For my internship class this week, I read “You Did What? Biggest Mistakes Professionals Make” by Kim Zoller and Kelly Preston. The book was, for me, very enlightening to say the least. The authors of the book wrote the book for people like me who are going into the business world and need to adjust their social interactions in order to be successful. In a study done by Carnegie Institute of Technology, 85 percent of success at a job can be contributed to one’s personality and how they deal with others.
I really enjoyed the book and definitely believe anyone interviewing for jobs should purchase the book, read it and highlight certain details that maybe you could benefit by working on. It’s a very short read but full of helpful information that I wasn’t aware of before reading the book. These are only a few of Zoller and Preston’s biggest mistakes from the book that caused me to be aware and that I think others could also benefit from.
- Forgetting to stay one step ahead: This can include first impressions, how one dresses for a meeting and body language. Stop thinking about unimportant things that don’t make a difference and starting thinking with and endpoint in mind and how you are going to get to that place. Since I get nervous before interviews, for me this could include planning my outfit in advance and mapping out talking points so the meeting goes smoothly.
- Using Body Language Improperly: This chapter resonated the most with me since I am absolutely terrible at this. It is important to make eye contact, control body movement and sit in a proper manner. Nothing is worse than an employer wondering why you can’t look them in the eye or sit in an upright position like how we are taught to do at a very young age.
- Forgetting Names: When someone is talking to me, in my head I am creating my response and completely forget to remember their name. It’s not a hard task to accomplish, and yet it is important enough for the writers to make a chapter about, so apparently I am not the only one doing it. It is a simple, respectful gesture that takes absolutely no effort at all.
- Failing to Follow the Guidelines for Professional Dress: This chapter is really helpful because it gives appropriate guidelines of professional dress for both men and women. I was aware that your clothing should be appropriate and conservative, but little did I know that jewelry and nails are being examined. I wear cross jewelry quite frequently but the authors suggest no religious symbols. They also advise to wear rings on the ring and pinky fingers only and to have your nails manicured, short and natural in appearance.
- Being Unprepared for Interviews: When arriving to an interview, it is better to be over prepared than underprepared. Bring your portfolio and resume and always carry paper and pen. Also, they advise not to sit anywhere until you are asked to do so.
The tips that the authors give in the book seem like such easy tasks, but yet so many people, including myself, forget to do them. I recommend this book because it allowed me to take a step back and evaluate how I’ve been doing things in the past. It is important to examine yourself from a professional standpoint so that you can fix your mistakes and be more prepared for future endeavors.