Once upon a time I went for an interview with an upmarket insurance company and made a major interview mistake.
I arrived about 15 minutes early – text book behaviour. I had prepped well – text book behaviour. I had everything I needed 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 moisturiser 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 dance.
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 individual).
At the end of the interview I bid them farewell and scarpered 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 moisturiser.
And if you do, pluck up the courage to ask for time to get cleaned up.
The mistake wasn’t the moisturiser, it was my lack of courage to explain the situation and ask for time to resolve it.
Until next time