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7 Job Interviews in Movies That Show You Exactly How Not to Get Hired

Step Brothers job interview
Sony

We can talk for days about how to ace a job interview or what not to say during your next one, but sometimes it’s nice to sit back and let Hollywood do the work.

Yes, movies are made to entertain, so of course the things that happen in these clips are often quite detached from reality. But there are moments in all of them that may hit close to home. Here are seven movie clips that illustrate perfectly things you should absolutely never do or say during a job interview:

‘Morning Glory’


Desperate for a job after being fired, Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) is determined to ace this interview. Unfortunately, in her desperation, she talks way too much and uses far too many clichés to describe herself and her work, rather than provide concrete examples of why she’s right for the job. Fortunately for her, she went in with a good recommendation from her previous employer and was applying for a job nobody wanted.


‘You, Me and Dupree’

You really shouldn’t start talking about benefits until much later in the hiring process. You also shouldn’t begin the interview by asking when you will get to not work. Focusing on how much vacation and holiday time you’ll receive will make a bad impression on a potential employer.


‘American Beauty’

Granted, the situation is more extreme because it’s in a movie, but Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) commits a similar job interview sin as Dupree did when he states clearly that he wants a job with the least amount of responsibility possible. He could have given his present attitude a more positive spin by indicating that he was more comfortable working on a team or that he prefers to support leaders and facilitate a team’s work more in the background. He also reduces his chances of getting hired by condescending to his interviewer. Even if you think you’re more experienced than the person interviewing you, never let it show, and realize that you have something to gain from every business interaction and connection.


‘Trainspotting’

Spud’s goal is to not get the job, and he does this deftly by taking a controlled substance to “take the edge off” and showing up to his interview hopped up on speed. He then further prevents himself from getting hired by lying on his application and admitting to it in the interview. You can describe your experience in a way that relates it to the job for which you are applying, but you should never lie on an application or your résumé. Spud also commits the classic blunder of responding to a question about his weaknesses by saying he’s a perfectionist. If you are asked to describe a weakness you have, trying to play a strength as a weakness will never work in your favor. Always describe an actual weakness (we all have them) and then tell the interviewer about a specific time you faced that weakness and overcame it.


‘Mrs. Doubtfire’

When Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) tries to get a job, he lets his nerves get the best of him in the interview and takes things a bit too far. The interviewer asks him about any special skills he has, he mentions that he can do voices, although this talent has nothing to do with the job at hand. He wasn’t lying about the voices, but they don’t apply to the job. Keep your answers focused on tying everything back to the job tasks.


‘The Wedding Singer’

It’s possible, especially if you’re trying to change careers, that you will end up interviewing for a job for which you have little or no experience. If this happens to you, you need to handle it better than Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler) does here. Robbie is trying to get a job at a bank and tells the hiring manager that he has no experience, but all Robbie needed was a little positive spin. He actually has plenty of work experience he can apply: Robbie runs two businesses, he’s the manager of his wedding band, and he teaches singing lessons. These jobs have given him experience handling business transactions, and if he changed the way he talked about his work history he could apply what he does on a day-to-day basis to numerous different jobs.


‘Step Brothers’ (NSFW Audio)

Brennan and Dale make every mistake in the book. They are overdressed. They have no people skills. They make inappropriate comments and ask questions that are far too personal. In the movie, all of this happens for comedic effect and to further the story, but we can still take something away from this and apply it to a real interview. If you don’t want to end up in a ‘Step Brothers’ interview, you must practice. Get someone to do a mock interview with you and work on your interviewing skills. If these two had sat down with someone and rehearsed, it would likely have helped them feel more comfortable in the real situation.

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