I sat on an oral board recently that did something a little different. They had the board sit across from the candidate, separated by only a small end table. The candidate was encouraged to sit right up to the table as there were questions on a sheet for them to reference after the questions were read. While it isnít the norm to be that close, it isnít unheard of, really you should be prepared for just about anything, that way there are fewer surprises.

We were a little surprised on the first day that 5 of the first 7 people that presented themselves to us had bad breath. We had an air-conditioner behind us that would run between candidates, when the next person came in the room it was turned off and took a few minutes to cycle down. That was when it would hit us, and hit us it did.

Also there were a large number of people that had terribly bloodshot eyes. We were in an area that was windy and it may have been due to allergies, or one of my co-panelists said maybe people hadnít slept the night before. A little Visine would have gone a long way.

Before you go out on a first date you get your stuff squared away. Most of us probably clean places no one would ever see, just with the hope of not leaving a negative first impression. Do the same for an oral interview. A first date will probably only be a one or two time thing. Hopefully this interview will be for a career, treat it like it is important.

Is there a place on a rating sheet to grade peopleís smell and appearance? No, but there is no way to evaluate someone the same when you question their lack of preparedness before a big interview. As an example, one person out of 59 didnít wear a suit jacket, just a shirt and tie. It struck us as odd that everyone but this guy dressed for success. He actually did very well, but that was despite that wardrobe choice not because of it.