First, I want to express my sincerest gratitude and appreciation for all your well-wishes and blessings for my recent job interview. Thank you so much!
In this post, I am talking about the process of interviewing based on my recent experience. And, those letters in the title stand for the theme of this post: You Do Not Know What You Do Not Know. (I adopted this short-hand after watching my husband use it in law school to create his outlines!)
This week, I had a job interview for a neat position at a local University. If you read the previous posts, you’ll learn more about what’s been swirling around in my world since I was invited to interview.
This Tuesday, my husband took the kids to school early. I did a ~30 minute Kundalini Meditation (To Make the Impossible Possible for 22 minutes and to Clear Karma for 7 minutes). I took a decadent shower and really took the time to get ready. I also enjoyed my coffee hot and scoped out the best place to set up my computer for the online interview. I also prayed to the Tech Gods because my internet has been spotty, to say the least.
9:00. 9:05. 9:08. 9:10. 9:12.
I had Zoom open on my computer and my phone (in case the internet failed me at that moment). The meeting wasn’t starting. I’m all for technology, but it definitely adds an extra layer of pressure to an interview!
As it turns out, they were having difficulties on their end. After a brief e-mail exchange, the interview happened by phone. So much for getting all dolled up! (Although they did get to see me as I sent a video thank you post interview.)
All in all, it went well. I felt confident in my answers and I felt that I conveyed them well. And, most importantly, my answers were truly aligned with my perspective and my beliefs, as applied to the job at hand. In short, my answers were all me. I felt great about that, and still feel good about that.
I was asked whether I had experience with a particular system. I answered truthfully and succinctly: “No I do not”.
So, what’s the problem you may ask?
The problem is that I want to feel like I’m perfect for the job I’m applying for. I want to be Wonder Woman and be able to tick off every expectation on their list. And, if I don’t, my confidence can dip and I can potentially self-sabotage my chances. Sound familiar?
But, you simply don’t know what you don’t know.
Our Egos can take a big hit when, say, we admit we don’t know how to do something and then we don’t get an interview or a job offer. It’s easy to blame it on that one thing that we admitted not knowing. And, our Egos may trick us into wanting to fluff up credentials just to be the perfect candidate.
But, you simply don’t know what you don’t know.
[NOTE: Never, ever, ever lie on a resume or in an interview. Ever. Never. Ever. Ok? Ok!]
Back to the story. I don’t know yet if I’ll get invited for a second interview. I don’t know how my answers landed with the Hiring Committee. I don’t know if not knowing how to use that particular system is a total dealbreaker. I simply don’t know.
And, not knowing what you don’t know is ok.
I’ve felt bad (or been made to feel bad) about not knowing certain things; especially in my legal career. I suppose it’s expected that once you hold your JD in your hands you are instantly supposed to know everything. Well, it’s called the practice of law for a reason. Each experience you have teaches you something new. As long as you are willing to learn and ask questions, then it’s perfectly ok to not know what you don’t know. At least that’s my opinion.
I have to share a funny story. Those of you who knew me growing up know that I didn’t have to wash dishes as a kid. We didn’t have a dishwasher, either. So I never learned how to use one. Fast forward to our school’s annual Beach Week. We had a nice suite with a full kitchen, and guess what, a dishwasher! I was being helpful and loaded it up. I saw the soap sitting on the counter, read it carefully “dish washing soap” and thought, perfect! I hit start and we were off.
Next thing I knew, the dishwasher was spewing out foam. I mean, crazy amounts of foam and bubbles. I called my friend over and asked her what was happening. She asked what kind of soap I had used and I said “that one – the dishwashing soap”. She couldn’t help but laugh at my ignorance as she kindly told me that what I needed was dishwasher soap. Apparently, they are two very different things.
See? You simply don’t know what you don’t know.
Now, of course, I know the difference. It wasn’t until I had the experience that I was able to truly learn what I needed to learn. I’m proud to share that I haven’t used the wrong soap since.
Here’s the moral of my interview story: it’s ok if you don’t know everything. It’s ok if you don’t check off all the expectations listed on a job posting. The truth is, unless you’ve held that exact position (in that exact place of employment) you probably won’t.
So my best advice is this. Listen carefully to the questions. Answer them with your full heart. If you don’t know something say so and express your genuine desire to learn about it. And, if you are meant to have that position, then, you will.