Hello job seeker. I’m assuming you’re here for my help. Great.
In the past few years I have interviewed a lot of people, like you, for positions (mostly creative), and many, many times I’m just awestruck on how idiotic and thoughtless some candidate’s answers are.
Like a date, I know within the first five minutes if they are a worth a second discussion. Because in those first five minutes of meeting them, I give them the opportunity to wow me and instead they leave me thinking “I should be doing anything else” and then I wish someone would take a cane, put it around their neck, and lead them out of my office.
I WANTED to hire them. I did. I don’t want three thousand meetings with more dumb shits who waste my precious time and take me away from my work that has doubled because I need to fill this position. I want them to be the right person. I do.
So learn from them.
I am going to teach you, dumbass candidate, how to stop wasting potential employers time and possibly get that job.
Here are some pretty standard questions in an interview, and how you should answer them.
“Why do you want to work here”
The answer to this is NOT “because I need a job”. It may the true answer, but do not, ever, say this out loud. Some of you may think “well, duh of course not”, but I’ve heard this answer enough times that I have to address it. Unbelievable, I know.
Respond “I’ve been following the company’s culture/progression/bowel movements” – anything that is flattering about the company that shows you actually stopped watching Netflix long enough to google search the company you put on pants to interview for.
“Tell me about yourself”
I don’t really give a shit about you or your personal life. I want you tell me how every professional road you’ve taken thus far has led you to this moment of you sitting across from me in a conference room and why your experience makes you the best fit. So when you’re going through your employment journey QUICKLY, make sure every facet touches on the role we’re speaking about it in some fashion. That’s what I mean. Every interview starts this way. How do you not know this and have something prepared by now?
“What would you do differently”
This is a critical question for you to answer, especially if you’re interviewing for a creative field. I honestly want to know this. Even if I would never put your answer into practice, a thoughtful answer shows you actually give a shit about the work we are offering and that you’ve put minimal brain cells to work to put a coherent answer together. Answering “I don’t know” or “I wouldn’t change a thing” makes me so disappointed in you.
“Why do you want to leave your current job”
Look, I know you’re looking for more money, a better title or that your boss is an asshole. I get it. But don’t tell me that. Tell me anything positive related to the role that we are discussing. “My passion lies in (ROLE RELATED)”; “I want to focus on (ROLE RELATED)”; “Your company is pursuing a path in (ROLE RELATED) and I want to be a part of that”. And if you got laid off, that’s ok, too. Shit happens.
“Who do you think is getting it right”
I ask this a lot. It’s important to be aware of the competition and what they’re doing – not only to size them up, but to be inspired in your own work to take it to the next level. Some people never have an answer for this, which pisses me off. If you are interviewing in a creative field, or any field for that matter, you must understand the landscape or at least have some knowledge of it.
The bottom line is you need to be prepared. No one likes homework, but you need to do it in order to be taken seriously. And honestly, if you’re half assed about the job to begin with, don’t even apply. Time is the most valuable thing in the world – it’s the one thing you can never get back. Why waste it?