Friday 6 April 2018

#495 Interview prep

I had most of it figured out. Check the organisation's website. Check the interviewer's LinkedIn page. Other accounts if they have them. Skills. Why I'd be a good fit. Questions to ask. How they could improve their site. Some prepared competence answers.

The Reed website had a list of typical interview questions and textbook answers. It was the week after Easter. Lectures were over for the holidays and I was using the time to meet recruiters and brush up on my question responses.

From the bottom of the Reed page, it was clear that not everyone enjoyed competence based interviews. A variety of professionals had left comments cursing the process, venting their experiences of defeats they'd suffered at the hands of the merciless questions.

It was understandable. Some of those people had worked long and hard for years without ever having to get good at talking about what they were up to. Now they were losing out to people who could. Perhaps in some cases, to impostors.

Their resentment wasn't helping them though. They were so full of suspicion about the integrity of their competitors. They talked as if they knew without a doubt that everyone else was lying and because they were bad liars, they were losing out in interviews.

I considered myself a cynic but not like those guys. Their grievances made no sense. If everyone in the world lied, that would mean the interviewers were also expert liars, which would mean they could detect it when they saw it. Why would they hire someone they knew was dishonest? 

Competence questions weren't easy but did the complainers really think that they could get away with not being able to explain what they did for a living? They weren't losing because they were bad liars, they were losing because they sucked at telling the truth. Probably. Unless the companies they applied to really were full of dishonest people, all lying to each other. Who would want to work in a place like that?


Fizzfan said...

When I last went through the finding a job process, I definitely got better the more I had, and it definitely involved being prepared.
I also found I became more relaxed with each one, which I guess is just a growing confidence from being in a repeated similar situation.

If you’re selling yourself, you have to talk yourself up as much as possible. I do remember finding that initially uncomfortable, but it got easier with time and then possibly quite enjoyable. I ended up being quite impressed with myself. Who knew! Go me!

Who’d buy an expensive gadget without any product buy me blurb on the package. It may be dishonest, but it’s all we have to go on. (That’s why I always look at the reviews from buyers, which are often far more helpful!)

It is all a bit of a nonsense, but life is very competitive these days. Blimey, when I got my first jobs, I don’t even know if CVs had been invented?!
It was much less stressful...............Sigh, back in my day.......;)

PS Yes they should quit their sour grapes n grumps n groans and get with the programme. It’s never going to get them anywhere.

Profound Familiarity said...

The idea that people have to market themselves like Sunny Delight and try to convince people how great they are because there isn't enough real goodness in them otherwise is completely false.

It is the job of the candidate not to persuade the interviewer that they are suited to a position but to explain why they are suited to it.

Having genuine enthusiasm is attractive and shouldn't be hid or disregarded.

Faking enthusiasm is cowardly, shameful and unhelpful and wrong. I would rather meet an honest beggar than a lying salesperson and would rather become one too although hopefully I will become neither, as I have real abilities to offer and real reasons for doing so.

Fizzfan said...

Agree with all of that and Yay to genuine enthusiasm.

I guess for me, bringing enthusiasm to the table without a bit of acting would be quite hard in the fascinating world of insurance:)

They talk about feeling passionate at work sometimes. Me thinks their version of the word and mine are somewhat different.

Profound Familiarity said...

Imagine if everyone felt able to talk about how they really felt at work.