Thursday, July 22, 2004

THINGS YOU SHOULDN'T SAY OR DO AT AN INTERVIEW

Or, what would my hero Mr. Magoo do in a tight spot?


My mother always taught me to smile nicely to everyone. She also told me that if I didn't have anything nice to say, just bite my tongue and not say anything at all. But, she forgot to tell me what I shouldn’t say or do at interviews (especially those arranged by some very strange people in even stranger places).

I remember one job interview I had in a windowless cubbyhole where the interviewer wanted me to describe the qualities of an animal that I most resembled. When I responded with a porpoise...because they're agile, friendly, playful and smart...he told me only female lions need apply (apparently they're great for hunting wild meat)! That'll teach me to stop and read the shingle on any door that reads, "Industrial Psychologists".

Another time, I responded to an ad for a position with a certain Chamber of Commerce (located right next door to a nude hairstyling salon). The President arrived late and promptly grilled me about why I had chosen to wear business attire that day. Being nimble on my feet, I told him that if I had known that their dress code was birthday suits, perhaps we should have arranged the interview next door. Suffice to say, I didn’t land the job but I had oodles of fun that day, including leaving a dish of individually-wrapped peppermint patties behind for everyone on the interview panel to enjoy!

So, my best advice to interviewees, just follow the rules of show-and-tell you learned in school. Be cool, be brief, and be prepared. And if that doesn’t work, then go to Plan B...you remember...bluff, boast, and blow their socks off!

Last but not least, if you’re really stuck for an answer at an interview, just ask yourself what your favorite cartoon character would do. Then give it all you’ve got!! And let's face it, what's the worst thing that could happen...they won't hire you. When all is said and done, give your head a rest and always take pride in one undeniable fact -- they’ll never ever forget you! And in this exceptionally crowded marketplace that's one heck of a feat for anyone!!!!

So here are a few of my suggestions for things not to say or do at your next interview:


-- “Do you have an anti-wink clause in your sexual harassment policy?”

-- Roll your eyes, sigh and sway from side to side (on second thought, your tippling cow impression only works after a very long liquid lunch).

-- “I’m allergic to cube farms, but my doctor said a corner office would be okay.”

-- Snort, whinny or prance about (hmmm...if you recall the last time you pulled that stunt...your supervisor sent you packing faster than your last spouse did).

-- “I've only got one question to ask, can I wear my moxie maven moo-moo on casual Fridays?”
-- Hum your favorite nursery rhyme quietly between questions (this however should be done sparingly, so as not to distract the twats running “show and tell”).

-- “Could you repeat the question please, so my other personalities can give you their considered opinion on the matter?”

-- Smack your lips when describing your career accomplishments (just leave out the part about putting bubble bath salts in the water cooler)!

-- “My last performance review stated that I worked well with other water signs such as crabs, fish and scorpions, but that I could use some help with Taurus and Virgo types.”

-- Pull out your knitting needles and ball of yarn; then begin by casting one stich on and one one stitch off. (This will demonstrate your ability to concentrate on three things at once...handling their innane questions with aplomb, counting using the onesy method with certainty, and mastering a stress-busting digital device with alacrity.)

__________________________

If you want a good LAUGH, then pick up a terrific game of "THINGS" (Humor-in-a-Box) at your local toy store...or order on-line at http://www.thingsthegame.com/



























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