What The Person Interviewing You For A Job Says And What They Actually Mean


“You’re overqualified for this position.”

You’d probably excel at this position, but we don’t have the budget to keep you happy. You’ll think that our unprofessional, small team is the break from the corporate world you so desired. You’ll enjoy perks such as ‘chill co-workers’ and ‘a laid back work environment’ for maybe two or three weeks, until you become totally disenchanted by the amount of slack you’re picking up for other people who, inexplicably, remain employed despite bringing absolutely zero to the table. You’ll find the job you deserve and quit, and I’ll get stuck interviewing someone new in a month.

“That’s totally not a problem.”

If this thing pans out and we hire you, I will look back at this moment in regret every time you screw something up.

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

The right answer is at this company, functioning as an indispensable member of our team. You won’t want to be that after five minutes of working here, let alone five years; but play along.

“The pay is 28K a year.”

Well, it’s 28K before taxes and benefits. It’s actually more like 18K. You can live off of that, right?

“Why did you leave your last job?”

I know what you’re going to say, but just once I wish I could hear a kick ass story where you like, flipped your desk over or slept with your boss’s wife or something. Just once.

“You have a lot of experience.”

How the hell did you fit eight of your most recent work experiences on a one-page resume?

“Remind me…”

You’re like, the 50th person I’ve interviewed and I do not remember who you are, what you’ve done, or why you’re even here. Where am I?

“That’s awesome.”

I’d probably like to drink with you after work, still assessing.

“You’ll be working directly with me…”

I’m speaking in a tone that implies that I am giving you this job and that you are going to take it.

“We still have other candidates we have to meet with, but you’ll definitely be hearing from us soon either way.”

I’m not 100% bowled over, but I have a ton of work to get done and am kind of ‘over’ interviewing people, at this point. You may get this job by default.


I wonder if I turned the iron off this morning.

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