Job Interviews and the Culture of Fake Awesomeness

in society •  2 years ago  (edited)

You know what grind my gears?

Job interviews.

And not because I have little success with them. In fact, I have a fairly high success ratio when it comes to job interviews. But I dislike them a lot, pretty much always have.

So, I had a job interview a while back. I wasn't totally serious about it, to be honest, but I wanted to check it out, since I've been looking to get out of my current job, which has been boring me as of late - in addition to having me put up with annoying co-workers.

I work with sales stuff, so it could be that this just a sales business thing, or perhaps these things exist elsewhere, too, but are magnified in the sales business.

But even though I think I left a pretty good impression on the interviewer, the interview was so bad that it made me not want to take the job.

It was filled with all the annoying damn clichés like "What are your life goals?" "Where do you want to be in five years?" "What is important in life?" "What makes you happy?"


What is important in life?

It was at this moment that I really just wanted to say that in fact the world will eventually just be swallowed by the sun, which will in turn destroy everything that is and has ever existed on Earth, making all of our work, efforts, hopes and dreams completely invalid and pointless, since there's going to be nothing left, so if we're being really precise then nothing is important, and only the pain is real. But I'm not sure what it has to do with my ability to perform at this particular job.

Well, I didn't say that, but I do find the question to be quite relevant.

This is a common theme in a lot of job interviews. As I look back on the interviews I've been in, I'm pretty sure I've spent more time discussing everything but the job I was applying for.

Sure, it's easy to see why this happens, at least to a point, and that's to make sure that the candidate is a good guy, and all that. After all, when hired, he will be a part of the team in the office, but especially in something like sales business, why can't I just give the numbers that I've produces in the companies I've worked for? The interviewers always show very little interest in that, and I think the numbers are the most important thing.

Pat of the problem in the sales business is that good salesmen often become middle management in charge of this stuff. And I can tell you right now that being good at the craft of making sales has absolutely nothing to do with being a good boss. But making someone a pointless middle management busy body is a common way to reward a good salesperson in the business, and the end result is a bunch of bosses who have no idea what they're doing.

Trust me, I know.

I'm also annoyed at the culture of positivity that has seemingly infected all aspects of the western culture.

Everybody has to be positive, everybody has to love what they do, at all times, everybody has to be a dynamic, vibrant blah blah blah blah, insert annoying buzzwords here. Everybody's super awesome and everybody has all these great, big huge, exciting plans for the future and always busy and always this and that and the other thing and that, too.

I, for one, am not a particularly positive person. I tend to call things as I see them. Sometimes it makes me popular, oftentimes it doesn't. Being not positive is something that is heavily frowned upon in the corporate world, especially in the sales business, but I've always been able to produce at a high level wherever I've worked. That's not me bragging, that's just how it's been for me.

Do I produce well because I'm a super dynamic, positive, vibrant person who wants to spread around his love for what he does?


But making sales is what brings food on my table, if I don't produce, I don't eat.

Seriously, that's the incentive I need. And I will play by the rules in order to succeed.

But I can't say that in a job interview. I have to lie about making sales and happy customers being my passion, or some dumb shit like that.

The real funny part is that I doubt anyone actually buys this. We're all human, we all know how we function, but for some reason we've built this ideal human in our minds, and all aspire to be that, and expect others to, as well, even though we know that it's a dishonest depiction of who and what we are.

The person doing the hiring knows that he himself is not always happy and positive, but if the person he's interviewing says "You know what, I'm not always a super positive person", it's a red flag, and him being honest will probably cost him the job, if the second person interviewing lies about it.

And this doesn't come from a place of bitterness, this isn't sour grapes. I can, if I want to, perform well in these situations. Like I said, I have several years of experience in the sales world, so I know how to play the game, so to say. I know the rules very well.

And I know I successfully left a good impression on the interviewer - but at no point did he interview me. He interviewed a character that I created minutes prior to the interview.

I'm absolutely positive (clever pun intended) that I'm not the only one who's done that. Hell, I most likely wasn't being interviewed by a real person, either, but rather a fun, responsible boss character that he, in turn, created for the interview.

Seriously, our world is one that's almost exclusively run by fake people, when you really think about it.

If STEEM moons, I will just buy a cabin in the woods.

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When reading the "What is important in life" part I kept thinking of this Rick & Morty clip. Pretty deep stuff.

Ha ha so as someone who has interviewed a fair amount of people, I have to sit and listen to all the fake positivity, so I do that for a bit, Ill then ask 'So what is the last thing you failed at?' or 'When was the last time your communication style failed?'. I want a full explanation, their opinion of why it happened (WHO'S FAULT) and what if anything they learned.

The person that tells me they dont fail; goodbye.
The person who tells me it was everyone elses fault; better luck next time.
The person who never reflected on why it happened; perhaps this isnt the job for you.

Most important though it lets them know that its OK not to be perfect, in the interview and in life; we are hiring people, not politicians! So lets talk realistically about what you do and dont know, and what you can and cannot do.


Haha, wow. That's actually an awesome question on a lot of levels. I'd be impressed if someone asked me that. That's something that makes you think, and the answer is very telling. Nice one!

I'd love to be able to say that I honestly fail all the time, and more often than not it's my own fault completely. And I'd love for that to not be a death nail in a job interview.

Make it more human, you know.


Congratulations, you're hired.

You can always use the quote from Conan to describe what is best in life. Either they laugh and hire you, or kick you out. Win-win!

Oh the things I have been hired by presenting my shiny fake persona. It's ridiculous. Of course the last laugh is on them when shortly after I start I poison the coffee.

If I had been interviewing you replied:
"The world will eventually just be swallowed by the sun, which will in turn destroy everything that is and has ever existed on Earth, making all of our work, efforts, hopes and dreams completely invalid and pointless, since there's going to be nothing left, so if we're being really precise then nothing is important, and only the pain is real"
Ha ha ha ha I would have given the job there and then and doubled the wage offer.

I hate these kinds of questions, as the person interviewing has no right to know any of the real answers.

  1. they don't really care
  2. they don't need to know
  3. all they could do with that information is harm you or use it as a carrot.

That said, if I was to hire someone, I would want to know lots of things, because they will literally become part of the family. So, if their aspiration is to have a house, well, it is a lot better to have the company buy the house and rent it as part of payment. (of course you have to have two corporations that aren't linked together in any way to "legally" do this.) And some of the best companies even go so far as to have chickens and a vegetable garden, to make sure their employees are eating the best foods.

If you buy a house, then all you can deduct is part of the interest payment.

If a corporation buys a house, the entire thing is deductible. Maintenance, property taxes, everything. And the corporation can have a typical arrangement that it provides housing for its workers. You pay the worker less (the rent of the house) and so they pay less taxes. And the corporation writes off the entire cost of the dwelling paying less taxes.

As an example, Hugh Hefner rents his fully stocked mansion for something like $100 a month from the PlayBoy corporation.

As a recruiter and a sales person, I get it. I think one of the things that has kept me in this business for over 20 years is that I don't sell BS or listen to it. I use the word transparent quite a bit. I do my best to be totally open and honest with both clients and candidates..... I expect the same in return.