Monday, September 18, 2006

My Interviewing Weakness

As I face the task of finding a new job, I have been thinking about the process and thinking about how I do in that process. I have come to some conclusions which are not surprising, but which have been enlightening as I approach this.

Because of my personality I have an uncanny knack for escaping the notice of other people. I know this "skill" would be bothersome for many people but it works for me. I have no internal need to be noticed by others. While I was talking to Laura about the process of getting a job she articulated the problem I face by going unnoticed when looking for a job. When it comes time to interview I am apt to leave no impression on the people who interview me.

The problem is that an interview can only give a very small snapshot of a person. It also happens to be a time when every potential candidate is trying to show themselves at their best. I'm like every other candidate in that regard, but I seem to be unable to put on a face that leaves a noticeable impression.

Those people who have the chance to get to know me are able to see that I am capable and dependable etc. (Many of the same things that a potential employer would like to know.) Unfortunately, an interview seems completely insufficient to let an employer see that I do posses the qualities they would like to have in an employee. Instead they are likely to barely remember that they did, in fact, interview a "David Miller" for the position. They will not remember me for having made a bad impression, but they will not remember a good impression either. After the interview they are left with the same impression of me that they had before the interview, which impression is based entirely upon a resume which has only one year of experience outside of work I did as a student.

Functionally, the problem of leaving no impression during an interview translates into me having little chance of landing anything better than a mediocre job. As I said when I posted what I wanted, I am looking for a job that challenges me and gives me the chance to make a positive impact. I doubt that any mediacre job would offer that kind of a situation.

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