NEWS ITEM: A University of Iowa business professor says that despite the current H1N1 flu pandemic, job seekers and hiring managers should not avoid shaking hands during a job interview.
Wow! We need a college professor, described in the article as a "handshake expert," to tell us that? Seriously? I wonder if the professor believes that people – at least on this side of the world — would consider using other formal business greetings. Maybe we should loosen up a bit and start using the Vulcan salute when we greet the hiring manager. (I can hear the cheers from Trekkies already.)
So, in the interest of stating the obvious, here are three other job interview etiquette lessons I'd like to reinforce — just in case you forgot:
Don't wear a necktie or nylon stockings around your head. It might restrict a bit of the blood flow to your brain, which can impact the clarity of your answers to critical questions. As we all know, hiring managers don't want to hire people who occasionally speak gibberish. Note: If it's a polka dot tie or fishnet stockings, you're toast before you even grunt out a syllable.
It's unprofessional to shout "You Lie!" even if you think you've caught the hiring manager telling one. Especially if someone else is in the room. Be a bit more discreet: Raise one eyebrow and curl your lip as if to say "Are you for real?" The hiring manager will get the message - and will likely have a hand gesture for you in return. (Hint: It won't be a handshake.)
Silence your cell phone's I Don't Want to Work ringtone. It's OK to leave it on if it sends the right message (i.e., you don't want the job and you want to be unprofessional in communicating that). Or, if you're interested in the job before the interview begins, a more positive ring tone from a song such as Takin' Care of Business is good (well no, not really). Either way, the hiring manager will be entertained while crossing your name off the list of potential finalists.
All clear on this stuff? Good. Now for some serious advice on interviews, turn to our Interview Tips section — after you take that tie off your head! And if you're concerned about catching the H1N1 virus, here's more obvious advice: Get a flu shot or invest in some hand sanitizer.
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