What Kids Can Teach You About Interviewing

Over the weekend my son participated in the Nashville area Awana games, representing our Church along with around 40 other children ranging in age from kindergarten to fifth grade.

For those that are not familiar with Awana, it is an organization that helps parents and Churches raise children to know, love, and serve Christ through teaching, Bible verse memorization, games, and fun.

Each Church that participates in Awana has its own program and once a year several get together (in our case in Nashville) to have a multi-game event with K-2nd graders competing against each other, followed by 3rd – 6th graders doing the same. 

So how does a religious based sporting competition relate to your job-search? Great question, glad you asked.

This was my family’s first year being involved in the games so I was a little uncertain as to what to expect. Although I didn’t take an official count, I would guess that there was probably ten Churches represented and 400+ in attendance.

After seeing all of the people in the stands I thought that our kids would get a bit nervous being in an unfamiliar environment having to perform their best in front of a people they don’t know. Sound familiar?

However, at the end of the day our kids swept the competition with our Sparkies (the K-2nd graders) and the T-N-Ters (the 3rd-5th graders) winning first place in their respective divisions.

How did they do it?

  • They started preparing early to understand the rules of the games and what it would take to win.
  • They practiced the events until they were very confident that they could perform well no matter what the circumstance.
  • They had someone that could give them guidance and kept them accountable on how they performed.
  • They knew that their worth was not tied up in the game and, even if the goal was to win, at the end of the day as long as they did their best they could hold their head up high.

When you are interviewing for a job today, tomorrow, or ten years down the road you should follow the same basic steps that our kids took.

  • Prepare yourself by doing detailed research on the industry, company, person interviewing you, and position to understand the rules of the game.
  • Practice answering interview questions (including those dreaded behavioral ones) until you are confident that you can give a good answer no matter how it is asked or who it is asked by.
  • Have someone that can give you honest feedback as to how you are doing and steer you down the right path.
  • After the  interview, hold your head up high knowing you did the best you could. Whether you get the position or not it is a learning experience and will help you prepare for the next interview.

Next time you interview keep in mind that half of the battle is what you do before you show up. The more prepared you are the more confident you will be and when you are confident you  are better equipped to do well and move forward in the process.

Good hunting and good luck!

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3 responses to “What Kids Can Teach You About Interviewing

  1. Thank you for the good advice!

  2. Excellent points! I especially like your comment on honest evaluation.

    I wrote a similar post on how my kids have helped me think about my job search, as well. (http://advice.cio.com/mark_cummuta/week_9_job_search_lessons
    _from_my_kids).

    My biggest realization from my kids is that a job search is a two-way street; that I have to like the role and the company, too.

    Thanks for your advice!

    Mark

  3. As HR professionals rarely provide after the interview feedback, even when directly asked when they inform you weren’t selected (and many just use a template email message now), who should we go to for the honest feedback?

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