Every so often I feel like I've had an epiphany. They are probably just momentary insights that feel more impressive than they actually are, but for me they can mean a great deal.
I had one today.
While contemplating an upcoming interview for a promotion and job change at work, I found myself filled with terrible fears and feelings of inadequacy. Historically, my approach in these situations has been to fill my life with stress and anxiety all through the preparation and actual interview process. I consider the interviewer and try to analyze what they will be looking for. I consider my own experiences and try to tailor them to the needs I am perceiving this hiring manager wants to hear. I convince myself which examples I should use and which ones I have to avoid, because they don't fit my preconceived notions of what the interviewer is hoping to hear.
Today I came to the realization that I've been approaching these the wrong way ... for years!
My "epiphany" is this: just be me.
It is not my responsibility to understand or try to conceptualize what this interviewer is looking for. Sure it is good to have a general idea of what applies and what is irrelevant, but I've been WAY overthinking things. The interviewer needs to get to know ME in the interview, not some highlighted version of what I have been or could be some of the time. Sure that might enhance my chances of landing the job, but then I might be the wrong candidate for the role ... and if that happens then we'll all regret it later.
No, I need to just be ME.
I need to convey who I am, what things I am passionate about, what MY vision of the role is, and where I feel I am perfectly suited to help bring about changes in the group. THEN, if my vision and that of the hiring manager are aligned, I'll be the "perfect choice" and there should be no worry about whether I got the job or not. How could I not? BUT if who I am isn't the right fit for that role, they will go a different direction ... and why does that have to be a bad thing? It isn't. I'd be miserable in the role if what I envisioned it to be was changed. And I'd be disappointing to those I am working with and for if I promised to be something that I really am not.
This change in approach has left me feeling VERY peaceful regarding the upcoming interview ... because the only pressure on me is to be ME and make sure the interviewer knows who I am and my skills. If I get the job, then I was the right fit. If not, I'm still a great person with great skills, they are just suited for something other than this role at this time.
Song Of The Day:
Although his style has changed over the decades, I've always enjoyed Phil Collins' music. On his Testify CD, he has a song titled "Thru My Eyes" which I immediately loved. I picked that song for today's post thinking about the perspective of the interviewer. If I, as a candidate, during the interview, can truly convey my approach to things, then they will be much better equipped to make the right hiring decision because they will be able to see the role through my eyes. This will either reinforce that what they were looking for is a shared vision, or it may open up their eyes to different perspectives on how the role could be fulfilled.