Once upon a time I went for an interview with an upmarket insurance company.
I arrived about 15 minutes early – text book behaviour. I had prepped well – text book behaviour. I had everything I need with me – text book behaviour.
I warmed up my vocal chords by talking to the reception team – again, another text book behaviour.
Whilst sat in reception I noticed that they had some posh bottles of hand lotion on the table next to the industry awards. I like free stuff so I leaned forward and applied a decent amount to my hands. I rubbed it around and realised that I may have taken too much. It wouldn’t sink in. It was like I’d stuck my hands in a vat of the stuff. I was covered in it.
I couldn’t wipe my hands on my suit – bad move. Nor did I fancy wiping them on the settee as it was already malting fabric on my suit – I didn’t want a hairy hand. Not a great first impression in any environment.
There were no tissues – nothing – and the hiring manager was now heading my way through the office.
As I shook his hand I knew I’d failed. I could feel my heart sinking. Our slippery handshake sealed my future. His face told it all – a disgusted look filled his face as our hands slipped around in a slippery grip.
I apologised for the handcream mess and explained what happened, but it was too late.
To make matters worse, when I got to the interview room I leaned on the table and slid across it – taking out a glass of water and almost landing on my backside.
Everyone I met in that interview got a slippery attempt at a handshake – the damn stuff just wouldn’t sink it.
By this time I’d resorted to wiping it on my suit and socks – nothing would work – nothing – it was like industrial goose fat.
They’d given me tissues but nothing was working. (And yes, nowadays I would simply ask to go to the toilet, but back then I was a shy retiring individual).
At the end of the interview I bid them farewell and headed to the bathroom to wash this grease from my hand – the only trouble was I couldn’t open the bathroom door as my hands were so slippery.
So please be cautious – please tread carefully – don’t overdo the hand cream. And if you do, pluck up the courage to ask for time to get cleaned up.
Until next time