Should I have put a question mark after “question” in the title? Or would that have been redundant?
One would think that this would be something I could do. But I find it harder than anything. What is it? Answering that question at the end of an interview, “do you have any questions for us?” That’s me being interviewed for a job. Do “I” have questions?
I had an interview yesterday. It was for a job that could be interesting. It would be a place to pull all of my experience together. I think it would be stable. It is a job that I actually would like to do. And one I can certainly do. There is a bit of a but, it’s with the state and three hours south.
I applied back in October thinking that they would never call me. They called last week for an interview. So off I went yesterday in a rental car. No reason to drag everyone in at this point.
It was a panel interview. Five people, two with the state and three from the community that are involved with the office.
When I interview people I do have a set of questions in mind before we start. But I also want to try to find out how they think and how they have a conversation. So I very often stray from the written questions. And work to have them do all the talking.
Yesterday, like many others they were right on track and did not stray from the questions. They were good questions and they took turns asking them.
The one that always trips me up, “give us an example of a difficult change that you had to implement…?” Life is loaded with drama and difficulty. The last thing I want or need is anything being perceived as difficult. So I don’t create it.
I think I achieve that by not working behind a curtain or veiled in secrecy. Nothing I have done to date has or needs any level of secrecy. It’s what thousands of people do everyday and have done for years. And no one has a unique way or market on the business of recruiting. Guess what everyone, you are all doing exactly the same thing! So there is no reason to not let the people around me know exactly what is going on.
That said, I’d like to think that because of that the space around me is fair and non-threatening. It’s a place that can and would grow leaders. A place that works together not against each other. A place void of difficult scenarios.
So I haven’t had “difficult” changes or situations. I have had challenging situations and changes, but not difficult. Difficult is finding out one of your dear friends has breast cancer. Difficult is finding out one of your dear friends loses her beloved four legged companion of 16 years. Difficult is having dear friends that long for and deserve to be married and recognized for the commitment of 18 years together, but can’t. And fear what that might mean as they grow old together. They have a long way to go, growing old, that’s difficult!
Difficulty in the work place is temporary and unless you have your hand inside someones chest waiting for a heart or another body part, it just doesn’t matter.
Now maybe I’m oblivious, like Portland driver’s, and have no awareness of the wake that I leave behind. But I think I’m pretty in touch and am the first one to know even before the wake begins and stop it.
I don’t know if they will call me back for the second round? I don’t know if I asked them enough questions? But I know what I will do next time. I will ask them the same questions that they asked me. If these will be the people that I will be interacting with on a regular basis, I’ll want to know how they handle difficult change. I’d want to know what their strengths and weaknesses are. To what extent, they think, non-management employee’s should be involved in decisions. What is it they hope the new manager accomplishes in the first six months. And certainly, how do they develop long and short range goals with partners over which they did not have authority.
That’s what I will do next time.