The Perfect Interviewee

self helpToday I interviewed the perfect interviewee. I met her at the reception, sitting in the middle chair in her elegant summery polka dot dress which was a perfect example of business casual. She extended her hand for a shake and apologized for coming a little early. She seemed positive and upbeat, but not overbearing.

“Tell me about yourself”, was my first question, which I know can be pretty confusing because it is so vague. But of course she was prepared. “I am an NYU graduate with a major in English literature. I have just finished a high profile research project on x, y, z”. She went on to describe her best professional qualities clearly and coherently.

The following responses were no different. She took my every question as an opportunity to point out her strengths, to highlight her skills, to show her measured enthusiasm and interest.

She of course had many questions herself, the first one of them being “I am interested in your personal path within this company”. Clever! Establishing rapport with the interviewer, getting her to like you, and collecting valuable information of what motivates people to be at the particular organization – I call this high class interviewing.

At some point during the conversation I asked her what her interests were. What does she read, watch, listen to? “Self-help books”, she said. She even writes a blog about it.

Voila! Self-help, naturally! Where else would she have learned to line up her answers in a flawless employer courting pirouette? As a true Eastern European I have always despised self-help books as a bunch of commercial crap meant for people who can’t make life observations for themselves. But today’s experience got me thinking of picking some up. Why not, if my job interview can be turned into a well-orchestrated ad for the irreplaceable asset that I am?

I am sure I will find a perfect follow-up email in my inbox tomorrow morning.


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