Interviewing is always a strange experience. Before I elaborate, let me assure my fearless readers that today’s interview went fine. No, well. Very well indeed. But it was still strange.
First of all, I was really trying to project a certain image. I think that comes from having learned so much about spiritual direction in the last year. Ok, so those two things don’t automatically link in your mind. But, when I’m directing, I pay careful attention to how my directee looks, to what they’re trying to tell me through what they wear, how they carry themselves, etc. And I can find out a lot that way. In the first few sessions, how they look often has a lot to do with what they want me (and sometimes everyone else they meet) to believe about them. Later on, I’m more likely to notice changes in how they look, which tend to indicate their mood and how they feel about life in general, or changes in how they feel about being with me or coming to direction.
Having paid close attention to these things for a year now (though I think I noticed them before, though my observations used to be a lot less likely to make it to my consciousness), I found myself wanting to be certain things. Together, but not too together. Friendly, but not overly talkative. Trendy, but classically so. An individual, but not a rebel. Someone who cared, but not to the extent that it would keep me from doing a job that needed to be done. It was a bizarre experience, when all of these desires finally surfaced in my mind, and I realized that I wasn’t just getting dressed this morning, I was putting together a show. The even stranger thing was that it wasn’t just a show–it was a show of me. Because all of these things that I wanted to portray are, in fact, true of me. It was just that, this morning, I was trying to figure out how to communicate all of that in a look, a snapshot. It was like I was subconsciously asking myself, “How do I dress/put on makeup/do my hair/etc. so that they will get a picture of Sarah and not of someone else?”
You will all be happy to know that I think I was, overall, successful.
After that, the interview itself was strange. She asked me a lot of questions about my application, which I had expected, but I got the distinct feeling that she was more interested in knowing how I would deal with the whole situation than she was in the specific answers I gave. Not that she didn’t want to know about me–she did. But it felt distinctly like how I answered meant at least as much, if not more, than what my answer actually was. It was like she was looking at the show, the snapshot, and trying to get an accurate reading on me. It was a little uncanny, because that’s exactly what I would be doing if I had her job.
The conversation was good. I interrupted her a few times, which I do because that’s how we communicated in my family, and when I realize I’m doing it I just do it more because I get so conscious of it and embarrassed about it that I can’t stop. But it wasn’t bad.
The funniest part was the personality inventory that they gave me at the end. The lady interviewing me left, because she had to make it to a lunch appointment, and so I took the test. She had made the mistake of telling me that the way of scoring the test was in the back of the test booklet, so I scored it on my own after I was done. I couldn’t believe myself (and I can’t quite believe that I’m confessing to this on the Internet, of all places); I knew that it was assumed that I wasn’t supposed to do that (though she, in fact, made no such statement), but I did it anyway. I suppose this wasn’t that out of the ordinary for me…I do tend to show a rather…um…libertarian idea of obedience to rules.
Anyway, I discovered that I function very differently in working situations than I do anywhere else (because I was supposed to take the test as if I were in that context). I’m much more submissive, much less likely to speak my mind, much more detail oriented, and much less interested in helping and being with people. Though, in retrospect, that may just be a function of the jobs I’ve held–showing initiative has never been my task. Performing others’ initiatives has. Maybe I just need to be the boss…
So…the interview went well. As long as they never read this website, that is. As long as none of you out there are tattletales. As long as no one can connect me to my rather dubious alterego, Aegialia.