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Cringe, as I tell you about the worst job interview I ever had

Obviously we’ll be publishing this article anonymously- I would like to be employable in the future and not have every recruiter Google me and discover I’m socially and professionally inept.

The job market is tough, and when morale is at an all time low, it’s tougher. I’d graduated from a good university with good marks, I had three years of interning and work experience, inclusive of managing a full year of industry relevant full-time work while completing my studies- so you can imagine my confusion and disappointment when I struggled to even land interviews.

Then of all places, I got a call from Macquarie Bank. I had a window and sure enough I slammed it shut and sealed it with concrete from the other side.

Wanna copy me and do exactly like I did?

Step one: Turn up 30 minutes early.

Don’t come a half an hour early like I do and loiter the lobby. It makes the interviewer feel pressure to finish what their doing or the receptionist to make small talk with you. 5 minutes early is more than enough.

Step two: Gee yourself up just before you walk in to the interview.

There’s no surer way to screw up an interview then depending on it solely without any other back up. Your nerves will be through the roof and it will make you do things like touch your face or twirl your hair during the interview. This is both disgusting and distracting.

Step three: Leave your research to the last minute.

It’s one thing to read the product description on the company website, but how about really understanding it, its market, its competitors, the challenges you think it would face, other parts of the company- just for a start. I’ve done this for every other job I’ve ever interviewed for, but decided not to do it for this one- just for kicks.

Step four: Memorise your answers, regardless of the question.

Don’t just have key points noted for discussion, memorise your answers down to the exact wording, and don’t deviate from the script! (Not) And if they don’t ask the questions you’ve got answers prepared for- just use your answers anyway.

This way, when they ask you a question, any question, you can rattle off an answer like a robot that doesn’t actually tell them what they want, and when you mess up a word or jumble sentences from your script, you can get flustered and try to awkwardly correct yourself. In fact, don’t even think before you speak- just jump straight into responding and if you don’t make your point straight away, just go round and round until you do- the interviewers won’t mind.

Step five: Leave your outfit to the last minute.

Never underestimate how much an outfit can mentally prepare you for something. Given my wardrobe could clothe half a dozen girls with a different outfit each day of the year, I thought I’d easily be able to pull something to wear, but nope. An hour before my interview, I was in David Jones buying a new outfit.

You also probably shouldn’t let a random woman in reception change your hair. I don’t even know how this happened.

Step six: Overstate your skills and qualifications.

Did I really think that I would get the job and they wouldn’t realise I couldn’t write code? It’s not exactly an, ‘I’m good with people’ kind of lie. I think by this point I knew I’d shot myself in the foot, leg, neck and shoulder so what did I have to lose?

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Step seven: Forget the interviewers names.

Be sure to send a follow-up thank you email to the coordinator of the interview and just use impersonal, ambiguous collective nouns- not their actual names. Good people skills, tick.

Step eight: Point out your shortcomings at the end.

Make sure you put the final nail in the coffin by apologising for all the mistakes you made in the last hour- they’ll really like your confidence.

Equally important as actually having the skills for a job, is being able to convince the interviewers that the team will like working with you.

I actually would have killed at this job, and every mistake I made could have been avoided, so my sage advice isn’t to study more or work harder- it’s to be calm and collected because you can have it, but if you can’t pull yourself into line, you won’t get it. I also have a sneaking suspicion I’ve been blacklisted by Macquarie Bank’s Talent Acquisition team.

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