Friday, August 22, 2014
There's no better feeling than coming out of a job interview and feeling like you nailed it. You and the interviewer clicked, everyone seemed very impressed with your resume and abilities, and there was plenty of positive body language.
On the other hand, there is no worse feeling than knowing that you messed up -- that somewhere in the interview you really bombed and possibly blew your chances of getting a job you really want. You head home,deeply depressed, ready to beat your head against the nearest wall for being such a numbskull.
But before you put that knot on your head, consider that you may be able to salvage the situation. So maybe you called someone by the wrong name or showed up late for the interview -- you still may be able to recover and put yourself in serious contention for the job.
If you feel like you've made a bad first impression, you need to:
- Assess the damage. Take a hard look at how badly you may have hurt your chances, and whether it was a big deal -- or no one else really noticed.
- Act quickly. Don't give the bad impression time to sink in. Take immediate steps to correct it.
- Re-establish your qualifications. If you follow-up with a phone call or e-mail, use it as a chance to again outline your skills and experienced. Keep it succinct -- babbling will only make things worse.
- Apologize. Don't go overboard, but if you made a glaring error, then you should offer a sincere "I'm sorry."
- Use humor carefully. You can make the situation worse by joking about it.
- Prepare for the next shot. Chances are, you'll be given another chance to interview with someone else, so take steps to make sure you don't repeat your missteps.
What suggestions do you have for recovering from a bad first impression?
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
I think I may scream if I see one more CEO on television touting his or her company and:
- Using upspeak. "I think our sales will exceed expectations? Our customers seem to be loyal?" This sounds like the CEO isn't sure, or channeling a 13-year-old at the mall with friends.
- Being boring. I've seen company leaders talk about their products with the the enthusiasm of reading the dictionary.
- Not telling stories. No one wants to hear a CEO blab on and on in business jargon that would put an accountant to sleep. Let's hear some great stories about how employees came up with great solutions or why a new product is going to change my life.
- Talking in sound bites. I read the Internet. I watch television. A CEO who says the same thing, over and over, sounds rehearsed -- and a little lazy. It takes more work, but I want to hear a company leader coming up with new ways to inform and engage an audience.
I think the reason I care what a CEO sounds like it because there are hundreds -- if not thousands -- of employees who are depending on him or her to tell their story. If the CEO can't generate enthusiasm for what the company does, how can an employee be expected to do the same?