Friday, May 28, 2010

Honest experience

I came across this post before the interview, back when I was prepping during my lunch hour at work and after I got home from work and whenever I had a spare minute.  When you're getting ready for a job interview, you always have to prepare for the questions about your weaknesses, mistakes, and difficulties, and you have to face those and figure out how they have benefited you.  Sometimes, you can really see God's hand at work, but only if you're looking.  Most of the time, you just want to look away from your mistakes, as if acknowledging them makes you weaker, as if working through them doesn't make you stronger.

      "The truth is, though, he could have all the faith in God he wanted, but if he really wanted confidence as a public speaker, he’d need some hours. God wasn’t going to grant him confidence. Even Moses had absolutely no confidence. And God even stopped the mans stutter. It was experience that gave Moses confidence.
      "The funny thing is, if you wanted to be a locksmith or a plumber or a cab driver, you’d never pray and ask God to magically give you the ability. That’s not how God designed life. But in those fuzzy areas of emotions, we suddenly believe God is going to act like a magician.
      . . . "The truth is, if you do the work and gain the experience, you’ll have more confidence because you’ll actually know what you’re doing, and you will have spent some great time with God."  - Donald Miller

I really didn't have a lot of confidence going into this interview.  I don't have the experience they want.  All my skills are rusty.  I'm crippled by pain physically and mentally.  I don't actually know if I have what it takes to do this job.  It will be a miracle if I get the job and an even bigger miracle if I can keep it.  But a job interview is no place to be honest, which is another reason I struggle with them.

I figure interviewers ask questions about your weaknesses and struggles because they genuinely want to know what it will be like to work with you, but that's the last thing you're supposed to tell them.  You're supposed to play judo games with their heads and make them think you're an impossibly positive polyanna.  It's lying.  It's acting a role.  It feels awful.  I'm really good at it.  I've always been able to fake confidence.  It comes from experience.

I would like to take this opportunity to hope that the interviewers are more honest with the job-seekers when replying to their questions because I would hate to go enthusiastically into a job only to find out they were putting a positive spin on everything the same way the job-seekers are supposed to.  Something seems wrong, there.  The people I interviewed with were pretty forthcoming and even-handed, which I appreciated.  I just wish I'd been able to return the favor. 

I wonder, if a miracle happens and I do get this job, if I'll be able to live up to their expectations of me.  The real, daily grind me is much less dazzling.  Turning on the full force of my personality like that is impossibly exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.  I can put on a great show for a short time.

Is that a form of trust in God or another way I'm lying to myself?

1 comment:

  1. For whatever it's worth... I can't help wondering whether job interviewing just has its own language and standards compared to other things. Everything you say should have a basis in reality, or you would be lying, but interviewers have got to know that job candidates are putting their best feet forward. So, I'm sure they take it with a grain of salt, and I guess the important thing to do is to represent yourself as accurately as possible, adjusted for the interview environment, so that they'll get the most accurate picture of you, after they adjust for the interview environment. And I'm pretty sure interviewers do the exact same thing a lot of the time, making the job out to be better than it is. Some of them are probably tired of working there, but of course, when you want the job it's gonna sound like heaven and you want to eat it up. But they also want to feel like they're getting a great candidate, so they want to be buttered up a bit or what have you.

    All that's to say, I'm not sure it's as cut and dry as "being honest" vs. "misrepresenting oneself" since the interview language & expectations are so peculiar.