What to say on a job interview!

It’s like meeting a new family! An ethnically diverse, coldly aloof family!

As I continue my plight through the freelance and self-employed wilderness, I’d like to continue educating you, the reader, on what I’ve learned does and doesn’t-does work in the hunt for the most deadly of games, a job! Today’s lesson: what to say during a job interview.

Yes, the job interview.  Like the gladiatorial pits of old, only with more jargon and fluorescent lighting, the job interview can baffle even the smartest of applicants.  At once an audition, a meet-and-greet and a friendly sizing up of the people who will one day call you down to an office and coldly discharge you with nothing more than a handshake and an ill-timed comment about how lucky you are to have a 212 area code on your cell phone (seriously, Mary? That’s when you’re going to ask me how I got a 212 cell phone number? A minute after you explained my COBRA options?!), the job interview seems like an impossible trap.  But take heed, employment hunters.  A job interview isn’t a trap to escape but a puzzle to solve, and there are a few rules, tricks and carefully manufactured quotes that can help you change that “dwro mjbule” into a “word jumble.” (see what I did there?)

with matching 401k!

Since the ancient Aztecs first perfected job interviews with their “does Quetzalcoatl like the applicant better without his heart or with his heart, and why?” strategy, man has understood that the best way to succeed in business, as in anything, is with his strategic wit and well articulated words.  With that in mind, I’d like to present five can’t miss questions, comments and zingers that are sure to turn your job interview into an inter-you*!

The Five (5) Can’t Miss Job Interview One-Liners.

(1) “I came here to destroy all of you.” People like a man of action.  They like a man with intensity, bravado and cajones.  So the next time you’re sitting opposite the hiring manager of a Fortune 500 company, before they can even ask you your name you narrow your eyes, grit your teeth and let them know you mean business.  Sure, you probably won’t destroy everyone in your path, but so long as you’ve kicked 5-6 people to the curb by your year end review, you’re showing that you have a track record of results.  Plus you can probably take one of their offices.

Hitler’s toilet, shown at actual size.

(2) “I spend at least four hours a day in the bathroom, but this shouldn’t be a problem for you unless you want to use it as well, in which case you’ll have to wait.” John F. Kennedy.  Henry Fonda.  Adolph Hitler.  All three have two things in common – they were effective leaders of men and they all did their finest thinking on the john.  Now, I bet you’re saying, “I didn’t know that.  Are you making this up?” Well you can just shut your lying mouth.  I wouldn’t make this up.  But you know who’d question it? A liar.  Are you a liar? What’s that? LOUDER, I CAN’T HEAR YOU.  …no? No you’re not a liar? Good.  Now sit it and zip it.

Where was I? OH, right, Hitler and Henry Ford pooped.  A lot. Every day.  And that’s how they got their finest thinking done.  Dropping this bit of knowledge on the old porcelain resume will show your new bosses you mean business.  Cuban Missile Crisis style business.  Model T-style business.  Blitz of Europe-style business.  It’s a can’t miss, and if they argue with you, it’s only because they’re jealous of you already.  Let ‘em be.  Jerks.

He’s fine, don’t worry about it.

(3) “I need approximately four weeks of vacation…for my cat.” Everybody loves pets, and if they say otherwise, they’re probably lying or depressed that their wives are leaving them.  This opener is a classic bait and switch – anyone who’s been on a job interview knows you ask about vacation time – how early, how often, and how drunk can you be upon your return to work? But nobody asks about the vacation time for their pets.  This sort of reversal will throw them off their game, and have them completely unprepared for item #4, which is…

Too far? Did you SEE King Hippo’s Q3 projections?!

(4) “Find me the biggest guy in this office and I’ll bet you I can wrestle him to the ground in less than three minutes.  Find him now.  Right now.  Right now! RIGHT NOW!” Jumping off of item #1, again, strength must be shown at all times in the modern office place. It’s kill or be killed out there, maim or be maimed, fight or be foughted, shoot or be shot, kick in the crotch or be kicked in the crotch, stab or be stabbed, slash is tires and wait in the bushes or have your tires slashed and be attacked from your own bushes, Fake a heart attack in the break room and then scratch out his eyes with a shattered coffee pot or…you get my point.  It’s a dangerous, aggressive world you’re entering.  Offices are like prison that way, only at least in prison you know how long your sentence is!  You have to assert dominance before day one if you want to live to see day one. You might think I’m crazy, you might think I’m paranoid, you might think I’m off base – well, I’ll tell you what I told my mom: No I’m not.  I’m just a guy who’s seen how it really is out there, man.

(5) “You’re welcome.”  That’s how you close this sucker off.  The bravest and smartest say it before the interviewer even bothers to thank them.  But they won’t mind – they’ll appreciate being saved the trouble.

That’s all for this time, job hunters.  Good luck out there in the salary swamps and the full-time forests.  I’ll be watching.
…in fact, I’m watching you right now.