The art of the (professional) interview

The art of the (professional) interview
The art of the (professional) interview

The art of the (professional) interview

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© Spyros Staveris

Noemi Lefebvre
Mediapart – Billet de blog – August 16, 2022

– Are we sitting here? What do you want to drink;

– ‘A cup of coffee.

– A coffee, a lungo. And bring us water too, eh! So you got the interview, when is it, Thursday?

– Yes.

– For Thursday, ok, we don’t have much time, we will manage, but nothing is given, you have to work on your presentation, we agree that this takes work, even the engineers and graduates, even they have to put in the work.

– Yes.

– In the old days, we used to hire engineers, professional engineers, you know, who had already managed a lot of people, and yet, we taught them how to market themselves, we were impressed by the level, even among engineers it was low, an engineer must to work on his presentation too, ok, understandably you can’t be good at everything, you have to learn, even salespeople, who know how to sell everything, will need work to sell themselves, just so they will be able to sell it the way you like it, don’t you put any sugar in it? can i have yours

– Yes.

– In the old days, the slave traders, our providences if you like, the DRH [Directeur des Ressources Humaines  – Διευθυντής Ανθρώπινου Δυναμικού -σ.σ.] in the 17th century, I often point this out, because it makes you think, they had a trick, coconut oil. They anoint the slaves with coconut oil before putting them on the market, they did it to show off the muscles, labor sells better when it’s pleasing to the eye, people buy what’s well presented, for the packaging, are you following me?

– Yes.

– Well, you should also add coconut oil. What am I telling you now, huh? It was also the teeth, the teeth are like for the horses, the horses that were the ancestors of the cars, are you following me? the beautiful cars of the 17th century, an easy way to know the condition of a car is the mileage, the teeth are the mileage, you your teeth are fine, you are young, how old are you, there at twenty two?

-Yes.

– It’s good that you already have the teeth, but you don’t have the strength yet, that’s why you called me, because you admire me because of my strength, it’s normal, obviously one is jealous of all this, everything I have, especially my car, in your age, of course you dream these things, you necessarily dream them. Oh, sure, it’s not the 206 [Peugeot – σ.σ.] of your father, does he still have his 206?

– Yes.

– It does well and keeps it. I don’t want to criticize my brother, but he finds artists complicated.

– Yes.

– I am not telling you this to present my vision of the world to you. I’m sorry I don’t have more, I call this realism, but it’s ideology, agree.

-Yes.

– Well, first of all, should what you consider a failure in your life turn out to be a plus, yes, failure has something interesting because failure is a challenge, are you following me?

– Yes.

– Failure shapes you, but be careful, as long as you don’t dig in there, you might block then and then you won’t stop complaining, people who find pleasure in spite will never achieve anything, and you know why? Because they like their whining, it gives them a reason to stay in their shit, they blame everything and nothing and stay in their shit, they are actually afraid to succeed because if they succeed, it means they won’t recognize themselves in the mirror, they are a problem we encounter in interviews, the tendency to get stuck in failure because of the face we’re used to seeing in the mirror, we have a face we don’t want to change, that’s the idea, while to move forward you need to know how to change your face , it’s an image thing, you understand?

– Yes.

– When I talk about image, we must understand that it is not only a matter of presentation, but also of in-depth observation, right?

– Yes.

– I want to say that the physique and the mental state are two things connected, being yourself with a face and a body, that’s what you have to develop, that’s what I did, you see, my appearance matches my spirit, everything agrees, where I am I am both in my mind and in my body because I maintain myself, it is like the pool. I have a pool, but it’s not enough, I have to maintain it. What do you do when you have a pool? You maintain her. Maintenance, do you get the concept?

– Yes.

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Toby Corbett, “Interview 3”. Photo Saatchi Art

– But be careful, maintenance is not everything. You have to find a good training, it’s like when you do a sport, it’s automatic, you have to train and at the same time manage it, that means with control, management is control, first step you master the technique, technique is basic, second step you master the form, and that’s when you start managing it. You always have to manage yourself as best you can, you can get discouraged, especially if you are a bit reserved, are you reserved?

– Yes.

– It’s good to realize, we have limits, alas, but management should not lead to shyness, more value is given to those who have a lot of confidence than shy ones, I was shy, I don’t think so, I was shy because I was too self-aware of my flaws, but I learned that by taking risks you become more and more capable, I was pathologically shy at first, but I listened to the advice, I realized that I was not less worthy, I am not better, I am not less good, these are the techniques. I’ll say bullshit, the world belongs to those who try. Silly, huh!

– Yes.

– If you try, you may have failures, the first meeting will be average, the second will be a little better, the third will be even better, you will find it by asking questions, what I tell my sales people, first we identify the problem.

– Yes.

– That’s the easy one, then you have to assess the added value of a problem combined with the skills, that’s where you differentiate yourself, but you have to take it a step further, yes, but also calculate how much it will cost, think of a thing, relationship is a means, be careful not to confuse means with ends, we are efficient, we know how to organize our time, these are only means, the end is money, so we free up our time, we show our organizational skills . I have people who don’t achieve the goal they were hired for because they’re doing technical tabs and product tabs, while we’re asking them to do turnover, here’s what the key messages are, efficiency, effectiveness, so either you have great talent and on the first meeting you’re ok, either you work on it, you have to work, work, work. You have an interview, you mustn’t miss it, when you go to a gym you don’t go in saying I’m going to join, you have to go in saying I’m going to give it my all, I’m going to work, work, work, work, that’s it.

– Yes.

– You say yes, but do you have any questions?

– I will have.

– Come on then.

– I do not know. Maybe for the meaning.

– For the meaning?

– Yes.

– To be honest, I’m not going to fall on the floor, but let’s say I’m worried, I’m not stupid, I see everything going to hell, there’s no water for months, fires everywhere, nuclear power plants are jammed, birds are dying, people they can’t be tolerated anymore nor can the golf courses be watered so I’m worried about everything I have I know this build up makes no sense but I don’t know what else to do it’s all stupid and defiant my pool for example . I dreamed of this pool, loved it madly and jealously, now I maintain it, check the PH, collect the leaves, do my crawl, swim from one end to the other. I discovered that it is impossible to cry underwater. Did you know this?

– Yes.

– And as for the rest, as Kafka also says, the “What to do” or the “What’s the reason to do it??” are not queries of these areas.

​​​​​​H Noémi Lefebvre (born 1964) is a French writer.

The article is in Greek

Tags: art professional interview

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