Today, at this computer, I sat down and set out to write an article about useful interviewing tips. Not because there aren’t enough articles on the subject. There are. But the ones that are circulated throughout the year tend to repeat the same things over and over again. They tell you the importance of preparing for the interview and in particular they list a series of very obvious things you should not do or say. They have titillating titles like, “10 Things You Should NEVER Do at An Interview!” Stuff like that.Like a sucker, I always click on them hunting for that hidden gem of a tip. But it’s always the same. They tell you a list that is as obvious as the “Grizzly Man” is dead. And somehow sensing the insult you perceive to your intelligence, they preempt your objections by saying something like, “You would besurprised at how many people actually DO these things!” To be fair, I’m sure people really do come to interviews wearing bib overalls, or chewing gum, or answer their cell phones during the meeting. But those people are idiots. Rare. Outliers. Those are not the kinds of people who are going to read an article about interview tips, anyway. They are freaks. So there’s no point in writing an article like that to help them out.
And yet the articles keep on coming. Why?
I was pondering the answer to this question the other day while I was doing bikram yoga in the dryer. And I had a thought: maybe there’s some psychological value to presenting people with a list of things they already know. Maybe it’s been proven that when you tell someone advice that they already know to be true, their self-confidence improves. And when you’re more self-confident, you are more likely to perform well in an interview. Right? So, maybe those articles are genius after all.
And if they’re genius, then why am I fighting this? Who am I to blow against the wind? I want to write genius articles too. I want to improve people’s self-confidence by telling them stuff they already know.
So, here goes:
- Don’t release a bat during your meeting.
- Leave your Hulk fists at home.
- Do not take out a slide whistle and play a sad, downward tone when they reveal the salary range for the position.
- Don’t draw on their furniture.
- Do not swallow a whistle just before your interview like the police officer from the “Frosty the Snowman” cartoon.
- Don’t wear a turtle neck and suspenders.
- Don’t waggle your eyebrows when there is a plausible double entendre made (e.g., “In this position you will have four paralegals under you” [waggle waggle]).
- Don’t lift up your shirt and do the ‘dancing pecs’ thing.
- Don’t wear elbow-length white ballroom gloves.
- Don’t snatch things out of the interviewer’s hands.
- Don’t carry an urn of ashes into the meeting.
- Don’t offer your interviewers any ointments or pills.
- Just be yourself, unless you are an awful person.
Feel better? More confident? Then my job is done here. Go into that interview and knock them dead!