Tag Archives: Job Interviewing

Job Interviewing for Dummies

20 Mar

Good morning. Some mornings I come to this little exercise with a notion of what I want to write about. This would not be one of those mornings. So, when I don’t know what to write, I just start typing.

What is that typing exercise about the fox on the box or something? The fox is brown, I believe? Anyone? Anyone? That was actually before my time.

There’s another one about now being the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.

I hear that is what JFK was actually trying to say, but he mangled it and said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Sure, that sounds better from a speechifying point of view, but is it an effective typing exercise?

I was reading an article on things you shouldn’t say at a job interview. Let’s face it, this article has been written before, so how do you spin this topic again?

To sum it up, here are some of the tips the article offers:

Volunteering that your late husband was killed in a drug deal–not a good idea.

Telling the interviewer, “Sorry, I’m having a hot flash” is perhaps too much information.

Letting the interviewer know that you just took a Xanax is a bad idea. In fact, I’d say actually taking that Xanax before the interview is also a bad idea.Same goes for Valium, pot, crack, LSD, meth. Don’t do drugs before the interview. Alcohol is also not recommended.

Don’t tell the interviewer that he or she is cute. Bad move.

Also, at a job interview it is a bad idea to talk about all of the ways your previous boss scarred you for life.

I don’t disagree with what the article says, I just find it amusing that people need to be told this stuff. At the same time, based on my experience as an interviewer of prospective candidate, I know that people do need to be told this stuff. I just wonder if the people who need this information the most are inclined to read an article on how to best conduct one’s self at an interview.

I once interviewed a woman for a customer service position. She shared with me her deeply held conviction that, “sometimes the public just gets on your nerves!” That revelation did nothing to improve her chances of getting the job.

I heard about someone who was interviewed by a panel of people which included his potential new boss and his potential new colleagues. At one point he looked at a long term employee and asked him why, if he had been with the company so long, he didn’t have “her job”–pointing at his potential new boss. That move pretty much ended the whole “potential” thing.

I know everyone’s mom, at some point in our lives, gives each and every one of us the sage wisdom, “Honey, just be yourself!” Remember, Mom loves you. She thinks you’re adorable and lovable when you’re being yourself. Everyone else does not necessarily agree. Sometimes “being yourself” is the worst move possible if you actually want the other person to like you. Or hire you.

I once blew a job interview because the interviewer tried to talk football with me and I just couldn’t hold up my end of the conversation. The job, of course, had nothing to do with football. The interviewer looked visibly concerned and when he called me to tell me they were not hiring me, he said something like, “you’re not a good fit for the job.”

I am sure he was right about that.

All of this would be why, when I do get a job, I grab hold of it and don’t let go. In the past 20 years, I have worked at exactly 3 jobs. Some days I love my job. Some days I don’t. But on the days that I don’t like my job, I remember how much I hate having to go to a job interview even more!

I am kidding, of course! I really do love my job all the time! (Plus, my boss sometimes reads my blog.)

Unfortunately, there is a certain percentage of the population who reads articles like this and takes them to heart. Those people do an outstanding job at the interview and then they get hired. Once hired, they revert to Mom’s advice–“just be yourself.” “What happened to the person I interviewed?” their boss will wonder. Suddenly the promising candidate, once hired, reveals themselves to be someone toting a whole sackful of “issues.”

Method acting only goes so far. Some can act like the perfect candidate at the interview, but once they have the job, it is like sitting down in the living room after Thanksgiving dinner–time to loosen the belt and open the pants!

Job interviewing is where that Vulcan mind meld thing would come in handy. Too bad it is illegal to use the mind meld when interviewing people. Damn government regulations!

I hope these tips have been helpful. Remember, don’t be yourself at job interviews, whatever you do!

Happy Tuesday!

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