Recently I have made a decision to change my job. After having worked in my current industry for almost 15 years, I feel for various reasons, it is time to move on.
Amongst those reasons is the hours and days of the week I work – I simply want to have my weekends free to spend with friends and family.
Many jobs in the service industry unfortunately require regular weekends and after hours work, so I have set about applying for jobs which fit a Monday to Friday criteria and which I could see myself sticking with, possibly until retirement.
I obtained an interview with a major electronics company based here in Adelaide – which would have been a dream job. A variety of interesting work, close to home, Monday to Friday with exceptional chances to upskill.
The 2 interviews I obtained were pretty typical, questions back and forth including the generic questions like ‘What are your main strengths?’ ‘Are you a team player’ etc.
Now over the last several years I have concentrated on being the most honest person I can be, not up playing stories or exaggerating and not focussing on myself.
Having not had a ‘planned’ interview for 15 years, I found the whole job interview process to be very artificial.
I thought, I will just go in there, give honest answers, and all will be well.
Why would I need to prepare?
Caught by surprise
On reflection to the interview process, it became apparent you need to be good at selling yourself – this obvious point actually caught me by surprise at the time.
‘Give us an example of a recent repair you performed’ – Strangely, this question got me stumped. I fix things almost daily but how on earth do I quickly summarise my process and then replay an impressive recent example without trying to sound big-headed?
I just kind of go about my day as best as I can and because of this, I paused to think of a relatively humble answer - perhaps a few seconds too long and may have scored poorly compared to others.
Correct or right answers
While it is true job interviews have to be prepared for in the correct manner, one cannot deny that much of an interview involves giving the correct answers exaggerated as much as possible to tick the box in order to have that ‘edge’ over the other applicants - not the honest and humble answer.
In all honestly, who is going to answer other questions such as ‘Are you a team player?’ with ‘No, not really… unless I have had my coffee.’ Regardless of whether you are or not, you are going to answer yes.
While I am not saying that my failure to get the job position in this case was caused by my hesitations mixed with a few spoonfuls of nervousness, but after speaking to a carers counsellor and watching video clips of nominees being interviewed of who got the job and why, I do feel strongly enough that people are encouraged to exaggerate and essentially lie.
In case we need reminding, honesty and integrity is part of the core principles we should maintain as Christians, this site here gives the examples I am referring to.
A better way?
I have pondered the question, is there a better way of conducting a job interview?
I am in the process of starting a very small speciality electronics business which I am currently doing as a hobby in my spare time.
I am not sure if it will give me much more than pocket money in the future which is why I prefer to continue working full time – to maintain a consistent and reliable income for my family, but this has made me think… What if things go well and in 5 years’ time I need to hire somebody? How would I conduct an interview and filter out chaff from the wheat?
As an over thinker, I believe it would be quite tricky. I have met many people at social gatherings who own small businesses, and tell their mixed bag of stories.
You almost need to spend a week with a candidate and put them through their paces – see how they cope and react in certain situations, to see a real demonstration of their abilities and if they can respectably work in a team.
While I do not have the answers having just started the endeavour, if you as a Christian run a business and hire people, do you need to stop and think – Am I potentially missing the correct person who may stop to consider the honest answer over someone who charismatically knows the answers?
Should someone who is an honest person be expected to lie and exaggerate in order to answer correctly? I know by his word God is pleased with us when we strive for honesty and integrity, as such we should trust in him to put us where he wants without leaning on our ability to rely on sin. Even though sometimes, we really did want that job…
Michael Dahlenburg is an electronics engineer currently working in the ATM industry. He is non-denominational and has previously been involved in church plants and assisting those in ministry. His interests include; enjoying family, home DIY, gardening, most things tech-related and driving his wife crazy with a constant stream of inventions! You can view his blog site here: www.mickdahl.weebly.com
He lives with his wife Michelle and three children in God’s own land of Southern Adelaide, Australia.
Michael Dahlenburg’s previous articles may be viewed at