October 8, 2021 – The Thirty-Fifth Official Friday Night BeerBlog
After 20 years, and probably even longer, I had a job interview this week. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve done over 30 separate interviews myself for The New Old You podcast in the last 9 months or all of the coaching that I’ve given Cate on how to research for an interview, but I wasn’t nervous at all.
Now there could be several reasons for that. First, I am totally qualified for the job, at least I THINK I am, maybe even overqualified. Second, the aforementioned interviewing I’ve been doing. And Third, probably the biggest, is that I’m just grateful, now matter if I’m qualified or not, that someone actually looked at my resume, at my age, and granted me an interview.
Now I could go into all kinds of directions on ageism in the job search and how I am starting to experience it, but not today. This blog is about me and my experience in this interview.
Interviewing At 50…ish
I’ve been applying to jobs, all kinds of jobs, for over a year and this is the FIRST interview that I’ve gotten, so I should have been nervous. When I tried to imagine what they may ask me, I had no idea. The best advice I got from those around me was “Just be yourself.” Okay, noted. That meant that I wasn’t going to really prepare any preconceived answers to normal interview questions. I decided that I know me and my experience better than anyone and I think it’s a pretty good story, so I was going to share that.
And I did. You know how you feel when you have one of those out of body experiences? Like you are outside of yourself, looking down, and listening to this person that looks exactly like you speaking? Yeah, that was me. They were asking questions and I was answering with the first things that were popping into my head. The me that was listening was like “GAH, yeah, right on!” I even surprised myself with some of the answers that I gave.
My responses were all unscripted and seemed to roll off the tongue. Later, as I was thinking about and rehashing every part of the interview, I deduced this….I think that because I decided to go unscripted and just answer questions as they came, I was speaking my truth. There was no formula to decide what would sound good or be what they wanted to hear. And whereas my head can really screw with me sometimes, my heart, where I feel the soul lies, always knows where I am as a real person.
What is worse than asking someone what their greatest strength is and hearing the same old tired answers? “I think outside the box” – yeah, like this answer? “I’m not afraid to take chances” – sure you aren’t, everyone is. Like I said, tired old answers. Your answer really should be different every time someone asks, because you have many great strengths – all at once and they may even change from day to day. They didn’t actually ask this question, but if they had, just right now I deduced that I would have answered – “I care.” And that would be the truth.
Yeah, I Did All Of That
So, yeah, I look good on paper, even after been overlooked by probably hundreds of HR gatekeepers. And I had started to doubt that. But after recalling the total and honest truth with which I answered my interview questions, that’s when I really knew that yeah, I not only look good on paper, I probably am. So kiss it all you that passed on THIS.
It was be totally conceited of me to say that I didn’t make any errors in this interview and absolutely some “Shit, I should I have said x, y, and z”, but I tell you that everything that came out of my mouth was my truth. And I am very proud of myself, whatever the outcome.
So HIGH FIVE to me!