I recently was unemployed and attended a job hunting advice seminar offered by the Department of Labor. A man and a woman gave the seminar. The man said that a job interview was like courtship. The woman said it was like a dance going on between you and the interviewer. I can only guess what she meant by that. The tips they gave however, are similar to tips one would give a man trying to court a woman or vice versa. As you read these tips consider how they apply in courtship situations.
The woman giving the seminar said that employers make decisions very quickly based on one's appearance. She said that women should not wear a lot of gaudy jewelry not too much perfume or makeup. The man said that if you are older you need to try and look younger. The man had white hair and told us that if he had to look for another job he would dye his hair in an instant.
The woman giving the seminar said that one walks in the door one should smile, look the interviewer in the eye and shake their hand. She said don't crush their hands. She says a lot of men squeeze too hard and if the interviewer is a woman who is wearing a ring they could hurt her. She said to be gentle.
They said to be punctual at the interview. How many people are late for dates? It's bad for job interviews and it's bad for dates as well.
They advised to be positive and enthusiastic. Also to never badmouth one's old boss. If one badmouths one's old boss the interviewer may suspect that the problem may be with oneself and not with one's old boss. If one badmouths one's last girlfriend the girl one is courting may suspect that the problem may not have entiredly been with one's last girlfriend.
The seminar teachers advised "Don't be fake, people can pick that up". This may seem to be like a contradiction. Here they are telling us to put on a positive enthusiastic act and at the same time they are telling us not to be fake. The only way in my opinion not to be fake is to feel genuinely positive and enthusiastic. One can make an effort to do that.
Trying to be positive doesn't mean you can't say some negative things. If the interviewer asks you why you don't want to stay at your on job you can't say, "It's the most wonderful job in the world and it was getting better and I just was about to get a raise and that's why I want to work for you." That doesn't make any sense. There must be something more positive about the job you are seeking than the job you are leaving.
They teachers also advised not to overdo their advice. Although one should make eye contact, one should not stare at the interviewer. I know a few people who when they decided to follow a piece of advice overdid it. The perils of this are discussed further in the moderation section of this web site.
Other tips regarding jobs are to be prepared for the questions they will ask. The most important question to an interviewer if you left a previous job, is why you left it and if you didn't leave it yet, why are you trying to leave it? It's important to be prepared and have one's resume and references. According to the woman giving the seminar if the interviewer offers you coffee it's better to decline. She says one should lean forward toward the interview instead of slouching backwards over the chair.
Jobs in which there will be others working on the same project you are in the same capacity are safer than jobs in which you are the only one responsible for a task. For example if a project only requires one programmer that is an unsafe position for two reasons. Whoever is in that position is likely to have trouble getting help when he runs into problems. If he were working with other programmers on the same project than he could seek help from the other programmers. The other reason it is unsafe to take a job in which one has sole responsibility is that if a project moves to slowly and you are the only programmer, all the blame will fall on you whereas if there is a team of programmers the blame is spread out and one is less likely to be fired.
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