Ask Jonathots … July 30th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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What is the best way to stand out in a job interview? I have three of them scheduled in the next month. I’m a manager in a good stable company, but want to work in a more innovative business environment.

First and most important, there is no correct, accurate, positive and valuable answer for the inquiry, “Tell me a little bit about yourself.”

If you say too little, you look timid.

If you say too much, you look arrogant.

Every company has a different approach, but basically it revolves around three different questions. Every job interviewer wants to know:

  1. What do you think about yourself?
  2. What do you think about others (co-workers)?
  3. What is your position on personal responsibility?

If you go into a job interview understanding that these are the “big three” that need to be answered, then you will know how to present yourself in a better light.

So if you get that infamous request–to share about yourself–break it down into two different parts:

  • This is what I believe I can do
  • And this is what I’ve been able to prove I can accomplish.

Because we are human beings, we require other human beings to have a balance of confidence and humility. So if you’re going to rehearse for an interview, what you need to do is find a way to keep that balance in order.

Example:

“I have always felt that I was pretty good at dealing with people, but I think that is getting better because the evidence is showing up in the fact that my sales, interactions and productivity have increased when working with others.”

It’s a balance. It shows that you have confidence, but you realize that it’s being put to the test, and will only be proven when there’s a fruitful conclusion.

I also think it’s important in every interview to have a point when you disagree. I’m not suggesting an argument, but in the process of asking you questions, people will make assumptions.

For instance, “At our company, we believe that everybody is valuable and everybody’s feelings need to be taken into consideration.”

Your response: “Even though I agree with what you’re saying in principle, we are a company, and the bottom line is producing and making money. So we have to be careful not to stop every five minutes to work out office conflicts, but instead, be looking out for the good of the company. At least, that’s what I believe.”

And finally, the third thing to take into consideration in an interview is the “Rule of 25.” Try to keep all of your initial answers to 25 words or less. Rambling or running out of things to say and groping in the air for more information is a sure way to come across tentative. Make your interviewer ask you more questions, and give shorter answers.

These are some guidelines which I hope will help you in the pursuit of a new opportunity.

And by the way, best wishes and good luck.

 

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Untotaled: Stepping 49 (July 13th, 1969) My First Bikini…January 10, 2015

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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(Transcript)

Being painfully bored, I was greatly relieved when Marsha called and said that some of the kids from school were getting together to hang out, drive around Westerville and see if we could have some fun without getting in trouble.

She wanted to use my 1962 Chevy Impala because it was big enough to seat seven people.

I agreed.

We had a great time, but we did start running out of things to do, so we headed off to an area of our community where all the rich people lived. The locals usually did this because we wanted to drive by their houses and talk about what brats they were.

Suddenly Marsha suggested that Carol, who was with us and was about to get her driver’s license, take the wheel and try her luck. As unbelievable as it may sound now, in a moment of sanity, we all thought it was a great idea on that day.

Carol got in the car and the first thing she did was put it in reverse and back my automobile into a deep ditch.

We spent the next twenty minutes trying to get out of the predicament. Then Marsha noticed we were across the street from one of our friends from school, so she walked down the long drive to try to get some assistance. While she was gone, miraculously, we were able to wiggle the car out of the ditch, so by the time she returned with her friend the problem was solved.

As I looked up, there was the girl from the house down the long driveway, standing there, wearing a bikini. It was my first bikini.

Normally Ohio people wear clothing–similar to the reason that bears have fur–for protection, warmth and of course, modesty. But there before me was a bikini, displaying its fruit like a bowl full of cherries.

I don’t know why it shocked me so much. Perhaps I had never been that close to breasts that didn’t belong to my mother. I tried not to stare, and of course, when you try not to do something, it becomes even more obvious that you’re doing it.

She was dressed in a bikini because she had a swimming pool, which normally would have caused us to make fun of her, but since she was wearing a bikini, I reconsidered.

She was the same girl who believed the Easter bunny lived at her house, and who sat next to me in biology class like a timid lump of nothing.

But today she was a bikini.

We didn’t stay long, but all the way back to town I was thinking about the sight. I thought about it all that night. I woke up the next morning thinking about my first bikini.

So later that afternoon, I called the bikini girl on the phone and I asked her out on a date. I realized that some of my friends would ridicule me because they had characterized her as a rich weirdo, but I didn’t care. I was driven by a higher force–certainly not as high as the heavens, but floating somewhere above the earth.

I learned that day that romance needs more than love. It requires lust.

And lust has a very brief lifespan without love.

 

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Three Ways to Ask… December 18, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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Timid or aggressive?

It is the unholy bounce we find ourselves in when trying to pursue our heart’s desire.

  • Timid makes us ill-suited to acquire our dreams.
  • On the other spectrum, aggressive is undesirable. We end up looking self-serving.

Yet we do have needs. We do require certain input to make our lives work and on occasion these valuables are not immediately provided.

So how should you ask? How do you bridge the gap between timid and aggressive and find the appropriate profile to offer your beseeching?

1. Ask from a history of gratitude.

I do not believe that anyone will get what they want in life without preceding it with a great dose of gracious thankfulness. There is something in the heart of humans–and I also believe in the heart of God–which repels those who think they can come making demands without first giving testimony of the blessings that have already come their way.

People don’t like to do this because it seems awkward, contrived and insincere. But what could be more awkward, contrived or insincere than coming one more time to ask without expressing a “thank you” for what has already been provided?

2. Ask and be specific.

It is annoying to have to draw out of someone what they really need instead of them being candid and sharing their heart with you.

If you’re embarrassed about your lack, then you should learn to live with it. You have to decide if you want to improve your situation or if you just want to act humiliated.

Be clear about what you want.

Focus on what you’re asking.

3. Ask, prepared to use what is available.

Once people know you’re grateful and you have been forthcoming, be prepared to get a little bit less than what you petitioned, and then astound yourself and the world around you by working with it.

My definition of greed is thinking that what you have determined to be your bottom line has to be achieved before you will move one muscle to begin.

Asking is one-third of the great energy that’s necessary to be a human being. It is the first step to seeking, and finally culminating with the perseverance of knocking.

Never be afraid to ask–as long as you have a grateful heart, an honest tongue and a willingness to make a start of things instead of stubbornly waiting for exactly what you want.

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