Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The (in)Complete Idiot's Guide to Interviewing

Every now and again, as a service, I like to provide my readership with useful advice. I’d like to take this opportunity to do just that. In this installment of Blogger Knows Best, I am sharing a list of Interview Dos and Don’ts. You would be wise to consider these tips when next seeking gainful employment.

1. Memorize ALL Nobel Prize winners who have worked at or attended the office/workplace/institution to which you are applying so that when your interviewer tells you that, say, Milton Freeman worked in the same office she now occupies, yours won’t be the deer-in-headlights blank facial expression. “Milton Freeman… Ring any bells?” “Uhhh…” “Won a little something called the Nobel…” “Oh, that Milton Freeman.”

2. Avoid sweating at all costs. This may involve turning down an outdoors walking tour in 100°F plus heat. It may involve not wearing an undershirt beneath your dress shirt.

As a corollary, if you do plan on sweating or will be unable to prevent sweating, do not, I repeat, DO NOT, wear one of those newfangled water-repellant dress shirts such that when a drop of sweat rolls down your face it won’t bounce off your shirt onto the desk you’re sitting in front of. Trust me, once you see the first few sweat bullets skid down your front side, they will only flow faster; before you know it, you’ll have veritable rivers of unabsorbed sweat balls cascading down your torso. “Are you okay? Can I get you a glass of water or a towel?”

3. Don’t drink more coffee or water than your bladder can contain for the expected duration of your interview. “Why are you dancing?”

4. If your interview involves eating at a restaurant and you are asked what type of food you like to eat, be honest. Don’t say you’d be happy to eat anywhere if you really wouldn’t. If there is a type of food you just can’t stomach, no matter how obscure (Lebanese, Ethiopian, Antarctic), speak up. Better you share your opinion earlier than later. “Great, Middle Eastern cuisine it is, then.” “Oh, um, great. I love me some shwarma.” “What?” “Nothing. Sounds great.”

Listen. Trust me as you would your fortune cookie. Once broken, I issue great wisdom. Follow my advice, and you will go far. The job of your dreams awaits you.

As with any fortune cookie worth its weight in flour, here’s your complimentary Chinese lesson.

“shish kebob”


Russ Parker said...


Andy said...

On the Nobel Prize winner, you should have acted like she said "Morgan Freeman", like "I knew 'Deep Impact' was good, but he got a Nobel Prize for that? I didn't realize. Did you see 'Seven'? That movie rocked! I often think of the guy who was fed to death when I work with yeast."

My best interview tactic would help you a lot. I fast before interviews, which includes not drinking water. It ensures I won't need to pee, poop, or sweat too much during the interview. When I pass out during the interview because of the stress and the fasting, I usually wake up to hearing 'you got the job' and my shirt being untucked.

I was 3-for-3 during my last job search.

Russ Parker said...