Those of you who follow me on twitter will know that this week has been a very busy week for me in the interview department. I was down in London on Tuesday and Thursday, and topped up the total number of interview to four, by having two in Manchester on Wednesday and Friday.
Interviews are a great opportunity for not only my perspective employer to find out about me, but also provide me with the opportunity to find out more about my employer.
I have touched on different styles of employers out there in this past month and has become more and more apparent over the past month when I have attended over half a dozen interviews how important it is for both the employer to want you, and you to want to work for the employer.
As population that is going to be spending more time at work that our predecessors, partly due to the fact that the pension age is rising and we are living older, the two need to be right for one another right from the off.
Naturally with this handful of interviews under my belt I have seen that the styles of both Alan Sugar, and Nev Wilshire do exist in real life, which perhaps comes as no surprise to me. What does surprise me is that people will change who they are to such an extent that they are a completely different person, to be offered that job.
On the one hand I fully understand where they are coming from. Everyone has been going on about the recession and how there are no jobs out there – so yes it is a predicament that people who require a job are going to do what they can to get it.
But on the other hand I have no idea where they are coming from. Why change who you are to make someone else happy, but yourself miserable? You should have confidence in being yourself in these interview situations and at work that people will hire you for who you are, and not who you pretend to be!
During some of these interviews I have been asked challenging questions, ranging from ‘Who is more important, a nurse or a soldier?’ to ‘Who is your biggest role model?’ and even ‘Which business person would you want to be compared to, and which business man would you not want to be compared to?‘.
So the first two questions are perhaps the safest to answer. For the record I did take the safe route for the first one and said they are both naturally important and then backed it up with examples of defending our liberty and taking care of those in need; and for the second question I said my parents (typical probably, but also true).
The third one is where you have the ability to either tell people what they want to hear, or tell people the answer you believe in. For instance typical answers include Steve Jobs, Bill Gates but then reasons as for giving those as answers are a bit somewhat hashed. I went for Sir Richard Branson. Like me he is Dyslexic, found school a bit challenging but still followed his gut, did what he could and did it incredibly well.
For the second part of the third question the danger to play it safe is even more apparent, typical answers include ‘Oh I don’t think there is such a thing as a bad businessman.’ Well that shows two things, firstly you don’t have an opinion, and secondly you wont stand up for what you believe is true.
The response which I gave for the second half was Alan Sugar, and would no doubt not surprise anyone who knows me. What did however surprise me was the fact that the every one of those interviewing me actually agreed with me!
Whilst the debate as to whether Alan Sugar is a good businessman and looks after his staff et al is perhaps one for another day, the truth is that if I hadn’t had the guts to speak what I believed to be true I wouldn’t have known that both my employer and I shared even more common ground, and if you can back it up with a reasoned argument (which I did), then you demonstrate more to those interviewing you than you would do if you had just given an answer right out of a textbook.
I am going to finish this post of with a quote by Kurt Cobain which speaks volumes.
“Id rather be hated for who I am that loved for who I’m not”