Scott Graves
Curry Coastal Pilot

Are you looking for tips on how to nail that interview and get the job?

If so, you’ve come to the right person. Just the other day I was wondering if there was another word for thesaurus when I thought, “Hey! I should write a column about job interviews!”

Great idea. Right? I’m the perfect person to write a column about how to get a job because, well, I couldn’t think of anything else to write about. Besides, it allowed me to put off my wife’s request to empty the dishwasher. (I just wasn’t mentally ready for that challenge.)

Typically, “How To Land a Job” articles are written by people who are unemployed: They have plenty of time to write them. Of course, such authors try to hide the fact that they have absolutely no experience in the subject matter, so they write impressive bios that read:

“Joe Hanover has develop a keen insight into the employment industry, drawing from decades of work experience as a pro bono video game tester, professional couch guard, social media analyst and media watchdog (specializing in TV reality shows). He is also the author the New York Times best seller on entrepreneurship “Living in My Parents’ Basement.”

The most important thing to do at the beginning of a job interview is make a good first impression. I suggest you walk confidently into the room and proclaim, “I’m not an applicant, I’m an appliCAN!’ and then lick your finger and touch your butt while making a sizzling noise.

After that, there are many ways to blow a job interview — show up drunk, send your mom to do the interview, wear bunny pajamas with feet. That’s why I’ve come up with some examples of right and wrong answers to give during an interview:

Interviewer: Tell me a time when you did more than was expected of you.

Wrong: “I usually sleep until noon, but one time I slept all the way until 3 p.m.”

Right: “Once I drove three hours just to get a Double Double at In-N-Out.”

(Now that’s the gung-ho attitude employers are looking for!)


Interviewer: Why did you apply for this job?

Wrong: “The dark lord said it was my destiny.’”

Right: “One of the voices in my head told me.”

(This shows willingness to collaborate with others and follow directions.)


Interviewer: What is your biggest strength?

Wrong: “I like to burn things.”

Right: “I can belch the entire alphabet.”

(Finally! A candidate who knows his letters.)

Interviewer: What is your biggest accomplishment?

Wrong: “Thee are too many to list.”

Right: “Sleeping!”

(A well-rested employee is a productive employee)


Interviewer: Why should we hire you?

Wrong: “Because you’re hiring?”

Right: “I like to party all the time!”

(Every workplace needs someone to boost morale.)

Now always best policy

Of course, honesty is not always the best policy when answering interview questions. I’ve interviewed a few job candidates over the years. Here are a few examples of what not to say:

Me: “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Candidate: “In your job.”


Me: “Do you work well with others?”

Candidate: “Sure. As long as they recognize I’m better than them.”


Me: “Do you have any questions about the job?”

Candidate: “Yeah, what is your policy about Monday absences?”


Me: “When can you start?”

Candidate: “How long do I get before I have to take a drug test?”


Me: “What your plans for the future?”

Candidate: “Getting some lunch.”

Me: “I meant long term.”

Candidate: “Oh. Lunch and then dinner.”


Me: “Do you know how to write a humor column?”

Candidate: “Yes.”

Me: “Sorry, the position is filled. But my wife’s needs someone to empty the dishwasher.”


Scott Graves was editor of the Curry Coastal Pilot from September 2000 to November 2017. He can be reached by calling 541-469-3123 or .