Wednesday 7 December 2022

Something like death by interview

For I could not talk

Looking back at a career of over 34 years, I find that I have faced the full spectrum of interview experiences from being totally tongue-tied in a brain fog of stuttering stupidity that I have to apologise for wasting the interviewer’s time through impressing the quality and depth of my expertise, sometimes even being promoted to a more senior role during the interview, to being engaged just by reputation.

Today, I was caught at the wrong end of the situation, and it was not for the want of the interviewer trying his best to help me along. Then again, the interview technique is probably more an art than a science, there is no assured way of determining whether talent and fit can be deduced from a list of set questions. Each personality and way of expression is different.

Between how you do things and talking about what you have done before, you may be able to assess knowledge and experience, but if the interviewee loses confidence, there is no comeback for the interviewee to redress the situation, you are left crying over a dam of spilt milk.

Crippled by immobility

Early this afternoon, I attended one such interview that on the surface I should have aced as much of what was asked for should have been answered by remembering things that have acquired muscle memory in use, yet, I was a bumbling babbling mess, it could not wait for the whole ordeal to end.

Going over the questions in my mind, later on, the elements began to take form in the things I have done, the other things I know, the community support mechanisms available from where I have learnt much more to stand out, came to the fore, but that battle had been lost because it goes without saying that more articulate and probably better-prepared interviewees would go forward for consideration.

Losing the touch

For most of my last few jobs, I doubt I have had the requisite interview practice, many have been discussions on how I could bring my wealth of experience to the table, and others have been referrals from people who I have worked with in the past inviting me to new projects, another, just reading my profile on LinkedIn was enough to convince them they had the right man. Even I was shocked at the speed at which we went from introduction to can you start tomorrow?

Basically, I am not of the disposition of an elevator pinch proponent that in 5 minutes would win a deal, and neither would I affect to traipse the confines of a Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank programme to persuade investors to invest in a venture. I am not that sort of person.

In a number of instances, I have been asked to give a broad presentation on one of a number of topics, like one to be shown to someone in the C-suite, and then questions follow afterwards. I seem to be much better at that, but it is rarely an adopted interview technique.

Remember who you are

Essentially, I am quite introverted though could be forceful in giving direction for technical solutions, I could concede that I am hardly the best interview candidate, I might feature in the worst decile. I find some solace in this saying often credited to Albert Einstein, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

I am a fish, I belong in the water where my gills help me acquire life-sustaining oxygen, I was a fish out of water earlier and it was death by interview, no other words could say it better.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are accepted if in context are polite and hopefully without expletives and should show a name, anonymous, would not do. Thanks.