Sense & Sensibility

Do you have a sense of humour?

I do.

Of course I think mine is extraordinary as I enjoy a broad range of fun stuff from mental word play to Monty Python to the Three Stooges. Varies.

I've learned it doesn't do well in interviews though.

In fact there are a couple of things you may want to leave behind when you get to your interview.

Let's try a brief review.

Humour

As mentioned being funny in the interview is probably not your best move unless you're writing jokes for late night tv. Oddly enough many interviewers are Ă¼ber serious (or trying) and some take it a sign of weakness or immaturity if you're a bit too clever in your sit down with them. So treat this like the first date it is and don't pull everything out of the hat at once.

Hygiene

I'm pretty open minded about a lot of things. And, as a runner and outdoors person I don't mind perspiration or sweat all that much. Yet, in an interview we notice things like sweat. Or body odor, residual smoke, dirty finger nails, etc. Is it trite to remind you to clean up a little? Maybe. Or maybe you haven't seen some of the candidates I have. Do your best to be remembered for the right things.

Hubris

An interview is a conversation and conversation is exchange between two or more people. Okay – maybe more than two is a discussion. Regardless the key point is all the parties are inter-actively exchanging questions, ideas, perspectives, etc. If your conversation skill is more akin to a late-night monologue then, no, I'm sorry, that won't help me (or you). Please converse rather than traverse. I want to talk with you.

Hopeless

You really have to know something about the position and company. Unfortunately some people arrive for the interview with an apparent lack of understanding about either. No, this will not impress us, at least not in the way you hope. With so much information about brand, products, service, culture and financials available to anyone with web access, there is no way to rationalize a lack of information when it comes to your preparedness. Unless its a lack of interest.

Happy

In another update from the “Not News” file let me clue you in – people like happy people. If you want to increase your chances of getting hired (beyond having the requisite skills, education and experience!) try being happy. Its pretty amazing what a difference this makes. PS: be nice to the receptionist – she is a very happy person and yes I ask her every day what she thought of each candidate. Rude or curt to her? Buh-bye. Be happy.

Human

Finally, be human. There's a lot of talk today about being authentic: I'm not sure I know exactly what that means but I'm very okay with human. I don't look for perfection or expect it: if I did I would have had to fire myself long ago as I continue to make mistakes. But I learn, collaborate, team and try, and that's what most employers look for in job candidates. So do your best, and just be human. Its what we're trying to find out about you anyway.

Okay, hope this quick primer helps to get you going as you travel down the job hunt path.

Good luck, god speed and remember to wash behind your ears.

 

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