WorkWise BlogTip: Timing

culp@workwise.netMarch 17, 2013 


Barry Maher tells the story of the young applicant who was getting through to his interview panel until it was time for him to ask questions ( He seemed surprised that he was supposed to have any. “Then he furrowed his brow,” Maher says, “thought for a moment and came out with, ‘Cross-dressing isn’t a problem, is it?’ He sounded perfectly serious.”

Silence ensued. He noticed it, “tittered a bit and nervously added, ‘Just kidding, of course,’” Maher reports.

Not everyone on the panel interpreted the incident the same way. Maher believes the applicant truly meant to tell a joke but made two mistakes – in content and tone. Another person disagreed, taking the young man at his word. He also made a third mistake.

Apparently, no one had told him that humor, subject matter and timing must be appropriate and synchronized.

If the three don’t jibe, the effect won’t either. If cross-dressing were optional for the man, he might have waited until after he’d settled into his new workplace to take a reading.

Otherwise, he should have waited until after receiving the offer, which is the best time to bring up issues that might complicate a decision.

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