A Little Less Personal, Please

cartoon man with question markPreparing for one of my first interviews as an Assistant Personnel Director, I began thinking up ways to break the ice.  I decided to go with what I thought to be an innocent question.  “So, tell me about yourself,” I said.  My interviewee proudly responded that he was the Grand Wizard of the local chapter of the KKK.  Needless to say, I was a bit shocked, but for a fair chance at employment I had to somehow strike this from the record and not consider it in my decision.  Fortunately, he turned out not to be the right candidate for the job for many other reasons.  Lesson learned. A better start would have been “so, tell me about yourself PROFESSIONALLY.”   Be cautious of innocent-appearing questions!

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