All presidential primary seasons are painful. This season is just more painful.
Dubbed the longest interview process, it does bear some resemblance to the interview process we all go through either for a job or a client. As a candidate we are being judged 24/7. You may get the job because of how you handled the waiter when he bungled your order, or you may not get the job because of how you handled the waiter when he bungled your order. Audiences, voters, and interviewers make decisions based on all information gathered not just an answer to a specific question downloaded from the Internet.
Think about it. Why are you called in for an interview? If your whole life is in the resume, then why do you need to be interviewed? What can you say at an interview that is not in your resume? You owe it to the interviewer or interviewers to give them or show them information about you that they could not have known if they had not taken the time to meet with you.
You have to do the hard work. In my Rules of Communication, rule #52 and #53 are that audiences are lazy and selfish. The speaker has to do the hard work. In an interview the interviewing committee is the audience. You have to give your audience a gift, something they could not have known without meeting you in person. Give can you share about you of value?
A CEO wrote that he takes prospective hires to breakfast. Unbeknownst to the hire, he tells the kitchen to bring out the order all wrong. Then he wants to see what the prospective hire will do, how will he handle the wrong order? NOTHING IS OUT OF LIMITS during the interview process.
Many people prepare themselves for an interview. What does prepare mean? Often it means prepare by getting online, downloading possible interview questions and maybe even practicing them out loud. Some may even prepare by thinking about the questions they most dread. How many people prepare by thinking about questions they would never expect to be asked?
If an interviewer is good they will ask some of those downloaded questions that interviewees prepared to answer. If an interviewer is great, they will ask questions that the applicants never thought about such as: could you do stand-up comedy or have you ever thought about joining the circus, or how do you flip pizza dough? You need to be as good when a question debases you as you are for the prepared questions. What would debase you?
The debates gave us Ben Carson and his closed eyes, Jeb’s inability to recover from the low-energy criticism, and Hillary’s “screaming.” What do your interviews give your audience? Because none of the criticisms that got any of the candidates out of the race had to do with their competency.