When I received the invitation, my heart started to beat very fast. I was very happy.
Then my blood pressure went high and I felt a knot in my stomach. I needed to prepare. And I prepared hard. I knew my CV inside out. I matched my skills with the job description. I was ready to answer about 30 interview questions. I even filmed myself. All great.
In the middle of the night, I couldn't sleep. My body was still sending me messages. My backache was telling me that I was putting too much pressure on myself. I used my favourite PNL techniques to build up resources and visualize the situation. I called my inner strength and confidence. All great.
3 hours before the interview, I was ready. All dressed up corporate style, impeccable. Connected, determined. As I arrived on the premises I could sense people turning to look at me and I could feel the impact my energy was making around me.
The interview was far from what I expected. It was a challenge from the beginning to the end. I was traumatised.
Of course, I remained calm and I answered all the questions and I switched languages smoothly. But there were two things that bothered me. Firstly, the how-can-we-nail-you questions, how can we confuse you so that you answer "wrong" and we have a reason to eliminate you. Secondly, this very strong sense of being on the spot. Being observed. Being judged. This is all about our ego which doesn't like to be compared to anyone.
Well, it goes both ways. If you are observing my eye contact, the firmness of my handshaking and the size of my smile, can I let you know that I am observing you too. You are not looking at me in the eye long enough and your handshaking is not firm enough. As for your smile, it kind of showed towards the end. And you can get away with it, because you have the interviewer's status.
I expect people to hire human beings, not task-oriented robots. I expect people to, first of all, establish connection. Yes, it is important to keep a record of what I am saying and how I am saying it. But put the pen down for a few minutes and look at me. I know hard skills are important. But are we compatible to work together?
This interview system is getting obsolete. We need a fresh interview system where people don't feel terrorised but are really encouraged to establish relationships and bring the best out of themselves; hard skills, soft skills, crazy skills. Through a win-win approach. Stop calling it a "job interview" and call it something else: set it up in the morning, bring coffee and croissants and call it "candidates' breakfast". Change the setting: bring a couple of funky sofas (while respecting the budget, of course) and everyone will feel more relaxed (and will express themselves more effectively). Maybe the new generation has some creative ideas about this?
Looking back, I know that I need to keep listening to the messages my body is sending me. I know that I need to take more distance and ask myself the question: is this job for me, really? I know that if I receive a job offer, I have the choice to accept it or not.
How did you feel during your last interview?
What did you learn from your last interview?