The Story of Mike

Hi everyone again, this is Jack Dunigan of You have dialed in to our series on acing your job interview, How to Succeed at a Job Interview. This episode we’re going to talk about the one fatal mistake that could cost you that job. Are you making this fatal mistake? This is the story of Mike, a client of mine and what he did to destroy his chance to get the job that he really wanted. Let’s take a look.

Here’s what we’ve covered so far in this series. If you’re just tuning in for the first time then you should go back to our YouTube channel or at, click on the job interview, or interviewing for the job tab, and all of the videos and transcripts are there as well. So, we’ve covered so far how finding a job is full of ups and downs, why you need to research the company that you want to go to work for, how to plan to make an outstanding first impression, how your social media accounts are your real-life resume, and what you need to do to make sure your social media accounts don’t sink your chances of getting the job that you want, and last week, seven things to do at your interview.

This week we’re going to talk about Mike.

Mike, a client of mine, was desperate to get out. He had a job, but he was way, way overqualified for it. He took that job when a downturn in the economy had forced the company he was working for in the profession of his choice, was forced to downsize and Mike being the new guy was the first to lose his job. So he took a job at a company he didn’t like too well.

Finally, a job opportunity in the field that Mike wanted opened up and Mike applied. He passed the first round of interviews, and he and one other applicant made it to the A list, only two on the A list.

But he did not get the job.

He was disappointed, I was disappointed for him. I asked him to tell me everything that was said in the second interview, thinking maybe I could determine what had happened, that had torpedoed his chances. It all seemed reasonable and promising until the interviewer asked him when he could start at the new company. Mike’s response to that one question ended his chances right then and right there.

The problem wasn’t that he could not start soon enough; the problem wasn’t that he could not wait until they were ready for him to start work at some point in the future. No, it was something else.

When the interviewer asked when he could start, Mike told him he could start the next day if they needed him then. But the interviewer inquired, “Don’t you need to give notice?”

Mike told him that he would just not go back, so he can go to work for the new company at a job he desperately wanted and was so much better suited for. Mike told me that they then concluded the interview and he left. He found out shortly thereafter that the other candidate got the job.


I told you everything you needed to know and most of you probably figured it out already.

Because a potential employer will project that what you do at your present and previous jobs you will do at their company.

If you would leave your present job without notice they project that you will do so when you’re ready to leave them.

Even if you hate your present job, even if you would never go back to it if you could, even if you would walk out and never give notice at all, don’t. And don’t tell the interviewer that you would.

Not only is it the wrong thing to do, doesn’t matter how bad that old company is, saying so sends a message so loud it overpowers everything else. What you did, broadcast what you will do. Instead tell them that your present company asked for a two-week notice, or whatever it is that present company asked for, and that you then must honor that.


Because that broadcasts the right message. You may think that the company you want to work for is looking for a person of the right qualifications, and they are indeed looking for that.

But they are also looking for a person of the right character.

In next week episode I’m going to show you 12 things that the interviewer is looking for, and how any of them could cost you the job. See you then.