How to not get hired

OfficeDesk1. “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 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?

4 replies on “How to not get hired”

  1. Show up grungy.
    My first Job interview at 15, I came in with long hair and a band T-shirt. The owner told me I clearly didn’t want the job dressed like that, if I wanted the job I’d have had a hair cut and a clean shirt. I didn’t ask: I told him I’d be back the next day at 3:30 for my interview.
    I arrived at 3:20 with a new haircut, pressed pants, and a button down shirt. I was hired before the interview started, because I “had guts”.

  2. The church I served in FL was hiring a worship minister. A candidate showed up, unannounced, for a church service. That’s fine. Before church there was a small sound issue that we were taking care of and he walked up and said, “can I help, I am a worship minister.” It came off as very arrogant, not to mention that our sound guy has his own audio company (which allowed him to travel the US doing big shows for guys like 3rd Day and Crowder), I think we can handle it is what I told him. The search team got back with him and said, you are a worship minister, just not at this church.

  3. How to get hired
    Now that you know how to not get hired, let’s move on to getting the job. 1. Want the job. Employers want to be loved, too. Tell me why you want this job. If you don’t really want it (like…

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