Interview Questions

“What is something you’d like to change about yourself?” I posed the question to my unwilling Speech class. I was coaching them on interview skills. As a pre-test I had them quickly write responses to seven interview questions for a job as a line cook (the job one of their classmates selected from the local paper).

“That’s a good question, Miss.”

I nodded. Don’t we ask that of you every day, I wanted to ask.

“Miss! That’s a really good question!” Now he was stalling and had me concerned. We moved on.

“How do you define success?” I continued.

“Ohhh,” spoke out the same student, like he had caught on to some trick of mine, “Good one. I don’t know, Miss, how would you define it?”

These weren’t trick questions. These weren’t even obscure questions. These are the questions I want them to think about every day. Smiling, I reminded him, “Not today. Today, you answer as if you were in an interview. Think: when do you feel successful?” My heart sank when he didn’t answer, and I chided myself for asking such a ridiculous question. My students feel success? They almost don’t recognize the feeling when it bites them in the nose. “Your art, or lettering,” I prodded. “Do you feel successful when you draw? Yeah? How so?”

A few more questions and I saw his wiry frame relax a little as he concluded that he felt successful when he did something he loved. We also agreed he wouldn’t love being a line cook, and that was OK.

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About hey miss

A teacher. A prison guard. I used to think that was like oil and water. Like lightening and metal. Some days it is. Some days it's magic.
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