How to Fail - The Interview
Disclaimer: This is a satirical piece, not the advice of a reputable senior student. If you follow the recommendations in this article, I won’t be responsible for your failures.
With the chaos of September in full effect, you might have noticed an increasing number of applications for clubs and executive positions. Now, a lot of these applications have two stages: one stage where you fill out a form with a fake identity and hope it’s appealing enough; and an interview.
There are hundreds—if not thousands—of articles explaining how to ace an interview. But what if, for some sick, twisted reason, you wanted to fail one? This jumble of text is what you need then!
Or, you know, anyone who wants to find out what to avoid in an interview can use this too…
First on the list: act like a total [redacted to maintain PG-13 rating].
Interviews are held with the purpose of seeing you. A picture can replace a thousand words, while a recorded Zoom meeting is essentially thousands of pictures. If you want to let your interview go to waste, make sure each one of those video frames makes you look like a jerk.
Typically, people want to see interviewees demonstrate humility, humour, and optimism; these personality traits are often considered more valuable than academia. Thus, to tank your interview, act like you’re at the peak of the Dunning-Kroeger curve. Be confident and condescending, but reveal once in a while that your boasts are baseless. Do not listen to your interviewer’s directions, to their chagrin and growing exasperation. To top off the whole act, you can include age-old techniques like being late for your interview, getting distracted by anything and everything, and taking offense to every word your interviewers say.
Before your interview, you typically get your interview time as well as a summary of what’s going to happen, usually within an email. Leave it on unread or—even better—dump it into the trash. Make sure you empty it too.
And all that usual interview prep, like writing down talking points and responses to expected questions? You shouldn’t do that. However, if you want to stress yourself out over the interview, be my guest. Both ways are counterproductive towards your first impressions on the interviewers.
While being a disorganised, unenthusiastic, ignorant idiot can ruin your interview on its own, there is one last major technique you can use to reduce your chances to zero: making no sense.
Stuttering, screaming, refusing to speak, or speaking in an alien language–pick your poison. As long as you don’t make any sense, you’ll achieve a guaranteed “F” for failure. The best quality in a candidate is their communication ability; all jobs, especially customer service and leadership positions, need it. Employers and interviewers need to know that you can talk, joke, debate, and have constructive discussions with strangers and colleagues, so if you cannot even be coherent for ten seconds, you won’t pass the interview. Which is what you want, right?
In all seriousness, if you fail an interview, congratulations! If you somehow fail at failing an interview, kudos to you too. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to seize every opportunity, try every door, and make sure you have an impact on every person you meet. Whether that impact is positive or not is your choice.