Friday, August 21, 2009
Job Interview Skills
As some of you know, I just recently got a great job (yesterday). Seriously, if you asked me to describe my ideal teaching position, it would be really close to the position I just accepted.
Yesterday, I had my final interview for the position. Given my long stretch of unemployment last year and my genuine excitement about the job, I was quite nervous going into it.
Adding to my anxiety, my potential boss called me the night before the interview to tell me that I had actually blown my first interview. My references (I taught one of the interviewer's son last year) and my enthusiasm carried me through to the second and final round. Basically, this guy wanted to hire me, but told me that I had better interview well the second time through or I was screwed.
So there I am sweating like a pig in my suit and tie in 90 degree heat waiting while they interview my competition. Her interview runs long; I wait half an hour past my appointment time. All I can envision is this woman regaling the principal with stories about all of the children she has saved from intellectual darkness. Every minute that ticked by ratcheted up my anxiety another notch. By the time the office door opens, I feel like the official has just called 15 seconds to go on the starting line of a Verge race.
Finally, I am ushered into the office. We sit. Pleasantries are exchanged. I am introduced to the committee, which includes the principal and my new alley (the new boss who called me to encourage me to interview better).
Somehow it immediately comes out that I am a competitive cyclist. Turns out the principal rides road bikes too (Livestrong bracelet to prove it). Seriously, we spent more than half of my interview talking about bike racing. Strategy, gear selection, sprinting vs. climbing, mental skills, training, nutrition and yes, we talked about cyclocross.
At one point I was asked if I ride the Pan Mass Challenge. I explained that while I support the PMC (financially with donations and in spirit), I am strictly a competitive cyclist. This elicited nods all around
Obviously, if you are reading this, you know that I can talk about bicycle racing all day and usually I even sound intelligent doing it. By the time my interview transitioned into actual interview content, I was thoroughly relaxed. Instead of begging for a job that I really needed and wanted, I felt like I was talking to old friends. I was relaxed, concise and on point. I did the opposite of blowing an interview.
Normally, I don't really discuss about my non cycling life on this blog. But this interview was one of those occasions when cycling stepped into another area of my life and improved it.
I don't even feel bad that I spent yesterday afternoon banging out a few intervals instead of taking care of paperwork down at HR like I was supposed to.