5 of the Funniest Job Interviews in Film and TV History
November 13, 2015
As recruiters know, job interviews can be dramatic. They are big-stakes conversations where nervousness generally rules on one side, apprehension on the other; while both parties try to hide their true feelings under a thin veil of professionalism.
For that exact reason, they make for great TV and film. Countless writers and directors have used the job interview in their work; with varying degrees of success.
Ourselves enjoying humor, we decided to focus on just the funny ones. So, we’ve complied a list of five of the funniest job interviews in TV and movie history, which range from a $73 retainer to two nickel-sized men.
1. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn on how little things can change the world
Google previously was infamous for asking candidates brainteasers in job interviews (a practice they have since abandoned). In the movie The Internship, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn lampoon that when they apply for an internship at the search engine company.
The two are asked a classic brainteaser: if you are shrunk down to the size of a nickel and were dropped into a blender, how would you escape? Their answer: a dissertation on how much better the world would be if there really were two men the size of nickels running around.
2. Dwight Schrute and Michael Scott on how to impress an interviewer
NBC’s The Office satirized just about every aspect of the corporate world. Job interviews were no exception, with two of the shows most iconic characters showing how it is done.
First there is Dwight Schrute, the Machiavellian assistant to the regional manager. After leaving his job at Dunder Mifflin, Schrute goes on the hunt for a new opportunity, and tries to wow hiring managers with his determination and tenacity.
Next, we have Michael Scott – perhaps the most hilariously awful boss in TV history – asking himself in an interview “What his biggest weakness is?” - a question declared by some as the worst interview question of all time. When they combine, a brief moment of TV magic is born:
3. George Costanza believes in honesty over flattery
A few months ago, we ran a story on the LinkedIn Talent Blog about a candidate who submitted a “relevant resume” to companies that highlighted his failures, instead of his successes. The resume was a success, with the man getting interviews from five of the 10 companies he applied to.
That same logic was used by George Costanza in the Seinfeld episode The Opposite. Costanza, realizing that every decision he made in his life was the wrong one, decided to do the exact opposite of what his basic instinct suggested, in hope it would be correct.
The philosophy proved successful, highlighted by his job interview with the New York Yankees where he did the exact opposite of what he’d normal do. Here is the result:
4. Ben Affleck believes the key to closing a candidate is cash – on the spot
In the movie Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon plays Will Hunting, a genius janitor who seems to be his own biggest obstacle when it comes to reaching success. At one point, Hunting’s therapist – played by Robin Williams – sets up interviews for him at several prestigious companies, only for Hunting to make a mockery of them.
Perhaps the best example is when Hunting sends his friend Chuck Sullivan – played by Ben Affleck – in his place. Sullivan pretends to be Hunting, and demands a retainer on the spot:
5. Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly dress for the jobs they want, not the job they have
When I was in high school, my tennis coach always told me that to be a champion, you have to dress like a champion. Well, that’s advice Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly took to heart in the movie Step Brothers, where they applied for a job cleaning bathrooms wearing tuxedos.
Of course, dressing like a champion alone probably isn’t going to get you the job, particularly if you keep mispronouncing the hiring manager’s name. But at least they tried: