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Be true to yourself and ace that job interview


Be true to yourself and ace that job interview

Vulnerability is... worrying if they'll like / hire / marry / call / promote you.

Do you want to ace that job interview?

Here are 5 simple steps, written from my NF perspective:

1. Know yourself

If you're not sure where or how to start thinking about your strengths and skills, there are plenty of assessments that can help. Please please please always talk with a certified professional to debrief the results and don't just believe everything you read black-on-white.

Email me for any of these, investment is about $120 to $150 for extensive material and debrief:

Myers-Briggs MBTI(r)



Thomas Kilman Conflict Mode Instrument TKI


or try

StandOut - $15

Strengthsfinder 2.0 - $9.99

Strengthsfinder 2.0 can be analyzed in combination with the MBTI(r) tool, again, email me if you're interested in a thorough conversation.

2. Only apply for jobs you truly want to do

Yes, we all live in the real world and have bills to pay.

It's also true that what the world needs is happy. You'll be a better leader if what you do makes you happy. You'll have more energy at home to care for the people you love when you're happy. If criticizing and gossiping and bad vibes make you happy, give it a couple sessions with a shrink to see if you're not actually compensating your shitty childhood. You can defend your country and protect your community from a balanced happy place without playing into the tough-guy stereotypes. I dare you.

3. Get clear on what you need

Know your expectations for salary, benefits, work environment, team work, and individual freedom, and be prepared to discuss them. Be equally clear on what environment you want to work in. Does your ideal company have community outreach, charity components, a people policy? Does the industry align with your values? Will you be proud to hand over your business card for them? You'll make it easier for the HR rep and hiring manager to say "yes" to you when they get the feeling you know what you're getting into.

4. Research the company

At the very least, know their facts, figures, values, vision, mission, major portfolio and competitors. You'll stand out, because you'll be able to knowledgeably discuss what's happening in the industry and the challenges they're facing. It's not just what they can do for you, it's also what you can do for them. You'll get the vocabulary to describe your skills and contributions in a non-sucky way from Step 1.

5. Be yourself

Go in and have a conversation. By consciously acting and showing them what you think they want to see, telling them what you think they want to hear, you are making yourself vulnerable. You are placing your own worth and value on a lower level - theirs is more important. Don't fall into that trap, no matter how seductive. Show up. Be yourself. Dare greatly! If they hire you based on a show, you'll have to keep performing and risk feeling like a fraud.

OK, that last one is geared towards FJs, those of us who lead with extraverted Feeling, because we tend to adapt to our surroundings and the people we're with. I've done that in jobs and relationships too many times, and am here to share it's not sustainable in the long run.

Other advice you have? Leave a comment!

Image by photologue_np, Flickr, Creative Commons License.


The Self


The Self

I noticed in my blog statistics recently that a number of search engines pointed people towards one specific article I wrote back in January, called "Step 2 - Accept myself". I think it's great that you guys are looking up information about self-acceptance, because in my opinion accepting oneself is the basis for creating peaceful relationships with others around us. Let me take this opportunity then and talk some more about "the self" - what it could mean, how it might work, and some questions you can answer for yourself to support your definition.

In that article from January I mentioned the importance of accepting one's body, facing weight issues, and educating oneself as well as the next generation to make sure we can grow up and grow old in good health. When it comes to your self, there's more to you than just your body though. There's your mind, your reason, your feelings, your personality, your behavior, your beliefs, your values, some people even believe in a soul or essence. As part of an exercise I did with my own coach a few years ago, I gathered a number of words and concepts dealing with the self and my perception of it. I'll share some of them as an example and invite you to see what ideas you have of them and what other words you can think of. They are, in no particular order: self-confidence, self-reliance, self-pity, self-employed, self-explanatory, self-doubt, self-display, self-adjusting, self-conscious, self-imposed.

I read an article about how to be your authentic self in Psychology Today's issue of June 2008. It talks of self-recognition, self-esteem, self-awareness, amongst others, and core self. If offers explanations according to leading psychologists and eight tips on how to live with authenticity.

There's a step that comes before authenticity though, because how can you be authentic if you're not sure who you are, what values and beliefs you are being authentic to? But at the same time, you also have to look outward, because how can you accept yourself for who you are when you're not sure where to draw the lines of what is unacceptable? Who gets to decide about what fits in those lines, anyway? Therein lies the beauty and frustration, my dears, since we're all such unique individuals, we all have a different take on things. Finding the balance between what we want and need to do in order to be happy and live fully, while respecting our friends and neighbors is the name of the game.

I'm still finding my way as I go and have come to terms with that. No need to know it all in advance, there's room for improvisation if needed. I'm happy believing that every single person has the power to decide who they want to be by adjusting their attitude, their mindset, and their behavior. I also believe that if you find yourself surrounded by people who do not share your beliefs and values, you are free to make a choice and move, take yourself out of a negative environment. In an ideal world, it's anybody's call to choose between living up to someone else's expectation or define their life for themselves. You have everything you need inside of you. This, by the way, is one reason why I love coaching: I don't advise people, I accompany them on their journey to find out what works for them.

So, can you be authentic if you follow someone else's advice? And how authentic is our life really when most of us consume the same cola-brand, use the same phone, listen to the same CDs, and watch the same movies?

I don't know, what do YOU think?

Til next time, have a good week!

Image by Flower's. Lover, Flickr, Creative Commons License.