WorkWise BlogTip: Minor slip-ups in an interview can be mended

culp@workwise.netSeptember 8, 2013 

DETOURS

When Jane Miller was climbing the ladder, she met a potential employer she found “very friendly and charismatic” (janeknows.com). Did Miller have pets? A chance to discuss her cuties quickly disarmed her.

She began explaining that they were surrogate kids, or at least that she treated them that way, then mentioned that she spoiled them and was virtually inseparable from them (although they didn’t accompany her to the interview).

Realizing she was sliding down a slippery slope, Miller commented, “They’re just dogs. I don’t dress them in clothes or anything over-to-top like that.”

The interviewer was fond of dogs, too. His wife sewed outfits for their dog – and matching ones for herself.

“I took a sip of my drink and changed the subject,” Miller says. “I did get the job, but I made it harder on myself than I needed to by making irrelevant commentary!”

She points out that if you slip in explaining why you left your last job – “my boss was an idiot” – you can recover.

“The new boss probably knows the idiot,“ she explains. “Back-track quickly with, ‘That was an inappropriate statement. We had some disagreements, but I’d really like to share with you my accomplishments there.’”

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