This week has been interesting. I met a lot of people – about half in person and the other half virtually.
I like the skype interview. I don’t feel guilty about making people come all the way to my office (and mortgage their car to pay for downtown parking). It’s also easier to fit in to busy people’s schedules.
Here is what I noticed. The people who met me in person had obviously taken care with their appearance and their timing. There was a general sense of preparedness about them when I met them in our reception area.
The skype chats were different. It seemed to be a much more casual thing. Not too much care with the surroundings and not to concerned about attire.
Now, I know that different industries have different “uniforms”. If you meeting someone from a financial institution, you need to look well dressed and successful. Cuff links and monogrammed cuffs are optional but the suit is mandatory.
But even if you are interviewing in a software company with Red Bull on tap, you are probably going to put on a clean t shirt.
Don’t let a video interview be your downfall. It is just as important as an in-person one.
- Be ready – test your wifi connection with a friend before the call
- Look neat – you can take the TV news anchor approach – shirt and tie on top, shorts on the bottom
- Have your resume and place to make notes beside you
- Turn off your phone – you know it’s going with that obnoxious ring tone you assigned to your brother-in-law in the middle of the thorny salary question
- Remove distractions – let everyone (including your dog) know that you are in an important meeting
These things won’t necessarily get you the job but they will help you make a better impression.
No career/job/networking blather today – I am too busy writing thank you notes.
I hope you have fun and at least slightly indulgent plans for New Year’s Eve.
When you are making all those resolutions, don’t forget your career!
All the best for 2o17 – may it be one of growth and success for us all!
I polled a couple of colleagues today and was surprised at the rapid pile of responses I got to “biggest interview mistakes”.
These are real life examples. I am not making them up. Promise.
- leaving your phone on during an interview
- taking a call on that phone while you are in an interview
- forgetting to do up your middle button
- having lettuce in your teeth
- arriving late
- not knowing who you are meeting
- wearing clothes that don’t fit
- being drunk
- interrupting the interviewer
- sweaty palms
- speaking too quickly
- rambling – if you can’t remember the question, you have talked too long
- offensive jokes
- asking about other possible roles in the company
- using LinkedIn to connect with the hiring manager or president before the interview
All of these can be avoided with two simple steps. Prepare the day before and do a 360 review with a mirror before you get to the interview location.
In fact, these steps are pretty sensible for any meeting Go ahead and practice. You will be happy you did.
I once saw Anderson Cooper interview Lady Gaga on the venerable CBS show 60 Minutes. She is a pretty interesting character. Anderson was asking her about how she handles the way the press hang around waiting to catch her in an embarrassing situation.
“Well, Anderson, I am just not a barf in the bar kind of girl”.
This is the kind of authenticity that everyone needs to bring to an interview. It does not matter if it is a telephone interview with a recruiter or a face to face meeting with a hiring manager. Confident, direct and truthful is the way to go.
This does not give you permission to be rude or disrespectful. If you are asked how you got along with your former boss, you really shouldn’t say he was a jerk or he couldn’t read financial statements to save his life. It is okay, however, to explain that you made decisions differently or you had different approaches to customer service.
An interview is like the nice pair of shoes in the shop window. You go in to see if they have your size. You try them on. You walk around for a while, thinking of outfits that will work with them. You think about whether you can afford them. You see if the salesperson will give you a deal and together, you decide if they are the right pair for you.
If they don’t feel comfortable in the shop, don’t buy them, no matter how good a deal they are. They will mock you every time you see them in your closet.
Lady Gaga wouldn’t settle for ill-fitting loafers. Why should you?
Last week, I discovered one of the drags of walking to work. I don’t walk all the way, just from the train station to my office. It’s a pretty crowded walk. Not exactly like New York City in the movies but kind of close.
As a person who has driven to work for the last 10 years, I have enjoyed the privilege of singing in the car. By singing, I mean wailing. Heck, it’s a private space. Why not?
Now I walk amongst the masses and when I wear my ipod, I have to purse my lips together to prevent myself from breaking into song. On Friday, I had particularly good music on and honestly, I thought my lips were going to cramp up.
I was standing at a red light with my lips zipped when I heard a strange noise poking through my tunes. I glanced sideways, and realized that the girl beside me was singing “Desperado” at the top of her lungs. I am not kidding. Eight o’clock in the morning and she is laying it all out for us while we wait for green. Sheesh!
I got to thinking. Would she be the one in the meeting who is looking out the window and not listening to any part of the conversation? Or is she the one who appears to be listening but then opens her mouth with something completely irrelevant? Here’s a thought: perhaps she was a recording artist on her way to an audition/interview. We could give her the benefit of the doubt. Or not.
Regardless of how she might behave in a meeting, what do you think of her behaviour on the street corner? Rude? Inconsiderate? I just chalked it up to bizarre sightings of random singing and moved on. Although, I realized later that when I was waiting at the next red light, I was tapping my foot.
Could a full out plié be next?
Eagles – Desparado
I took a moment to read the Globe and Mail this morning and came across this gem:
After analyzing 15,000 Harlequin books, neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam came up with a list of the top 10 most popular professions for heroes in romance novels, reports Mediabistro.com. They are: 1. Doctor, 2. Cowboy, 3. Boss, 4. Prince, 5. Rancher, 6. Knight, 7. Surgeon, 8. King, 9. Bodyguard, 10. Sheriff.
Let’s just take a look at the top five. I know they come from romance novels that are meant to help us escape the trials of everyday life but I’m just not sure these are the right kind of occupations.
- Doctor – smart, rich but never home
- Cowboy – fit, tanned but always smells like horses
- Boss – not sure about this one. Boss of whom? Is there such as thing as a generic boss? If there is, he is probably underpaid and a little on the dumpy side.
- Prince – I’m not sure that having a kingdom is all it’s cracked up to be. Good if you like attending “functions” and always fake-smiling.
- Rancher – see cowboy above except substitute cows. On the upside though, he could be the Marlborough Man.
How come you never see these titles in romance novels?
- Teacher – steady income and summers off.
- Candy Maker – creative and might have a test kitchen in your basement.
- Massage Therapist – do I really need to explain this?
- Pirate – exotic destinations and lots of gold.
I would much rather date a teacher than a cowboy but that’s just me. Maybe I need a richer fantasy life.