The week started rather anxiously waiting for what I thought was the job that was going to bring me back into employment.
You see, I haven’t been interviewed in over 5 years I believe and the interview at the time was an internal process so I was more than prepared. This time around, I was left at the edge of a cliff hoping that the fall right beneath my feet would be gentle and the edge was really just a steep walk down.
The interview began with a 20 minute test. I had no idea what to expect; but in that 20 minutes; I really had 10. 5 minutes was wasted FaceTiming myself with a new feature added to my calendar on my iPhone calendar. When I finally realised I had opened the wrong calendar and needed my email, it was 1.37. I had 10 minutes to figure out how to answer 2 questions and send it back before 1.50. I did what I could and emailed back with minutes ahead just in case there were technical problems.
The interview was at 2pm sharp with a bit of delay just for bants and anxiety. It was online so I had my best face on. When the virtual room opened I had 4 pairs of eyes staring at me and it was at that moment that my makeup could’ve slid off to reveal a constipated smile. I knew the next hour I would be judged in 4 different dimensions.
The hour was quite surreal. Surely I had prepared…or so I thought; I had prayed…I really did; but nothing prepared me for my lack of self-awareness & self-confidence. It felt like a test of self-reflection. How much did I know of myself to relate to the job that I was applying to? You see, I am very self-aware about myself, emotionally, mentally, about my past and my future. I was just stunned that I couldn’t articulate my professional capacity to do the job I was applying for. So in the last week as I had been piecing together, reflecting on my short falls at the interview and being very pragmatic about the process – I got the inevitable call that I hadn’t been successful at the interview. I had kind of resigned myself to accept that I hadn’t gotten it before that call; it wasn’t a self-fulfilling prophesy but more of a realisation that even prayer can’t mask certain truths because they’re meant to be exposed for you to learn from or act on.
I was very eager for immediate feedback. I was desperate to understand how I could better represent myself at an interview. No doubt I met the person spec based on my experience however I just didn’t ‘own’ my experience enough. I have been out of interview practice but also not in touch with myself for a long time. Working in a capacity where I was always giving myself to counsel others took so much away from me knowing myself. It’s probably why the last 6 months that I hadn’t been working, it has been incredibly important to centre myself again. Sometimes we do ride out life like a wave that hopes to be found ashore. We wake up one day and say who am I? What do I stand for? Why do I do what I do and how does this add to my life goals and my purpose?
It has been a week of learning and unlearning and I’m always here for the journey of knowing myself deeper hence why this blog is called beneath the canvas. It isn’t surface level.
Whatever happens, my disappointment didn’t bring me down; I felt I gained something by knowing a flaw or 2. The next one I will be better and if that doesn’t work, I will take note, re-draft and get better until it works out. Job hunting isn’t easy but if you’re in my position; keep going, work on yourself, better your skills in between, sharpen some edges and ask for help. It’s a moment of change but one day we’ll make it.