In interview scenarios, develop quick-thinking
plans for the unexpected.
Sometimes, although you prefer landline telephone
connections, cellphones are unavoidable. Catch
the name (spelling, too.), return telephone number
(in case of disconnection) and email.early in
Learn about strategies to deal with the unexpected.
It carries even further than this. Today, in a class
mock interview, we set up two unexpected
scenarios. One was a lady was simulating finding
out at the airport that her flight was canceled.
(This is not unheard of these days) What should
she do? What is the back up strategy?
Call the interview host and inform her?
Do you contact the hotel, car rental too?
When are next flights available?
If the next day, should you still travel? Something
to ask the hostess…
Could you arrange an alternate presentation mode?
Say, video interview presentation at your university?
(Make sure you know how to do these, they are not
trivial and require preparation and practice.)
Have your calendar handy to reschedule during
Think about where your bags and essential interview
items are. Think about using only carry-on bags
for interview travel, as they will always be with
What typically happens to travelers when flights are
canceled? Learn through your network how things
The second mock interview scenario was with a
gentleman who had received an offer. A competing
company was interested in potentially wishing to
interview him. Should he accept an invitation for an
We contrived a situation where I invited him to have
a meal at an Italian restaurant (more to find out if he
would order spaghetti, he did not). We engaged in
a conversation over his offer (what he should say and
what he should hold in confidence) and the enthusiasm
and confidence he should display.
Both of these situations are unexpected and it is
helpful to “air them” giving some suggestions.
While listening to a guest speaker talk about
the importance of doing things well in your
first years in a position and what things to
do, she spoke about “SMARTER” objectives.
This is an improvement on SMART objectives,
the acronym commonly referred to in project
and leadership circles for appraisal and performance
Looking at wikipedia they list (The link
provides suggestions of origins and other
elements.) the terms as
Letter Term Less frequently used terms
S Specific Significant, stretching, simple
M Measurable Meaningful, motivational,
A Achievable Agreed, attainable, assignable
R Relevant Realistic, results/results-focused
T Time-bound Time-based, trackable, timely
E [added] Exciting, evaluated
R [added] Recorded, rewarding, reviewed
Understanding these terms in the context of the business
and project goals will help define workable objectives.
Another new learning is that these smarter objectives can
have shorter time-frames for review, reflection and revision.
Whereas it was institutional to do this at mid-year and year
end, she spoke about one-month, two-month and three-
month intervals, especially when first starting out, in fast
moving areas, or more fluid areas.
It was very good that the students were exposed to these