I interviewed for a job on Friday that I have no business trying to get. I'm utterly and totally unqualified for it by formal education and training as well as by informal life experience, not to mention by innate aptitude. I presume that the guy who interviewed me realizes this from my feeble resume and from the answers I gave him, even if he DID say something about an upcoming "second interview."
But what if I'm wrong? What if they DO offer me the job and I'm thrown into the maelstrom with no ability to stay afloat? "They won't do that!" the voice of optimism within me proclaims. "They'll train you and give you time to acclimate," it cheerily explains.
"Yes, but people like me train as slowly as molasses and take forever to acclimate, and a bustling medical records department of a local under-funded and under-staffed clinic can't afford to be THAT patient, and, believe me, they WON'T be!" the voice of realism counters.
"Well, look at it this way," replies the voice of optimism. "It may feel like you're being thrown into the water and told to sink or swim, but the fact-of-the-matter is that you'll be given swimming lessons, and even if you sink anyway, you won't drown. You won't die. You'll be hauled out of the pool to live another day and REALLY learn to swim or to take up some other activity for which you're better suited. And, in the meantime, you've gained the priceless experience of interviewing for and of trying your hand at a new job within the general field you're interested in, and you can take the knowledge and wisdom you gain from that experience and do something positive with it."
And the voice of realism, although still harboring its share of legitimate doubts, is pretty much forced to agree and stfu.
But, still, I wonder how many people go into a job interview not only believing but also KNOWING that they're in over their heads. They may not have known it driving in to the office, but after they've arrived and read a more detailed description of the position's duties than they did in the Craigslist ad, they know they aren't ready for such a job when they sit down before the interviewer and start answering questions such as: "Now that you've read the list of duties for this position, do you believe you can perform them?"
How often do other people face this situation, and, when they do, how do they carry on? When asked if they believe they can do the job, do they do what I did and look the interviewer straight in the eye and say "Yes" when their mind and heart scream, "NO WAY, Jose!"?
And what SHOULD we do when we find ourselves in this situation? Should we lie and tell the interviewer the answer he expects and the answer we need to tell him if we're to have any chance of getting the job we have no business getting, or should we tell him the truth?
Most adults even decades younger than me have probably had the opportunity and experience to find their answers already, but I'm more or less just beginning to seek them. I could ask those who have already found their answers to share them with me, and, in a sense, that's part of what I'm doing here. Yet, I suspect that I can't rely on other people's answers but must discover my own. Go with the flow, play it by ear, try it and see what happens and take it from there.
Yes, these are old cliches. But they're cliches for a good reason.
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