Friday, November 02, 2007

Friday Five: Interviews

1. What was the most memorable interview you ever had?
Probably my interview with the Commission on Ministry, which would recommend to my bishop whether or not I should become a postulant for Holy Orders. I had heard that their questions could run to the snarky, and I had developed a plan for this with my spiritual director ("My gut says that this feels like an attack. Is it?") In point of fact, the questions weren't snarky, although some of them were challenging. Many of the questions were fascinating, and I was deeply moved by the answers to some of the questions addressed to my husband, my presenting rector, and folks on the vestry and the lay discernment committee who accompanied me. Of course, after it was all over, I sat in the car and cried for ten minutes - stress release and all that - but it was definitely memorable.

2. Have you ever been the interviewer rather than the interviewee? If so, are you a tiger, a creampuff, or somewhere in between?
I've been the interviewer often in my past life. I do tend to think I'm somewhere in between, because I think interviews are two-way streets. There is some baseline information - skill-related stuff - that I want to get at, but then it's more touchy-feely - will we work together well kind of stuff. Of course, if I feel like I'm being gamed, I ask a lot of questions that might leave the interviewee feeling like I'm a tiger.

3. Do phone interviews make you more or less nervous than in-person ones?
They make me very nervous, because I rely on nonverbal cues to assess what's going on. Absent the body language and facial expressions, I feel like I'm flying blind.

4. What was the best advice you ever got to prepare for an interview? How about the worst?
Good advice: Breathe. Say a prayer. Interviews are a two-way street. Don't just respond instantaneously to a question; think about it for a moment before replying. Smile.
Bad advice: Prepare answers to every possible question.

5. Do you have any pre-interview rituals that give you confidence?
Going to the bathroom beforehand (I'm a practical middle-aged woman). Saying a prayer of discernment. Checking to make sure I don't have any food stuck between my teeth. Deep breath.

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