I continue to apply for roles that inspire me.
At an interview a while back, following all the professional and strategic questions that one expects during a job interview, I thought the panel Chair was winding up the process. Instead, they asked to talk about myself and who I was as a person ….. “tell us about the real you that was not presented in your CV”.
After all the personality style evaluations, all the feedback loops, all the professional coaching and mentoring over the years that have told me that I am an extroverted, outgoing, creative, hard-working, practical, accountable (etc.) person, this particular question took me by surprise.
I was stumped by it and yes, I faltered with my response. Firstly, it was asked in a way that was out of context to my usual expectation of an interview. It was not in the usual “professional framework of questions”. Or at least my perception of what that framework is.
Secondly, as I thought the interview was being concluded and the Chair of the panel was about to say “thank you and good bye”, asking such an unexpected question felt left of centre. On reflection I realized my response was not how I would like to have presented the “real me” story.
As time has passed, I have analyzed it over and over in my head and I wondered if it was a skillful maneuver, utilized to determine something about my personality. It was perhaps a strategy that was thought to be able to determine if I was indeed a suitable person for the role. I will never know. I was not offered the role and yet I knew I met all the selection criteria.
I have now concluded that recruitment and job hunting is a huge iceberg – so much more to who lands the job than what you see/present on the surface.
How would you talk about yourself and present a profile in less than one minute, that will leave a lasting and positive impression?