21 December 2010

Not Proud

I interviewed for a position today that really intrigues me. Part of the intrigue (but only part) has to do with a question the interviewer asked.

"Tell me about a time you aren't proud of, and what you did with or about it."

I don't think I've ever had a question worded just that way before. Sure, I've had an interviewer ask me to relate a mistake I've made - but never was it phrased in the way this was. Admitting a mistake is one thing - but a time when you weren't proud of yourself reeks of something personal - something shameful. What you choose to talk about can't help but tell a WHOLE lot about you - how you see yourself, what your fears are, what you want that other person to think of you.

How would you respond? Would you actually answer the question that was asked, or talk about a mistake made or problem solved instead?

I did - at least - reply honestly rather than deflecting the question into one I was more comfortable with. There's a time to be proud of. But the question itself seems to be taking me on a journey through all the times I didn't tell her about. The times I've actually treated people coldly - out of fear I couldn't let myself feel, even the times I've slunk away rather than let out my anger at someone's mistreatment.

I am often amazed by the way each day offers lessons in self-knowledge. I guess that really is the work of, and for, a lifetime. I do hope I get the job I was interviewing for. But then I also hope not to have to become too busy to continue contemplating, meeting, and accepting myself.

This becoming a grown up, perfectly imperfect human can really drain one.


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