Tips for Young People – How to Conduct Yourself in A Job Interview
My personal support worker, Hattie, recently resigned over a digestive biscuit-related dispute. I won’t go into details but it boiled down to me accusing her of repeated theft and her accusing me of being a mean-spirited old bastard. In the end, neither allegation could be proven conclusively so we agreed to part ways.
As a result of Hattie’s departure, I have been forced into the unenviable position of having to interview candidates to fill her job. After a week of frustrating encounters with dimwitted young job seekers, I am now convinced more than ever that young people have no clue how to comport themselves in any situation outside of a damned rave.
And so, I offer up some basic fundamentals to young people on how to be successful in a job interview.
1. Simple Tips
It may seem like a small thing but it’s generally considered an important first test of employability.
Put on a decent sweater and some crisp slacks for Christ’s sake. If I had any interest in engaging the services of a woman in hoochie momma shorts, lip gloss and a tube top I’d take $50 and head down to the damned docks.
Bring a Resume
Preferably your own. Obama’s resume is impressive but it doesn’t really tell me much about you or why you’re qualified to make me soup. (my resume writing tips can be found here.)
Make Eye Contact
It’s polite, respectful and gives me a good indication of whether or not you’re high on the drugs. Plus, staring at my goitre just makes us both uncomfortable.
And I don’t mean one of those fist-pumping, wiggly-fingered street greetings. I mean a good old fashioned handshake. But not too firm and not too long – I bruise easily and don’t want to be touching you any longer than I have to.
Little things…Commit your name to memory. Know what job you’ve applied for. Brush the McMuffin off your chin before walking through the door. And for the love of God, be prepared to speak. A job interview is not a police interrogation – I shouldn’t need to lean on you in order to get you tell me a little about your prior work history or have to tease the truth out of you.
2. Additional Considerations
Based on my experience this week I can tell you without question that if you are in a job interview you SHOULD NOT:
- Take calls on your damned cell phone
- Pick your teeth, nose or use a finger to explore your ear canal
- Pause to change your nicotine patch
- Address the interviewer as “Buddy,” “Pappy” or “Doc”
- Wear mirrored sunglasses
- Illustrate a point through the use of shadow puppetry
- Use the phrase “I was drinking a lot at the time” or “but I was never convicted of it”
- Ask if there is a casino in the area
- Identify your short-term goals as ‘taking a dump later”
- Open with a knock-knock joke
- Pick a scab
- Ask to borrow cab fare
- Plead the 5th Amendment
- Take off your shoes and rub your feet
- Suggest that the interviewer pull your finger
- Begin a sentence with “I’m not a racist but…”
- Snap gum, eat a sandwich, chew tobacco, slurp a take-out coffee or generally use your mouth for anything other than answering the damned questions you’ve been asked
3. Things to Remember
No one owes you a damned job. Use some common sense for once in your life. If you’re offered a glass of water don’t respond with “Do you have anything stronger?”
And, honestly, it wouldn’t hurt to smile once in a while. Trust me; you’ll have plenty of time to be disgruntled once you see your damned paycheque.