how not to scare off employers

How Not to Scare Off Employers (as Told by Memes)

It’s officially “Spooky Season” – a time to curl up with your favorite horror flick, decorate with skeletons and spiderwebs, and embrace all things eerie. But the one thing you don’t want to be scary this season? Your job search.

With the cauldron of candidates bubbling to the brim, competition is a real challenge, and first impressions are critical. We hope these funny work memes will remind you what not to do during an interview, on your resume, or on your first day at the new job.


1. Listen carefully to questions during the interview

Listening is my biggest weakness


Sure, you might be hearing the interviewer, but are you really listening to what they’re asking? Hiring managers are always coming up with tough new interview questions to gauge your qualifications and fit with the company. Avoid scaring away your interviewer by giving your full, undivided attention. If you’re listening closely but are still unclear on the question, don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer for clarity.


2. Ensure your attire is professional and appropriate

Dress for the job you want meme


Always dress professionally for an interview or first day on a new job, regardless of the company’s dress code (unless specified otherwise). You’re much better off showing up overdressed than underdressed. Nevertheless, not dressing appropriately can send the wrong message and frighten a potential employer.


3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

At this point I'm afraid to ask work meme


Employers get it – you’re not going to know everything about your new role right off the bat, and if you did, it could spook them out! However, asking questions during the interview or on your first day shows you’re committed to learning and understanding how you’ll fit into the organization.


4. Embrace potential or new responsibilities

Make it stop please work in the office meme


Many roles change and develop over time. Coming off overwhelmed or unwilling to accept the responsibilities of your new (or potential) job is one sure-fire way to frighten an employer. Even if the new task sounds daunting, try your best to accept an assignment with a smile.


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5. Have a reason for wanting the job other than earning a paycheck

Empty wallet meme


While it may sound obvious, applying for or taking on a new role solely “because you need the money” will chill a hiring manager to the bone. Even if that is truly your reasoning, be sure to have another response ready for interview questions like, “Why should we hire you?” or “Why do you want to work for our company?”


6. Be prepared to talk about and negotiate salary

Naming a number first during salary negotiations


We all either want (or need) a certain amount of money at the end of the day, right? Displaying confidence and comfort when discussing your pay will help ensure you get the salary you deserve. If you go into salary negotiations unprepared, it could scare the hiring manager into thinking you’re not self-assured about the skills and qualifications you’ll bring to the company.


7. Remember instruction or take notes

Can you remind me what you said Simpsons meme


Your first day on the new job should be a relatively easy one, as you move through orientation, fill out paperwork, and meet your new colleagues. However, if someone gives you any instruction related to your new role, do your best to retain that information or carry a notepad with you to take notes. Asking your new manager or team members for the same instruction repeatedly is likely to send chills down their spine.


8. Be honest and transparent about your experience and abilities

Turtle shadow skills meme


Inflating or exaggerating skills, experience, or qualifications on your resume or during your interview is a fool-proof way to frighten hiring managers. If you have no hard skills related to the job you’re applying to, consider which (relevant) soft skills you can highlight – such as dependability, punctuality, and attention to detail – to reassure the employer you’re the right person for the job. Although, the turtle trick is pretty cool.


Don’t let any of these job search nightmares happen to you this Spooky Season! Head over to our Job Seeker Resource Center for more advice on making your hunt for your next opportunity a little less scary. 

by: Alexia Hasbrouck
October 13, 2021

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