Wednesday, July 16, 2008

bringing an Uzi to a knife fight

Have you ever over-prepared so much that you ended up jeopardizing your entire effort?

I thought that was what happened with my interview today.

I prepared so much for the hard questions, the situational and the behavioural ones, that when I was asked nothing but traditional softball ones, I completely flubbed the answers.

The interview, for a fund development position with an arts centre, was alarmingly short - 20 minutes tops. But I was told that this was just a prescreening and that subsequent interviews would be held next week, with notices being given tomorrow. A one-day turnaround period is pretty decent, if you ask me, and this is an organization that I would definitely be interested in working with.

So I wrote a nice thank you email, as I have been taught to do. And lo and behold, if I didn't receive an answer back in 15 minutes, saying that my strengths had been discussed with the Communications Director and that they felt I would be better suited to a communications job, if I was interested in shifting focus.

Hell yeah! In fact, I had applied for the Communications Coordinator position as well, because it really spoke to me and sounded like so much fun, even though I didn't think I had the qualifications (i.e a communications degree). But sometimes it pays to be pushy and wordy, I guess.

I will definitely keep you posted.

In the meantime, I have a couple of questions:
1) have you ever over-prepared so much that you ended up totally ballsing things up?
2) have you ever thought you totally ballsed things up, only to be handed the thing you really want on a silver platter?


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You are perfect for the Communications job! These days I think people are taking into account not just the corresponding degree but the level of extracurricular knowledge and expertise.

I like the touch of the thank you email.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Good luck on that new job venture. I'm rooting for you.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I would love to do communications for the arts centre, Urban Blonde, and I'm glad they are looking beyond appropriate degree. Besides, communications ... physiology - not a lot of difference there.
My mom was right, it would seem! Be polite, she said.

Thanks, Dr M! I hope I'm not jinxing myself by spilling the beans too soon.

Anonymous said...

communications?...that means lots of writing ?...perfect for you...way to go

bloody awful poetry said...

That is freaking awesome! Totally rooting for the Zombie here. =)

Well there was that time when I was 14 and in the district Spelling Bee, and I spelled words nobody else in the history of my school ever could, and then on competition day I got kicked out in the 3rd round for getting "waddle" wrong. Yep.

Karen said...

What a perfect job for you Barb! How fantastic. I was going to suggest sending a thank you note to the new director at the old job thanking them for not realizing how important, talented and fantastic you are but that would just be mean, wouldn't it? :)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Lots of writing, very little rescuing people from burning buildings - yep, that's pretty much the perfect job for me, Kelly.

That must have hurt, BAP! I am impressed that you can even use the word "waddle" today without banging your head against the desk. You're not banging your head against the desk, are you?

I do like the way your evil little mind works, Karen. I just may have to do some nose rubbing in it before I leave there.

Remi said...

Sadly, I sometimes wind up being the sucker with the knife. I have horrible instincts for this stuff so usually the things I feel I bombed, I succeed in and vice versa.

Beth said...

How wonderful! If you get it, we'll be professional compatriots. I am praying to all sorts of gods for you, Strunk & White leading the godly pack, of course.

BeckEye said...

Just think, if you get that job you will be able to communicate with anyone. Like some kind of well-spoken superhero!

As for your questions...
1) I've never been over-prepared.
2) I've never gotten an up-close look at that fabled silver platter.

I'm complainy today. So much so that I just made up a new word.

Gifted Typist said...

You'd be fabby in a comms post. Fingers crossed - good luck

I usually over prepare, worry too much about all possibilities, pack too many clothes, overthink problems.

I'm a mess with kids around water, on play frames or on bikes in traffic.

justacoolcat said...

I was hanging with a PR bastard today and he asked the tough question "Who are you?".

You communications people are evil.

Sean Wraight said...

Interesting questions there Barb. I am myself a chronic 'overpreparer', especially when it comes to job related activities. For as much as I like surprises the last place I want to see one is on a job interview. And no matter how well I do in an interview I always feel like I've bombed it. Then again I think this tribe by nature might be a little perfection driven.

I loved Bloody Awful Poetry's comment too about the spelling bee. It made me recall my Grade 4 fall from perfect spelling grace when I neglected the first "i" in prairie. It scarred me for freaking life!

Allison said...

Best of luck with the interview and look forward to hearing about it. :)

It'd be grand to exit your last job knowing you've got something already lined up. No pressure though, just bring on the guns. ;)

Good luck!

Joe said...

The answer to both those questions is a resounding yes.

Good luck! Tell them you're really good at Germany or Florida, see if that helps.

mellowlee said...

Oh wow! I am keeping my fingers crossed for you. Perhaps I will even slap a fish for luck ;O)

Anonymous said...

I don't think specific degrees are as relevant as they once were.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Hi Remi, welcome! I can sympathize; it often goes that way with me too. Makes it damned easy to play the stock market though, doesn't it?

Beth, with you, Strunk, and White backing me, I cannot lose. I can think of few people I would rather be a professional compatriot of.

It's just the move talking, Beckeye. That, and the fact that you have already packed away the silver platter and you can't remember which box it's in. At least you aren't over-prepared or something stupid.

I'll bet you use SPF 60 too, don't you, Gifted, and reapply every 20 minutes.
Are you sure you're not German?

And you likely felt obligated to try to answer him too, didn't you, JustA. Watch out for those types, they'll trip you up every time.

You poor thing, Sean! The residual anguish has probably kept you safely on the eastern side of the Canadian Shield all this time too, hasn't it? Can't say I blame you.
Perfection does seem to run rampant amongst our compatriots, I think. But it's better than an addiction to anime or something.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

They are locked and loaded, Al.
I have to admit, with two breadwinners in the family, the pressure is decreased tremendously and I have the luxury of waiting for the right one.

It is bound to get me an immediate offer, Bubs! Everybody is bound to be uber-impressed with my impressive placing in Germany or Florida. I am truly and deeply chuffed.

I snorted coffee out my nose when I read about your fish slapping endeavours, Mel. Someday you must fill me in on the details.

I think you are right, Leazwell. Our vast life experiences have got to count for something as well. I hope.

Anonymous said...

All of my digits & every single axon I have are crossed in the best luck for you, Barbara!!!

You & a career in communications is, like, more perfect of a match than beer & pretzels! :D Rock that niche, girlfriend...

The environmentally- & animal-friendly goat is roasting on the pit in sacrifice to the job market gods for you!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You'd roast a tofu goat for me, Mixh? Awww you are sweet beyon belief, especially with all that painful axon crossing that's going on. I'll keep you posted!

Dale said...

#1 - yes

#2 - it's not polite to talk about #2 in mixed company.