How NOT TO Get a Job The Job Interview By Michael Rosner

Apr 3 '12

How NOT to Get A Job-The Job Interview

Part 2 of the “How NOT To” series

Michael Rosner

So after sending out hundreds of resumes, going to 10’s of networking meetings meeting hundreds of people, listening to countless seminars and webinars, getting advice from your family and friends,  you finally made it to a job interview! Congratulations. All the sweat and hustling finally has paid off and you’re now ready for that big day. There is only one problem; chances are you’re really not ready.

Here is a partial list of things that people do that loose them a job:

No Eye Contact

For some people making eye contact is difficult. Some people think making eye contact is tantamount to staring, which is not polite. So they over compensate by looking everywhere else except at the person who may want to hire you. If you think that looking at the ceiling, under a desk at the window or floor is the way to go, chances are you should be looking at the door because that is where you will end up.  As hard as it may seem to look at the interviewer, try to keep eye contact when answering a question and simply stay focused for the duration of your answer and interview.

Dressed to Bore

Encarta translates bore (as in boring) “to make somebody lose interest and so feel tired and annoyed”. Let’s face it, if you come in with your bottom shirt buttons open or a frayed collar, a tie that goes from your neck just past your third shirt button, unless you’re applying for a custodian job (where you actually may be overdressed) chances are you will not get hired for the job. Coming in to an interview decked out in jewelry, wearing enough makeup and perfume to open up a cosmetic store or dressed like a college student on spring break is also NOT the way to go. Dress appropriately, make sure what you are wearing is neat and clean. Dress smart.

Me? Take a Shower?

I know. You’re thinking I’m making this up, perhaps writing this to get a laugh. However I’m sorry to say this is really a serious problem. Personal hygiene is not only showering, it’s also being groomed well; brush your teeth and hair (if you have any), making sure your hands are clean, looking fresh and bright. Shine your shoes and wear matching socks!  Really, it makes a huge visible difference.

Looking Miserable 

Contrary to popular belief (sic) looking miserable or looking like you’re about to explode, unhappy, nervous, paranoid or anxious does not help you get a job. You may think it’s a cute idea to seem nervous so the employer will sympathize with you and feel bad and hire you on the spot! - Neah that’s just not going to happen! Come in confident thinking they need me as much as I need them. Smile, be warm yet unassuming, be friendly yet professional, that may be the straw that GETS you the job. Appear as a willful team member and team player who can fit into the corporate culture that you are applying to.

Don’t Bother To Find Out About the Company

You are a person that likes surprises! You love to act on the fly and are so witty that you can come back with a response to anything thrown your way. So when you came for an interview as an accountant to one of the big firms or to the local accounting office in your neighborhood, you already formed your opinion and know exactly what to say-yes? NO! Taking a few minutes studying the firm either by calling someone up who knows about the company or Googling them to get a fundamental  idea of who they are, or paying a few dollars to  have someone research the firm for you, this research will pay off in spades. True this is not needed for certain job categories, but how much nicer will the conversation be when you can talk about the firm as if you consulted with them already. Know what the firm is about allows you to adjust responses accordingly for and during your interview.

Always make jokes during the interview  

This is EXACTLY what the interviewer is looking for; a joker. Trust me the jokes on you. That is not to say you should not show your sense of humor given the opportunity, (actually that is something I like to do and am known for AFTER I know my place) but always remember you’re on an interview. Inappropriate comments are just that-inappropriate So if the employer asks you to summarize a cost accounting method and apply it to a specific metric because you applying for a cost  accounting job, answering " what’s cost accounting" maybe a little out of whack? Don’t expect to hear them ROFL (rolling on the floor laughing). Act professional, show your sense of humor covertly and control your need to spread the laughs - it aint funny.

Be overly aggressive or always get mad at the Interviewer-It shows confidence

During the interview an employer may say something that ticks you off or what you assume to be denigrating. Of course your appropriate reaction will be to get angry and short of punching her/him out you react with disdain and disgust. Why? Because that shows you stand for your rights and will not let anyone say anything to you that you deem to be offensive. Following this simple rule will immediately disqualify you from a job with the company, unless of course you get a city job where that reaction is mandatory.

Never bring your resume to a job interview

If you are saying to yourself why should I waste paper and bring my resume to an interview because I already sent in my resume which is WHY they called me for this interview- you’re right on target to keep on sending out more resumes because you have just officially annoyed the employer you are meeting with. I know bringing a resume in a folder or binder is very high maintenance; or putting a resume in an envelope and then making sure not to crush the envelope in your bag with your lunch or snack is cumbersome so why bother to bring one along with you? If you are thinking this way you are really a great thinker and should try for the philosopher of the month club- because chances are that worker of the month with this employer is not going to happen!

Always bad mouth your former employer

It is critical that you always and as frequently as possible criticize your past employer (wife friend political leader etc) during the interview. This shows you are connected to reality and have a full understand of both sides of the coin. It also exemplifies your ability to downgrade your peers by showing you can express or sell yourself on someone else’s cheshbin (account)- an extremely strategic move.


Never ever talk badly of past experiences, employers, employment situations that made you leave your job, unless you are applying for the customer service department job at the phone company.


There is more but you get the picture. Although you may find this humors or humorless please take this seriously. Be careful what you say, how you look, your demeanor and personality. If you actually did arrange an interview take full advantage of it and give yourself a fighting chance

Have a great day


About Michael "Srulie" Rosner

Michael Rosner is the International Director of the OU Job Board. Applying his 25+ years of experience in the business world to the Non-Profit sector, Michael has grown the OU Job Board into the largest Jewish Job Board worldwide. More than 6,000 people have been put back to work since he assumed the Job Board position four years ago, and Srulie has managed to retrain and retool close to 5,000 people in various skills over just the past two years. Michael keeps up with his 400,000 constituents through his blogging and direct e- mail campaigns, allowing people to touch base with the OU Job Board and utilize the variety of social services it now provides.

A China “expert” by trade, Michael‘s ability to communicate with all types of personalities and to break down complicated issues into practical levels made him a successful CEO and master salesman throughout his career. Michael has a BA in economics with honors as well as a Rabbinic ordination from HaRav Reuven Feinstein of Yeshiva of Staten Island.

He has been and is involved in various local community boards, charitable institutions and outreach programs on a local and national basis

Michael resides on Staten Island with his wife Judy. His two children, now married, along with his six grandchildren, live in the greater New York -New Jersey area.