Friday, January 27, 2012

Cold! If the thermometer had been an inch longer we'd all have frozen to death ~Mark Twain

An interview tip I recommend is to be prepared to open the conversation with something neutral and easy the weather. I had a candidate in my office and by way of chit chat, he was asked how long he had been in Iowa. 

"Five months," was the reply. The person asking the question, a native, asked how the candidate liked it so far. "I hate it," was the reply. He went on to say that the winter was awful. He was serious and I was taken aback by the bitterness in his voice. He genuinely dislikes Iowa and now he wants me to find him a job? In Iowa?  

We who live in Iowa know that the winter we've had this year so far has been a cake walk, but when he said he hated it, we laughed politely and said that anyone's first winter here could be enough to drive them away. 

My first winter here almost did. The July day I arrived in town, it was 100 degrees and we couldn't unload the moving van until almost midnight due to the heat. Then winter started in September and two months later, I experienced my first blizzard. I had lived in Chicago and Central Kansas, so I thought I knew about cold and snow. When clients would ask me why I moved to Iowa, I would joke, "For the weather." 

In fact, one reason why companies in my neck of the woods will balk at relocating someone, particularly a contractor, is because they get here and don't stay. The winters are cold and the summers are hot. People say they understand, but often when reality hits them, they complain and then they leave. There are jobs in locations with hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, squalls, humidity and what might seem like non-stop rain. 

Even with all the curve balls Mother Nature throws at us, weather should be a simple, safe, straightforward, uncomplicated topic. But maybe it does not go without saying, so I'm saying it now: It should be a positive topic as well. 

When the topic of weather comes up in an interview, say something positive about it or make an easygoing joke about it. 


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That is probably the best interview advice I have have ever received!!! ~Neal C.

I wanted to talk to you again before this interview because you really geek interview tips. ~Chad T.

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