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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Kirschaum

The Danger in this Interview Question

This common question seems harmless, yet it shows the severity of the power imbalance

Applying for a job, have you ever been asked to: "Tell us why you'd be perfect for this job?!" Can't you almost hear the cheeriness? As if expecting perfection were not actually cruel.

Hmmm. To be honest, I'm not perfect for anything, except, naps, sleeping in and drinking black coffee.

It seems so harmless. We don't really mean perfect, except, we do. [Snaps fingers, looks at you expectantly.]

When did the job market get so inverted? When did we all put on masks and start looking for the truth from personality and "management style" tests because no one trusts anyone else to tell it?

What was the tipping point that normalized punishing candidates for being even a little bit ourselves? And [Gasp] less than perfect! For shame!

As a result, we pay strangers to organize two pages "the right way," telling a third stranger who we are and what we've been doing for work. Oh, forgot the cover letter. Make that three pages. Isn't this the modern equivalent of powdered wigs and calling cards? Both went out of style a long time ago.

And after submitting to that protracted and often fake ritual, you're asked, "Tell us why you'd be perfect." I'm not perfect, and neither are you, and we shouldn't have to be to get a job. Courtney


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