Tuesday, August 19, 2014


It's amazing to me that until recently I had never heard the word "listicle." Out of context, it could describe either a popsicle gone wrong or the way a man walks after having a testicle removed (i.e. listing to the side, like a boat taking on water). For the uniformed (and a reminder to myself), a "listicle" is an article on the Internet which is a list. (They used to call "Top 10's" but for some reason that fell out of favour -- and besides coming up with 10 of anything is hard. The 5-8 range is much easier to hit.)

Topics of these lists oscillate between dumb to incredibly stupid. You've seen them before and you probably haven't seen the last of them.

One that caught my eye recently was posted on Inc.com, "8 Things You Should Never Do in a Job Interview." The list included such common sense items as don't eat during the interview, don't slouch, and don't answer any calls or texts during the meeting but in practicality there's no end to a list like this one, so I present to you "8 Other Things You Should Never Do in a Job Interview."

Don't Shit Your Pants
Take care of any bowel movements prior to the interview. Nothing sinks your chances of a getting a job faster than filling your pants as you say, "It's nice to meet you, too, Gerry."

Additionally, try to empty your bowels at home because you don't want to be known as that would-be employee who fogged the bathroom with an unspeakable and nose-exploding odour. And if you landed the job... It's the kind of thing a person has a hard time living down.

Don't Make Sly References to Your Sexual Prowess
While double-entendres and sly references of a sexual nature worked well for James Bond (especially during the reign of Connery and Moore), it's nearly impossible to slip one in and get anything but a flaccid response.

Don't Wear a Monocle
Unless you're applying for a position as the Spy from the board game Stratego or a 19th Century railroad tycoon, leave the monocle at home. At worse it makes you look pretentious; at best it makes it look like you misplaced your top hat.

Don't Plead the 5th to Every Question
Don't "plead the 5th" to interview questions. Rather, answer questions that you think aren't fair or you didn't hear because you were looking out the window with, "I refuse to answer that on the basis of my dietary requirements."

Hmmm... maybe don't do the "dietary requirements" thing. It might just confuse the interviewer. Answer honestly and enthusiastically and you'll be good.

Don't Stab the Interviewer with a Pencil
Physical violence never solved anything, except maybe World War II, so don't stab an interviewer with a pencil or with any pencil-shaped objects including letter openers or pens no matter how much the interviewer's tie or scarf may offend your sensibilities. Really, you should just let the interviewer know that his tie or scarf offends you and really anyone with a smidgen of good taste would realize that the accessory is in bad taste...

Actually, just keep that thought to yourself.

Don't Come to an Interview Drunk
This seems like a no-brainer piece of advice. Unless you're auditioning for the role Otis Campbell, Mayberry's town drunk, in the stage production of "The Andy Griffith Show" leave the hard drinking for the moments after the interview. (Be clear of the reception area as well.)

Don't Speak in Movie Quotes
The "You Can't Handle The Truth!" exchange works for A Few Good Men but it rarely conveys one's ability to be a team player, consensus builder, and trusted employee. Also, steer clear of dialogue from Scarface, Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, Forrest Gump, Jerry Maguire or UHF.

Don't Role-Play During an Interview
At many interviews, the interaction will end with, "And do you have any questions for us?" Do not answer with any variation of, "I do have some questions but I'll ask them as my D&D character, Ezra McPuffin!"

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