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Interview Tips


Interview Techniques and Resume Tips for the Job Applicant

Color. 1985. 60 min. Beta, VHS. $49.95 + $3.75 S&Hformail orders. BennuProduetions (165 Madison Ave., N. .C. 10016).

Is your employer into leather? How about silks? If he isn't, he probably should be, judging from the choices offered in this tape-a sometimes hilarious. sometimes helpful look at what you should and should not do during job hunts.

The "should nots' are demonstrated at the top, with a fairly amateurish staging of an employment interview in which a Felix Unger type cross-examines an Oscar Madison-like applicant. The sound is pretty bad here, and the acting worse. but the points made are good. You are told that "flashy items may distract the interviewer and interrupt his thought pattems"-so keep that jewelry to a minimum. Too much makeup is bad too; so is smoking (unless you use a breathalizer) and sweaty palms. If you sweat, bring a handkerchief (but be careful with the cologne). One-hundred percent leather belts are a must. So are ten percent silk ties, 100 percent leather briefcases, and 100-percent wool pin:stripes in grey or navy blue.

Throughout you are told to be "the navigator of-your own interview," and to do that you are offered pointers on how to prepare a resume (on 100-percent Bond paper-through a resume service), how to research a job before the interview (even how-to research the interviewer), how to speak (in a politely forceful singsong), and how to sit (be careful about crossing those legs: 'There's nothing worse than exposing hairy ankles").

It’s a “Hints from Heloise” affair, the nadir being a "You Are There" interview sequence in which the camera walks into the room as your eyes and ears and you must answer the questions of the interviewer. Nonetheless there are some useful suggestions (emphasize your strengths, never criticize your previous employer) and those who are interested in a taped lecture might want to check this out. But those who want an imaginative video that shows rather than tells will prefer to pass-or read the book.


You Can Win Color. 1985. Dr. Tess Albert Warschaw (host). 60 min. Beta, VHS. $39.95. MCA.

John Lennon once that "There are no problems, only solutions." The makers of You Can Win, a videcrguide to success through collaboration would probably agree. The tape is a well-staged examination of the “win-win"philosophy as postulated by Dr. Tess Albert Warschaw. She is the advocate and (monotonous) host of the show which illustrates  successful negotiation in a series of anusing and well-conceived vignettes covering a wide range of topics: asking for a raise, avoiding family crises,  getting the job assignment you want, solving the problems of the heart (and the bed).

 Warschaw discussses six different.negotiating category – "The Dictator," "The Jungle Fighter," "The Silhouette," "The Big Mama, " “The Win-Win,” and "The Soother," which are then personified in a series of scenes covering different areas (money, sex, family). A "Dictator," for instance, is direct and intimidating and must have his own, way, as shown: in one mini-drama where he demands is restaurant table no –or else. "The Soother,” on the other hand,  would drather  avoid conflicts, while HIhe Big Mama" gets her way by cajolery, flattery but no cage.· A1l are unhappy at one time or an0tiler, though, because they cannot always ¥[in-and when they do, they make enemi~s. The whole point is collaboration to know why you and others operate thy way you do and then, as Warsqhaw puts it, "find ways to win in which nobody loses."

The tape has charm, grace, even humor, and transforms what could have been a dull lecture on the power of persuasion into an informative and entertaining story about people. It's helped by good writing and acting, imaginative camera setups, and sharp colors. You Can Win and "win-win" might not get you everything you want, but it could eliminate some of the mysteries of why you do what you do. And in this neurosis-ridden age of competition through destruction, that's nothing to scoff at.

VIDEO, November 1985