Please Bend Over
I love job interviewsalmost as much
as I enjoy a fun trip to the proctologist. The
interviewer grills you in detail about your
history, all the while poking and prodding your
most sensitive areas. Your animal instincts urge
you to run away, but your rational mind reminds
yourself that it's a necessary irritation. With
luck, you'll stay in good "health" and won't have
to do it more than once every 10 years or so.
Dating in your 30s is also like interviewing for
a job. When you were in your teens or early 20s,
you could get "hired" just about anywhere in any
entry-level "position." Not much was expected of
you, since you hadn't been out in the "workforce"
for all that long. But going out on a date in your
30s is not unlike interviewing for an upper
management position. The stakes are high, the
competition fierce, the expectations great. Some
questions you might encounter on a first date might
include (slight) variations on the following:
- Why did you leave your last job?
- Why did you decide to seek a position with
- What are your long-range and short-range
career goals and objectives?
- What major problem have you encountered in
the past, and how did you deal with it?
- What are your salary expectations?
- Are you applying for other jobs?
- Why should I hire you?
Ah, but I digress....
At this point in my career, I've been on
hundreds of job interviews (or, if that's an
exaggeration, at least it feels like hundreds). In
all that time, I've never come to be at ease. Most
of my talents arise from more introspective sides
of my personality: my creativity, my imagination,
my intuition. I communicate better through the
written word than I do through conversation. I
probably wouldn't be a good salesman or tour guide,
but that's okaythat's not where my
Unfortunately, job interviews don't adequately
assess such inward, unspoken talents. While
portfolios, work samples and resumes can showcase
such abilities, the job interview is still a
necessary hoop through which every candidate must
jump. And regrettably, these days hiring managers
usually just glance over your resume during the
first two minutes of the job interview; portfolios
go largely ignored.
Though my work speaks for itself, I have
probably been passed over for a number of jobs for
which I was more than qualified. Trying to "sell
myself" during the interview is a constant
struggle, one which I continually try to improve
upon. I may become better at it, but whenever I
hear "Tell me about yourself," I'll probably still
hear "Please bend over."
Development note: I've
noticed that this site doesn't look like it should
in Netscape Navigator. Rather than waste time
jury-rigging it to look right in a
soon-to-be-obsolete browser, I'll just add the
cliché "This site best viewed with Internet
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