Congratulations! Your resume and networking skills have finally landed you a job interview. By resume I mean that list of lies you pass off as experiences and by networking skills I mean your mom asking your uncle to contact his old college buddy who is now an executive at an ad agency. Bottom line is you need to prepare. Everyone knows what you should do in a job interview. Dress professionally, show up ahead of schedule, talk about how interested you are in their corporate sustainability initiatives. Those go without saying. But what about the things you should not do? Here are 7 things you should never do in a job interview:
1. Share your take on the Israel-Palestine conflict.
An interview is not the place to bring up your views on an ancient Middle Eastern dispute. Even if you understand the perspectives of both sides, it is better to keep your opinion on the matter to yourself. Instead, you may want to discuss your prior work experience or greatest strengths.
2. Light up a cigarette.
You may think smoking during the interview is a great way to calm your nerves while still looking cool as shit. Unfortunately, most modern offices have a no-smoking policy. I would advise befriending the maintenance worker before the interview and smoking with him in the utility closet.
3. Say the N-word.
The N-word is very controversial in today’s world. I would advise never using this word in any social or workplace situation. If you must use it, please only do so in the privacy of your own home or when talking with your Uncle Frank about his time as a Brooklyn beat cop in the 80’s.
4. Say “I think outside the box.”
This is the tackiest, most meaningless statement an applicant can make. At most companies, if you use this line in an interview, your interviewer has full authority to grab the back of your neck and slam your face into the table. This may result in you having a broken nose or, at the very least, a whiplash injury.
5. Bring up the Netflix documentary you saw on child trafficking rings.
Although that documentary was fascinating and more people should be aware of its message, there is a possibility the interviewer may have been involved in this criminal underworld as either a trafficker or a traffickee. This could upset the interviewer and lead to a rushed, choppy conversation.
6. Show off your celebrity impressions.
While it may be tempting to dazzle the interviewer with your Christopher Walken impression, it isn’t as good as you think it is. It’s likely more of an impression of the impression. However, if you can do a good Matthew McConaughey, a well-placed “alright alright alright” can go a long way.
7. Slip a $20 bill into your interviewer’s hand during the goodbye handshake.
No matter how many times your interviewer remarks how he or she, in fact, does not get paid extra to conduct interviews, do not attempt to bribe or tip them. This may be viewed as disrespectful and can negatively impact their perception of you.