For those of us out of work or looking to move on, the Internet is just chock full of advice on how to make your resume stand out, what to wear to your first, second, and third interviews, and how HR gatekeepers are judging applicants by the kind of cell phone they carry.
It’s a mad, mad, mad, world.
The other day, I came across a particularly ridiculous piece about dining etiquette for “meal interviews.” The article was pretty common sense until it got to the part where it said not to season your food until you taste it first. Apparently this shows “poor impulse control.” Now, HR Weekly dot com or whatever may be content to buy this attempt at bullshit organizational psychology, but I know better.
At the best of restaurants, the server barely has time to back away from placing the plate on the table before the pepper mill man slips in and asks, of course, “You wanna fresha peppa?”
To that question, I do not pause and taste test my salad or entrée. I simply and confidently say “yes.” Especially in the case of white foods, like the fettuccine Alfredo the interview etiquette warned me against. I let the mill man go nuts for one reason: it obviously does not have pepper on it. If my potential employer doesn’t realize that, then there is a problem. And this is the sort of problem that is only going to get worse over time. If you can’t even see that the pallid Alfredo is in dire need of cracked black pepper, how are you ever going to notice the subtle nature of my genius?
Call me nutso, but seasoning my food doesn’t mean I can’t control myself. It means I know enough to ask for what I want. All the other interview advice says to act confidently, arm yourself with information, and sharpen your negotiating skills…so why pick on the pepper?