In my career I’ve had plenty of job interviews, probably fifty. And I have to admit that my get-an-offer percentage is maybe 95%; not bad. On the flip side, I have interviewed over a hundred candidates, hiring a number of good people with few exceptions and only one a probable serial killer (he apparently knew the eighteen ‘Do Nots’).
I have asked it all, heard it all, answered it all, and seen it all. It is from this wealth of experience that I have culled eighteen must ‘Do Nots’ to share with you. You can thank me later. Here they are:
1. Do not be late.
2. Do not put your feet on the desk.
3. Do not eat garlic 24 hours prior.
4. Do not have a flapping dried nostril booger or a long protruding nose hair.
5. Do not have a stringer of spittle in the corner of your mouth.
6. Do not shake hands if your palm is cold, clammy and limp.
7. Do not wear sneakers unless they are brand new.
8. Do not wear a lapel pin of any sort unless it is the American or Mexican flag.
9. Do not ask about hours, salary, vacation, pensions, insurance or anything else that might be considered ... well ... not job related.
10. Do not say “bottom line” or “at the end of the day” less than five times every five minutes.
11. Do not quote Scripture or Seinfeld.
12. Do not forget to “push back” at least once on some safe topic (e.g., interviewer: “Tell me about your last job.” Interviewee response: “I need to push back. You seem stupider than tar!”).
13. Do not use words like “mammy”, “pappy”, “gedder done” or “irregardless” unless it’s for a job at the Monster Truck rally.
14. Do not reach for your pocket flask unless you are willing to share it with the interviewer (which I highly encourage you do to break the ice).
15. Do not divulge what sex positions you like unless explicitly asked.
16. (Related to rule 15) Do not use the “C” word under any circumstances, ever! “F”, “B” and “S” words are okay but only if encouraged by the interviewer.
17. Do not fall asleep.
18. Do not forget to leave when it’s over.
There you have it. Most of it common sense. But you’d be surprised just how many people forget. If you master these rules and don’t forget to weasel word at every opportunity, you too should find success at your next job interview.
Happy job hunting.