In this How to Desert at Work we consider the job interview, so to be accurate it’s not so much about deserting at work as getting out before you’ve even started. Having said that, if you have accidentally started a job many of the tips below can be still be used to avoid promotion or discourage head-hunters.

God knows there has been so much guff written about how to do well in a job interview but nowhere can you find help on how to fail one. I mean, what if you don’t want the job? What if you’ve been sent to the interview by some 14-year-old in a baseball cap from the Job Centre who told you that if you don’t attend your benefit will be stopped? What then? Well, read on.

Let’s imagine the scene. There you are, sitting in the sterile no man’s land of a corporate reception, waiting to be met by your interlocutor. You’re in shock; not only is the environment alien to you, it’s the first time you’ve worn socks in a fortnight. It’s as if the revolving door you passed through was a portal to a parallel universe in which everyone appears to know what they’re doing. Who are these people? Christ, you’ve only been there five minutes and already you’re wondering if suicide might be underrated. Imagine if you had to go there every day? You cannot allow this to happen. You must take control of your situation.

Escape buttonIt’s human nature to want people to like us – it makes us feel valued and gives us a shot of that lovely dopamine – but we must unlearn our instincts when it comes to avoiding employment. Upon entering the interview room I suggest an opening gambit of one or all of the following:

  • Sitting in the interviewer’s chair
  • Removing your shoes
  • Lighting a cigarette

Rarely, if ever, make eye-contact with your interviewer, it only encourages them. Mumbling is advised, as is sighing heavily and looking at your watch (try tapping it, too – particularly effective if you’re not actually wearing one).

Slumping in your chair is good but be careful with this play as a slump can sometimes be taken as a sign of relaxed confidence, which is dangerously attractive to employers. Our old friend, Half-life, combines a deep slump with mournful looks towards the door and a truly startling twitch. He hasn’t had a job in 30 years.

If you’re offered tea or coffee, always accept and say something like, ‘Fuck, yeah! Had to skip breakfast. I’m not used to being up before 11’.

After that, due to interviewers’ crushing poverty of imagination the questions follow a more or less set pattern and what follows is our guide on how to respond:

Interviewer: Perhaps you could start by telling me a little bit about yourself.

You: Sure. My name is [say your name here] and I attended [say name of any college here]. After this I took a few years off to get my head together and get used to some new medication. My interests include gambling, sport, TV and, in particular, gambling on sport on TV.

Interviewer: Thank you. So, I’m just going to run through a few questions…

You: Shoot.

Interviewer: Would you describe yourself as a team player?

You: No.

Interviewer: Well, let me put it another way, are you comfortable working in an environment of collegiate decision making?

You: No.

Interviewer: I see. What are your three favourite words?

You: Taciturn and aloof.

Interviewer: And the third?

You: That is three.

Interviewer: So it is. And can you describe yourself in three words?

You: I only need two – lone wolf.

Interviewer: Right. What would you say is your biggest weakness?

You: Probably my honesty.

Interviewer: I’m not sure honesty counts as a weakness.

You: I couldn’t give a toss what you think.

Interviewer: OK. Can you give me an example of how you plan ahead?

You: Yes, I’m going on a massive bender this weekend so can we get the medical out of the way this afternoon?

Interviewer: Can you give an example of a time you encountered a problem at work and explain what initiative you took to overcome it?

You: Sure. I once shat myself in a meeting. The trousers had to go but I stuck a couple of leg-holes in a bin-liner and still made it to Wendy’s leaving drinks where we got absolutely cunted.

Interviewer: Could you describe your ideal role?

You: Something stimulating, meaningful and rewarding. But until then, I’m happy to work in this shit-hole.

Interviewer: Where do you see yourself in five years?

You: Almost free of drugs and no longer carrying a police caution.

Interviewer: What experience do you have that is relevant to this position?

You: How would I know? I haven’t started yet.

Interviewer: Finally, is there anything you’d like to ask me?

You: Yeah. What’s the best thing for genital herpes?

Interviewer: I meant about the company. Is there anything you’d like to ask me about the company and its goals?

You: Certainly not.

Get all the above right and it’s likely that your interviewer will call the DWP directly and your file will be permanently marked ‘Unemployable’. Your work is done. Pint?

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Picture credits: Dreamstime Stock Photo. Main image © Atee83; in-line image © Dawn Hudson