Monday, March 06, 2006

Tell them what they want to hear

It's funny what a little honesty will get you.

I was interviewing at a not-to-be-named company that specializes in home PC repair for a simple field technician job. When the interviewer asked me what kind of work I was looking for, I was honest. I told her that, given my experience, I was really looking for something further along than a field PC tech position, but I did need to start putting bread on the table again.

She told me they commonly had techs who worked for them for a few months (to keep their skills sharp, she said) while they were looking for other work. She made it look like this wouldn't be a problem. I was so pleased. Finally, my patience and honesty was about to pay off - maybe not with the job I wanted, but with at least something to hold me until better work came along - and they were good with it!

How naive I was! Even though the rest of the interview was golden, my honesty about my intentions, any other day a virtue, had become a curse. When discussing my application after I left, the staff couldn't come to grips with knowing I did not intend to stay with them forever - as if anyone ever did! It wasn't that I was likely to bolt at the first sign of a decent job, as so many other technicians have done (and will still do) - no, the vote swung against me because I had the honesty to admit what I was going to do, while everyone else simply pretended it wasn't going to happen.

So honesty cost me an opportunity.

I could say I didn't learn my lesson, and that I'll still be a perfectly honest applicant next time.

But then, I wouldn't be honest, would I?

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