Feature

Workplace

Interviews: Small things count

We’ve all heard stories about the “boneheaded mistakes” some job candidates make during interviews, said Phyllis Korkki in The New York Times. “But that kind of cluelessness is rare.” The real make-or-break factors­ are more “subtle” and subjective, according to Susan Hodas of NERA Economic Consulting. She and her ­colleagues look at body language, verbal skills, and other qualities. They also apply the “airport test”—which is to say: “Would I want to be stuck in the airport for 12 hours with this person if my flight was delayed?”

Identifying your weaknesses—and improving on them—is a first step, said Candice Choi in the Associated Press. “Are you the rambler, the bore, or the one who sweats nervously?” Preparation is the next step, not because you want to “come up with a scripted answer,” but because you don’t want to be “caught off-guard” when asked such zingers as “what is your greatest weakness.” Be ready to turn questions around. If asked to “describe the worst boss you’ve ever had,” for instance, don’t just badmouth someone. Instead, talk about how you managed a difficult relationship.

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