Does anyone prepare for an interview thinking, “Oh man, this will be epic!”.
I mean I am sure someone out there does, but it sure as heck isn’t common.
I was listening to two children speak to one another and it got me thinking about how they would interview.
They’d probably show up in their Buzz Lightyear, Kool-Aid-stained shirt with mismatched shorts on and not give a single care about what the interviewer would think about it.
They’d probably bring a juice box and snack in case the interview got too lengthy.
Mid-way through they might kick off their light up sneakers and put their feet on the table.
When the questions got boring, they would let out a big yawn and ask how much longer this will take.
Can you imagine adults doing this?
The mere thought of it makes me laugh.
Whether we like to admit or not, an interview is a bit of an interrogation.
Who are you?
Where are you from?
What do you look like?
How do you dress?
Can you play nicely with others?
…and once the heat of that spotlight starts to simmer, you then wait a good week or two to hear if you passed the “impossible to study for” test.
We want to be chosen and liked but have no idea what the criteria truly is.
We present the perfect version of ourselves in hopes of that call back.
Oh, I always show up on time.
I always iron my clothes.
I never have a bad day.
I love to file!
Uniforms? Yes! Spandex? Even better!
If we were really real with our interview answers, what would that look like?
Pondering that myself I wasn’t sure, so I did what anyone would do…
I asked some kids.
If you were interviewing for a job at a toy factory, what would you wear?
I’d wear my cowboy boots. That means business. That means I want the job. Oh, and don’t fart. Mom says you shouldn’t do that in public. – Zach, Age 5
I would wear my Christmas Eve dress. The one that sparkles, and I would twirl in the doorway first. – Bethany, Age 5
I would wear my superman costume with the muscles. – Chad, Age 5
I would probably wear my mom’s heels, but I would have to practice. Hailey, Age 4
If someone asked you what you were good at, what would you say?
Oh, I am good at running super duper fast from one place to the other. I am like a superhuman robot. – Zach
I’m pretty good at makeup. My mom says that I can do her make-up and when I do, she smiles and says that she looks the best she ever has. – Bethany
I can add 2+2 fast. When someone asks me, I say FOUR really loudly. – Chad
I don’t know. I think maybe I am good at being sassy. – Hailey
Do you like to share with friends and work on things together?
Uhm, I guess sometimes but like my friend Brent always does stuff wrong when we do stuff and that makes me kind of mad. One time I let him borrow my favorite car and he lost it. That made me SO mad. – Zach
I love to share with my friends. I share and share and share. My mom says to not share so much because I give away my things. – Bethany
I do things better without anyone else and I don’t like to share. – Chad
My mom says that I am terrible at sharing. She says I am not good at all. I bit my little sister once. – Hailey
What would be your favorite thing to do at work?
I would staple everything together. Even my boss’ butt cheeks! Don’t tell my mom I said that. – Zach
I would decorate my desk with all of my drawings. My dad says I draw the best things. – Bethany
Eat lunch. – Chad
I would teach everyone how to do stuff. I would give them stickers when they did it good. – Hailey
Do you know that at a normal job you have to work a whole 8 hours?
I am not doing that. – Zach
Do I get to have a recess? – Bethany
Superman only works when he has to fly and save someone. – Chad
Oh. I don’t like that very much. – Hailey
What do you think your boss should do when you do something awesome?
Give me a big, huge chocolate bar the size of my head. – Zach
I would like a princess crown. – Bethany
Make a big poster that says, “CHAD IS THE BEST” and post it on the wall. – Chad
I think I would like stickers and then I would probably share my stickers with everyone. – Hailey
Oh, the honesty of children!
Even at almost 16, I know that if I ask my son if something looks good or not, he is going to tell me the honest truth.
Maybe interviews don’t have to be so stiff.
Maybe we can invite them to tell us their favorite funny moment.
Maybe we can catch them off-guard by asking them if they could steal one office supply, what would it be?
Pens. Always pens.
Maybe we can add a dab of fun in there to see their true personality shine through.
Maybe, just maybe, we can give out that princess crown and delight with some BRAVO stickers.
Maybe we can talk, human to human and share our experiences, how we got where we are, where we want to go and what our favorite ice cream is.
Life isn’t polished.
Humans aren’t polished.
Let’s celebrate that and allow our employees and potential employees to let their inner child shine.
Setting the groundwork for that comfortability just may be the magic key to an epic staff.
Are we done yet? – Chad