It is so tough to get a job these days!
Getting your resume noticed and having them read your application is no easy task.
Even getting an interview is tough.
Once you get a chance, you can’t blow it.
Follow these 15 tips and your next interview will be your best and will help you land the job of your dreams!
1. Arrive early!
Nothing says “I’m really interested in this job” and “I have absolutely no life outside of this job; really, I’m desperate, and may ask to sleep under my desk” than showing up hours or even days before your time slot, making yourself at home and sitting across from the receptionist, grinning incessantly, laughing loudly at all of her jokes as well as viciously berating all other applicants who are even a second late for their interview.
2. Be prepared!
Don’t attempt to “wing it” or “improvise” or “pull rabbits out of your hat” even when your magic skills are your best/only skill. Do your research about this company, its philosophy and what the expectations of your job will be so you can fill your interview with verbatim quotes from their website and internal private emails. Also research your prospective employer’s embarrassing social media posts and thought-to-be-expunged criminal record. Remember, extortion isn’t pretty, but neither is being rejected again.
3. Dress for success!
Now is just not the time or place to show off your creative and in-your-face interpretation and critique of what “professional attire” means. It is also not the time to show off your beach bod or your are-you-part-gorilla chest or back hair. You must wear matching socks, keep your entire posterior covered throughout the whole interview no matter how badly it wants out and leave your large collection of capes and “alternative head wear” at home. Absolutely no ski masks!
4. Appear relaxed!
Yes, you may be anxious or sweating profusely or stressed out to the point where you are so tense you can’t bend down to sit and they may wonder if you are some sort of robot or made out of wood. You may also feel like you want to throw up or lay on the ground whimpering in a fetal position or rip your clothes off and run around screaming, but, in my experience, those won’t help you get a job except in very certain (and rare) circumstances. I suggest either a small amount of tranquilizer (horse or rhino are my current favourites), lots and lots of lube, a sedative/muscle relaxant or go to a yoga class beforehand — whatever works for you.
But, not too relaxed. This isn’t your man cave or your spa or your padded room downstairs — this is a job interview. I can’t emphasize that enough. You need to strike the delicate balance between focused and calm; between excited and not freaking everyone out with your intensity. I find it helps to imagine the interviewer naked, or partially naked if full nakedness is a bit too much right after lunch. Just remember not to stare too much at them while licking you lips and moaning as that will come across as “creepy” and “perverted” and “you can show your way out now but I do get off at 6pm”.
5. Make eye contact!
You don’t want to appear timid or shy or amphibian, so as soon as you enter the room, look into the eyes of your interviewer and, whatever it takes, don’t be the first to look away even if it causes you significant eye strain and/or to start shaking involuntarily. If it helps, pretend you are being interviewed by a feral animal or rabid step-father that you need to show who’s boss. If that does indeed help, it may be worth checking that out at some point with a therapist.
6. Body language is so important!
Enter the room positively glowing, literally. If at all possible (and financially feasible) have moderately-vigorous sex beforehand with or without other humans. Or, there are some great over-the-counter products these days that are not nearly as harmful for you and the environment as they once were! (thank you science!) The key is to exude warmth from the moment the interview starts —either you are actually that warm a person or I find that small portable space heaters placed just so (and out of sight of the interviewer) do the trick every time.
7. Speak well!
This is a great chance to appear intelligent and show off your vocabulary. In case that your vocabulary is limited, I suggest memorizing a list of 15–20 words of at least 4 syllables and tossing them randomly into sentences. Don’t worry at all whether what you say makes any sense at all — if you speak with unflinching confidence, a slight unplaceable-accent and well-timed winks, your interviewer will be so impressed and it’s not like they are going to stop you, risk potentially embarrassing themselves, and check dictionary.com.
8. But, not too much!
This isn’t your opportunity to get up on your soap box (for starters, leave the soap box at home) or high horse (ditto). Yes, as tempting as it might be, don’t launch into any of your way-out-there, enraged, conspiracy-ridden diatribes about the mayor or dieting or the end of the world as we know it. Show that you are a good listener, can sit cross-cross-apple-sauce on the carpet and will raise your hand to ask to use the washroom. Leave them wanting more and finish each sentence with the statement “and if you want to know more, please check out my blog!” The traffic to your site may double!
9. Embrace silence!
Don’t worry if there are moments when no one is speaking. Maybe your employer is a fan of miming? Or they want to see how you’d react in a workplace scenario when your office is bugged by the Feds? But, the key point is that silence isn’t bad as it is almost impossible to have zero silence unless you have spent hours rehearsing together beforehand. Don’t forget, silences, like relationships and corporate takeovers, are only awkward if you let them be. So, when silence arrives, which it will, stand, grab the hand of your interviewer, close your eyes. Start to hum an inspirational tune. Bring a wind machine to complete the affect.
10. Confidence goes a long way!
Go get that job! Remember, on your way to the top, you will have to occasionally take prisoners, eat some dogs and squash some bugs (mostly expressions). These are small prices to pay to get your dream job (depends on the size of the dog). In the interview, confidence must ooze out of every pore (I recommend loose, light clothing that one would wear while on safari). On principle alone, do not take no for an answer even when it is the only reply that makes sense. Leave absolutely no doubt in their mind that you are the right person for the job and that, in many ways, you are the only person who is able to do this exact work. You are doing them a favor by taking the position. Another favor is using the company photocopier each Thursday between 8 and 9pm, no questions asked.
11. Use compliments!
Butter your interviewer up! No, not seriously, unless they have signed the consent form ahead of time which rarely is the case which is why you sprung for the refrigeration unit in your car. As I’ve said a million times — rancid butter will never get you a job. Go out of your way to make them feel good by saying “what is your secret?” and “I guess this office is where the smart beautiful people work” and “OMG, boy and/or girlfriend, you are all like DAMN.” no matter how much your soul is dying inside. Remember, how you feel no longer matters if you want this job.
12. Own the room!
Open the door with such dramatic flair and impressive eyebrow movements that the interviewer will be inclined to give you a standing ovation. Refuse to begin the interview until they do. Remember: excessive eye contact must be avoided as they will think you are a deer caught in the headlights, flirting or have some sort of pre-existing eye condition. You must enter the room and completely dominate the space — moving quickly and confidently marking your territory as a bear or roommate who-doesn’t-pick-up-on-your-hints-to-leave would. Finally, demonstrate that you own the room by placing no fewer than three non-ironic modern photography prints on the walls.
13. Size Up the Competition!
And I don’t mean measuring them in the waiting room, though, feel free if it works for you. Instead, I suggest the following simple steps.
#1: Somehow get a hold of the list of candidates (I suggest either blackmailing the receptionist, simply asking nicely or dating her before breaking up after the third date because you’ve decided to finally become a priest; whichever fits into your budget).
#2: Delve deeply into each of their lives, digging up sordid details from their past, or, if they are squeaky clean, you cannot be above completely fabricating disgusting falsehoods unless you enjoy being unemployed and eating plain cereal out of the box in your parent’s basement.
#3: During the interview say things such as “I know you are considering [insert competitor’s name here] but have you seen this photo of him drunk, naked and covered in dandelion fuzz?” or “[insert competitor’s name here] would be an incredible hire, that is, if you are okay with someone who clearly, based on this website she created, hates everything you, this company and every decent human being stands for.”
14. Promise the moon!
During the interview, your sole task is to greatly inflate your own skills, achievements and talents while being as vague as possible on your actual experience and qualifications. Make tons and tons of promises of things you will do once hired, each one more amazing than the one before. This is your chance to make promises your butt, if it’s anything like mine, can’t cash. So, sell them a timeshare in Florida! Sell them some snake-oil. And sell them some extra life insurance! In case things aren’t going as planned, always carry a small amount of wool to put in front of their eyes as a last ditch effort.
15. Save the best for last.
Regardless of how the interview has gone, you must finish off on a high note (no singing!) It’s a fine line as you want to leave a great final impression, but you don’t want to come across as obviously sucking up (unless that is your best feature). In my experience, freshly baked cookies, free stock market advice and discount coupons for the local grocery store are welcome and, relatively, subtle gifts that can move your application to the top of the pile. As you get up and leave, the final handshake must be either something hip and fresh accompanied by some current Afro-American Vernacular or so strong and unrelenting that they won’t be wondering “if you lift bro?”.
Now, go nail that interview and get that job!