A Grab Bag of Interview Advice

If you’re unemployed, odds are you’ve heard a lot of different interview tips from a variety of people. These people can range from real so-called ‘experts’ all the way down to your great-aunt Maggie. Regardless of the source, some of it may surprisingly be good advice. But with these tips coming in from so many sources, how do you whittle down the bad tips from the good ones? Well. . .honestly. . .YOU DON’T and YOU CAN’T. After all, you’re still looking for a job, right? So, obviously this is not a skill in your skill-set. But now isn’t the time to get all ‘after-school-special’ about it. Besides, I’m here to help! Just follow this simple thirteen step exercise and you’ll be able to tell the good advice from the bad, in no time flat.

Step 1: Go get a deck of note cards. I prefer the little white ones, but if you have to choose a color, make sure it is yellow. This exercise simply won’t work with blue, pink, green or anything neon. Yuck!

Step 2: Start carrying the deck of note cards around with you at all times. Keep them by your bed at night when you are sleeping, take them with you to the bathroom. If you go jogging in the morning, they should go jogging too. They go everywhere you go, with one exception –  the shower. No note card can stand up to that kind of abuse.

Step 3: Start writing down the advice you hear from others. Each suggestion gets one card. If you talk to someone who gives you 20 or 30 separate suggestions, you will need 20 to 30 note cards. Make sure to individually number each card, so you can keep track of your progress.

Remember: As you collect your cards, it is very important that you weed out nothing. So, write down the advice you hear no matter what it is. Your goal is to collect and collect some more. You don’t stop until you finish note card number 200. Admittedly, 200 is a pretty high number, but don’t sweat it. Your great-aunt Maggie will give you plenty of ‘useful’ material.

Step 4: Get a large brown paper sack. I prefer the ones from Trader Joe’s, but in this instance, I will let you choose a paper sack for yourself. Besides. . .the vessel is not as important as the information contained within it.

Step 5: Open your sack up completely and dump all 200 note cards inside.

Step 6: Gently fold over the top of the bag, much like the lunch sack you would take to work with you, if you had a job.

Step 7: Set a timer for 90 seconds and shake your sack vigorously until the timer beeps.

Step 8: Open the sack and then close your eyes.

Step 9: With your eyes still closed, reach into the sack and select a card. Repeat this step until you have selected five cards.

Step 10: Place those five cards on a table or somewhere safe, we will come back them in a few moments.

Step 11: Take the sack and the rest of the cards to the trash. These are the ‘bad cards’ and you’re not to look at them.

Step 12: Go back to the table or safe place that you left your remaining five cards.

Step 13: Read your five cards. This is the good advice you need to take with you when you go on your next job interview!


Grab Bag of Interview Advice


Are you thinking about using these tips to sort through all the interview advice people give you?  Before you do, let’s take a gander at Jobless Johnny and Hireable Hank’s results:

Jobless Johnny worked diligently to get to get all 200 cards filled out. He asked anyone and everyone what advice they could give him for his next interview. From the man he sat next to on the bus that didn’t speak English, to the lady who works at the salon around the corner. After an exhausting two hours, Johnny finally had all 200 cards filled out. So, he went back home and selected his five cards, now he’s all set for his next interview. Honestly, he’s not too sure what all of them mean. And he wishes he would have written down more on a few of his cards, but some people talk too quickly and he couldn’t get it all down in time. Oh, well! He’s pretty sure ‘Yummy’ meant to eat first. Pair that with the ‘two hour’ card and that means he should eat two hours before an interview. Probably so that he has proper time to digest what he’s eaten. The smiley face is pretty self-explanatory, as is the card with all the dollar signs. He really wishes that he had written down what color he’s suppose to paint his nails, though.

Hireable Hank understands that there’s a lot of interview advice out there and you need to be careful which tips you take. Just because you hear it on the TV or read it online doesn’t mean it’s good advice. And, while he thinks the advice Johnny is using will be ‘unique’ it’s not the path he’s going to take.


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