WorkWise BlogTip: 'Open mouth, insert foot'

06/17/2013 12:08 AM

06/17/2013 12:13 AM


Carol Gee, motivated to help other people, earned a master’s in human relations and management ( When she applied for an entry-level job as a generalist, she dived into researching the organization and practiced interviewing.

The interviewer’s line of questions didn’t suggest much creativity. For example, she asked, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Gee recalls. Armed with her graduate degree and a willingness to work hard, she replied, “As a specialist,” which met with a pause.

Then it was time for Gee to ask questions and appear interested in her interviewer’s career at the organization. “I asked how long she’d worked there,” she says. The woman was no newbie at 15 years.

In a masterful moment she dug out the fact that it had taken the woman 14 years to be promoted to specialist.

Gee, noting her own instance of “open mouth, insert foot,” recognized that the prospect of being hired for the position had just evaporated through her own effort. She indicates that in future interviews she didn’t convert enthusiasm into cockiness and learned the limits of even extensive research about a company or its position.

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