February 27th, 2008
What Goes Through a Potential Employee’s Mind
Last week I hired an assistant. Can I legitimately still call myself a freelancer? Probably not. This gig has grown into something that any casual observer would describe as a fully functioning (albeit small) business. Well, I’ll always remember my freelance roots. I started this business on nights and weekends, and I continued to work from home for almost a year after I decided to give it my attention full-time.
So now I’m a business. I have to do big important business things, like hiring and management. I don’t mean to make it sound like a chore. I’m actually really enjoying having Jesica around to help me get more things checked off my to-do list. Hiring for this position is my first experience interviewing someone, though. It was surreal. I remember throughout the process that I was wondering what was going through the mind of each person I was interviewing. So I asked Jesica to provide a little stream of consiousness:
Job searching can be a stressful time for everyone -the job seeker, HR, their loved ones, other employees, co-workers, etc. When I started looking for a new position, I asked myself a few questions – what do I want to do, what hours do I want to work, what pay will I accept – but the ultimate question was how can I improve my resume – how can I learn what I don’t already know – new knowledge to have the rest of my life. That was my goal. So I found a position that fit most of my criteria (its all about compromise) – and it was time to interview. Everyone deals with this in his or her own way, but ultimately everyone gets anxious or nervous. I try to remember I am there because of my skills. This person was interested in my skills from reading them on a piece of paper now I just need to go into the interview and discuss in more detail those particular skills. BUT when you are sitting there getting grilled with questions, a flash of worry runs through your body – tons of thoughts start popping up – are they interested, did I answer correctly, was that too much info, that wasn’t enough, should I say that, what are they really asking…and then they are writing when you are talking – WHAT ARE THEY WRITING??? …. We have all been there…. The flickering feeling of self-doubt…. but the key thing that I always roam back to is my skills. I am there because they are interested in my skills. I try to follow a modest, logical approach – be honest, be myself, and focus on my skill set (pretty generic, I know, but frank). Them questioning you is really not much different than your parents quizzing you about your job, or your children, or your well-being – as a matter of fact – that is probably more stressful than an interview. If you can handle that with a humble attitude then you can handle any ol’ interview. I try to look at interviewing as a character building experience that helps me better find the right path for my career. If I blew this one, its experience for the next one, if I liked this one, then let it be known (send email, or tell them), if you weren’t interested, definitely let that be known too, and hopefully the honesty will be respected and go both ways.