Everybody takes job interviews too seriously. I mean, what’s the big deal? You dress up, show up and then it’s bla bla bla for half an hour and you’re out the door. Today, throw out everything that you thought you knew about interviewing, because I’m going to clue you in on a little secret: hiring managers are tired of uptight professionals.
For years, those in charge of recruiting have been relentlessly seeking out highly qualified, highly boring individuals who are willing to jump through all sorts of hoops just to land some job. This has lead to an overabundance of squares stacked up neatly in every industry in America. But the winds are changing my friend. Soon, very soon, it’s not going to be your references or your industry experience that lands you a job, it’ll be how cool you can play it in the interview.
To succeed in your next job interview, you’re going to have to do a little preparation the night before.
First, dress up. Now, I know that I said to throw out the old way of interviewing, but “dress to impress” is more of a universal law than a convention of hiring. Once you’ve selected your best business outfit, it’s time to trash it. Go out to a rowdy party, a club on the bad side of town, anywhere that will make you smell like a beer bottle full of cigarette butts and keep you up way past your bed time. After waking up somewhere that you don’t remember going to, it’s time to make your way to the interview.
While those of you stuck in the old ways of interviewing might want to rush to get there on time, I urge you to take it easy. Get some coffee or a burrito, take a refreshing walk through the park, strike up a conversation with someone on the street. If you show up early to your interview or even on-time, the hiring manager will know just what sort of ordinary, dull person you are.
If, however, you come in late, disheveled and with a half eaten Danish in your hand, that hiring manager will know that you have one heck of a story to tell.
After you get settled into your chair in the most casual way possible, I’ve found the best way to seal the deal is to approach the interview as if you’ve never done one before in your life.
Instead of answering a question like “How much Java experience do you have?” with some boring number, talk about how you’ve always wanted to go to Java or even talk about a girl named Javan that you met at whatever seedy party you went to last night.
The key here is to present the interviewer with the unexpected, to show them that you’re an outside-the-box kind of guy. Besides avoiding direct, boring answers at all cost, you should try to interrupt the interviewer as frequently as possible. Whether you interject with half-baked questions about vacation time or more stories from the previous night, the point is to demonstrate how little the job means to you, thus, securing your interviewer’s interest.
If you’ve done the proper preparation and follow my tips for cool interviewing, then there’s nothing stopping you from totally failing… I mean nailing your next interview.
If you’ve read this far, you know that all the above is what NOT to do. Check out, “How to Ace an Interview”