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  • Writer's pictureLynneah Smith, Director of HR

Tips for How NOT to Get the Job

We all know the feeling – butterflies in your stomach, sweaty palms, a racing heartbeat, trembling knees. The feeling of glaring eyes while the person across the table grills you with questions and analyzes your every word. The feeling of an interview.

Interviews can be nerve-racking, no doubt. The pressure to express your thoughts clearly and put your best foot forward can sometimes be a challenge – especially if you don’t do it often. If you’re well prepared, you may have done a quick Google search to find practice interview questions or have confided in a friend, family member, or teacher to share tips and tricks.

It’s not often, however, we get told what NOT to do. Besides, how should you know what not to do if no one ever tells you?

Read on to learn our top 20 suggestions on how NOT to get the job.

1. Show up late to the interview.

2. Make sure you come across like you’re uninterested in the job…play hard to get.

3. Don’t research the company beforehand. You should wait for the interviewer to explain the company to you.

4. Chew gum during your interview.

5. Curse during your interview.

6. Keep your phone’s volume turned all the way up so when you get a call or text during the interview, you can answer it.

7. Dress in sweatpants and t-shirts with inappropriate images or profanity.

8. Give one-word answers to the interviewer’s questions. Don’t elaborate on anything.

9. Don’t ask any questions about the expectations of the job or the culture of the company.

10. Do ask right away about how much pay they’re offering.

11. Don’t make any eye contact with the interviewer and speak softly so they can’t hear your answers.

12. Never smile during the interview or display your positive, can-do attitude.

13. Talk badly about your previous employers, so they know you’re never going back to them.

14. Tell the interviewer how much you hated your old boss and how you could never get along with your old coworkers.

15. Over script your answers. Don’t talk about any personal experiences or share the values you have in relation to your job.

16. Admit that you’ve never made a mistake and that you don’t have any weaknesses whatsoever.

17. Don’t tell the interviewer about any challenges you’ve faced or how you’ve worked through them…it’s none of their business.

18. Don’t share any accomplishments you’ve achieved, ideas you’ve shared, or processes you’ve improved in previous jobs…the new company might steal them.

19. Never return a recruiter’s follow-up calls or emails.

20. Lastly, if you really don’t want to get the job, you should just “ghost” them...don’t show up at all to the interview.

Yes, as human resources professionals, we have experienced all these instances at one point in time, but we hope you are able to learn something from other’s mistakes. We hope you enjoyed our fun and somewhat humorous spin on “how not to get the job.”

In all seriousness, our best advice for acing your interview is to just be your best professional self! Show your enthusiasm for joining the company and your willingness to learn new things, and you’ll be sure to land the job.

Are you interested in interviewing for an exciting new opportunity at ELSNER? Check out our job openings at and apply today!

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