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Interview Insider

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Articles, blogs, and up-to-date information from influencers and interview insiders to help you ace your next interview.


Bad Interview ? – 17 No-No’s

Copyright © Sandra A. Jackson, JobTownResumes.com, 2013. All rights reserved.*


  • 17 Interview No-No’s from Industry Experts.
  • Discussion on Interview Self-Sabotage.
  • You, Me, & Dupree as “Case Study.”
  • An Interview Check-list for you to print out.
  • Email us your funny interview, bad interview stories.

I see you sitting there down in the dumps. So You Had a Bad Interview?!! Whoever of us has not had a bad interview day should step forward and cast the first paperweight. Or something like that. It happens. My advice? No matter how bad you wanted the job, laugh at the circumstances and learn from it. Success is sweet but failure is a darn good teacher.

movie-nightWe’re gonna analyze a case study (er … movie clips). Come right in! Make yourself comfortable. Grab that chair over there.

Let’s roll the YouTube clips!

Every interview is practice for the one that land’s you the job! Let’s have some fun and analyze “You, Me, & Dupree.”

Synopsis: “You, Me, and Dupree” came out in 2006, and starred Owen Wilson, Kate Hudson, and Matt Dillon. In this movie, the best man, Dupree (played by Wilson) has been out of work for quite a while and stays on as a house guest with the newlyweds, Molly and Carl. Dupree clearly has boundary issues. He burns their living room and frequently ends up naked. But even more unforgivable is the fact that he puts a severe strain on the newlyweds relationship.

In this scene, Dupree begins looking for work at the urging of Molly and Carl, and his job interview doesn’t go well when he finds out the company doesn’t close for his favorite holidays.  (Click on the graphic to play the scene.)


Link: The Dupree interview from “You, Me, & Dupree.”

Let’ Analyze: Dupree came to the interview dressed appropriately, but brought a duffel bag with him (not recommended). He spoke with ease and confidence. He brought a résumé. All positives. He was ready for that open-ended stock question managers so frequently begin with, “Tell me about yourself.” It was obvious Dupree had given that issue quite a bit of thought and described himself pretty well. Right out of the gate he sounded like someone who wasn’t even going to pretend to be committed to this job. And then he talked about time off …

Clearly, the conventional analysis of this interview is, “Don’t discuss job benefits and perks in your initial interview at a company.” The conventional wisdom is to wait until you get a job offer or at least until a second interview. It’s also NOT a good idea to emphasize that work is not a priority.

But, let’s dig a little deeper and talk about interview self-sabotage. In Dupree’s case, he didn’t really want this job. He was going through the motions to please his friends. Dupree concluded he wasn’t a fit even before the manager gave up and was happy to walk out. And Dupree’s personal issues … his free spirit, his disorganization, and his search for his passion in life … got in the way of a conventional work world. And, honestly, Dupree was basically OK with that, even if his friends weren’t.

17 Ways You Tank Your Interview: Read these tips on how people sabotage their interviews and how to stop it from 3 mainstream experts.

  1. 10 Subtle Ways to Sabotage Your Interview, Monster.com
  2. 7 Stupid Statements That Can Sabotage Your Interview, PayscaleBad Interview - 17 No-No.s..
  3. How to Stop Self-Sabotage in Interviews, Houston Chronicle

And then there is this self-explanatory list: (1) showing up late, (2) being rude to the receptionist, (3) bad hygiene, (4) completely inappropriate attire, (5) being under the influence, and (6) talking bad about your current or former employer.

Don’t roll your eyes and act like everyone knows that and it never happens. During my 17 years as an IT recruiter, I saw it all, including the inebriated programmer who spit on the rug while weaving down the hall on his way to the interview. It happens.

Sometimes, though, the interview just falls short because of more subtle reasons beyond your control, as evidenced by the August 2013 CareerBuilder Study on “Who Get’s Hired.”

In any case, for those die-hard free spirits who are OK traveling around looking for their passion, the Dupree film has a pretty inspiring ending, but please, (and, yes, you can roll your eyes now and all references to Tony Robbins aside), you know it’s NOT that easy!

(Click on the graphic or the links to roll the YouTube clip.) Bad.Interview.Cupree.talks.at.Career-Day

Link: Dupree gives a talk to Molly’s class on Career Day (above).

Link: Dupree discovers his Tony-Robbins-esque passion (below). Bad.Interview.Dupree.Finds.Passion

So, learn from your interview mistakes, don’t sabotage your own interviews, realize there will sometimes be some things beyond your control, go for jobs where there is a company-culture fit, and, if you are a free-spirit still trying to find your passion, expect a bumpy ride. And last, but definitely, not least, laugh at the circumstances!

There is almost always a funny story in it.

Click on this link to see a very good interview check list from the Daily Muse.  Be prepared. This is a similar check list to the one I gave job applicants when prepping them for their interview with a client company.

Bad-Interview-17 No.No.sTo all my free-spirits out there: Consensus is, “What Color is Your Parachute?” is still the best book on finding your passion.

Kind Regards, Sandy, Your Resume Writer


Click here to call or e-mail me and let’s get started on your resume!

E-mail us your funny interview stories. We’ll choose some to feature anonymously in our blogs. Use the form below. Be sure to include “Funny Interview Story” in the subject line and include a sentence giving us permission to use your story anonymously. There is almost always a lesson to be learned in an interview gone wrong.

Images by Shutterstock and Bing free vector images.

Six Tips About the “Who Gets Hired?” CareerBuilder Study

Call or e-mail. Let’s Get Started on Your Resume!

Copyright © Sandra A. Jackson, JobTownResumes.com, 2013. All rights reserved.*

An interesting CareerBuilder study just came out detailing who is getting hired and who is hiring whom. This was a nationwide study of 2,076 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries. Pretty impressive. Check out some of those stats. It may give you pause. Forewarned is forearmed Job Hunters. Right?!!


So, just who IS getting hired these days? (Click link to see the full details of the study.)

  • The candidate with the better sense of humor – 27 percent
  • The candidate who is involved in his or her community – 26 percent
  • The candidate who is better dressed – 22 percent
  • The candidate whom I have more in common with – 21 percent
  • The candidate who is more physically fit – 13 percent
  • The candidate who is more on top of current affairs and pop culture – 8 percent
  • The candidate who is more involved in social media – 7 percent
  • The candidate who is knowledgeable about sports – 4 percent

CareerBuilder Study Reveals Surprising Factors in Determining Who Gets Hired

What’s a red-blooded and earnest Job Hunter to do? JobTownResumes did your resume and you landed that interview! Now what? Can you change yourself to fit all these CareerBuilder tips ASAP please? Quick?!! Where’s my handy career/life coach when I need them?

Here’s some advice on this study.

1. BE YOURSELF. When I was a recruiter for 17 years, my advice was, and always has been, “Be yourself when you interview, but be your BEST self.” A lot of people strongly disagree with me.

But here’s the thing. You can go in and pretend to be someone else; alter your personality  for a short while attempting to match everything for which the manager is seeking in a candidate. But in the end, if you get the job, you are going to be miserable, the manager is going to be miserable, and most probably all your co-workers are going to be miserable. You might even leave there with bad references.

2. DON’T BE FRANTIC. Maybe you are so desperate for a job that it doesn’t matter if you are miserable for a little while. You figure, “Just grin and bear it.” It is what it is. Unless you are a really good actor, that desperation is going to show up in the interview too. You don’t want to go into an interview saying, “PAY NO ATTENTION TO THAT MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN,” because just like the Wizard of Oz, you’re gonna get discovered sooner or later. You remember that scene, right? Poor guy frantically trying to maintain the facade of an all powerful wizard right up to the end.


Wizard of Oz movie clip, “Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain!”

3. GET HELP IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE. If you DO have some troublesome personality quirks, or even some problems that seem to actually be getting in your way all the time, get some help. There are super good Career Coaches and Life Coaches and Psychologists that can help you deal with those traits you WANT changed.

4. LOOK FOR THE FIT. But on the other side of the coin, some people like themselves the way they are. They don’t want to change. No matter if you do or you don’t, look for the job that fits your personality. Do you have a large facial tattoo that usually gets a negative reaction? Are you inordinately quiet or extremely shy? Exuberantly loud? There are jobs where a seemingly negative attribute is actually a plus. I’m not saying don’t try for every job you like. Just be sure to ask questions in the interview to make sure you’ll like it there. Remember, you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. You’ll be happy. They’ll be happy. And that’s what it’s all about.

5. THE GOOD NEWS!  This CareerBuilder survey isn’t bad. Not really. I mean, WOW! SPORTS! SOCIAL MEDIA! POP CULTURE! HOW MUCH FUN IS THAT?! Things are looking up, right? And you saw that one about, “The candidate whom I have more in common with?” Trust me on this, folks. There is every kind of personality in a manager. Just because you have a few quirks doesn’t mean your manager doesn’t have the same ones. Right?!! SO TAKE HEART!

6. MOVIE CLIP FOOD FOR THOUGHT:  Don’t minimize the importance of a good job fit. The following interview scenes from these 3 movies are classic. I know! I know! They’re just movies. But you get my point. Besides, you knew I was gonna throw in a movie or two, didn’t you? (Interview from “You, Me, & Dupree,” interview from “Good Will Hunting,” and interview from “West Wing.”)


The Dupree interview from the movie, “You, Me, & Dupree” on Vimeo.


Will’s interview with the NSA from the 4-star movie, “Good Will Hunting.”


Leo interviews Ainsley Haynes on the award winning TV series, “West Wing.”


GO FORTH AND PROSPER. Oh! Wait! That’s “Live Long and Prosper” ~ Spock

Kind Regards, Sandy, Your Resume Writer


“While these blogs are humorous in nature, make no mistake about it, career development and job hunting is serious business. It takes research, networking, and knowledge of what employers are really looking for to land the position you really want. These blogs attempt to incorporate all of the above. My intent is to make you smile, but give you serious tools to get where you want to be. Hope you enjoy!” ~ Sandy Jackson, JobTownResumes.com.

Call or e-mail and let’s get started on your resume!

Images by Shutterstock and Bing free vector images.