Troubleshoot an interview

Get a grip:?You can make nerves work for you. Now, as for the perfume ...

Nobody is going to sugarcoat it: There are a million things that can go wrong on an interview. And you won’t be able to recover from all of them. Some will give you nightmares for years to come. But for other common mistakes and tough questions, there are ways to bounce back.

We caught up with Lori Hourigan, a Philadelphia regional manager for specialized staffing firm Robert Half International, where they just surveyed hiring managers on the biggest interview blunders.  

The problem: You’re a nervous wreck.

What to do: You don’t want to be shaking, but a little nervous energy can work for you — you’re supposed to be nervous. In any case, it’s better than the alternative. “There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance,” says Hourigan. “Some people psych themselves up so much that they come off as arrogant.”

The problem: You answered a question totally wrong.

What to do: An unfamiliar new suit and bad conference room lighting can make you say weird things. And while you can’t un-say them, you can do some post-interview damage control in the thank you note, says Hourigan. (While she’s on it: Yes, you do need to send one.)

The problem: You don’t know the answer to a question.

What to do: Have absolutely no experience with HTML? Never wrote a grant proposal? Stop yourself before you try to gloss over it. “You can’t fudge it if you don’t know something. One of my clients is all about transparency,” says Hourigan. “The person on the other side of the desk does this every day, and they know you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s better to say, ‘I don’t know, but I’d love to learn.’”

The problem: They want to know why you’re leaving — and the answer isn’t pretty.

What to do: It’s important to stay positive and not bash your job, but also to give a legitimate answer that at least incorporates the truth. Hourigan recommends “opportunity for growth” over, say: “My job is mind-numbing and I’m slowly rotting at my desk.” In this economy, it’s also OK to mention job security. “We know some companies aren’t doing well financially — you can say there’s financial uncertainty,” she says.

Other common mistakes

Wearing too much jewelry or perfume

“We tell people it’s not a cocktail party,” says Hourigan.

Being too early

“It’s important to show up on time, but if you show up an hour before, it doesn’t help — it gets weird.”

Asking about the salary too soon

“Talking about money isn’t a first-interview topic. You know what the range is or you wouldn’t be there.”

Being rude to receptionist

“I’ve seen receptionists give a thumbs up or a thumbs down as they walk into an interview.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.