The Market

How to spin a board interview

Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral
By Teri Karush Rogers  |
April 12, 2010 - 7:29AM

Broker-blogger Malcolm Carter has earned our respect for calling things as he sees them rather than how they should be spun.

So when he sent us these tips on spinning a board interview, we weren’t quite sure how to read them...straight up, or tongue partially in cheek? 

The board asks you to describe the dog you adopted from a shelter years ago, a snappish Chow mix who doesn’t like to be touched by strangers and especially not by children

Describe him, truthfully, as a lazy old thing that loves dozing in your lap.

They ask what attracted you to the apartment.

Talk about feeling at home as soon as you entered the building instead of saying it was the first tolerable one in your price range and you were running out of time before your current place closed.

They ask what has kept you in the job you’ve had for years.

Better to leave out that last “come to Jesus” session with your boss and emphasize how much you like your co-workers.

Would you like a cocktail?

Tell them you’d love one but you prefer to get drunk over dinner, and if that doesn’t elicit a smile, say you were kidding.  But realize that you will, in fact, have to get drunk over dinner to recover from this gaffe.

They admire your modest jewelry and ask where you got it

Probably smarter to reply that you don’t recall than to say you bought it off the street in Chinatown.

They ask if you enjoying entertaining guests.

If it’s three or four at a time (or even one at a time) at all hours of the night, mention instead the small dinner parties that you like to host every now and then.

They ask if you smoke or ever did.

Channel Bill Clinton while suppressing the hacking cough that undoubtedly will fight to emerge from your lungs.

They mention that this is a family building.

If you have kids, it is still not okay to mention their hallway soccer league.  And if you’re gay, this might not be the time to explore the board's definition of “family.”

They ask whether you’d like to be involved in the 'community.'

Instead of saying you travel too often, work too much, don't consider yourself a team player and would rather floss the board's teeth with your fingernails than serve on it...just lie.

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12 ways to throw a board interview




Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral

Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

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