A few years back I was a bit tired of my first job. And like anybody else in that situation, I was applying for a new one.Now, this was my second round of interviews I had done in my life (the first was for my first job of course) and as such I was a bit more confident about my abilities, but I was still quite nervous.
At one point I had an interview a bit further away from home. Was pre-occupied, rushing to make my train, thinking about the answers to the standard questions (“Well ma’am, one of my weaknesses is that I tend to bite the head off of anybody asking me un-original questions…”) and about the really smart questions I would ask in turn (“So, uh, you’re like, the boss around here?”). In my commotion it took me until the moment I stepped off of the train to realize that my pants and my jacket didn’t match!
I stood nailed to the ground (not very smart if you’re getting out of a train). My blood was pumping, heart was racing, sweat was pouring out of every pore. I felt I’d rather die than go on with the interview…
That was a few years back. In that time I feel I’ve gotten to be just a tad more confident. Yet still I care a lot about what they might think (for a certain value of they of course).
In those years I also did a tad of reading and one of the things that stayed with me was some research in how self-absorbed people tend to be, focusing only on what is important to them and basically ignoring everything else.
The outcomes were quite a surprise:
- Number of reprimands by the boss for being a filthy pig because of wearing the same item of clothing every day: 0
- Number of remarks on the consistency of my wardrobe: 0
- Number of careful and well-hidden questions to casually find out whether I indeed wore the same tie as yesterday: 0
- Number of moments where there might have been the hint of someone having an inkling of an idea that what I was wearing was in fact the same piece of clothing as I had worn for the past month-and-a-half: 0
My conclusions are fully in line with previous research: People pay way more attention to themselves and what is important to them right here and right now than to anything that you might worry about!
Oh and in case you wondered, the interview I started off with went very well indeed and I worked for four years there.
I’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.
I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!