Tuesday, May 18, 2004

The Art of Self-Prostituting

*deep strong voice declaring boldly* "I am an able-bodied, attractive, intelligent, well-spoken, creative, challenge-seeking young male adult with a honours degree from a respectable university. With 24 years of life experience, I have accumulated much knowledge, skills, and qualities to offer your organization. I am deeply interested in this job. And I am idealistic, enthusiastic, and ready to take up any challenge life throws at me!"

So why won't anyone hire me??

To be fair, I've sent out only about 30 plus applications, with only 2 measly interviews. Once my exams ended, I started sending out my painstakingly crafted cover letters and resumes, each pasted with a digitally enhanced picture of my smiling self guaranteed to attract and impress! jobsdb.com.sg... monster.com.sg... jobscyclone.com... jobstreet.com.sg... asia1careers.com.sg... ST's recruit section... The list goes on and on.

Well, right after the first interview, I truly thought it went quite well. Let's see, I was enthusiastic (gesticulating & speaking passionately about achievements), I was honest & sincere (related my life-experiences), I was humourous and witty (smiled profusely and tried to lighten the mood), I engaged the interviewers (looked them both in the eye), I was different... That night my mind began festering, recalling bits of my interview... Too smart-alec (made arrogant remarks and used stupid idioms), not engaging enough (interviewers looked bored), too inexperienced (was my first interview after all).

It feels like I just exposed myself to the scrutiny of two complete strangers, I remarked to a friend. And I don't think they like what they've seen and now I feel especially undesirable and vulnerable. It's been more than 2 weeks and they haven't called me back. Well, you'll be lucky if you actually get it on your first interview, another friend offered.

And why shouldn't I get it on my first interview, I say?? I fit the bill, don't I? I studiously prepared for the interview - did my research, thought about answers to possible interview questions, dressed impeccably, and carried myself like a virile peacock ready and worthy to mate.

Today, I strutted in for my second interview, confident and inflated. And blew it because I couldn't answer a simple question about the company's services. I'd read the company's annual report, clicked all over the company's website, but couldn't recall those damn services. I blame myself for being intimidated by the interviewer - this cold, stern woman who treated me rather impersonally. As the interviewer showed me to the lift, I was so blur I pressed the wrong button and she had to tell me to watch out for the red light indicating that the lift's going down. Somebody cough loser. Like a rooster with a sore throat and a doused ego, I crowed feebly, scratched the ground half-heartedly, and retreated to nest in my coop.

On the train ride back, slumped in my seat with my eyes closed, the epiphany dawned on me - I'm not selling myself enough. Allowing the 2 interviews to degenerate into ask-&-answer sessions, I had failed to prostitute myself. You know, blow a kiss, flash a thigh, and eventually go the full monty with my best assets.

Sigh... back to the drawing board, I say.


Anonymous said...

There is quite a bit of good stuff on your blog so far, I must say that I am quite impressed.

Jobs... don't worry, treat each interview as an experience. I personally feel that the luck element is still predominant. Glup... mine will be coming soon, so cross your fingers for me too!


Lemming said...

Sigh...and you have Honours!

How "marketable" can I be then, if I return with just a basic degree...

But then again, they've been saying that once you sell yourself as a person, results dun matter anymore.

So go give em hell you whore!

Xaiver said...

yoz man.

treat each and every interview as a practical lesson on doing the perfect interview.
wih experience you can do it better.

sometimes, it is better not to place too much hope on each interview, as the chinese saying go "有心栽花花不开,无心栽柳柳成荫". Gauging by the years i know you, u probably say "HUH?!" It means literally, the flower doesn't bloom when you cultivate it while the vine grows rapidly when you ignore it. Guess with your level of intelligence, you will understand this.

After 2 months of full-time job as a jobseeker, i only managed to get the job in the company where you had your 1st interview. At that particular interview, I was more inclined to head home rather than having the interview after being drenched by a heavy downpour (which flooded singapore) prior to the interview.

So take heart, your prospective employer may be the least expected company to hire you.

See you soon..