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Smiling demurely

Knowledge is power. For me, knowledge is the power to overcome the feelings of powerlessness I experience when interviewing for jobs. I remember walking through the doorway, seeing the interviewer, pausing to comb down my tousled hair and feeling flushed. I knew that I had to calm down, but my hands were sweaty as I shook his hand. I instantly remembered my training is knowledge and this was my power. I had been in this position before and I knew I wouldn’t do this perfectly, but I was getting better each time I tried.

All I had to do was perform as I had trained in my resume class and I would do well. Taking a few breaths, I hoped he did not notice. I forged ahead, feeling more confident now, armed with my cloth briefcase I felt like a professional, or maybe a knight with shield fighting a dragon in an echoing cave. Smiling demurely, I walked to a point in front of a smooth, dark brown leather chair as he circled around to the far side of the cherry wood desk. It seemed that each sound was magnified a thousand times.

The squeaking of the swivel wheels moving across the plastic square on which it sat sounded like the grating of metal, or the stamping of claws. I nearly jumped when I made the leather of my chair groan as I fidgeted trying to find a comfortable position. It seemed as if time was passing very slowly as I briefly stated my qualifications for the job. I wandered would I be offered a job and if not would I be able to psyche myself to go on to the next interview.

Feeling out of place is natural, but overcoming is not unless you are prepared. Seizing the moment, I answered the questions as best I could. I felt like I was in the fog of a battle. My mind was swirling from one thing to the next; I could barely hear the interviewer’s comments as my mind was focused on the past instead of the present. It’s always easier for me to blame past mistakes for present conditions, my lack of knowledge, instead of focusing on solving the problem.

Taking a deep breath, I forced myself to focus on this man. His wry smile set in a ruddy, slightly balding face left me with the knowledge that he was sizing me up as an individual and an employee. “Relax, you are doing fine” he said. This calmed me somewhat, especially after he asked me to wait in the anteroom for a moment. I left the office and stood staring at the carpet for long moments in the center of the anteroom. My heart leapt when Mr. Simpson told me I was hired.

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