Tag Archives: Kolbe Index

5 Simple Steps to Avoid Getting a Job Interview

You have an equal opportunity (or as one recent job candidate wrote in the first line of his resume:  “an opertunity”) …to destroy your chances of getting called in for a job interview.

Simple 1st step for getting out of a job interview is what 80% of on-line job applicants are doing: send blah, or blah that should have been spell-checked and proofread.

Step 2: Show laziness + ignorance by either not including a cover letter, or (even better – for your purpose) sending a one-size-fits-all cover letter that doesn’t even mention what the company does or what the job requires.

When you don’t take time to individualize your application for a specific role at a particular company, you won’t need to worry about a quality company taking your time for a job interview. They’ll immediately put you where you seemed to ask to be put – in  the Not Interested pile.

Step 3: If you’re still in danger of having to be interviewed, your next line of defense requires going beyond canned blah. You may need the help of an overused, senseless expert in bad blah, like the book, What Color Is Your Parachute. By using all of its meaningless “key” words, you have a recipe for avoiding the disclosure of any spark of your own creativity or insight. This me-too approach will keep companies from expecting too much from you.

Step 4: You shouldn’t have to put this much effort into not being selected for interviews, but this just-in-case step improves your odds of not being interviewed because it insults the intelligence of whomever makes those recommendations. Be sure you take this step to extremes. Unfortunately for you, many others seem to be catching on to this trick. You’ll have to one-up what is being said by all the other wannabe losers.

Use highly unbelievable statements about how much you have done in so little time (“I worked for a very high status company for 6 months, and during that time I increased corporate revenues by 28%). Or how you saved an entire company from disaster by your discovery of all of their mistakes (“Reviewed and redesigned corporate strategic plan and established a workable system that impacted the productivity of all departments.”) Or how just little “newbie-you” outsmarted the corporate culture (“I introduced the company to the world of social media and got thousands of on-line followers to chat with us.”).

 Step 5: Not sure you can sound more boastful than so many others? This last step is what some have used as the dagger in the heart of an almost-ready-to-interview-you situation. You may even find it fun:  Complain about the potential employer’s hiring process.

There may be an employee who will give you credit for being outspoken (or agree with you that their company is not doing a good job) so be sure when you use this technique that you call the company owner or CEO on his or her personal cell phone. Here’s a sample script that is pretty sure to get you out of the interview:

“I don’t know why you think anyone would want to work for your company. I shouldn’t have to show you examples of my private, personally done work, or spend my free time reading your website, or put up with you snooping around my Facebook stuff.  And, I shouldn’t have to fill out that stupid Kolbe Index.”

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Adventures of a Suspected Spy

In 1989, I travelled from Phoenix to my son’s college graduation in Philadelphia; then went on alone to speaking engagements in Singapore (where I purchased cell phones and tape recorders)  and, via Copenhagen, to Belgrade.

There I had a long lay-over before scheduled to go on to Dubrovnik (by way of the Zagreb airport), an historic Yugoslavian seaside community about an hour flight away. My tickets and documents were taken from me upon arrival, causing me discomfort as I walked around the dark, somber, chillingly quiet Belgrade airport. No one gave me eye contact or responded when I tried to purchase a soda.  

As my sense of concern grew, one of many armed military men in the airport indicated I was to follow him to a small room with a window that looked out to the runway, two straight-backed chairs, and a woman sitting behind a counter. I sat there without food or water for five hours.

Finally, the woman, who had made many phone calls, said – very sadly, I thought — “I so sorry, I can’t do nothing to help you.” Then she walked away, leaving my documents in plain view on her desk. I snatched them and darted through the airport onto the only plane I’d seen on the tarmac. With guns pointed at me, I hoped it was the plane to Zagreb, where I would be close to the town where I knew people were waiting for me.

Other passengers were hustled out of the plane as I was surrounded by interrogators who demanded that I tell them who I was and who I was working with. Seems Yugoslavian women my age had hands that looked different from mine, and that they didn’t believe a “normal” woman would travel my route unaccompanied.

After a long time  some passengers returned and the plane took off, with the interrogators still on either side of me. To my great relief, we landed in Zagreb where they all but threw me out the door. No one else got off. Neither did my luggage.

Two men ran up, took hold of my arms and dragged me into a small room in the basement of the airport. It was out of a bad movie: uniformed guy from central casting at a desk with a single light bulb dangling from above. Armed guards on either side. It was unbelievable that they could be serious when they took turns shouting: “Where electronic equipment hidden? Why you take such strange route? Why people want to hear you speak?”

When I broke out in genuine laughter, they seemed to relax a little.

I was sent in a military vehicle to Dubrovnik where I was under house arrest, but allowed to go from my hotel room to the opera house where I was scheduled to work with a group of international business leaders.  None of us were allowed to make calls to the US, but my clients got word to my husband through our Australian office that  I was having an interesting adventure and that they would do what they could to be sure I got home.  They also lent me clothes. I was always tailed by armed guards, and I walked to and from the hotel  with automatic weapons focused on me from roof tops.

 A woman who interpreted sessions between me and Yugoslavian officials attended all of my speeches and seminars. She asked lots of questions about my work that indicated a sincere interest, so I gave her a Kolbe Index and hand scored it for her. When I explained that she had wonderful entrepreneurial instincts she got tears in her eyes. My return trip to the Zagreb airport was the first time we were able to speak without being overheard. Her whispered assumptions of what had happened to me made more sense after I got home and searched for background on the political situation there.

She believed that Serbian leaders in Belgrade thought I had tried to bring listening devises to Croatian separatists in Dubrovnik. When I was let off the plane in Zagreb the leaders there figured it was a set-up so I could to spy on them for the Serbs. She had come to sympathize with me realizing I was a woman with a very different mission than spying for either of them. She said her life was at risk if she was wrong about me.

Two years later war officially broke out between these two groups. Here’s background on why women in both camps may have helped me: http://www.uri.edu/artsci/wms/hughes/femorg.htm  

I got my suitcase back when Air Yugoslavia let me off in New York. All my clothes had been shredded, and the cell phones and tape recorders had been smashed into little bits.

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