Interviews from hell – what not to wear and what not to say

Many people may not realize this, but studies have shown that it only takes 20-30 seconds to make a lasting impression in a job interview.  This is an extremely important factor that should not be taken lightly.  There are several things you should be aware of when attempting to make a positive lasting impression.  Factors such as appearance, body language, timing and even your hand shake can make or break your odds of getting the job.Bad Interview

When it comes to interviewing, your appearance is very important.  Some examples of apparel and accessories that should NEVER be worn to an interview include: hats, sunglasses, t-shirts, headphones, bright or large decorative clothing, short skirts, sandals/flip-flops, heavy makeup, facial piercings, visible tattoos, short sleeve shirts and strong perfumes or cologne.

Now that you know what not to wear, you should also know what not to say in an interview.  It’s difficult to anticipate and prepare for all the questions you’re going to be asked, but here are a few common questions that you should be prepared for.

Why do you want to work for our company?

Wrong Response:  I need a job bad, and I’ve been turned down everywhere else.

Interview-What Not to SayAppropriate Response:  After visiting the company’s web site and learning more about the success the company has had in the industry, I’m confident this will be a rewarding place to work and continue to grow as a professional.


Why do you want a new job?

Wrong Response:  I don’t get along with my boss, and my coworkers are difficult to work with.

Appropriate Response:  I’m looking for new and exciting challenges in an environment where I can use my skills to help my employer’s company succeed.

Why should we hire you?

Wrong Response:  I have a gambling problem, and I really need to pay off my debt.

Appropriate Response:  I have the skills to hit the ground running.  Now that I know more about what you are looking for, I’m even more confident that I can exceed your expectations.

Knowing what to wear and what to say takes practice, time and effort.  Do your research, dress for success, and do your best.  You are unlikely to get hired after every interview, but you are very likely to learn something from each interview.

For more great examples of Job Interview Dos and Don’t, please check out Vault Video’s Guide to Interview Dos and Don’ts.

By Brent Humphress, Business Major -IUPUC

The Price of Typos in Business

In a world that has become reliant on spellcheck, typos have been a continuous issue for businesses. There are many ways in which typos can affect a business. Specifically, typos can hurt the reputation of a business, can cost a large amount of money and can possibly be utilized in a positive manner.

First, typos can hurt the reputation of a business. Typos make a business seem unprofessional. If businesspeople do not proofread and revise their work, the business attains a sloppy image. If there are typos, the article is not very credible. Someone did not take much effort to create the article, making the article less trustworthy. Typos can also create offensive messages. If something is misspelled, offensive words could be formed. This can be hurtful to consumers and could lead to trouble with the law. An article in USA Today revealed that the president of an Iowa college was ridiculed after a typo was included in the student handbook. The error read, “Black History Linch and Learn.” This typo caused a huge controversy because “linch” sounds similar to “lynch.” Typos can also be misleading. Miscommunication puts the receiver at a huge disadvantage. In a recent interview, Warren Buffet said, “The dollar, I think, is going to be worth less five to ten years from now.” Dow Jones Newswires later quoted Buffet as using the term “worthless.” This typo spread across the web, and Buffet appeared on live television to remedy the situation. Buffet’s situation proves how easily typos can ruin the reputation of a businessperson. As businesspeople, we must be sure to follow the AP Stylebook. The book is not just a tool for journalists; it details correct writing methods and should be used in everyday business. Overall, typos can make a business appear unprofessional, offensive and misleading, and this ultimately hurts a business.

Second, typos can cost businesses large amounts of money. Many ebusinesses believe that typos have lost money for their businesses. Studies have shown that typos can cut online sales in half. According to Charles Duncombe, an owner of online retail websites, typos account for the loss of millions of dollars in sales every week. In 2004, Dell Computer refused to honor a price of a PDA on their online store. The PDA was technically worth $379, but the price was set at $79. This company would have taken a major loss if the mistake had not been caught. In a similar situation, Marubeni, a Japanese trading company, sold one thousand computers priced at $180. The price should have been $1800. Typos need to be proofread and revised because it will prevent unnecessary loss.

Last, typos can be utilized in a positive way. Some individuals argue that typos are a marketing strategy. For example, many customers write consumer reviews. In many cases, the customers do not proofread their reviews for typos. Brett Hurt, CEO of Bazaarvoice, believes that typos in customer reviews should not be corrected. He believes that correcting these reviews would remove the authenticity. If new customers were to read these authentic reviews, they would know that the review came from the mind of a fellow customer. However, other companies disagree with this method. Zappos, an online shoe retailer, believes that customer reviews should be revised. Zappos proofreads each review to assure there are no typos. I think that Zappos may be following the more marketable idea; I would not want to read a confusing review. I would rather have a company fix the errors, assuming they keep authenticity intact. However, I understand why individuals, such as Hurt, believe that typos are marketable.

In the end, typos have clearly been a continuous issue. Typos can hurt the reputation of a business, cost the business a large amount of money, and possibly be a utilized in a positive way. While typos may have a possible positive marketing strategy, I believe that typos should always be proofread and revised in any situation, and we should remember to use the AP Stylebook. Typos provide too many risks for businesses, and they must be eliminated if possible.

By Michael Peterson, Business Major – IUPUC

Differences in Men and Women Communication Styles

It’s no secret that men and women communicate differently.  But have you ever done research on the difference between the two?  Most people have not, they just make generalizations about ALL women or about ALL men (we all are guilty of this at one time or another).  But with the number of women in the workplace growing significantly, more and more people are studying communication techniques used by each gender.   I had not done any actual research until recently and I found some interesting discoveries.

For women, talk is the essence of intimacy.  Women define friends as someone you can sit down and share problems with, get advice, give support and connect with.  While men define friends as someone you can do activities with.  Going golfing, working on a truck, hunting, talking about sports or business is how a man communicates or connects with someone.  Women create the feeling of closeness by talking, hence the reason the woman is always trying to talk to her man.  The men do not connect like this and therefore, are left confused of why she is always talking!  This is also the culprit for a common misunderstanding about women:  women go to their man about their problem, whether it is work, girlfriend, money, or family problems, they want to discuss the situation.  Well, when a woman goes to a man with a problem, the man automatically thinks she is looking for advice or a solution to her problem.  Consequently, the man gives a solution and wants the conversation to end.  However, that was not what they lady was looking for.  She probably will not act on his solution and try to talk to him again. This leads to the common generalization that “all women do is complain and they do not want to take action or do anything about it,” when the whole time she was just trying to connect with her man by sharing her problems.

One of my more interesting discoveries was the idea of the pecking order in nature.  A male’s (animal or human) ultimate goal is to be able to mate with the chosen one.  To be able to do this, they must make their way to the top of the pecking order.  Once they are at the top they need to stay up there and keep their social status high.  I went on to discover this reason plays a part in the male denying the woman simple help.  To get to the top of the pecking order he must give orders to men lower than him and when a woman asks a man to do a simple task he feels as though he has lost his status in their relationship.  This leads me to the point that men communicate more in public whereas women communicate more at home in a private area.  This makes sense because it is important for the male to make his presence known in public but not so important to do so in the privacy of his home.

Personally I believe some of the research but at the same time I believe the way people communicate strongly depends on how they were raised.  Did the person have any siblings? Were they brothers or sisters?  Where did this person fall in the order of children, were they the oldest, middle or the youngest?  Were both parents around while the child was growing up?  Did the parents encourage the kids to express their feelings and thoughts?  With that said I believe everyone is different and going to communicate differently.  Some simple advice for men and women trying to understand or figure out the opposite sex and their way of communicating:  do not try it!  Men and women are wired differently and therefore, will communicate differently.  Women communicate to connect, while men communicate to compete.  The world of communication would be boring if we all communicated the same, embrace the difference.  Do not try to change the style of communication the other gender uses, but instead learn how to adapt to that style.

By Katelin Hehe, Business Major -IUPUC

To Pay or Not to Pay – Overseas Business Ethics and the Reality of Bribery


       I recall vividly the global climate of suspense and worry at the end of the Cold War.  Despite being nestled in my high school melodrama in a small Midwestern city, I was nevertheless exposed to terms of “corruption” and “bribery” as it related to the new global business landscape.  Every media type reported on the cost of blue jeans and American music in the new Russia.  When the superpower that was the Soviet Union fell, the creation of new governments and new business opportunities brought the reality of the cost of bribery home.

        The U.S. government had been actively involved in the reduction of foreign corruption in business practices since the passage of the Foreign Corrupt Policies Act of 1977.  This legislation put in punitive measures for companies operating in the United States.  This put US manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace where they were competing with countries and companies without such restrictions.  Even if restrictions were in place, most governments around the world were hard-pressed to enforce them due to the nature of the practice as well as the financial backing of such enforcement.  It became quickly evident that this could only be combated on a global scale, with corporations, governments and civilians working together.

The escalation of the problem following the Cold War finally brought in support from 35 other industrialized nations in 1988 with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Convention (aka Bribery convention).  This brought many trading nations together for the purpose of transparent evaluations of each other’s policies in regards to business corruption and successfully prosecuting those who do not comply with fair business standards.   This program has been hampered with the problems of the lack of finance, transparency, and political and social climates of participating countries.  Also, China and India are not signatory to the convention, so fall outside of its parameters.  These two economic powerhouses still include opportunities for bribery with officials making lower wages and lax enforcement.

What this means for the average consumer is that the costs associated with bribery and corruption would be considered the cost of goods sold.  Companies that engage in these practices gain an unfair advantage over those who do not.  Certainly not all of the “bad” companies are bringing forth products that are entirely beneficial to society.  I’m certain most will recall the lead paint in Chinese toys attempting to spoil last year’s Christmas season.  As more information becomes readily available for consumers, the good economic citizen would take care in discovering where the goods they are purchasing are coming from.  Is that company one with integrity and a realistic approach to fight corruption?  Is it a company that ships in containers full of “who-knows”?  National security issues aside, you pay for the corrupt practices in every purchase you make whether it is in taxes that go to help ferret it out and prosecute it, or in the bottom line price of that “must-have” toy of the year, imported by the boatload from countries that could care less about it’s safety or what laws are broken to get it there.

by Joe Hemmelgarn, Business Major – IUPUC

Have a dysfunctional team and don’t know what to do?

“dysfunctional – (of a trait or condition) failing to serve an adjustive purpose


Dysfunctional teams occur everywhere, whether it is at home with a family or in a work force. Not everything runs smoothly or as planned in which makes a team “dysfunctional”. This is not necessarily a bad thing but definitely doesn’t make things easier.  I am going to share my thoughts on how to regroup and get back on track if things fall apart.

Step 1: Take a breath! Things may seem shaky right now but can be fixed with cooperation and determination by everyone on the team.  You need to come up with a common goal. A goal that if not everyone then the majority agrees on. If in a work setting this could be a finished product. If you are unable to agree on a central goal then try again. Compromise may be the key to come up with a single goal that everyone can work towards.

Step2: Once a common goal has been agreed on then as a team you need to come up with a plan or steps that will help you reach the goal. This can be as simple or as detailed as you want it. If you had tried a more detail plan before and it didn’t work then try something more simple that is 1, 2, 3 step process. This may make it easier for everyone to understand what you, as a team, are trying to accomplish.

Step3: Now for the tricky part. As a team decide if you want to do everything together step-by-step or assign parts to the members. This could be difficult if everyone doesn’t pull their share of the work. If this occurs then they may be the reason you got sidetracked in the first place. Make sure everyone is being included in the decision process.  Keep an open mind if other team members are trying to come up with a separate plan. If they do then ask them to share and you may be able to incorporate there plan into the group plan.

Step4: Take another breath. The hard part is over. Now everyone needs to trust in each other that you as a team can achieve your goal. Have group meeting to discuss where you are at in the project. This can help air out any issues that members are struggling with or answer any questions. Hold each other accountable. If one falls behind then everyone can end up behind. Share what you and your team has accomplished so that everyone is included; you never know someone may have a great idea that can take your goal to the next level.

Rabecka Ward

Technology and social media as protest tools.

A lot has been made recently about the role of technology and social media in realm of global politics in places such as Egypt and Libya. Some claim that access to quick easy information has turned normal ordinary people into frothing at the mouth protesters, ready for blood or at least the political life of whoever they are protesting against. I however do not share this perspective. Giving a man a butcher knife does not necessarily turn him into Michael Myers, there are plenty of people in this world with the tools necessary to render other people helpless, yet they don’t.

Facebook is a great way to meet like-minded people and bring them together for a cause. Many dollars have been raised for causes ranging from Autism to Zygomycosis, to me the answer is clear. It is not the technology and social media that is the issue. It is up to people who are using theses mediums to use personal responsibility and police themselves. You may scoff at the idea that some religious zealot halfway across the world has any intention of being responsible in the use of anything, but the moment it becomes a tool for more than protest(i.e, Terrorism)  we will see the eyes of the world focusing more on this issue and how to control it. Then quick easy information may become regulated or even screened by some sort of regulatory government, like a global big brother capable of knowing what your actions are in real-time. It may seem like a stretch but the last thing anybody wants is to be the one who did not stop the next big terror plot, especially when the information was posted right there on Facebook.

Facebook is not however the only culprit. Twitter, YouTube and MySpace may seem like natural tools in the techno-terrorist arsenal, but the truth is it does not matter what the name of the service is, the same basic principles apply. Information is being spread to very large groups of people in very little time. This problem is not limited to overseas either, take some examples from closer to home like the flash-mob violence orchestrated in US Cities such as Philadelphia, DC, Milwaukee and Chicago. These may seem like isolated events but I think that they very aptly demonstrate the power of these mediums. YouTube is everybody’s favorite time waster, you can go there to watch people build preposterous food items on EpicMealTime or just watch a baby scream with terror then delight when his mother sneezes. It is also a breeding ground for violence and any sort of protest, people involved in these protests are quick to break out there video capable phones and show their compatriots that they were part of an event and that they were really there. Another problem is created when an unexpected event happens and someone is there to catch it on their phone, because one person’s reaction to a bad situation, may end up in the eye others, as the reaction of a whole group. This scenario could lead to riots and other civil unrest that does nothing but weaken to bond between people and their governments. Soon a whole tidal wave of unhappy, violent protesters could be marching in revolt because of one person’s bad decision.

Impossible as it may seem to keep the whole entire world from using networking and technology to bring upon us civil unrest, it is in fact quite simple. It starts with you. Be responsible for your own actions and tell your friends to do the same, while it is not our responsibility to monitor our friends communications and to do such would be a violation of their privacy, it IS our DUTY to make sure that illegal activities regardless of how meager they seem are reported. This is true especially on the internet where what you do may live forever regardless of whom or what are seeing it.

Thought about by: Peder Nelson