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Daily Archives: 15/05/2013

PFPT’s Top Interview Tips

"So, exactly how do your years as a lion tamer qualify you for a role in banking?"

“So, exactly how do your years as a lion tamer qualify you for a role in banking?”

If you wish to secure the funds necessary for such life essentials as a roof, underpants and breakfast wine, you will need a job. Sadly they stopped giving these out free in cereal boxes due to health and safety regulations gone mad, and so you must search for a job under damp logs and paving slabs, or through recruitment agencies. Having spotted a role that takes your fancy, you are then to be poked, prodded and punished at an interview. You will want to make the very best impression while at your interview and by following my handy tips, you’re sure to blow them all away.

1. Research the company you are attempting to gain employ with, making sure to learn as many embarrassing facts about your potential employer to be meted out the second they ask any awkward questions that you can’t answer. Employers love a candidate who can Google-stalk and display the ability to “own” a conversation.

2. Learn your CV. Nothing gives the game away quicker than reciting CV “facts” about what a fantastic lion tamer you are, only to discover you actually submitted the copy boasting your welding qualifications and bricklaying portfolio.

3. Get a good night’s sleep. This probably won’t be the night before the interview but it’s always good to be able to say you had one once, as an ice breaker.

4. Prior to the interview, be conscious of what you eat. You don’t want to knock a potential employer out with pickled garlic breath and houmous-wind, and you also don’t want to have any crumbs stuck in your beard or ketchup down your blouse. It’s probably best to starve yourself for at least a week beforehand to be on the safe side. Also, if you have a beard, what on earth are you doing wearing a blouse?!

5. Pick an appropriate outfit – nothing too revealing and don’t forget your pants, unless you’re being interviewed for an exotic dancer role, in which case scrap the pants and don’t forget your pasties. Your entire journey to the interview must be spent avoiding all pets, children with ice creams, road accident victims clutching desperately for help with their bloody hands, and anyone else prone to leaving stains. Wear dark, wipe clean shoes so you can kick these obstacles away from your best ‘funerals-and-court appearances’ suit.

6. Plan your journey well ahead and then scrap those plans. Try taking a jet ski to the interview or skydiving in through the roof, to show you can think outside the box and have no problem breaking into the props department of the latest spy movie in order to make a lasting impression. This also serves to help you avoid arriving with the haunted look of one who has caught the soul destroying medium of public transport.

7. Always try to be early. Not too early or you’ll look like you’re homeless and that your cardboard box got stolen at 05:00, but not cutting it too fine or you’ll look like you sold your watch for crack while at a 24 hour orgy the night before. If you did sell your watch for crack, this could be called “resourceful business acumen” and “diverse supplier relations” so be sure to bring it up.

8. Buy some chewing gum. If you don’t have breath like a badger’s gusset, perhaps your interviewer does and will be only too glad of your candour and forethought.

9. Always tell a friend where you’re going and stay in public places. No wait, that’s dating.

10. It’s customary to shake the interviewer’s hand. It is not polite to then sniff your fingers or put your hand in a plastic evidence bag “for later”. Apparently.

11. People always say to make eye contact with your interviewer, which is all well and good but if you have an interview panel of 5, you run the risk of strained, crossed eyes. It is much easier to hand each member of the panel a signed headshot of yourself sporting an earnest yet enchanting smile. It’s up to you if you wish to let them keep the photo as a treasured memento of your thrilling time together, but these are costly so maybe ask if they wouldn’t mind sharing one.

12. Have some well thought out questions to ask at the end of the interview to show you care about more than just your potential salary. You could try the following:
a) Do we get free biscuits and can I take some with me to sample?
b) Does the photocopier bear a fully grown man’s weight?
c) What’s the company policy on stabbing workmates in the neck with a biro?
d) Do you supply replacement biros?

13. If you are invited back for a second interview, this is the round where you sing a tune from Les Miserable and regale the panel with a human interest sob story, preferably involving a sick kitten, a cleft palate and a one legged grandmother. Don’t forget to dedicate the song to your childhood sweetheart and squeeze out a solitary salty tear.

14. People will always tell you to just be yourself. That’s fine unless you actually want the job, in which case, be anything but yourself, because, let’s face it, you’re you. Popular choices are to be; The King of Wishful Thinking, Four Seasons in One Day or a recipe by Heston Blumenthal.

My final tip for a cringe-free interview, for the love of leopard print stilettos, lock your social media, lest your interviewer announce to you that their friend saw your tweet about being anxious enough to defecate a belly full of nervous butterflies, like a majestic cloud of airborne Bran Flakes.

As ever, you’re welcome.

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