She too arrived early for the most important interview of her career. Her mind raced during the overwhelming drive to the stately building. No meditation training helped ease the anxiety, which bled onto the receptionist’s desk. “H-H-Hi, I’m here for an interview with,” she checked her paperwork, “M-Marissa Desta and… Z-Zheng Harper.” “Yes. Can I see your ID, miss?” After blundering through innocent answers, she had a temporary badge, and a seat by the window.
“OK, Jane. We have time for one more question.”
“What’s the successful candidate look like in this role? What should I focus on to prevent myself from being unsuccessful?”
“Well, lemme tell you about the old guy. What a lazy bum! Couldn’t do nothing! He couldn’t understand anything we’d give ‘im! We’d tell him repeatedly how to do his assigned work and he’d seem to just forget! Stay away from the guy you are replacing!”
Jane’s last day into that misaligned technical role ended innocuously. She received two paid weeks to look for work matching her career scope. Other than assisting as she could within her skillset, that time was spent job hunting. Time to go. She went to her lead’s office.
“Any prospects lined up?”
“Nothing solid. I have two interviews lined up soon.”
“I’m so sorry this happened to you. You have my contact information. Stay in touch!”
I think we fear interviews because of uncertainties. There are infinite factors outside of our control, and remember to “relax, nothing is under control.” What might be under your control? Yourself! Control your physical fitness by resting, eating well, staying hydrated, and arriving early. Control your mental fitness by finding something humorous to enjoy beforehand. Control the interview by preparing yourself with one flexible story that you can build on throughout the conversation. Here’s mine:
Jane’s first day back into a technical role began innocently. After meet-and-greets, her lead rambled through materials far above anything in her career scope, occasionally speaking another technical language. After realizing she was overwhelmed, she found an opening:
“Hey, umm… Gayle.”
“Oh, have a question about how I configured the Scribewise 88620 ports?”
“Yeah. I… didn’t understand any of that.”
“Yeah, I troubleshoot primarily Wilesware computers with customers.”
“Oh. Dear. You’re in the wrong job.”
If April Fools’s is our way to avoid taking life so seriously, what functions similarly in “The Story,” especially focusing on stress/destressing? Expanding outside of holidays, what comedy is popular, unpopular, and more important: what types of comedy do John (right) and Trishna (background) enjoy? John is a more serious individual. Does he enjoy sitcoms? Does Trishna amuse herself with punny jokes? Is silly Pollyanna (foreground) worth her weight in dog treats as a comedian?
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (personality considerations, character-building) WANNA READ ABOUT HOW COMEDY IS ACTUALLY A GREAT CHARACTER-BUILDING EXERCISE? WHAT HUMORS YOUR CHARACTERS IS ACTUALLY KIND OF INSIGHTFUL. CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
“Thanks for meeting with me today, Jane.”
“Before we begin, would you like any coffee, water, or tea?”
“No, I’m good. Much appreciated.”
“So I’m looking to help out our lead on the team. The successful candidate will do what she thinks is best to complete the work as quickly as possible. Is that something you’re willing and able to do quickly?”
“Yes. I adapt quickly!”
“Good, good. How soon can you start?”