Interviews…. I don’t like them and I certainly don’t shine in that kind of environment. (I had my first major panic attack in an interview, so go figure.) I think it’s because all eyes are on me. I’m the one being judged, there’s no team to hide behind and no social atmosphere in which I can disappear. It’s literally a case of; are you good enough or not? Will you fit in or not? Do we like you or not? These kinds of questions turn my stomach because they remind me of school, (not an experience I care to repeat.) In a nutshell, I dislike interviews because I’m insecure and don’t enjoy talking about myself.
Also as a perfectionist these kind of situations can be very dangerous for me, because rather than being myself I strive to be exactly what the interviewer is looking for. That’s something my dad instilled into me actually (through no fault of his own.) You have to match the job spec, you need to tick every box, you have to convince them to choose you by not making any mistakes. I’m starting to wonder how accurate these statements actually are. To a certain extent I think it’s important to be in line with what the recruiter wants, but how far do you go? I prefer honestly over perfection (in other people, not myself) because it makes us more human. However, in an interview I want and try to be perfect in every single way (which is not only impossible, but exhausting.) My idea of preparation is to write down every possible question I can think of that might come up (there’s around 25) and rehearse my answers line by line. No wonder I freaked out before my last interview, I literally drove myself crazy.
So, what to do? I recently read an article on the importance of ‘getting to know yourself’ (I know, naffest thing I’ve ever said.) But perhaps this might be a good place to start? Perhaps if I took some time to work out who I actually am, rather than morphing into whatever job spec I’m reading, then maybe I’ll begin to feel more comfortable? Now… I don’t mean go on a solo camping trip in the desert with nothing but a mirror and some organic tomatoes to sustain me. I mean make the time to do something that I never do.. write down a list of positives about myself. What am I actually good at? What personality traits do I have? What do I enjoy? What are the good things in my life? The idea of writing this is already making me shudder because it feels so unnatural and self-indulgent. In contrast, if you ask me to list my flaws and the things I’m completely shit at, then I could list them on my fingers easily. It’s really quite sad when you think about it. Why are we so horrible to ourselves? Do we really deserve to be dragged through the mud every day?
A friend once told me; “there aren’t many people in life who’ll be on your side, so you better bloody had be!” – Be on your side.. I like it. Everyone can make 15 minutes to spend on themselves I’m sure.
Split the task into 4 sections:
1. What am I good at? E.g. Keeping things organise, solving problems, listening, drawing, cooking, etc..
2. What positive personality traits do I have? E.g. Patient, generous, fun etc..
3. What aspects of my current job/situation do I enjoy? E.g. Talking to customers, designing presentations, playing with my kids etc..
4. What are the positives in my life? E.g. Close family, health, friends, financial security etc..
Lets all be cheesy and get to know ourselves better!