Photo (cc) by David Blackwell.
When it comes to job-seeking, there’s a lot of advice out there. Most of it is common sense to anybody who’s been through an interview or two, but nobody will blame you for using Google to prep yourself. Sometimes we need reminders, especially when we’re nervous.
And sure, there’s some decent interviewing tips online – like researching the interviewers and their company, not complaining about previous jobs, and making your examples relevant. Here’s some more good advice, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics has straightforward tips to get a job. Here’s part of what they suggest…
- Learn about the organization.
- Have a specific job or jobs in mind.
- Review your qualifications for the job.
- Be ready to briefly describe your experience, showing how it relates to the job.
- Be ready to answer broad questions, such as “Why should I hire you?” “Why do you want this job?” “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
- Practice an interview with a friend or relative.
- Be well groomed.
- Dress appropriately.
- Do not chew gum or smoke.
- Be early.
- Learn the name of your interviewer and greet him or her with a firm handshake.
- Use good manners with everyone you meet.
- Relax and answer each question concisely.
- Use proper English – avoid slang.
- Be cooperative and enthusiastic.
- Use body language to show interest—use eye contact and don’t slouch.
- Ask questions about the position and the organization, but avoid questions whose answers can easily be found on the company website.
- Also avoid asking questions about salary and benefits unless a job offer is made.
- Thank the interviewer when you leave and shake hands.
- Send a short thank you note following the interview.
Good, sound advice. But some of the advice you’ll find online might leave you – and your interviewer – scratching your heads. Here are some ridiculous classics that seem to prey on your fear and your wallet more than they help:
“Never mind a crisp shirt or a firm handshake. If you want to impress a potential employer, put on a pair of spectacles.” —The Daily Mail
Right. Nothing says you’re smart like fake glasses! So find the dorkiest pair with the thickest lenses to really emphasize your high IQ! Better yet, wear a pair of the classic Groucho disguise glasses to your interview. We’re sure bushy eyebrows and a mustache will make you look more distinguished.
“Those looking to land that next job or career change may also want to pay attention to their dental health. Smiling with food stuck in between teeth or having bad breath could be the downfall of any candidate because it provides the recruiter with a negative memory of the interview.
To avoid this situation, people should aim to brush their teeth twice daily and floss. Even bringing some floss to the interview to double check in the bathroom moments before may be a good idea.” — DentalPlans.com
Yes, it’s really crucial that you floss moments before the interview. In fact, you should smuggle some pocket-sized Listerine strips in with you and take one after answering every question – just direct the interviewer’s attention toward the window and slip it onto your tongue. This way, you can maximize the freshness of your breath. If you don’t do this, just refuse to open your mouth during the interview: Only respond with head shakes, nods, and smiles.
Other tips are equally unhelpful. There’s common sense, and then there’s “duh”:
“Wear the nose ring at the nightclub, not the interview. And when you write a résumé, don’t use the same style and spelling that would be found in a sloppy 140-character tweet.” — The Star Tribune
Yes. Also remember to wear clothes and not to shout “LOL!” at your interviewer.
Then again, some interviews just might be weird enough to require these tips. At a job interview in Los Angeles, a nurse was talking to a man who allegedly injected himself “in the groin area” with what he claimed was a “truth serum” and told her to take her clothes off. She’s suing the doctor.
So let’s review what we’ve learned to bring to job interviews: glasses, floss, and mace. And if you’re serious about your job search, check out 4 Places for Free Job Training.