Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In the Hot Seat

Interviews make me want to throw up.

I'm fine the day before - even the day of - but those moments while I'm driving and sitting in my car waiting to be thrust into that chair with the light bulb shining in my face...

OK, they're not that bad. But yeah... bleh.

I had a textbook interview today. Conference room, closed door, panel of five individuals firing questions right and left. They were all very personable and professional, but by the end of it, I was exhausted. The hour I spent in that room took more out of me because it was about me - and I was the one doing the selling.

Interestingly enough, my friend called me last night to help me review my interviewing skills. At first I kind of poo-poo'd him - I mean, I've been down this road more than once. I know all the standard questions and answers, right? What are your strengths? Your weaknesses? What qualities can you bring to this position? Where do you want to be five years from now?

But the more he quizzed me, the more I thought, "Wow. I've never really verbalized these answers in awhile - at least since I've turned 40." As I pondered them even more later that night, it occurred to me that we should all ask these questions of ourselves, at least every decade or so.

For example, my strengths now are a bit different - and I hope a bit stronger - than my strengths of 10 years ago. My weaknesses have ironically stayed pretty much the same. The only difference is that now I am keenly aware of them and acknowledge their place in my life as well as what I can do to offset them, whether it be looking for someone whose strength is my weakness or learning to overcome it myself.

Have you ever asked yourself, "What do I bring to this position?" I'm not talking about a sales or management job. I'm speaking of your life position - as a mother, a father, a husband, a wife, a friend, a sibling, a mentor. What is it about you that makes you good at what you do? Answer it! You may be surprised.

And how many people think of where they picture themselves five years from now? Really - the clock is ticking. What are your short-term goals, and what could you be doing now to get yourself there? Ask any hunter - you can't target what you can't see. Inquiring minds like yours want to know. What are you here for and what are your intentions?

Regardless of the outcome of this interview today, I was certainly enlightened by the people I met and the information they asked of me. And if nothing else, I answered some tough questions that gave me some insight into who I am and where I want to be.

Now that's worth sitting in the hot seat.

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