Don’t want to get hired? Our ten tips guarantee failure

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For some reason, you’re going to an interview for a job you don’t want. Maybe it’s an internal promotion you don’t fancy; maybe your recruitment consultant talked you into it and you didn’t have the sense to turn it down. Anyway, you’re in the diary and you’re going to go through with the whole annoying where-do-you-see-yourself palaver.

Trouble is, you’re actually quite good at what you do and might be in danger of getting an offer. The only solution is to act so appallingly that the interviewers never let you cross their damnable threshold again.

What kind of appalling? We reckon one or two of these will do the trick.

1. Turn up late.

Not mildly late, as might be excusable, or incredibly late, which suggests something important got in the way, but averagely late, which gives the impression that you just don’t give one. Maybe conjure up an excuse that contextualises how important this interview is to you. ‘Yeah, I am a bit late, I suppose. I had terrible trouble getting through to the This Morning switchboard.’

2. Wear questionable clothes.

Dress up, but do so badly. Perhaps: a two piece suit made up of two different suits; a tie with a design made up of tiny nudes; a tiny button badge that says I Like the Pope, the Pope Smokes Dope. On second thoughts, maybe just a Zebra Onesie.

3. Diss the firm’s strategy.

Ask about the strategy, then react to it with unreasonable violence. ‘Utter crap,’ you protest. ‘As soon as you hire me, I’m walking straight into the Managing Partner’s office and I’m going to tell him straight, as my gift to the firm.’ Crack your knuckles like a a Hollywood heavy.

4. Ask about internet usage policy.

‘Do you track individual user histories here? I have a friend – [cough] – who got done for surfing filth in the office but outside of office hours, and that’s really unfair.’ When asked for clarification, go defensive and explain that ‘dwarf porn can’t Google itself, you know.’

5. Talk incessantly about work-life balance.

Insist on written confirmation that you don’t have to work weekends, evenings after five o’clock or any afternoon when Murder, She Wrote is showing on ITV3.

6. Deliberately confuse them with another firm.

‘I love that you’ve just got that Poundland IPO deal. What, that was Freshfields? You guys must be really butt-hurt.’

7. Ask the interviewer out on a date.

‘Hey, I can’t remember the last time I talked to a member of the opposite sex for forty minutes without getting slapped. Feels like we’ve got some chemistry. What say we hit the local Wetherspoons and take it from there?’

8. Bring politics and religion into the frame.

Shake your head when they ask about your business development skills. ‘You can’t separate that from capitalism,’ you say wearily. ‘Biz Dev is so like working for the Man. Speaking of which, you don’t have a Methodist ghetto here, do you? All that Wesleyan Arminianism really gets on my nerves.’

9. Take a crossword.

‘What’s that? Do I have any questions? Sure. ‘Not a cat.’ Three letters.’

10. Laugh incessantly.

Guffaw at the most unexpected things. Point at your coffee cup and snigger. Flip the end of your interviewer’s tie and chortle like a thing demented. Add extra spice by tying your propensity to giggle with your interest in the most random legal topics. ‘Did you see the article in The Lawyer,’ you interrupt, ‘in which it was discussed that Turkey – snarf, snarf – has introduced a controversial new – whoop, whoop – internet law?’ After which you lean back in your chair so far that it falls over, and literally ROFL. AB

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