Monday, June 7, 2010


There he sits in the waiting area, hoping he gets the job that he’ll be interviewing for in a few minutes.

He’s done his homework on the company, prepared some intelligent questions about the company to ask the interviewer and knows better than most how to present himself as a real asset to the company.

He’s wearing his best suit, just dry cleaned, and a lightly starched white shirt with a green and blue silk tie. He knows the company prefers their managers in white shirt and tie, and also knows that the interviewer’s alma mater colors are blue and green. His shoes are polished, his teeth are clean and white, his facial hair is neatly trimmed. By all outward appearances and interview preparation, this is the guy to hire.

He is invited in the office for his interview. He walks in with great posture and a confident stride. He offers his hand and gives a gentleman’s firm handshake.

For twenty minutes, he answers the questions as though he had a cheat sheet. He didn’t but he had done an excellent job of preparation. His resume was flawless and had everything the company was looking for.

He walked out thinking he had not only aced the interview but the job as well. He went home to wait until the good news phone call he would receive the next day.

Except it didn’t come. Not then. Not the day after that. Not the week after that.

He called his interviewer to express his thanks for the interview and wondered if the company had made their decision yet.

He was told they had and that they would not be hiring him.

He hung up thinking they couldn’t have hired someone else. He was perfect for the job. His resume was stellar. He aced the interview.

So why didn’t he get it?

Simple: Blackberry-itis.

While he made sure to put his phone on mute, he held the phone in his hand throughout the interview. And every time it vibrated, he looked to see what was happening. Phone call? Voice mail? Text? E-mail? Whatever it was, and there was a lot, he had to check it.

The interviewer told me that except for that one glaring fault, he had the job.

So permit me to offer some sage advice. Whenever you’re meeting someone who is important enough to impress, turn off your phone. Completely, turn it off. Not just muted, not just on vibrate, turned off completely. Trust me, you will survive those twenty or thirty minutes, and your future may just end up a little brighter.

Some other considerations:

Out on your first date? Turn it off.

Meeting your girlfriend’s (or boyfriend’s) parents for dinner? Turn it off.

Pleading your case before a judge? Turn it off.

Watching a movie in the theater? TURN IT OFF.

At the altar on your wedding day, about to say, “I do” ? Turn it off.

You get the picture.

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