So I went to a job interview last week and, to be honest, it didn’t go well. What I found interesting, though, was in the aftermath of the interview my mind was on overdrive. And by paying particular attention to these thoughts rushing through my head I noticed something: I wanted so badly to blame external factors for the way the interview went. I wanted to blame the public transport for making me 5 minutes late. I wanted to blame the interviewer’s wooden demeanor for the uncomfortable atmosphere in the interview. I wanted to blame the unusual interview questions that had me on the back foot trying desperately to recall some specific example from past.
By the time I got home from the interview my mind had settled somewhat. Whilst in the bathroom, I paused for a moment and stared at my reflection in the mirror. It was then that I said to myself: you sucked. That was it. That was the brutal, honest truth. I went to the interview under-prepared and the famous Benjamin Franklin quote came true: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Then something strange happened: despite my disappointment, I felt at peace. Sure, my pride and ego had taken a battering. What I realized, though, was that by accepting responsibility for my role in the failed interview, I was opening the door to change. I knew that if I was honest with myself, then I was giving myself the opportunity to address my shortcomings.
I think, then, the lesson we can all take from this is: if you want to change, tell the truth. Being honest with yourself about your shortcomings is always the best policy. Sure, it is easier to blame external factors when things go awry. All this does, though, is make you vulnerable to more pain in the future as you will not have addressed the underlying issues.
With this in mind, here then are 3 quick tips you help you be truthful with yourself:
1. Be concrete: it is important to say more to yourself than simply I sucked. Try to pinpoint exactly what it was that let you down. In my case, I was under-prepared for the interview, which led to me being nervous in the interview and not giving well-thought out answers.
2. Be courageous: it may be very uncomfortable to examine your life and acknowledge what isn’t working. This is why you need to be courageous. Fight the desire to blame others. And remember: it is impossible to change aspects of our lives that we hide in the shadows.
3. Be complete: there is potentially a danger here of becoming too negative. I suggest you “be complete” by also reflecting on your strengths. Recall past experiences where you did successfully change some aspect of your life and use these as inspiration.
Photo by GabPRR