Debriefing.

Why yes, that IS a Vic Chesnutt reference.

So. Whereas I have not received the official declination letter yet, sufficient time has passed since the interview to indicate that, as before, I was not selected. Here are my observations, this go-round.

When one has just finished an interview, one may come away with a certain positive bias. I didn’t crash and burn, I didn’t blank out, they seemed to enjoy the conversation. Whoo-hoo!

Distance from the event and its associated adrenaline may reveal things, even for those who are not excessively self-critical. For example: that technical question they threw in at the very end surely can’t be weighted that heavily, right? They were just looking for a bonus, and if you didn’t quite have it, they’d overlook it, right?

Well, no. Probably not. They asked it for a good reason. In fact, it may have been even more important that all that behavioral stuff.

It seems to me that – for better or worse – despite reading and watching volumes of advice, consulting with my boss, and working with a career counselor, I still have not quite realized what correct execution of the conventional wisdom would actually look like. Having not had other roles, I have difficulty imagining being in them, so I persist in interviewing for my current role each time (i.e., illustrating why I am good at my job, but convincing no one that I should be give a different job).

Now, this is not intended as a “woe is me.” In fact, what I’m about to say next is the real crux of the issue, and it’s not flattering, but it’s the truth.

I think they sense a lack of curiosity.

But how is that possible? You are always reading about and/or teaching yourself how to do random things.

With regard to home recording, upcycling, memoir, niche media, not killing a plant – sure.

But insurance?

Challenges faced by the industry?

What our competitors are doing?

The modernization of our systems?

Ah-HA.

Truth be told, they asked me a question point blank that was designed to suss this out- and though I did not act embarrassed or flounder, I was nevertheless, as they say, busted.

I see it ever more clearly that going into these things, I do everything to practice advocating for my accomplishments, and comparatively little to anticipate my prospective team’s challenges and consider how to alleviate them. Sure, I read up on what not to do, so of course I always have questions prepared. But if I’m honest with myself, they are usually kind of… perfunctory.

And why is that, y’all?

I think you know the answer.

I suspect that my career counselor, with whom I have not corresponded in a couple of months due to my newfound acceptance of the status quo, might suggest I am persistently barking up the wrong tree…

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