It has been an interesting experience for me to get used to job interviews as the interviewer instead of as the interviewee. It isn’t that I haven’t had to interview for a job before, but I’ve spent more time on the boss’ side of the table than anything.
In the process, I’ve learned something: articles and classes on how to nail a job interview are crap. Guess what, ya’ll? Interviewers read those too. We know when you’re putting on an act.
So I would like to present to you the truth about job interviews from a different angle. Here’s a handy guide on how to tick me off during the hiring process and ensure you DON’T get hired.
Step 1: Get informal with me.
I don’t care if you’re used to calling your professors, your supervisors, or even your parents by their first name. You don’t know me, and I don’t know you. Thus, I am Mr. McDonald to you.
One guy started off really good. His initial email was really formal. When I emailed him back, I maintained the last-name-basis. His response? “Hi Jason.”
I didn’t even schedule an interview.
Step 2: Memorize Interview Questions
Oh, ya’ll think you’re being sooooo clever, rehearsing for a job interview. Guess what? We know all of those interview questions by heart. Personally, I compare my checklist to those online question lists, and ensure they have nothing in common.
You will never be prepared enough for a good interview. We plan it that way. You might get lucky and find a weak interviewer, but don’t bank on it.
Step 3: Don’t Research the Company
My radar goes off when someone doesn’t know basic things about MousePaw Games. Instead of wasting time on researching job interview questions, learn as much as you can about the company you’re interviewing at. That kind of preparation pays off.
Besides that, why would you interview for a company you know nothing about? We could specialize in robots to club baby seals for all you know.
Step 4: Be Late
This one really burns me. If you miss appointments and deadlines during the hiring process, you’ll miss deadlines and appointments as an employee. Be punctual. When you are late for the interview, you’re telling me that you that my time is not valuable, and that you are unreliable. It will shut the door in your face right away.
Step 5: Sell Yourself Like An Infomercial
This is the WORST advice I’ve seen given to job seekers! Show me who you really are. We can see right through you, and it really boils us to have someone trying to deceive us. Even if you manage to get the job, as soon as your true self comes out, you’ll fall short of expectations and get fired. Save us all the paperwork.
On that note, if you want a fancy job title without a lot of work, let me fill you in on a secret: there are no jobs as “just an idea person.” If you’re not willing to work hard, don’t bother applying at all.
Step 6: Act Cocky
I know full well that you’re going to college/have graduated, and that you know things I don’t. I know things that you don’t as well. We’ll have time to swap knowledge when you’re working for me. Show me what you know, but don’t be a know-it-all. I dislike people who aren’t humble and teachable.
BONUS: Post on public social media that the job is totally in the bag, and I’ll be sure to chuck your resume in the garbage right away.
Step 7: Stay Stoic
My hiring process is designed to make you as nervous as a cat in a room full of set mousetraps. I am hard to impress, and that’s intentional – I want to break through your confidence and see who I’m really hiring. If I get a flat affect, there are only two conclusions I can draw: either you’re overconfident, or you’re hiding something.
Step 8: Remain Stubborn
I will challenge you during the hiring process. I like teachable people. If you aren’t, then you don’t work for me.
Bonus Advice: How to write a shredder-destined resume.
Those resume classes lied to you. Here are some commonly spouted resume tips that will guarantee we don’t call you.
A. Include Fancy Formatting
“Hm, very nice border and fancy font. What is he hiding?” Your resume should be clean and well-aligned, with a nice font. Leave all the other bells and whistles off the page. It makes you look like you’re trying too hard.
B. Pack In the Catch Phrases
“A motivated self-started,” said one resume. My blood ran cold. I know all of those catch-phrases they tell you to weave into your resume, and they are one of the fastest ways to tip me off that you’re desperate. Tell me about yourself in your own words.
C. Leave Off References
Companies that tell you to leave off the references are idiotic. Yes, I just posted that publicly online. In this day and age, smart interviewers know better than take anyone’s word for anything. Give me two or three previous employers or professors to call and ask about you, and I’ll be much more likely to hire you.
No references? If I really like you so far, I might ask you for some. More than likely, I won’t.
D. Skip the Proofreading
This seems to be “advice” given purely by omission – I don’t see many reminders to proofread your resume. If you can’t spell or use proper grammar, I can’t trust that any of your work will be quality. Think that’s unreasonable? Tough. I don’t have time for lazy people.
E. Always Include “Microsoft Office” On Skills
Please, I beg you, don’t include this unless you really ARE a pro, and then specify what you’re good at with it. We glaze over that bullet point, because everyone includes it if they can manage to start the program.
By the way, we don’t even use Microsoft Office at our company – it isn’t worth the money. We use LibreOffice. Don’t waste the bullet point on us – it just alerts us to you padding your skills list.
Save yourself the time and money. Skip the resume and interview classes your college offers. Be honest about yourself in both your resume and the job interview. Don’t worry about being nervous – we plan on that. If you’re the best person for the job, you’ll get the job. If you don’t, brush it off and keep looking!
Oh, by the way…if you’re interviewing for MousePaw Games soon, let me assure you that the above doesn’t even scratch the surface. Don’t try to anticipate me, just be honest and you’ll be fine.