How to Interview

A job interview can make you or break you. A good one, and maybe you get that dream job that you can shove in the face of your parents: See mom, I didn’t need to be a lawyer, look what I am now! I told you my liberal arts degree would pay off! I’m moving out!

However, a bad job interview can make you feel like abandoning life and moving to Montana to become a hermit. This is not a knock against Montana, I love Montana, assuming I ever go. I am trying to convince my wife to move there with me. She seems to think that this is a bit drastic, I find it adventuresome. That’s just my nature, she should be glad she married me. The bad job interview will cause you to go home and assess everything you did wrong. Did you pass gas, was that it? Or maybe you hugged the interviewer when they offered a hand shake. Your nerves may be acting up and you didn’t have time to take your Pepto, or maybe you are having a bad hair day, assuming you have hair which is never a problem for me.

My job is as a Hiring Specialist, which means that all day, every day, I interview people for potential government jobs. I have been doing this for a good year and a half and have seen my share. I have seen the new college grad on his first interview and the 50 year old trying to start a new career. I have seen the good, the bad, and the truly disturbing. I know that some people have a very hard time interviewing, especially if it is your first time for a real interview. My heart goes out to these people, even when I interview them. This is not such a problem with me, I interview great because I am personable as hell and chicks dig the funny. That’s not to say I haven’t said the bad dear god let me take it back joke at times, but on the whole, I rock.

So I feel sorry for some of you that are interviewing and decided that it was high time I did something to help you out. What should you do, what you shouldn’t do etc, etc. If you are going on a job interview, just learn from these examples. These are all true, I wish I could make this stuff up this well:

1. Please dress right. Don’t have you boobs hanging out all over the place, or wear jeans, or wear jeans with stains, or wear jeans with stains and rips, or wear jeans with stains, rips and the devils mark stitched into the pocket. 5 minutes into the interview I know that you are not getting the job. The rest of the time, I am just staring at your knockers. And get rid of the hemp sandals, that’s not helping your cause.

2. I usually try to forgive people when their cell phone goes off during the interview. I know that they may just be nervous and forgot to turn it off. However, if your phone rings and you proceed to pull it out of your cleavage, guess what, I am so embarrassed that I am not paying attention anymore. And when you proceed to tell me to “Hold on” while you take the call, guess what, I’m getting pissed. I am a very small minded individual and this is my domain you hussy, there will be no Holding On.

3. Always have a response to the question of what are your strengths and weaknesses. Come on, I know that you are going to bullshit me so let’s just answered the government approved question with something mindless and let’s move on. Say something like, well, ya know, I seem to be so committed to my work that my personal life is always put on hold. Great, I’ll take that. DO NOT say that once a month, when Aunt Flow comes you can be kind of cranky. At first I may think you are joking but when you explain about cramps and such, you freak me out once I realize that you are serious. I am just thinking that I am being set up for a lawsuit and will throw your application in the trash as soon as you leave.

4. Know how you handle stress because I am going to ask about it. A lot of companies will, so have this answer ready. Don’t say that when you are overwhelmed you climb under your desk until you are calm again. And if you do say that, don’t say it with a straight face, that’s even more creepy. I am pretty sure at that point that you are Norman Bates and no sir, we will not be offering a second interview.

5. First you accept a job. Then you call back a day later and decline a job. Then you call back a day later and change your mind. At the end of the week, you call and decline once again. Then you call for the 5th time and say you want the job. I’m a pretty understanding guy, but this is about as far as I go. No job for you, next in line please.

6. There are times when you aren’t able to make an interview so we reschedule. I am a benevolent leader, I’ll work with you. After all, this is what I do all god damn day. But when you are 45 minutes late to your rescheduled interview, you’re out. It will be the fastest interview you have ever seen and you will be back in your car to get lost on the way home within 15 minutes.

7. And when you are late, give me a real excuse like you overslept. Don’t say that your garage door opener is broken and couldn’t get out of the house. Although I do appreciate the story time, I am pretty sure that is bullshit. Just say that the bender you went on last night is whipping your ass and that you would prefer to come back when that new tattoo you got heals. That I can work with.

8. Kiss my ass. I know, this sounds horrible, but it is true. Don’t call me and DEMAND that you get an interview. And when you don’t get an interview, yelling at me will not get you one either because when I screened you out the first time you were just unqualified. Now you are unqualified and a jackass so I’m guessing that none of my coworkers are going to interview you either. Laugh at my jokes, complement my sweet ass, rub my bald head. That’s the way to go.

9. When I tell you I am going to run a background check and ask if there is anything you want to tell me, what this really means is that I am asking if you have ever been incarcerated for murder. I’m just being nice about it without embarrassing you. And when you tell me that “nothing” is on there, please make sure that the honesty fairy is not on vacation. Because I will find out everything bad you have ever done. And when I find out that you spent 5 years in the pokey for that 20 kilo drug run across the border, don’t be shocked. Don’t say you had no idea. Seriously man, I used to investigate people before I was promoted, give me some credit. I will naturally assume that you didn’t forget about the 5 years of ass rape you went through.

10. Please shut up. I know, this does not sound right but it is true. This is how it works: I am going to ask you a question. You are going to answer it. I am going to write your answer down. Don’t start talking again at that point trying to clarify something that you messed up. I know that you are backpedaling but at least I do find it funny when you are trying to dig yourself out of the hole. Just give your answer and be done. Let me ask the questions to get to know you, don’t tell me about Uncle Joey and his horse farm. I DON”T CARE.

11. If you fall down on the way to my office, or trip and have to do that half run, don’t let that throw you off for the rest of the interview. It’s a great icebreaker and we can joke about it. Don’t sit there afterwards with the death star and just say yes or no. Sell yourself for christsakes, tell me why you deserve this job.

12. When we talk about the job, let me know that you actually want the job. Show me some energy, some passion. Don’t tell me that you are checking another place first and that I am your second choice. I’ll make it easy for you, your choice is your other job or a fistful of poop. My job is way gone at that point.

13. And because 13 is a lucky number to end with: Please don’t touch me anywhere accept for the hand shake. Let’s not hug this out. Don’t caress my arm. Don’t slap me on the back. Don’t lean way forward so that the knockers are sitting on top of my desk while you are trying to make eye contact with me. We don’t need a connection baby, only an understanding that you can’t file sexual harassment unless you actually work here.

I know that interviewing for a lot of people is hard. I wish you and your boobs the best of luck at your next one.

1 comment:

  1. Here's a few more tips, from the other side of the desk. When filling out an application for employment:

    1. Do not use all caps when typing your name. You do not look important, you look like a dork. Plus, 20 years from now you will be really sick of seeing your name in all caps on every single work-related document. Also, if the e-application says that you cannot use symbols, even if your name is P'tr!c!@, skip the symbols. The computer doesn't like them and you've just moved yourself to the bottom of the application pile. Take it up with your parents.

    2. If you can't spell your name, you do not need to be applying for this job. I don't care where the job is.

    3. The 2nd address line is NOT supposed to be used for any part of your resume. If it's not on the mail that shows up in your mailbox, don't put it on your application. Likewise, do not enter anything other than an internationally recognized nation in the space labeled "country" on the application.

    4. Read. The. Whole. Thing. Especially if you're applying for government work. It's a legal document. If you can't read the part where it says 'by signing below I submit that the information provided is complete and accurate', I can't help you. You cannot apply again. Well, technically you can, but I'm still going to tell Hoss not to interview you.

    5. If it says "What days are you UNable to work?" and you put Monday through Friday, do not expect to get an interview for a full time job.

    6. If you have been convicted of a felony, check the @#*$& box and type up a BRIEF explanation of what you did, when, and where. I do NOT care about why, or who you were with, or how sorry you are. Not every felony will keep you from getting a job. Lying about it will. Every single time. Checking the box and not including the info means we will be having a very awkward conversation that neither of us really wants to have, and you will not get to meet Hoss until we talk.

    7. We all know the ethnicity/gender/date of birth page is optional. Send it anyway. Nobody who gets to schedule interviews will see it, but it will make the post-interview process MUCH faster. If I have to email you to get it, but your spam-blocker keeps you from seeing the email, you're not getting a job offer. It doesn't matter if you have 30 years of experience and will work for 20 cents a day.

    8. It takes a lot of time from a lot of people to offer you a job. If you know at the interview that you do not want the job, say so. Nobody's going to be offended, nobody's going to get their feelings hurt. Actually, the honesty will be so refreshing that you may get an offer on the spot. Don't take it. Trust your instincts and walk away. If you say you are interested and then call a week later to say you've changed your mind, you will have more than a few people cursing you, your children, and your children's children.

    9. Every time you call to follow up, the odds of you getting the job go down. Send a thank you card (you'd better get my name and gender right) but don't call me. I'll call you.

    10. When I do call you, assume your life, or at least your career, depends on it. Call me back. Better yet, answer the phone. Do not assume I am a bill collector and tell me that you are not home. I will not believe you when you say you'll be home in a few minutes and can call me back. I'll be able to tell that the voices are the same. Trust me. Also, tell your girlfriend / boyfriend that you have applied for a job so they will not yell at me for calling you. I do not want your body, I want your driver's license number.