DiceTV: Feeling Down? Smile Anyway

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjQGO8V_eNE?rel=0&hd=1&w=560&h=346]

The Script

Cat: Recession got you down? Don’t let a hiring manager know it. More often than not, confidence and a positive attitude trump skill and experience in the eyes of employers. I’m Cat Miller, and this is DiceTV.

You think I like singing in the middle of a downturn? The thing is, if you’re out of work and feeling down about it, you still have to show your positive side during job interviews. That’s not easy. But there are some tricks you can use.

First, tune up. If you’ve been depressed about your job search, you may unconsciously project negative vibes or tension. So listen to upbeat or soothing music before an interview. It’s a safe way to lift your spirits and focus your thoughts.

Next: Don’t turn that door knob unless you’re smiling. It says you’re approachable, it’s contagious and even if you’re feeling down, forcing yourself to smile can raise your spirits. Everyone likes working with pleasant people, so remember to greet an interviewer pleasantly.

An interview isn’t always the best place to share humor, but a tasteful joke or some quick wit can be an asset. Most people like working around someone who can deflect tension through humor. So when you’re preparing, think about a few funny vignettes and slip one in when you’re talking about your experience.

Finally, limit negative talk: Don’t volunteer any negative tales about your previous employers or co-workers. If you’re asked to describe a failure or a time when you’ve struggled, share something briefly, but end it on a positive note. Reinforce the good outcomes or learning moments that resulted from your experience.

By putting a positive spin on your answer, you’re showing you’re upbeat and can overcome adversity with poise – and maybe even a sense of humor.

I’m Cat Miller, this has been DiceTV, and we now return you to your regular desktop.

16 Responses to “DiceTV: Feeling Down? Smile Anyway”

  1. Turd Ferguson

    i like to go on interviews acting like the 2 sad-nobody like-us-guys on kid in the hall —– catherine miller reading for me so i dont have to ah what could be better? —- sort of like outsourcing firm workers working so i dont have to. ah aint life grand?! —- how long before –i– have to move overseas to find work, even the roman empire fell.

  2. Oct 8th

    the person who posted, who is techncal recruiter for past 20 yrs.. I talk to the IT recruiter they don’t know much about technology but they seem to think they can send the right person for the job.. but it all depands on the client who is looking to fill the position with the pervious work or knowledge.. being positive and being happy is nothing to do with job… I can get a job soon as I meet with the manager u just have to switch to the managers talks, understand what the manger wants and just pick up his talking skills if you can match that with same personality through the interview YOU GOT THE JOB.. I know this from personal experiance

  3. It’s not all about what skills you have. Monkeys can do your job. It’s all about your attitude and whether or not other people can work with you. If you’re a technical genius, but can’t convey the information to business people, then you’re a waste of space.
    Smiling and an upbeat personality prove you’re a team player. Social skills are very important. So what if on the job you don’t always have the answer.. then google it or ask the next tecky guy.

  4. Colorado Kid

    This is great! The great practical advice with humor tossed in as a side-dish, is just great. It’s hard to stay positive, but resources like this one are reminders (and blessings) of actions that are time-tested and true. Thanks, DICE,…keep ’em coming!

  5. EDH1215

    C-Kid…(and Dice)

    What is so great about this article? What real advise is shared here? Smile…Be positive… WTF? If you don’t realize you need to be happy and approachable in an interview, you have no business looking for a job.

    How about real articles were people get usable info from? That was the worst article I have read so far on this site.

  6. It is a small tip but one that is a good reminder. I was just talking about something like this with a friend of mine who just got a job. He was saying the interview is all about talking and that there is no way you can judge a person in one or two hours. They do say picking a person for a job is about the same as picking a name out of a hat. So, I can see where the smile and positive vibes would help a lot. Just don’t smile TOO much. On another note…I didn’t know Cat could sing. I liked her video clip when she was in the pool 🙂

  7. Well I appreciate the advice. It’s a good tip to listen to music before an interview and it’s what I’ve been doing to put myself in a good mood. It’s easy to project negative vibes unconsciously as you say. I’ve found employers to be unsympathetic to the economy or the difficult times people are going through. So this advice is key.

  8. I think this is good advice, even though we may have heard it before. Not everyone goes into an interview smiling or with a positive attitude (although you would think they would). Although this is simple advice, it’s good to hear it again and reinforce it. Your attitude really does mean something and will determine you altitude.

  9. Good aricle — however, I thought the trailer with Cat in a pseudo-barf was not cute nor was it necessary.

    Also — I wish you can filter bad words out of the comments — no place for such unflattering and crude language.

  10. Solid Gent

    It is apparent that EDH and trspops will be unemployed for a long time. Attitude means everything in the interview. In fact, many times an employer will hire attitude over competence, according to USA Today and WSJ. Who can blame them? Who wants to hire a sad-sack?

  11. While smiling and being positive might edge you out someone with equal skills, I think it’s very irresponsible to to say that the first two are more important. If that were the case, I would have landed numerous jobs that I ultimately didn’t qualify for. Hiring managers are usually pragmatic and want someone who can add value to their group, not some smiling yes man (woman) who can’t do anything but be the office cheerleader.

  12. I’ve been a technical recruiter for the past 20 years and I can’t stress enough how important a good attitude is during an interview. I’ve hired many people with a great can-do attitude over their better qualified peers. Not only am I thinking about getting my position filled, I also have to think about the department they will be working in and their future co-workers. Good, simply advice that can’t be reinforced enough! 🙂