The other day a friend went for a job interview but she didn’t get the job, it seems that the interviewer had an accent, she didn’t underhand some questions and there goes the job. This incident reminded me of two interviews that I had where I didn’t understand the questions but still I answered, and in both times I got the job.  

The first time was an interview with this newly established division in the ministry in Bahrain, it was to look after international conventions and UN agencies and so on. The head of that division (who is still a friend of mine and I meet him and his wife even after 36 years of that incident, and he of course has the memory of an elephant that keeps minding me of the error that I made) interviewed me, it was early morning, and whoever knows me know that i am not a morning person, and one of the questions was “Lesbon is the capital of which country?” I answered him that it’s the capital of Spain. Anyway, after few more questions, the interview was over and I went home, and continued my sleep. The next day I was asked to go and complete the job formalities. Yay I got the job, I was really thrilled as the job promissed lots of travelling and so on. 

Anyway after few weeks in the job, we all got to know each other and the manager joked about me not knowing geography, so I said why? He mentioned the error, and all of us laughed, then I asked him why he accepted me despite my Mal geography? He said because my answer was full of conviction! So he even questioned his own knowledge, and only after he went home and check the atlas that he realised that he was tight and I was wrong. So he said that my sincerity made him believe that I would do will. 

The second blooper was when I was interviewed for a teaching job.  Amongst the questions the dean asked me what I do to overcome stress? I said: stress? What does that mean? Well he and the rest of the panel laughed thinking that I don’t get stressed! But of course I thought they were laughing at me because I didn’t know the meaning of the word “stress” which was true? So I left and went back to my office, and told everybody what happened and that I will never get the job!!!! My surprise was when I got the offer letter, The people at worked were more stunned than myself? Of course by that time I found out the meaning of the word, and felt so bad that I answered with complete idiocy! But we finally figured out why the interview panel had laughed!! They thought that stress is something that I never feel. Haha saved again.

What I am trying to say here is that, sometimes conviction and answering truthfully and to the best of one’s knowledge can be a plus in job interviews. Don’t be intimidated, the interviewers are human like you, and can have deficiencies too, so if you don’t understand the question or you feel that what is being asked is beyond your comprehension, say that, no one is born knowing everything on this earth.  

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