Friday, 15 May 2015 14:02

How to make a great second impression

How to make a great second impression by Heidi Grant Halvorson  (HBR)   

Years ago a friend of mine, Gordon, interviewed for a position at a prominent university. During his daylong visit to campus, he had lunch with a senior faculty member (let’s call him Bob) who had final say over the hire. After their food arrived, Bob said of his meal, “You know, this is great. You should try this.” Even though Gordon knew it was a dish he wouldn’t like, he felt pressured to have a bite so as not to offend his potential future boss. The lunch continued pleasantly, with Gordon enumerating his accomplishments and Bob responding positively. Gordon was therefore more than a little surprised when he didn’t get the job.

He learned why a few years later, after he’d been hired for a different position at the same university. Apparently, when Bob had said “You should try this,” he had actually meant something like “You should try this sometime” or “My lunch is excellent,” and he was deeply disturbed that a job candidate would have the audacity to eat right from his plate. He had no desire to work with someone so disrespectful and ill-mannered.

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