How to not get hired
1. “I’m looking for indoor work.” I believe you are telling the truth. I do not believe this is the best answer to “Why are you interested in this job?”
2. “I have extinctive computer skills.” This poor applicant provided much-needed comic relief during a tedious process; this applicant was not interviewed. Do I expect that every document you create will be error-free? No. Do I expect that your resume and cover letter — the documents you rely on to find the job that will secure your livelihood — will be? Yes.
3. “Are you still excepting applications?” Yes, except yours. Even correctly written, this question just creates more work for the hiring manager. “Can I ask you a question?” “You just did.”
4. “So, what does the company do?” You found a job listing online. You sent us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You were interviewed by phone, invited to a follow-up onsite, and you didn’t take two minutes to look at our web site before showing up?
5. “You may be ‘the boss’ [air quotes with his fingers], but…” I don’t remember what he said after the air quotes. He wanted a management position, but couldn’t believe I (then much younger) was really the boss. I spared him from having to deal with the fact on a daily basis.
6. “I may not be the most ideal candidate…” If that’s your opening line, how likely am I to disagree?