How to Bomb an Interview: Do Exactly What I Did and You’ll Never Get Hired Again!

Recently, I interviewed for a paid internship at the film department of a large company. Let me repeat, it was paid. As in, I get you coffee and clean up your dog’s shit knowing that I’m getting $money$ instead of just the satisfaction of “learning”! With the prospect of a paid-to-work opportunity on my horizon, I knew I couldn’t bomb this interview. So, naturally, that’s exactly what I did. The day of the interview I wore a nice blouse and felt pretty damn optimistic about my future. The receptionist even complimented me on my shirt, which never happens because I have the fashion sense of a dead seagull, so I knew good things were coming my way. Once in the room, the three interviewers introduced themselves. They were young, friendly, and I could tell they wanted to like me. I mean they tried really hard to like me. But clearly there’s a small man in overalls controlling the inner workings of my brain and preventing me from succeeding (he likes to eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch and sometimes masturbates to Celine Dion, but that’s a whole different story).

The first question they asked me: “What’s your career goal?” I answered honestly, forgetting I sat in front of three film executives whose livelihood revolved around movies. “I want to be a TV comedy writer.” Their faces portrayed thoughts somewhere along the lines of, “Well then what the fuck are you doing here.” In an attempt to ignore the awkward “Ohs”, I mentioned that I had interviewed for their TV department and I really liked what their company did. What I meant to get across: “I love your company and your TV department liked me enough to bring me in for an interview.” What they interpreted: “I interviewed with your TV department and they hated me so much they didn’t hire me, so look out!” (Even though I’m pretty sure it was for scheduling reasons. Pretty sure).

They next asked which of the Oscar movies I’d seen. The thing is, I don’t see movies anymore; I watch Netflix under my covers with junk food. (Well then why are you interviewing with their film department, Carly? See: $PAID$ internship). I shuffled in my seat, frantically trying to think of the last movie I saw. “Well, the only one I’ve seen so far is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” I could immediately tell they hated it. They paused, then asked, “What did you think of it?” In my innocence, I thought honesty would be the best policy and I gushed that I loved it. With a poorly hid grimace, one of the interviewers asked, “What did you like about it?” This was my chance to logically defend a movie they hated and maybe even change their minds about it. Or at least show I had good analytical skills. My heart sank and as I tried to think of a single thing I liked, all I could think about was that anything I said in this next moment would destroy me in their eyes. I blurted out the first thing that came to mind: “I liked the soundtrack. It made me want to buy the soundtrack.” Blank stares. “And um, I thought it was great for PG. You don’t see that many great PG movies out there.” Still blank. “And everything Sean Penn said was just so deep, you know?” Stares so blank the windows to their souls had shades pulled down. With a remaining ten minutes to turn the interview around, I managed to dig myself even further into the hole of unemployment; I shit on a movie they loved, mentioned that I’m a big fan of their rival company, and watched as yet another wad of hypothetical cash flushed down the hypothetical toilet.

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2 thoughts on “How to Bomb an Interview: Do Exactly What I Did and You’ll Never Get Hired Again!

  1. I’m heartbroken on your behalf. I mean you’re more likely to have big foot ask you out on a date than you are to find a paid film internship. There are more unicorns than there are opportunities like that out there.

    I’m glad that you learned a ton from it (even though it was all done the hard way – which is always the most memorable way to learn).

    You’re a talented writer. I’m sure more opportunities will come your way. I’m going to eat a pint of ice cream for your blown interview though.

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