Interview Preparation

When I went for my first job interview, eleven years ago, I thought that I would just go answer some questions and they’d give me the job. That is totally untrue.

The interview is actually a way of weeding people out. The questions they ask are usually these BS HR style questions that are just there to see if you practiced answering BS HR questions. The answers are actually pretty surprising. For example, when they ask you about yourself, they don’t care about you. They actually want your work history and how it relates to the job in question. Why don’t they ask normal questions? Because the working world is like a secret cult where it’s up to you to figure out the answers.

Reading HR blogs has been good for me. I have learned some highly disturbing things about HR people. Many of them had the same mentality as the “cool kids” in high school had. It’s all about who’s in and who’s out. It’s all based on keeping up with empty appearances and following empty gestures and rituals.

However, unless you have friends or family to help you out, you have no way of knowing this. Luckily I was smart enough to marry someone who would coach me on my interviewing skills.

At her suggestion, I got a list of common interviewing questions and wrote down the answers. It was like doing a bunch of mini-essays. I heard that the most effective answers are the ones that tell a cute little anecdote. The best way to craft these is to take a flashback to the Reagan presidency when he would answer all his questions. Reagan could get hired for anything.

The surprising thing was how absurdly bad the answers were in the book. I’m not yet an HR expert, but I could tell how horrible these little blobs of text were. I can’t believe these phonies sell books on how to interview people that are so bad.

Their interview answers were highly generic, cold, and empty. At least I’m not going to make this mistake. An example asking the person to compare their oral skill vs. their written skills. The answer basically said, “I’m good at both.” Yea, I’m great at everything. Bullshit. I know that they expect something a bit more substantial. One of them even suggested to present themselves as “highly competitive”. Do these morons even think about what competition means? The competitive people I knew were liars and cheaters. This answer would be the kiss of death for me. I want to work with people who cooperate with me, not those who are trying to let the air out of my tires. I want to work with hard workers which is much different than those who think that they can scam their way through the work day.

To avoid poor answers in my interview, I have been continuously answering the same questions over and over again in front of my wife. Also, I rehearsed some of my answers like it was a part in a play. I found that my answers sucked, but they got a better over time.

These days, all the best jobs in every field seem to go to the best actor. For example on TV who were the most respected people in finance? Those who told the people what they wanted to hear. The ones that actually predicted the economic collapse were mocked. The shit heads that sucked up to the TV people lost their employers a great deal of money.

I’d rather have the right answers even if it means being mocked. That’s because if I lie, I’ll get the wrong kind of job, and I don’t want to do that again. I will, however, give them the secret insiders hand shake. If only I can figure it out.


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