The Perfect Example of What NOT to Do in an Interview

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stephaniepWho watched The Hills on Monday? Don’t lie, I know I’m not the only one who’s sucked into the drama that is Speidi.

Whether you watched it or not, Stephanie Pratt — Spencer’s sister — showed the world the best example of a “bad interview” I have seen in a long time.

In this episode, Lauren’s boss at People’s Revolution, Kelly Cutrone, is looking for an intern. She asks Lauren if she knows anyone at fashion school who might be interested. Of course, Lauren mentions the opportunity to Stephanie, a fellow classmate, and Stephanie gets an interview at People’s Revolution.

Here’s where it gets good.

Stephanie shows up for the interview and is clearly very nervous ; she basically shoves her résumé — which is in an envelope (?) — in Kelly’s hands.

She blurts out that her “objective in life is to have my own handbag line so I really wanted to work here just to see, um, you have a lot of really great designers here and the PR that you guys do is really awesome and (gulp) I just wanna like see how I could brand my bags.” Catch that? Me either.

Kelly’s response was appropriate: “So you basically want to use my experience and my clients and their inside knowledge to ultimately leave here and go make your own handbag line?” Stephanie insists that this is not the goal for right now, but in “like, a decade.” Again, Kelly laughs and says, “You should be able to move quicker than that, honey!”

The horrendous interview — dubbed “a folly” by Kelly — continued, and included Stephanie lying about being fluent in French and staring blankly when asked if she knew how to print out labels.

So, what do Stephanie’s multiple flubs teach us about job searching? Well, a lot.

  • Tailor your résumé to every job. Stephanie showed up to an interview at a PR company with an objective to own her own handbag line? I don’t think so. She should have had an objective regarding her intentions within the public relations world, and at People’s Revolution.
  • Don’t talk about what the company will do for you. Stephanie immediately jumped in with what she was looking for from the job and what working there would do for her. The right move would have been to talk about what YOU can do for the company and the value you bring to the table.
  • Don’t lie on your résumé. Stephanie’s résumé boasted that she was fluent in French. But when Kelly started speaking the language during the interview, Stephanie’s only response was to smile, nod and stare blankly – again.
  • Have goals. Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t Stephanie saying that she strived to have her own handbag line that was wrong — it was listing it as her objective in a position that wasn’t relevant to that goal. Not only that, but she said her goal was “in like a decade.” Everyone should have goals – for now, in five years and in 10 years. Make sure you can state what your goals are within the company where you are applying as well as down the line.

Click here to see Kelly’s reaction to Stephanie’s interview.

  1. Really? Wow…I love interviewing! What a great time to talk about your skills and achievements! When else can you “brag” about how awesome you are or 45 minutes! It is all in how oyu look at it!

  2. I don’t watch “The Hills”, so I don’t know the actual outcome of this, but the youtube video of “Kelly’s response” makes it look like they were still willing to give her a chance although she BOMBED the interview.

    I don’t think its really a good example for other people when the interviewer makes a comment like, “the interview was such FOLLY, she might be GENIUS” (WTF?)

    Maybe that works in THEIR world, but most people aren’t given a chance to “try it out” or given the benefit of the doubt just b/c the interviewer recognizes they are nervous or something.

    Or, it all goes back to the saying “Its WHO you know, not WHAT you know” since she had the other girl to vouch for her skills etc.

    For 99% of us out here, trying to break into an industry isn’t as easy though! It helps if you’re on an MTV show, I guess!

  3. I certainly do not waste my time watching that type of program but anyone that does should quickly remind themselves that these shows are created for entertainment and realism is a distant objective. Anyone that made an objective statement like that during an actual interview would have shown the door immediately. The same result would have occurred when they were discovered to be not telling the truth. Once while conducting an interview for a social service type of position, I asked a highly recommended candidate what their eventual goal was. She responded that she wanted to own a pet store specializing in reptiles. Needless-to-say, I dismissed this person and stopped wasting my time. Get real with your suggestions and tips, you are dealing with real people with real issues out beyond your keyboard. People are suffering out there due to the lack of work available and need real and productive comments and assistance. Sounds like you know little of real life since you seemed to find actual value in this riduculous program and then had the nerve to think that you were actually providing useful material from your “observations.” Maybe once you move out of your parent’s home and have some real responsibilities and then lose your job, you will have a better understanding and respect for those that seek your advice.

  4. I do not watch “The Hills” either, but this reminds me of my last interview, just vice versa, I owned a loan company, which I had to close in Oct. 08, due to this economy, anywho–the supervisor who interviewed me (if you want to call it that) stated that she didn’t do many interviews and her regional manager gave her a list of questions to ask me. She says, “I’m not going to ask you all these stupid questions, what I want to know is how many names can you bring to this company?” Meaning, since I had all these previous customers they just wanted those names, didn’t care about anything else. Boy, I could have taken her job in a minute and worked circles around her. Sadly to say, just to see if that was the only reason they wanted to hire me, I gave her a very stupid amount of customers and guess what? they never called me back. Do you think they wanted me for my expertise, I think not and I bet after they had all my former customers, they would have found some reason to kick me to the curb. How’s that for HR? and you know where they put on the application about your goals, well of course mine was to be an Area Supervisor or Regional Manager and she knew I would probably wind up with her job, so thank God they didn’t call me!!

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