In a job search, you want to show the best version of yourself without seeming like you’re trying too hard. Answering questions in an interview is like being on a game show. You’re excited to be there but now you’re on a stage, without help, just hoping that your answers are the right ones. You carefully tell the stories that (you think) will show your competence, compassion, good judgement and humor. And the whole thing feels strange, because in almost any other circumstances, talking about yourself this much is just rude.
At the same time, a job search is about establishing a relationship that will be mutually beneficial. You don’t want just any job – you want the right one. One you can do well, and one where you really have something to offer. So you have to try to get a good picture of other people, who are also putting their best faces forward. Is this a solid company? Are there people here that you would like? Would they like you? Would you be proud to work there? Can you imagine being there for a while? In short, is this a fit?
The whole thing is uncomfortably like dating, which I didn’t really enjoy and stopped doing years and years ago, thank god. When else do you put so much of yourself on the line for strangers, with the hope that the strangers may become something more?
I’ve decided that the right strategy is really the only strategy I have at this stage in my life: honesty. The choice to err on the side of too much information shared. The last thing I want to do is fluff or fake my way into a position that may not be the right one. So I’m out there being as straightforward as possible, and trusting that I’ll be offered relatively unvarnished truth in return.
So far, so good, I think.