I Interviewed Naked

Inspired by Shelley Brown’s “Naked” and Sarah Elkins‘ post “Exposed”.

“You’re not good enough.”

“You might as well go home now, they’ll never hire you.”

“You suck.”

When I hear those thoughts in my head, I know I’m about to win big.

I remember the day well.  My 2008 red Volkswagen Jetta was parked in the Visitor Parking spot of the potential employer’s parking lot.  It was a hot and muggy Florida day without a cloud in the blue sky. And I sat in the driver’s seat, both of my hands gripping the steering wheel, still deciding whether to get out of the car to go inside for my interview.

I felt unsafe.  Vulnerable. Unqualified. Undeserving. Exposed. Naked. Unworthy.  I let the Negativity Pirates parade through my mind and I allowed myself to be paralyzed by it.

I had to make up my mind. I was there. I was more than prepared. I was dressed the part. I had thoroughly researched the company, I knew I wanted it, and I could do the job.  Get. out. of. the. car. What was the problem?

Fear.

Fear is a liar.”

Every great success I’ve had in my life has come in the face of tremendous fear, but choosing to walk ahead anyway.  So, I got out of the car trembling.

I entered the building and sat in the waiting area, feeling like a dufus.  I felt overdressed and clumsy, with my padded blazer and twitchy fingers.  I don’t normally carry around a leather portfolio, there’s no looking smooth with one. The ride on the elevator was awkward.  “Hello, I’m obviously here for an interview, how are you?”

But I did it anyway.  In fear. And I let my personality shine through. I let the hiring manager see ME. I took a risk and exposed a sliver of my soul. I asked the quirky, inappropriate questions because I have a quirky, inappropriate sense of humor. I want to make sure I’m a good fit for someone’s work culture. I KNOW asking someone if they would rather be a pirate or a ninja is silly and probably downright unprofessional, but if someone can’t handle me asking a question like that, they probably can’t handle me on a daily basis.  I keep it interesting.

I think celebrating International Ninja Day should be company policy.

I walked into that interview that day with probably less recruiting experience than everyone else. I was feeling frightfully unworthy. But I let my passion for people come through and I also wasn’t afraid to explain some of my weaknesses. I have a touch of OCD. This can be both a positive and negative trait. I was real. Honest. I didn’t blow smoke. I laughed. She laughed.

I let her see the real Trish Goff.

There’s so many articles and “Top 10 Interviewing Tips” available on LinkedIn and any Google search.  I’ve probably read them all.  My personal advice is let them see you.  Let them see your heart.  Who are you? What inspires you on a daily basis? Remove the mask and let them get to know the real you…they’re going to find out eventually anyway. Might as well do it now and not waste anyone’s time or money.

Interview naked.

Just keep your clothes on.

P.S. I got the job.

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