Interviews. I hate them. I could prepare for hours and still spout garbage when I get there.
When I am at home practising, I flow like a stream. Everything is fine. The answers melt off my tongue. My face is a candle of happiness. I’ve got this! I tell myself.
Then I get to the site. And I walk into the room. And the questions begin. Suddenly, I don’t really hear what they are saying. I wish to be anywhere else but there.
I feel uncomfortable. The only thoughts that flow through my mind is when will it end.
They keep asking more questions and my head spins. Then it’s my turn. I ask meaningless questions, my body screaming at me to get out as fast as I can.
It’s over. I leave. And I know that I did not do well and will not get the job.
At first I wondered, maybe it was the type of questions they were asking me. Maybe that was the reason why I could not respond the way I wanted.
Afterwards, I thought that perhaps it was just nervousness that was causing me to say unnecessary things. But that wasn’t it at all.
I’ve sent out countless CV’s and received few callbacks, callbacks that resulted in disaster.
Soon, I got disenchanted with the process and started looking for jobs passively. That way, I would not get my hopes high.
Then came the time of Covid. The time of the great seclusion. When the country started reopening, I started to apply for positions again. I had gotten a callback for a position I had applied for and they wanted to do the interview via Zoom.
I was very pleased with this arrangement. Not having to leave the house was a benefit to me. I believed that I should at least do better at this interview since I would be in my comfort zone.
Alas! It was not to be.
It seemed that more nonsense came forth from my mouth. I then realised that something else was the problem. But what?
Later, I chatted with my nefarious half, and he suggested that maybe I was not focused. Maybe I did not have clear cut goals and aspirations.
I pondered upon it. I thought that was it. But it wasn’t.
And then it hit me. Just as the realisation that Aramis from my meowkateers was a girl, I realised the cause of my problem.
The truth is I was uncomfortable talking about myself. I never realised it until now. So I had to dig deeper. Why was I uncomfortable talking about myself?
Throughout my life, whenever I tried to talk about myself or what went on in my life, no one listened. After analysing these repeated events, I came to the conclusion that I did not matter.
I stopped talking to everyone and withdrew deep into myself. If people asked how I was doing, I would give a short response and then deflect the topic to something else.
Interviews, therefore, make me uncomfortable because I have to talk about myself, which is difficult for me.
What about my previous jobs you ask? Strangely enough, most, if not all of my previous jobs did not require me to go through a formal interview. And no, it wasn’t any “pull-strings” or nepotism that got me the interview. I sent in my application, hoped for the best and they called.
Then, it was more like I meet the person in charge, they tell me what they want and expect, I affirm and then I report for duty. And it works out. No inquisition; happy me.
So now that I have figured out my problem and its source, I have to try to fix it. That is going to be a challenge. It is not going to be easy to undo this behaviour that I have cultivated for many, many moons.
I think that I may have an idea how I can overcome this but people may think I am a bit crazy. But most people already think that so I’ll be living up to my reputation.
Let me see if trying this strategy that I have come up with will help me do better going forward.
P.S. Aramis was from a litter of kittens that was born in the yard on Ash Wednesday of this year to a stray cat. Since there were three of them, I named them Athos, Porthos and Aramis aka the Meowkateers. At the time, I couldn’t distinguish their sexes but I assumed they were all boys. It was only when they turned four weeks old, I realised Aramis, was in fact, a girl.