Why do we want to portray ourselves as a different person in front of others and our (potential) future employers?
More importantly, why do we put on these façades? We will be good and kind and generous to total strangers and will go out of the way to help them – wearing a façade of being an extremely good person. Yet – we will be our carping, critical, grumpy selves with those whom we love the most in our lives – this being our true character in this context – I presume!
The actual core of the matter is that rarely will people accept us the way we are – in totality. None of us are purely bad and purely good. We are all a good robust mix of several shades of grey and blue and black and red and yellow and green and blue too. Each colour represents some positive and/or negative trait too – just FYI!
In our professional sphere – certain prime traits are required. A certain ambience and a certain atmosphere has been clearly created for this very purpose. And it is under this kind of ambience and infrastructure, that the traits that are required and are embedded within us surface and emerge out of our minds and hearts.
Just watch the way the entire character of the person changes when he or she starts getting dressed up for work. Their minds and hearts are already working and racing. They are prioritizing their tasks in their minds and hearts and the day has already begun for them when the official calls start beeping and tinkling on their phones. Crisp concise language is used when they take an official call at home, the brow is furrowed with concentration and the entire body has become tense with alertness ….and they have mentally and emotionally zoomed the entire family out of their minds for that span of time.
Just watch the way this very same person changes when he/she is on his/her way home. The pace is slow and relaxed, the brow is etched with exhaustion but there is a feeling of peace and relief there. They simply toss their shoes aside and the first thing they do is change out of their official gear and put up their feet on the sofa. Home – sweet home – their entire body language says………this is where I can be myself – my carping, critical, teasing and appreciative selfJ! This is my family – and here I am accepted at all levels.
And it is when we step out of this comfort zone and face the real world that we realize the difference between family and profession/business.
We wonder if we have all those traits. We wonder what those traits are. We don’t even know about most of the traits that our prospective employers are looking for. We go all dressed up in our best professional outfit – and we find that the ambience of the organization is a casual one. We may want to dress up casually but wonder what our future potential employers will think – Does he really want that job? Just look at that pair of jeans and that T shirt? So we will quickly change our outfit with clammy sweaty hands!
Here are some recommendations for youngsters who are on the verge of appearing for several such interviews:
- Take it all in your stride! This is a part and parcel of real life learning.
- You will not find this kind of learning between the pages of any book that endows you with knowledge!
- So reflect on each failed interview – and see the intangible things that you have learned from the entire experience.
- With every interview that you appear for – you will gain some confidence.
- The initial fear – which is quite justified – will lead to a scenario – when you stop expecting a job at the end of the interview.
- Your entire focus will be on overcoming your nervousness.
- You just want to prove to the entire panel – that you are not a mumbling dumb fool.
- You will feel happy when you say what you truly feel and think – whether it is related to your subject or about any other aspect of your life.
- You will not feel guilty to say that you have no experience.
- You are willing to learn.
- You accept the fact that you are a green horn and practical knowledge and bookish knowledge are two completely different aspects of job scenario.
- You learn the really hard way – but you learn it well – you learn not to pin all your hopes on one particular job. The company profile may be good, you may yearn for a chance to prove yourself in this kind of a reputed company – you will be happy if you get such a great job – but it is also perfectly fine if you don’t get it.
- You will not dismiss the sense of personal failure when you get absolutely no response from the organizations that interviewed you. You will feel sad; will wonder if all the academic slogging was worth it and you will feel dejected and disappointed.
- But, instead of simply shrugging if off – you learn to introspect and refine your traits.
- You learn to lower your expectations, be humble and realize that all those fancy degrees that adorn your portfolio are not enough to land a job – and they are looking for more than just bookish knowledge.
- You focus on improving your personality traits – and consciously work on changing your weaknesses into strengths.
- Never for the sake of just landing a job – should you ever project a façade to the interview panel.
- Sooner rather than later – they will call your bluff and a tainted reputation has the knack of going round the market faster than good work.
- So – a sincere strong recommendation from our experience would be – refrain from lying, cheating or duping the interview panel with false details or projecting yourself as a person who you basically are not.
There was this boy whom I interviewed (mock interview). I just checked out his resume and asked him where he had done his internship and what he had learned from his internship.
- He gave me the name of a bank and gave me a list of qualities that he felt he had learned. I asked him who the manager of that bank was. He gave me a name.
- I waited patiently for the mock interview to get over – then asked him the bank manager’s name again. He repeated the same name that he had given earlier. I told him not to lie in any interview at all. The bank manager of that bank was my husband.
- He had given me the name of the department head thinking that he would never be caught with his lie. He simply assumed that we would never realize that he was lying because we would never crosscheck the name he had given.
- He had just wanted to impress the interview panel by saying that he had interacted with the senior most banking people – and had failed miserably.
- Another real life instance – is where a person was employed in the bank for almost 6 months and he was fired one fine day – because he had fudged his documents.
- He had been jobless for a short while. He was finding it difficult to get a job due to this reason. So he simply changed the dates of his work tenure and work experience certificate. Needless to say – the HR did double check all the documents – and he was fired with immediate effect.
Fear – can be channelized constructively or used negatively. While most interview panellists accept a little nervousness and overlook it – they can immediately sense that you are trying to hide something. They are astute enough to make an accurate judgement about the kind of person you basically are. They know – that with a little time and training you will prove to be an asset to their organization. But honesty is prime. It takes courage to simply say – I don’t know. It takes courage to simply accept the fact that you are scared of your first interview. It takes a whole lot of courage to face a panel of seasoned experts and answer them coolly and collectedly.
But it takes a lot of foolish courage to lie and cheat and project yourself as a person you are not. Do this at your own peril!