Stuff You Should Know: Job Interviews

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As you’re high fiving your bad self in the parking lot after nailing yet another interview, it occurs to you that this was the sixth “great” interview you’ve had and yet the job tally still remains at zero. Since it couldn’t possibly be YOU (aka AWESOME), something’s just not adding up! Are you missing something?

While we totally agree that you’re wonderful from the top of your well coiffed hair to the business tips of your precious office loafers, here are just a few signs to look for if you suspect your job interview isn’t going well and what to do to turn it around.

The Interview Is a One-Man Show


When it comes to fascinating people, Barbara Walters would be interviewing you each year if that stupid list of hers was more like “The 25 Most Interesting People In the World.” But it’s not, so you don’t make the list which in turn means nobody cares about your long-winded tales of adventure.

While the whole purpose of an interview is for your prospective employer to find out what you’re all about, an employer who lets you ramble on about your trip to the annual Paper Mache convention is probably not listening and eager for you to blow your horn and wrap up the interview. Try engaging the interviewer into a conversation instead of forcing him to be an audience to your one man show. In fact, go ahead and extend that courtesy to everyone. We’re pretty much all tired of your shit, truth be told.

There’s a Fly On The Wall Competing for your Attention


If your interviewer is treating you like a bad blind date; constantly looking at their watch, avoiding eye contact and sexting in the middle of your meeting, it could possibly be that they’re bored or have already lost interest in you. This does not mean you should disregard the advice from our previous point and break out your very best anecdote about your wild class trip to Six Flags in the eighth grade. Instead, turn your answers into open ended questions so you can get their attention back. Soon, they too will see that, much like bra-less nipples and a cold day, you and the job would go very well together.

They Don’t Want You Back


When you asked about a second interview, did your employer suddenly direct your attention to something shiny so they could run out of the room? If they did, then most likely your interview made a “big-enough-to-splash-your-ass” turd drop right into the crapper. It doesn’t hurt to follow up a week from the interview to see how the hiring process is going, but if you’re not informed about possible second interviews, it’s a sign that they’re not interested and that it’s time to move on before they take out a restraining order on you.

The Interviewer Is Suddenly Suffering from Amnesia


Maybe he sniffed his White Out bottle one too many times (who hasn’t?) or maybe the truckload of coke he snorted in college not only killed his innocence but most of his brain cells; whatever the case may be, if your interviewer seems to forget information you’ve just told him or re-reads your resume like it’s the first time he’s seen it, chances are he’s checked out of the conversation and is doing a very bad job of going through the motions. This is an opportune time to start asking questions about what they’re looking for in an employee which will give you an open door to remind him why you’re exactly the person they’re looking for and why everyone else would suck at that job but you.

They Tell You to Take a Number


If the interviewer constantly reminds you throughout the meeting that there’s a long line of other promising candidates for the job, this might be a not so subtle hint that you’re not included on that list. Power through the interview anyway despite his negative passive aggressive dance; hopefully he’ll be impressed with your positive attitude and also see that you’re not some emotionally fragile hipster whose lips quiver with sadness when he finds out that concert tickets for his indie, techno-rock, minimalist rap band, Wet Chili Ring, are sold out.

The Interviewer Is Being An A-Hole


Sometimes you’ll find yourself at the receiving end of someone’s bad day. Unfortunately, sometimes, that day will be the day of your interview. If the interviewer is giving you cold handshakes, short questions and the meeting feels like being in a warm embrace with a cactus, you might have just walked into the middle of their bad day tornado. Mind your manners, shake off the loss and take heart in knowing that their dickery will eventually lead to a fast food worker spitting in their food.

The Interview Is Cut Off Short


You’ve barely had time to wrinkle up your suit and form a butt cheek groove into your chair when it seems like the interview is already wrapping up. This would be a great time to cut to the chase and just ask them if they have any doubts about your ability and take it as an opportunity to address their concerns right away. Or a great opportunity to leave immediately so you can get back to drowning your unemployment sorrows in a bottle of vodka. Whatever works.

They’re Passing The Buck


And unfortunately, the “buck” is you. There could be a lot of reasons as to why your potential employer is now handing you off to his secretary to interview instead of doing it himself. He could be busy, he could be doing a thorough screening process or he could have an inexplicable fear of your clip-on tie. If you find yourself being passed on to a subordinate, give the interview your all and treat the interviewer with as much respect and consideration as you would to the head honcho. It’s better to have them on your side than having them use your resume to wipe the remaining dingleberries from their boss’s ass during his next bowel movement.

You’re Dressed More Casually than the Interviewer


Don’t mention it, hope they don’t notice and interview your ass off anyways. Maybe you’ll listen to your friends the next time they tell you a blazer, t-shirt and loafers with no socks is only appropriate if you’re dressed as Don Johnson on Halloween.

(Gasp!) Maybe It IS You


Even though it’s easier to point the blame at the clueless, deaf and dumb interviewer who couldn’t see the employee of the decade halo hovering above you, there’s a small possibility that you could be doing something wrong. Is there something about YOU that’s rubbing potential employers the wrong way? It could be as simple as easing up on your Axe body spray (or using more of it, but probably not). Is your dragon breath causing welts to form in and around the interviewer’s facial area? They probably won’t like that. Is your winning smile coming off as “serial killer-y” to everyone else? Yes it is, stop smiling, creep. Maybe your passionate fight for legalizing marijuana and backyard midget wrestling should be left off the discussion table on interview day and kept in your back pocket for the day when you’re interviewing with a super-aggressive, weed smoking midget. These minor tweaks to your appearance or behavior could be the key to finally landing that job.

Written By Elaine Chaney, who can’t wait to dominate the backyard midget wrestling circuit. Follow her on Twitter @LadyHaHa or read more from her at, Sanity,Interrupted…