Wash your hands
Don’t ask, just wash your hands. If you are interviewing with a company, you need to think of yourself as a restaurant worker after you use the bathroom. Your mother told you to wash your hands every day growing up so that when you got into public, it would be a natural habit. Good habits pay big rewards.
Picture this: I go to use our company restrooms and run into someone I don’t know coming out of the stall where “Number 2” business was just taken care of. I say “hello”, he says “hello”. It’s just a cordial simple acknowledgement. Introductions beyond “hello” for two strangers who just met in the restroom is just, well, “Creepy”. You just don’t shake hands in a bathroom. I go about my business but can’t help but notice that he walked out of the restroom rule number 1. Wash your hands. We weren’t in the Creepy zone, but we just went into the “iccckk” zone.
I don’t think too much about it, but I do take a mental note. In the words of PMDude, there is a ding on the “Subconscious Score”, but what do I care? I will probably never see this guy again.
10 minutes later, I see “him” in sitting in the lobby with the classic body language of a Johnny Candidate. Restless, nervous and bored all at the same time. I also realize I have an interview at the top of the hour.
The scene from Pulp Fiction suddenly comes to mind. Uma Therman just OD’d on John Travolta’s smack and is on her back foaming at the mouth with eyes glazed over. All Travolta can think of is Ving Rhames (Uma’s boyfriend) ripping him apart limb by limb as he was personally left in charge of Uma. John Travolta is pacing back and forth and screaming at the sky “F**K ME!!!!!, F**K MEEEEEE!!!”
How important is a firm handshake? How many articles are posted on the web about a firm handshake during an interview? How many interview classes actually PRACTICE the interview handshake to make sure it is done correctly.
I hope to god that Johnny Candidate isn’t the candidate that I am scheduled to talk with. Hopefully, the candidate I am scheduled with is the cute one with the cool glasses, dark fitted business suit, and great Manolo heels. Puhhlleasseee let it be her. Pleeeasssseee.
I check the schedule and CRAP! I got Johnny “should have listened to mom when she said wash your hands” Candidate.
At this point in time, I am in quickly moving into “lets make a deal” mode with the rest of the HR team.
- “Hey, uhhh, I got double booked, can you do me a favor and take this interview? Easy peasy, entry level position, no problem”.
- “Oh wow. . . I am really sorry, I got slammed with this employee issue from Accounting. I will buy you lunch tomorrow if you take this interview for me”.
- Hey there, wow, love your dress. Looks great on you. Uhh, I just got called up to see the big boss upstairs, I need you to take an interview for me”.
- “Hey there, I have two tickets to see Jay Z and Kanye on the floor in December. I can’t use them, but I just need you to take an interview for me”.
- “Hey there, wow, you are looking great today. Did you color your hair? The color is great on you! Do me a favor, Johnny Candidate is out there in the waiting room expecting an interview. Can you go out there and tell him that I got suddenly sick and had to go home unexpectedly? We will have to reschedule the interview. Just apologize and send him home”.
Just because the interview didn’t start, trust me, as soon as you hit the parking lot, it started. Watch your P’s and Q’s, cross your T’s and wash your hands.
Nasty: not washing your hands after taking care of Number 2. an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone that is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.
Next week, why brushing your teeth or crushing some (not one) breath mints can make or break an interview.