WorkWise BlogTip: One wrong move can close many doors

culp@workwise.netMay 20, 2012 

SHUTTING THE DOOR

What makes sense to you might not make sense in a job search. Donald Hurzeler, author of “The Way Up,” has seen job seekers close the door to opportunity (Greenleaf, $19.95).

He remembers in particular the winner of the worst question in an interview. It was for a job that hadn’t yet been created.

The man must have been scouting workplaces for short-term affiliations and golden parachutes, because he asked, “‘What kind of severance packages do you offer?’" Hurzeler says. “That one earned him the non-employment package.”

Another person, a woman, thought she’d close the deal over something special she’d bring a new employer, a list of clients from Hurzeler’s largest competitors. “I asked her why I shouldn't be concerned that she might some day offer our client list to someone else,” Hurzeler recalls.

As the door slammed, he heard, “I don't know anyone who would want your client list."

Then there was the young man who, across the hiring desk, said that his last boss, who’d fired him, was a jerk. Unbeknownst to him, the “jerk” was a trusted friend of Hurzeler. However, the amazed employer kept mum, conceding, “I was too busy figuring out how to end the interview quickly so I could possibly talk to someone I might actually want to hire.”

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