My partner has an interview today.
And I sit writing this at 3 am because I do like to ponder things late into the night.
No, actually it’s because I clearly have insomnia and am trying a variety of strategies to overcome it.
So we were sat on the bed doing a mock interview and I began to think how weird interviews can be. And I didn’t think this with any negativity really, I just thought how strange that we play these roles. In a formal interview you sit in a room and act unnaturally for thirty minutes whilst one or more people observe that behaviour and decide whether you’re good enough to spend 8 hours a day with. And you must speak using the STAR structure. Google that if you don’t know it by the way, it’s useful shit.
And you might be thinking I’m having a bit of a moan. But the truth is… I love interviews. I was a giddy motherfucker during our little practice. I had to stop myself interrupting him and trying to fix his answers. I just love it. But I was good. I focused on him and gave him a little feedback but more encouragement. And I sent him off to bed and then secretly fantasised about doing his interview instead of him. And I definitely don’t care about the job. I just see an interview as sport. It’s a mental game.
And I don’t think it lacks genuineness.
It might appear that having to respond using a STAR structure or to answer these pre-set questions is not a good way to really get to know a person. You have value. You have thoughts and ideas and being assessed in this highly strung way and being judged by these strangers can make anyone nervy.
But these are the thoughts a teenager has as they twirl through the joys of self-discovery. I think interviews, whilst nerve-wracking, are at their heart our attempt to be fair. Not yet successful but striving to be so. The questions are formulaic so we all get asked the same thing. No inappropriate questions asked due to ignorance. There is a panel so nobody can be a shithead. There isn’t much joking around and giggling because you’re more likely to get along with someone who is more like you, and if you only hire people who are like you…
But it’s not perfect, I appreciate that. And I haven’t always done great in them. But they excite me.
I think I like that they try to be fair, logical and structured ways to get to know such specific aspects of a person. It seems so shortsighted in a way but it’s what we, as humans, have come up with. It’s kinda cute. But it does mean you gotta play the game. So yes, research the company, master the STAR, think up your anecdotes and dress up your demeanor.
Until we find something better just… play the game.
And good luck.
What do you think about interviews?
Share your thoughts and emotions below.
Or join my mailing list. I post irregularly because employment. I promise I don’t have time to spam you.
Or read some recent posts that I am quite proud of:
- My senior cat’s daily routine (includes monster poos and dog beds)5 minutes of descriptive prose of my new cat’s first week with me.
- the Olympics is when I revel in my ignorance of all sports.800 words of confused Olympic joy.
- Do you ignore your tea until it gets cold?3 min quickie about when your tea goes cold. Heavy journalistic stuff. Proceed with caution.
- I took a week off work, but it didn’t change my life.5 min read about expecting too much from yourself because #alwaysbehustlin’
- My Sunday evening: doomscrolling, taking offense and yogaQuickie 2 min read about that dread you feel every Sunday evening.