What offbeat signals do employment managers look for when they interview you for a job? National Business Employment Weekly, dated today, has many suggestions in an article, "How to Avoid Common Interview Mistakes." Excerpts: "Don't get frustrated if your interviewer is interrupted by phone calls; use interruptions as a chance to evaluate how you're communicating. . . . Wise candidates avoid alcohol at lunch interviews even if the hiring manager drinks. . . . Don't say you don't smoke if you do; some managers watch for candidates to light up in the parking lot. . . . Be sure to ask questions; if you don't you'll appear too lazy to have researched the company. . . . Remember that you're on display from the minute you enter the firm's front door."
WHERE TO LIVE: "Should you buy or rent? While current interest rates and falling home prices have made buying a home an attractive option, renting has become increasingly desirable for those unsure of the economy and their jobs. Major consideration: the area you're planning to live in. Helpful: go beyond financial considerations to look at quality of life issues as well. If you decide to rent mainly because you want lower monthly payments, use some of the money saved to pay down any outstanding high-interest, non-deductible consumer debt." ("How To Sell Your Home in a Buyer's Market." John Wiley & Sons, $12.95.)
LOOKING BACK: Regarding interest rates -- Treasury bill rates now stand at 29-year lows -- I remember that in the Depression there were "negative" interest rates. Stated another way, depositors had to pay banks to keep their money because banks, with little or no demand for loans, had no use for our money. . . . "In the old days you were credited with working, say, 30 or 40 years for one company. Nowadays new management people come in and get credited with how many heads they can chop off. Most often it's the 30- or 40-year veterans who get chopped first." (Cokie Roberts on "This Week With David Brinkley.") . . . Asked "Do you think you live better than your parents did at your age?" 63 percent of respondents said "Yes," 29 percent said "About the same" and 8 percent answered, "Not as well." (Fortune, dated today.)
LOOKING AHEAD: "Placing your home in a personal residence PTC income trust (a grantor-retained income trust) has several advantages. It allows a deep discount of the value of the gift being made to the beneficiaries since you, as a grantor, retain an income interest in the trust for a period of years. It permits subsequent appreciation to pass tax-free. And in the meantime you can continue to live in the home and to deduct real estate taxes." (Moneypaper, July.) . . . "Trying to dispute the image of having been raised wealthy, Ross Perot told an interviewer, 'My father insisted that we take our own popcorn to the movies.' " . . . At a Baltimore-Cincinnati family reunion in the Midwest over the weekend, a written straw vote for President came up with: Bush 8, Perot 23, Clinton 76, no vote 25. . . . I will answer your call-in money questions and respond to your letters Saturday morning on WBAL-TV (Channel 11) in the 9 a.m. segment of the station's new weekend newscasts. Address your letters to Moneywise, WBAL-TV, Baltimore, Md., 21211.
MID-MONTH MEMOS: Compared with the Dow Jones level of about 2,200 during the Democratic National Convention in midsummer 1988, the indicator has gained about 51 percent in four years. . . . Villa Julie College will give a six-day workshop for computer professionals only titled "Workstation-Based Application Development" July 28 to Aug. 6 on the college campus. Phone Mike Rogich at 486-7000. . . . For information on the 1990 census, write Census Bureau, Customer Services, Washington, D.C., 20233 or phone 301-763-4100. . . . The IRS says 1993 tax forms will be simpler and tax tables will be expanded in Form 1040, including charts to figure your tax on income up to $100,000. . . . The Kiplinger Washington Letter says the power of Presidential incumbency isn't what it used to be as President Bush cannot get TV networks to broadcast his press conferences while Mr. Perot gets prime-time interviews whenever he wants them.