up the least possible space in my backpack as I travel with it every day.</p><p>It's perfect. </p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjmvkl7?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">quinalou1</a></p>
Rubber Bristles<p>A rubber bristled broom. I have two dogs and two cats, and my house is all hardwood and tile. A regular broom just sends the fur floating everywhere, but my rubber broom keeps it all nice and tidy and easy to pick up. It works on my area rug and upholstered furniture, too!</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjnmnnv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Boose81</a></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjnmnnv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"></a>I've never even considered that something like this exists.</p><p>No more cat hair tumbleweeds rolling around the apartment!</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjocm3n?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ItWasTheButterfly</a></p><p>I recently got one and it is <em>amazing</em>. The other end is a squeegee but I haven't tried that yet.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjnw9ya?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">_perl_</a></p>
Let There Be Light<p>A wake up light alarm clock. The light turns on gradually and wakes you up gradually rather than waking up to obnoxious beeping. Makes the start of my day more positive.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjngycx?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ThimbleAndAcorn</a></p><p>Yes I LOVE mine! Especially in the winter when I have to wake up hours before sunrise</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjohj4l?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">dingoeslovebabies</a></p><p>We just discovered this functionality is built into our Android phones. I don't know if it's just the Motorola brand, but it looks like it's part of the basic Android operating system now. it turns the screen a deep red that slowly brightens into a bright Cheery sunshine yellow. It is definitely a more pleasant way to wake up!</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjo5b9c?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">photogent1</a></p>
The Drain Thingies<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUwMTQxNi9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NzI2MzExMX0.n5_i5Us4EM3Gx15GxW40AEUgnfafkQwyeQh2stuwgO0/img.gif?width=980" id="a0779" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="364903589eeb8869999998db0bfad481" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="285" data-height="360" />shower shaving GIFGiphy<p>In my uni house of 4 long-haired girls, we had a sieve-type drain thingie that went over the plughole. It still let water through but caught all the hair to stop it from clogging the drain. </p><p>Yeah, that definitely cost a lot less than a plumber or us losing our deposit</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjnc5di?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">tatt3rsall</a></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjnc5di?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"></a>I lived in a house with 5 people, me and another short hair guy lived downstairs with our own bathroom, and upstairs was 2 long haired people and 1 medium-length. They never bothered to use a hair catch, and at some point every started showering downstairs.</p>
Heat<p>A heated blanket, don't know how I ever survived winters before this.</p><p>My bedroom is in the attic and it gets cold. Due to how stuff is wired the heating in my room only goes on when it's cold downstairs, but since it doesn't get that cold downstairs my heating never starts up.</p><p>This has saved me so much cold nights curled up in a ball at night trying to warm up, it's amazing</p><p><span></span>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjmzxk8?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">PokingCactus</a></p><p>Same! Saves putting the heating on for the whole house when all you want is for your bed not to be ice-cold in the evening!</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjn580o?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Luke10123</a></p>
Shh!<p>Earplugs. They saved my final exams in highschool when my sister and her 1.5 and 3yo kids tornadoed through the whole house.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjmzl8c?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Bartolo20</a></p><p>I play some music super low on my earbuds and then wear my shooting ear protection over them. I can't hear sh*t and instantly focused. Saved me every time I took an exam last semester at my noisy parent's house.</p><p>- <a href="I play some music super low on my earbuds and then wear my shooting ear protection over them. I can't hear shit and instantly focused. Saved me every time I took an exam last semester at my noisy parent's house." target="_blank">GhostOfErik</a></p>
The Perfect Pencil<p>This one mechanical pencil that I bought in high school or earlier. I'll graduate college soon which means I've been writing with the same pencil for somewhat 10 years. </p><p>It fits perfectly between my fingers. I've kept a traditional diary since I was a kid and it has become more and more important since hardly anything requires paper and a pencil today. So many memories from the happiest moments to the absolute worst have been written down using this pencil. </p><p>I have a few other pencils as well but they don't feel right and eventually I'll put them away and return to my old friend.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjmw607?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">petuwk</a></p>
Get In The Garden<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUwMTQyMS9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMzg3NzA2Mn0.BhvpD5Nni-3nj0BH3uU9QYgyHKXP-VpWnX_wEwoUaAE/img.gif?width=980" id="35171" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="51719fe8cc6296eadaea3c8c488fdf09" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="320" data-height="180" />fox tv dancing GIF by Bob's BurgersGiphy<p>About 20 years ago I bought a 3 VHS tape set that showed me this guy, Sepp Holzer, doing pond and gardens and raising animals in a way far better than I imagined. It has been the core of my life ever since.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjmvgz7?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">paulwheaton</a></p><p>Thank you for posting this. My ten year old daughter is obsessed with gardening and sustainability. </p><p>We recently bought some land in the Blue Ridge mountains and she has been very diligent in planning out what she wants to plant where, she has started her compost pile when we raked the leaves in the fall and was just asking me if she can build a greenhouse before next fall. </p><p>I just showed her your videos and her eyes lit up the way a kids eyes light up when they've found their new obsession.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjob7xy?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">drman3211</a></p>
Shower Chair<p>Shower chair. </p><p>I've got a f*cked up back and I initially got it for that but even if my back was fine I'd still have one, they're so useful. If you shave your legs, you won't regret it.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjndu5d?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">madfishmonger1</a></p><p>I'm heavily pregnant at the moment and have been seriously considering getting a shower chair lol. Now I think I may just go ahead and do it</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjnqef2?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">wifejugs69</a></p>
Butter<p>A butter dish/butter tray. </p><p>Room temp butter always available. No more trying to spread hard butter out of the fridge. Unrefrigerated and covered butter is good for like 2 weeks. </p><p>It never lasts that long. </p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjnm0hu?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">drawingxfiles</a></p><p>What?! I did not even know you could leave butter outside. </p><p>I always thought it was in the same realm as milk, where you store it chilled and only take it out when you need to use it. That's just how it is, living in the tropics I guess? This could be a game changer. </p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzap5n/what_item_under_50_drastically_improved_your_life/gjo5hqx?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">KabuAtama</a></p>
Well, maybe more than a few.