5 interview tips to ensure you don’t get the job – guaranteed

By Liam Horan, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers 

Liam Horan
Liam Horan, BALLINROBE Tel: 094 95 42965

If you want to flunk it, if you don’t really want the job, and if you can’t afford to take any risks, here are five interview tips to help you along the way.

  1. Go on stage

Try too hard. Structure your answers in an extremely pronounced way.

Instead of trying to remembering what you need to say, become pre-occupied with how you are going to say it. Guaranteed: this will interfere with what should be the natural flow of your communication and I’d be very surprised if this point alone didn’t ensure you did a dismal interview.

  1. Read ‘The News’

Convince yourself that you daren’t drop a syllable, that your delivery must be flawless, not a single ‘um’ or ‘ah’. Aim for a completely word-perfect performance. If you did elocution training in school, you know the deal.

As with No. 1 above, this will interrupt your natural communication style – and probably make you look and sound somewhat obsessive and over-the-top. And very few employers want people like that. Congrats, you’ve taken a big step towards not landing that position.

  1. Obscure the good evidence

Tell them about the salesperson of the year award you won three years on the trot? Are you mad? That kind of approach might lead to just one result, and not the one you want.

All those things that might show you in a good light, that might have the employer thinking “you know what, this is the person for us” should be kept under lock and key.

Examples of evidence that may lead to a triumph include being head-hunted on two occasions, being brought back by a previous employer, or being given the task of introducing a company-wide innovation that generated a 25 per cent increase in revenue.

Leave that evidence out: tell those witnesses to go missing on the day.


  1. Fail to research, fail to get the job

Look blankly – no, better, stare them down entirely – when they ask what you know about them. Not alone should you not tell them you went through their website and annual report in great detail, but you should go the whole hog and steadfastly decline to do any reading at all beforehand.

If you find yourself in a tight corner here, put the company in the wrong sector. Tell the HR agency that you know they work in Public Relations. Ask the packaging company about their manufacturing processes.

Few things irritate interview panels as effectively as not knowing anything about what the company actually does. Use this tip wisely and you should find yourself steering well clear of trouble.

  1. Rehearse your answers

You were always good at learning the poems in school. You wandered lonely as a cloud that floated on high o’er vales and hills. Deploy your rote skill to good effect in the interview.

No matter what they ask you, recite the lines you’ve prepared. Suck all spontaneity and personality from your answer. Become utterly robotic: to really spook them, look straight through them, as if they’re not there. Do not issue a single thought you hadn’t prepared beforehand.

I wish you the worst of luck but, remember, ultimately the responsibility to produce a bad interview lies with you, so don’t leave anything to chance.

Liam Horan is Managing Director of Sli Nua Careers Ltd. You can read more blogs from Sli Nua Careers coaches HERE, and make a booking for CV Preparation and Interview Training.