If you’ve been on a few job interviews — or even conducted them yourself — you know that the most qualified candidate isn’t always the one who gets the job. Sometimes, it’s a matter of which applicant seems like they’ll fit in the best, and sometimes it’s just a question of who seems like the person who’d be the most pleasant to have around the office.
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Dani Prose: The Doctrine of Kindness
Nice guys finish last? Not a chance. Danielle Rosvally‘s admonition to be kind might be geared toward academics, but it’s actually good advice for workers in all industries.
Look; let’s face it; having a pretty face just isn’t enough to get you by in academia. For that matter, neither is having a pretty CV or the best publications or the most accomplishments or the most prestigious fellowships. It’s a tough world out there, and it’s a world full of pressure and stress. It can be really difficult not to let this get to you; but at least in public you need to have a smooth, unbreakable mask of niceness.
Being a nice, helpful person absolutely will take you far. Remember that tenure-track means an institution is ready to stick with you for the long haul (and that haul can be pretty long). They want to work with you; they want to see your smiling face in every faculty meeting; they want to share a hallway with you. Nothing will keep them from wanting to do that quite like being someone who isn’t pleasant to be around.
About.com Career Planning: 5 Things to Do If You Make a Mistake a Work
You know the old saying: show me a person who never makes a mistake, and I’ll show you a person who isn’t working hard enough. Dawn Rosenberg McKay of About.com’s Career Planning site offers tips on what to do when the worst happens:
As soon as you discover that something went awry, immediately tell your boss. The only exception is, of course, if you make an insignificant error that will not affect anyone or if you can fix it before it does. Otherwise, don’t try to hide your mistake. Doing that will make you look a lot worse if someone else discovers it and you could be accused of a coverup. Being upfront about it will demonstrate professionalism, a trait most employers greatly value.
45 Things: Are You Offering TMI in a Job Interview?
How is a job interview like a date? For one thing, you can sink both pretty fast by offering too much super-personal information, too fast. At 45 Things, Anita Bruzzese says:
I’ve heard many horror stories over the years about job interviews gone wrong.
Many times the mistakes are made by interviewees because they didn’t prepare. It wasn’t a matter of what they didn’t say — but rather what they did say. It was often a case of TMI.
Interviews can be emotional — you’re often excited and nervous — and that can lead to things slipping out of your mouth that you later will regret.
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