Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pegs and Interviews


I know several people who are looking for jobs.  I’m not talking careers, just a job so they can get a paycheck.  In this economy having any job is a good thing and I think that there are times where you just have to have a job to support yourself, even if it’s not your dream job.  I respect the man/woman who provides for their family by working several jobs to get by, but I don’t think this is the perpetual state we should operate within if we, as a culture/society, are to move past mere existence and into living abundantly.  I’m not limiting abundance to fiscal plenty either.  Living abundantly is a finding what you are most naturally wired or made to do, focusing on your strengths and natural abilities, and ultimately reaching your full potential.  That is the abundance I’m speaking of.  When we live abundantly we fulfill life’s purpose and are fulfilled in return.  I think about this often as I speak to my friends looking for jobs specifically when we discuss interviews.  You can find a ridiculous amount of resources on the internet about interviews tricks and tips, suggestions for how to interview well, and ways to prepare yourself so that you dominate the interview.  There aren’t many resources that I’ve seen though that offers a different approach to interviewing. 

I call this approach the peg approach.  Again, I think that making it is admirable, but at some point we must seek to thrive and move beyond simply getting by.  We’ve all seen children play with the little peg toys.  Those little boxes with certain shaped holes cut out with complementary pegs that go in each.  These toys teach children cognitive skills along with fine-motor skills.  It teaches them how to reason at a very simple level.  “It helps them see whole-part relationships, increases their visual specialawareness, and depending on the subject matter can teach them a variety oftopics.”  I realize that it’d be quite odd to see a grown man or woman sitting in their office playing with this simple children’s toy, but maybe we ought to revisit the logic it teaches so early on. 

The stress involved in an interview is interesting and intense.  So much to worry about, will they like me, will I say the right things, what if, etc etc,  Nerves get the best of a lot of folks and they end up bombing an interview and ultimately failing to show the interviewer a true sense of who they are.  Because of that we walk away feeling regret and remorse and eventually insecurity sets in.  It’s kind of a nasty cycle all caused by a random meeting between 2 strangers.  Have we forgotten the whole-part relationships and special awareness we learned when it was still acceptable to pee our pants?  You can watch a child spend much effort trying to shove a square peg into a round hole.  They exhaust themselves until they learn the true shape of the peg and place it where it belongs.  It is a simple concept in terms of this toy for us now; however the application doesn’t seem to stick with us.  Preparation for an interview is essential and something to be applauded.  Knowing the company, what they stand for, what the job will entail, and how you can contribute are all very good things to know.  More important than all of this though is be aware of yourself, preparing yourself by identifying your shape.  Yes, I do realize there are several directions I could go here with corny acronyms, but I’ll save you the torture.  If we do not recognize our shape and correlating proverbial hole we fit in we will expend and waste a lot of effort.

My advice to prepare for that interview, to knock it out of the park, be yourself, focus on being confident in what you can offer, not what you imagine they want you to say.  Let’s put round pegs in round holes, it’s child splay really, isn’t it?  

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