Archive | December, 2015


About dead fish and a lovely smile- Body language during the job interview

„We had a position written out for which we needed a person with assertiveness. The task was to start a new department in a highly competitive field, the new head of this department would have to pull up something entirely new, tearing down internal as well as external barriers. One of the applicants stood in front of the conference room with a bow tie and a suit which presumably hailed from his high school graduation. Shaking his hand felt like touching a dead fish from which the soaked coating was about to fall off. During the interview, I made a sincere attempt to see the real person, the expert in him, but I didn´t manage to get this first impression out of my head anymore. I simply didn´t see a strong leader in front of me.”[1]

For hours we sit at our desk to prepare for the job interview. The company website, annual reports, Top 100 questions for job applicants- we go through all of this several times. Well prepared we enter the room. Boom! Within a second our interview partners have alreadshutterstock_141947875y decided whether to give us a chance to get the job or not. A frustrating thought, isn´t it? And worst of all… we didn´t even say a word of all the material we prepared so meticulously!

The moment the door is being opened, the first impression is being created. The brains of the other people decide whether we´re friend or foe, sympathetic or unsympathetic, a potential sex partner or someone for a platonic, professional relationship.…

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Rabenmütter Weihnachten

Merry Christmas, you bad bad mum!

Vigorously, I slam the car door shut and run in the direction of the nursery. I notice the pulsating arteries on my neck. My thoughts are still in the last meeting. A man in front of me dodges my military stride and turns around abruptly. He examines me. The heels of my pumps make a loud clicking sound in the rhythm of my pulsating arteries as I am heading for the glass door of the multi-coloured house with tunnel vision.

Only now do I gradually slow down and force myself to participate in the slowness of my environment. I am scanning the place. Parents, kids everywhere. I didn´t even know there were so many kids in the nursery. The big dining hall is almost bursting from the amount of people. Children- and adult voices mix with Christmas songs in the background. A turmoil which is nearly overwhelming me. The cookie buffet is right in front of me. Almost secretly I try to hide the cookies I just bought under the handmade ones on the plate. I feel like being in a parallel world. I just came out of a white meeting room with video conference and business plan, a clearly structured agenda, communication rules and diplomatic discussions. And now this chaos of colours, lights, smells and voices. In the corner of my eyes I see one of the carers running towards me, frantically waving with her arms. “Mrs. Feldmann” she is calling. “Here you are at last. I already tried to call you at home, but no one was picking up, only the answering machine.”…

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In the job interview: Braving the gaps

It´s really hard. I am looking for the perfect replacement for this open position for four months now. In the beginning I was still dreaming of the Allround-Mr-Perfect, but I left this notion far behind me by now. I would already be happy if I would glimpse some potential for this Allround-Mr-Perfect.

A lady is the first one today. “How would you solve this task?” I am asking her and move the all-too-familiar sheet exercisewith the numbers towards her in what feels like the 100th time for me. The lady looks at the table and explains every detail to me. “Good” I say. “I see that you are fit with numbers. We need someone like you. Someone who understands her craft and the details. Now imagine the department head would call and wants an update about the latest data. What do you tell her?” She looks at me, insecure. „I would definitely tell her that we´re on a good way. I could send her the table, then she would have all details at hand.” I silently tick her off. What a pity. I would have loved to get some femininity into my team. However, I don´t think she´s able to think from the side of the department head, just as I have my doubts that she could stand up to opposition.

Next in line is the former IT sales rep. He shakes my hand elegantly, bows slightly and takes a seat. An old-school gentleman, I think for myself and feel a certain connection.…

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