Focus on Being Calamari?

by Joe Lavelle on July 23, 2009

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“Needy people are like squid, hungry talent is like Calamari.”


I have used all sorts of analogies when offering my perspective on what will make you the most appealing candidate to a potential employer.  Just recently on this blog, I have compared employees to successful football coaches, hazardous kitchen chemicals, and your family’s best storytellers.  However, I have never thought of integrating seafood into my repertoire of advice.  I may have to start considering some food analogies after reading a post that Tim Sanders included on his blog last week in which he noted that even though calamari and squid are the same animal, the breaded and crispy calamari is much more appealing than the slimy squid in its basic form.  In the same way, one job seeker can present himself in two very different ways.

Tim makes the point that you do not want to appear needy when you arrive at a job interview.  Yes, these are tough economic times and many people are anxious for a better position in their chosen profession.  If you come across as desperate, however, the hiring team likely will wonder why you are struggling so much for an employer to grab you at the first opportunity.  You want to walk into an interview with an eagerness to impress those who may soon be your supervisors, but also the confidence that you deserve to be there and the belief that adding you to the team will improve the company to which you are applying.

It is essential that you make a great first impression in any professional setting.  The reality is that everyone makes quick judgments about the people they meet and it is very difficult to change these opinions once they have been created.  Those first couple of minutes in front of an interview panel can make all of the difference.  So, let me ask you — do you want to be a calamari or a squid?  Let me suggest an answer that is also the title of my upcoming book, and that is Act As If It Is Impossible to Fail.  Walk in with no other option but success and your mindset will be contagious!

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