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Sunday, November 28, 2004

Montauk on Interviews 

I've been reading through Montauk's advice on interviews. Most of it is common sense, although it's always good to be reminded of these things. I have found a couple of his points amusing though. On dress for men he says:

"It should go without saying that your shirt should be 100-percent, cotton, long sleeved, professionally cleaned and heavily starched." Really? How many of you chaps wear heavily starched shirts on a regular basis? How many of you who don't would feel comfortable in one for an interview? How many of you, if interviewing someone, would be less impressed by someone in an un-starched shirt than by someone who was obviously uncomfortable and fiddling with his overly-stiff collar?

For anyone who's interested, I'm intending to wear a black trouser suit with a cream top (100% artificial fibres) underneath and black, heeled ankle boots.

The second moment of humour came from his 'Special Concerns for International Applicants' section. There's some useful information about being sensitive to cultural differences, but what really amused me was his comments on sports. Firstly, he asserts that discussing 'working class' sports such as football (soccer) or darts would be considered bizarre, CEO's would limit themselves to sports such as rugby, cricket or tennis. I don't think football has really been considered 'working class' for at least 15 years. As far darts, well, if it's not a sport you're really familiar with it would be unlikely to be one that you'd just happen to pick up on and even if you did, I don't want to sound like a snob but I don't think you'd need a particularly finely tuned social radar to realise that the average professional darts fan is not likely to be found in the boardroom of Goldman Sachs. He also states that "little sports terminology would find its way into a British business discussion." Huh? Sporting metaphors and terminology are used all the time, although often they come from US sports and people don't understand their sporting meaning, but do understand their business one. We also have some 'home grown' terms that may not be more widely understood, depending on a person's sporting background. Note to self: remeber not to talk about 'being bowled a googly' on Thursday.

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