Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Proper Etiquette for Young People at Job Interviews and at Work

On a visit to Chicago I had the opportunity to read the Chicago Tribune’s “Ask Amy” March 16th column in which Amy Dickinson addresses the problems of a small deli owner who can’t hire good help.

The deli owner’s complaints: “People show up wearing short tops baring their midriff, and rings in their noses, eyebrows, lips and bellybuttons. They often have very poor hygiene.” His complaints also included the taking and making of personal calls at work or checking cellphones every 10 minutes.

Then on March 17th The Wall Street Journal had a careers article by Carol Hymowitz entitled “Executives Teach Inmates How to Be Employees.” The article described how Mark Goldsmith, a former executive at Revlon and Shiseido, in 2005 launched nonprofit Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO) that works with 275 young inmates in upstate New York prisons and 150 at Rikers Island prison in New York City.

This nonprofit was launched after Goldsmith volunteered at the Rikers high school for inmates. And Goldsmith continues to work with these young inmates on preparing them for getting careers – not just jobs – after they are released from prison.

Considering the two articles, I thought how Goldsmith’s ideas need to be heard by all young people throughout the country as well as the young prison inmates with whom Goldsmith and other executives work.

According to the Journal article, Goldsmith says that the three most important things to say at a job interview are: “I’m never late. I work very had. I never get sick.”

Here’s the part of the Goldsmith story that most excited me, something that I talk about in FLIPPING BURGERS – making your own luck:

Goldsmith encouraged Larry “to talk directly to the hiring manager when he applied for a job at Target. When Larry wasn’t selected from a crowd of other applications, he stuck around until the manager noticed him and invited him to his office. Within an hour, he had a job.”

Larry told Goldsmith: “I got lucky.”

Goldsmith’s reply: “You made your luck.”

How can you make your luck in your next job interview?

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