Drive Your Interviewer Crazy in 10 Easy Steps

tumblr_o90wn1SK7i1rudjnno3_500By Jack J. Kelly

 Almost all interview advice articles tell you what to do to succeed. Most of the time the advice, such as having a strong handshake, are annoyingly obvious.

What they don’t tell you is what not to do. After twenty years of recruiting experience placing thousands of professionals, here are some things not-to-do in the interview since it will drive the interviewer crazy.

1.Show up late for the scheduled appointment and don’t bother to call before you arrive. When you get there, don’t apologize to the interviewer for your tardiness.

2.  Touch your face frequently, especially your nose and mouth. Ideally, walk into the office with a runny nose and blow it loudly while you wait in the reception area. When the interviewer emerges, quickly stash the tissue in your pocket, wipe your nose one last time, and then extend the same hand in a warm (and wet) handshake to your interviewer.

3. Badmouth your current or former employer and superiors. Complain bitterly about the way they treat you; blame any performance issues you’ve had on them; and don’t hesitate to enthusiastically impugn their characters. With any luck, the hiring manager will visualize you trash talking him two years from now in another interview.

4.  You should have a negative attitude about your current or past situation and make sure it affects all of your responses to the interviewers’ questions. If you’re looking for a job because you are unhappy with your firm, position, title, compensation, coworkers or lack of advancement, make that clear to the employer and be as critical as possible of your current situation (share anecdotes of how awful your current workplace is.) Make your problem into his problems.

5.  Put your Smartphone on the table as soon as you sit down. If you get a phone call or a text while the interviewer is asking you a question, pick it up or text back immediately. Extra points if your ringtone is adapted from a Rihanna song.

6. Prior to the interview, do little to no research about the position and the company. A cursory glance at the company’s main web site is more than enough preparation time. When the interviewer asks you to speak about your understanding of the position and the company, just throw it back at him and give him the chance to tell you all about the job.

7.  Never, ever let your weaknesses be visible to the interviewer, even if you have to blatantly lie and cover up past failures by tweaking the facts. Better that you appear to know too much and be an absolute expert than that your shortcomings are on display.

8.  If the interviewer asks you a toughie, respond at first with a line like, “What a great question. You know, it’s so interesting, because…” and go ahead and answer a question he didn’t ask, or speak off-the-cuff about a non-related subject for several minutes, until he looks bored and distracted. Make claims about your performance without giving concrete examples.

9.  Lethargy is key. Slump in the chair across from your interviewer and check your watch frequently during the meeting. Yawn as often as possible and answer questions with short sentences, expending as little effort as possible.

10. Lie about your current or former salary. Yes, of course the interviewer will check into it before hiring you, but you didn’t really want this job anyway…or did you?

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