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Question about Professional Etiquette

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
This may sound silly, but... at an interview, after introductions, if the interviewer asks, "how are you today," is it better to say something like "fine, thank you," and cut it off, or go on to ask how he/she is? I am used to saying fine, how about you?, like I would to an aquaintance on the street. Though, I know you're not supposed to put yourself at the level of the employer. For instance, the employer is usually the one who moves to a handshake at the closing, not the other way around. What do you do? Have you ever learned of a right and a wrong way?
post #2 of 14
I would just say 'fine, thanks, glad to be here' or something like that. Keep it impersonal.
post #3 of 14
I`m smiling REALLY BIG reading this....you know, I mean , it seems like the thing that people always ask....and the answer is always the same ("fine" or "good") I`ve always wondered what a persons reaction would be if you said "well, my artherits has been acting up, I`m on the verge of a divorce, my cat just died , I have`nt been able to poop for 2 days and I`m generally miserable....so, how about you?"
Sorry! I do get carried away sometimes! Linda
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
That sounds good, thank you. I'm pretty quiet, and intimidating situations like interviews make it sooo difficult to think of the "right" things to say. I'm going to be prepared this time by thinking up answers for possible questions. Then, watch it all go out the window as soon as I get in there.
post #5 of 14
I hate the question "How are you doing?" Most people ask as a matter of course and could care less about how you are truly doing.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stampit3d
I`m smiling REALLY BIG reading this....you know, I mean , it seems like the thing that people always ask....and the answer is always the same ("fine" or "good") I`ve always wondered what a persons reaction would be if you said "well, my artherits has been acting up, I`m on the verge of a divorce, my cat just died , I have`nt been able to poop for 2 days and I`m generally miserable....so, how about you?"
Sorry! I do get carried away sometimes! Linda
Lol, I hate it when I've had the worst day ever, then someone comes up with a huge, cheery smile and asks "How are you!!!??" Especially when it's one of those all happy all the time folks - I'd love to slap the person, then reply, "Much better now - thanks!!"
post #7 of 14
Quote:
I'd love to slap the person, then reply, "Much better now - thanks!!"
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by stampit3d
I`m smiling REALLY BIG reading this....you know, I mean , it seems like the thing that people always ask....and the answer is always the same ("fine" or "good") I`ve always wondered what a persons reaction would be if you said "well, my artherits has been acting up, I`m on the verge of a divorce, my cat just died , I have`nt been able to poop for 2 days and I`m generally miserable....so, how about you?"
Sorry! I do get carried away sometimes! Linda
I actually get to hear responses like that all the time. There is a particular person or 2 that I tend to only say 'goodmorning!' to now. It's soooo depressing to hear the same thing day after day after day after...you get the point!
post #9 of 14
It seems to be a European thing to answer honestly to the question "how are you?" instead of the standard British/American response of "fine thanks! How are you?". I think it's kind of refreshing to get an honest response, instead of having a conversation on autopilot. Mind you, it would get a little weary hearing the long list of woes of a hypochondriac every morning!
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyranson
I would just say 'fine, thanks, glad to be here' or something like that. Keep it impersonal.
I agree. With professional interviews (or job-related ones), keep it general and let them know you are happy to be interviewed for the job. Remember you are there for a potential job and not a personal buddy interview.
post #11 of 14
I agree- keep it very professional. Fine, thank you very much works.

And I too loathe someone I hardly know and meet somewhere asking me how I am esp when I know they could care less. Like the person who meets you on the street and keeps walking as they ask the question. The "devil" in me once anaswered it the way I wanted as in "I am having a terrible day. It's raining. I am tried. The drive in was horrible and I've just returned from the ER where a patient coded." They had - as I suspected- kept going and did not hear a thing. I do not get why anyone would ask how I am if they do not care. I only ask if I really want to know.
post #12 of 14
I have always asked back, seemed to serve me well enough. It's probably true that they don't care when they ask you, but you can always throw them for a loop by looking them straight in the eye and asking the same of them...and perhaps pretending to care???

But then, I am a therapist - every job interview I've ever gone to is where people seem to care about that sort of thing....like "hey, she asked back...good therapeutic skill!" Or something...anyway, I detest the question from coworkers more, as often nobody has time to answer!
post #13 of 14
I agree that for the interview keep it professional. "Fine, thank you" seems to me to be a fine answer.

If you are in a more relaxed setting it's different. I've found that sometimes when I'm just in a good mood I'll say hello and how are you to folks I don't really know well (like in an elevator or store) and to me it's just a way of saying hi and hopefully just spreading some cheer.

I did this to an older gentleman one day on one of the main streets in Toronto and ended up walking several blocks with him and had a very stimulating conversation with him (well he did most of the talking). My brother from Branson, MO was with me and he couldn't believe I'd strike up a conversation with a total stranger. I think that day I made this man feel good that someone bothered to just listen to him and that made us both feel good.
post #14 of 14
I always smile and return the emphasis to the other person, asking with great interest how they are today.
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