How to spectacularly fail a job interview

zoeego posts

This is a post I wrote on my old blog in January 2014 just as I was finishing up my journalism qualification. I somehow managed to land an interview for Digital Editor of a number of big titles including Coast Magazine, Psychologies and – most thrilling of all, Tractors & Farming Heritage Magazine. I tried my best, I really did. But it didn’t quite work out…

job interviewfunny

I just devoured a handful of grapes. It’s the first bit of fruit I’ve eaten for two weeks. Usually I eat fruit to get rid of sweet cravings, but over Christmas that would just be absurd. It would take up space that should be reserved for important things like Lindor balls and Boursin cheese.

funny job interview tips

It’s DAY THREE of my resolution to do a pull up. I did some yoga, arm and abs exercises this morning, but I do wonder if I still would have done them if I didn’t have a huge pile of revision to avoid.

In fact, I’m not sure I’d be writing this blog at all if I had no impending deadlines to blot out. I tend to be at my most productive when there’s something unrelated but quite urgent to do.

On top of revision, I should also be preparing for an upcoming job interview. The last one I had seriously flumped. It was for an editor role that was way above me, so much so that I wondered if they’d short-listed me by accident. But I tried anyway – I did lots of research, thought about what skills I had to offer and tried to convince myself that beneath the shyness and social ineptitude, there was a high-powered ‘Meryl Streep in Devil-Wears-Prada’ character just waiting to burst out of me.

There wasn’t. But at least I can now advise against doing the following:

When drinking tea, keep an eye on what your mouth is doing.

funny job interview tips
If possible, try to also control the order in which you swallow, breathe and talk. I messed mine up and ended up dribbling tea from my mouth onto the desk. In an attempt to reverse the dribble, I inhaled sharply and ended up breathing the tea back into my lungs, which I then spluttered back up onto the desk. This was all before the first question.

Always prepare ideas, or at least try to improvise.

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I was asked what kind of articles/content ideas I would pitch for a lifestyle magazine about the coast. Now I thought I’d be brilliant at this kind of question, seeing as I love the sea and also really enjoy coming up with article ideas. But for some reason, the only thing that popped into my mind at that point, as they stared at me waiting for the answer that could make my whole career, was ‘lobster farms’. I couldn’t even expand on it. As I sat there trying to look like I was really considering the question, the only two words going around my head were lobster, and farm, blotting out all other potential ideas. So make sure you always go to an interview armed with a few intelligent responses, and don’t overestimate your ability to improvise under pressure.

Needless to say I didn’t get the job.

*Have just received this interview tip from my friend Kaylie, who writes a very funny blog called That’s The Way The Kookie Crumbles :

Don’t spray large quantities of toilet air freshener on self beforehand “I once used a staff toilet before an interview and sprayed loo air freshener on myself rather than deodorant. I stunk out the joint to an eye watering level.”

Published by Zoe

28 years old, trained journalist, professional writer and aspiring novelist. I'm based in the beautiful English town of Eastbourne, I have two guinea pigs who live in my spare room, and I love food. Not cooking it, just eating it. I also like beer and staring out to sea.

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