Interview Courage


In Part 2: A Risky Hiring Decision, we found out just how wonderful Lisa really was; she was amazing! Needless to say, we were thrilled to have Lisa join our team. Not only was she an exceptional employee but she reminded us to not judge a book by its cover.

Cliché, right? Absolutely. But that’s what made Lisa’s situation so significant. After Lisa had been working for a while, she gave us some insight into what was going on with her the day of her interview.

Her father had passed away two weeks before the interview. She was a little guarded, given the circumstances. Before her father passed, the family started major construction at their home – which is why she had a weird smell. Her interviewer thought it was marijuana in Would You Give This Woman a Job?

With all of the crazy things going on in Lisa’s life, we couldn’t understand why she still decided to attend the interview. Lisa told us that this was actually her very first interview, ever. She wanted to talk about what was going on in her life but didn’t know the rules of the interview process. She had no idea about interview etiquette: what not to wear and what not to say. She didn’t know that her root in-need-of- a color-retouch and abrasive smell would make a bad first impression. So the question that comes to mind is, “Is it a cop out to make decisions based on a candidate’s presence during an interview?”

Lisa’s situation reminded us that even in a situation as formal as an interview, we should first honor our humanity by be willing to be vulnerable, and having the courage to ask difficult questions. Asking the right “human” questions during the interview would have created an opportunity for complete understanding. Lisa and her interviewers inadvertently embraced the opportunity for miscommunication. Thankfully, the truth prevailed.

What’s the most courageous thing you have ever done in an interview situation?


About Kali Patrice

Kali Patrice is the founder of The Image Studios, a Chicago-based firm that specializes in branding and image communication. She blogs through “Successful Expression” to share fresh ways to share insights about image, personal branding and self-expression.