Today, in a job interview coaching session, client started saying ‘we brought in someone professional to do the pictures, we created templates for the app, we created prototype for the different interface…’
I couldn’t help, but honestly didn’t understand, who else are we talking about here? I asked, ‘who are “we”?’
‘Oh, “we”…! Eh.. I think.. I meant.. “I”‘.
‘Oh right! So please just say I! Coz it’s hard to understand when we start speaking like the Queen..!’
Then after one or two sentences, since she’s no longer allowed to use ‘we’, she turned to third person speech! ‘There’s an app for the client, there are hard-printed materials, there is a new Facebook page’. Well, where did these designs, websites, Facebook pages come from? She did them, of course!
‘What goes on in your head when you are telling these stories about what you’ve done in the past?’
‘It’s a bit boring isn’t it, to talk about myself? I’m bored just listening to myself talking about all these things that I’ve done!’
Ah, right. Sounds like we needed a bit of paradigm shift here!
We worked to give her a new internal dialogue, one that says ‘I tell stories to show my skills for the new job’, rather than ‘I am boring, my stories are not worth mentioning, and I don’t want to talk about myself’.
It seems easy to impress the interviewer – if you want to get the job, the minimum you’ve got to do is start speaking in first person (singular), rather than first person collective!