Monday, May 30, 2011

Interviewing; ABC’s “This Week” Panel Highlights Two Key Ingredients for a Successful Job Interview

Enthusiasm! As I’ve said in previous posts, a candidate's enthusiasm is the one quality that must be on full display during job interviews and the like. Here are two specific ideas on how or where to exhibit enthusiasm.

Yesterday’s edition of ABC’s “This Week with Christiane Amanpour” had a segment focusing on the dim job prospects for the Class of 2011 and what job seekers can and should do to stand out from the crowd. The panel comprised four newly minted grads and two “entrepreneur CEOs”–famous publisher Mort Zukerman and Qwiki founder Doug Imbruce. When asked, each of the two CEOs identified one quality or attribute that he looks for in job candidates as a predictor of future success:

Zukerman: “Evidence of determination.”
Imbruce: “Passion about the company’s products or services.”

LESSON: Sharpen your communication skills—both verbal and nonverbal—so that your enthusiasm, vigor, motivation, staunchness, unwavering or unyielding nature, unflagging zeal for work, etc. are manifest during the interview.

© Copyright 2011 V. J. Singal

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Appearance on Houston’s Channel 39 (KIAH-TV) Earlier This Month; The Consequences of Egregiously Bad Grammar During Job Interview

In a post three weeks ago, I wrote that Houston’s Channel 39 had interviewed me with regard to how poor language skills can obliterate one’s chances of success during a job interview or sales call. Well, the station did broadcast segments of that interview a few days later and you can see what they aired by clicking on the one-and-a-half-minute video clip below. Of particular interest to job seekers: My comment on how the use of typical text-messaging lingo during an interview might portray you as someone who is much too cavalier or irresponsible to handle serious tasks and who therefore cannot be entrusted with big-time responsibility.

© Copyright 2011 V. J. Singal

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Obama’s “synaptic misfire” resulting in his using a completely wrong word during “60 Minutes” Interview; My Answer to Last Sunday’s Quick Quiz

To make sense of this post, you need to first read the previous one – that of last Sunday, May 15.

In my judgment, the only word that sounds similar to the wrong word (denigrate) and which would have accurately expressed what Obama was trying to say is degrade. [The word downgrade is an alternative but a poor one.] In other words, he meant to say “We’ve degraded al Qaeda significantly even before we got bin Laden and I think….”

© Copyright 2011 V. J. Singal

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Quick Quiz: Guess Which Word the "60 Minutes" Guest Had in Mind When He Misspoke and Uttered "Denigrate"; Case of "Synaptic Misfire"

At one point during his “60 Minutes” interview Sunday, President Obama was asked to respond to the many “influential people on both sides of the aisle” in Congress who were saying that with Osama bin Laden now dead, we should hasten our withdrawal from Afghanistan. Obama replied by pointing out that the U.S. had increased troop levels in Afghanistan to “blunt the momentum of the Taliban and create platforms that would allow us to go after al Qaeda directly.” He then added, “We’ve denigrated al Qaeda significantly even before we got bin Laden and I think it’s important for everybody to understand that the work that’s been done in Afghanistan helped to prepare us for being able to take bin Laden out……”

Clearly, the word denigrate does not fit into the context at all. See for yourself by playing the video clip below. In fact, as soon as I heard this sentence while playing the recording on my DVR, it was apparent to me that Obama, whose command of the language is stellar, meant to utter a similar-sounding word which has a completely different meaning and that he had fallen victim to what I call “synaptic misfire” or a “synaptic malfunction” – something that happens once in a while to even the best of us.

As an intellectual challenge, I urge you to try and guess the similar sounding word which would have correctly expressed Obama's thought and which would fit into the context perfectly. Feel free to email me or call me at 281-463-2500. My next post—about a week from now—will have the answer to this "quick quiz."

© Copyright 2011 V. J. Singal