“What are your interests?” asked the interviewer sitting in front of me. His piercing eyes settled on my nervous ones. I started with my thoroughly rehearsed lines of ” Well my specialization was….” when I was cut mid-sentence, “I meant apart from your field of study and job, what are your interests?” I smiled at him and took a moment to correct myself and then gave an appropriate reply that I guess anyone sitting in an interview should. Satisfied with my last answer I was asked to wait as the other applicants will be interviewed. I tried not to be smug but I knew I had done good.
As I sat in the waiting room sipping my green tea (I had to mention green tea because that is the THING right now to show that you are “fancy”. I personally like my tea with milk and sugar and ginger, thick and comforting) and looking at the expanse of the concrete jungle in front of me I could not help but think about the hypocrisy behind my last answer of the interview. The very standard answer to this very standard interview question that even google will throw up if you manage to type the words. Step 1: Express Enthusiasm for the Company as this is an excellent opportunity for you to show off what you know about the company. …Step 2: Align Your Skills and Experiences With the Role you are applying for. …Step 3: Connect to Your Career Trajectory. Simple, Crisp and Rehearsed.
I wondered if anyone really expressed their true interests within those rooms and if they did what chance would they have of getting the job? More importantly did people even have interests nowadays in this age of trying to be the next big thing and get the next big idea? People with interests outside their field of work are a dying breed and will soon be added to the list of extinct races. My interests were always vast and varied but none of them would play any role in my job so I fake my interests.
My real interests are –
Travelling to off-beat places and be off the grid. I like to travel because it makes me feel alive and awake and not because I want to decorate my instagram page with interesting pictures. If I could I would travel the world and never settle down I would be the happiest person on earth. Imagine how happy my prospective employer would be if he heard that I would be applying for long leaves atleast three times a year and would be off the grid on long weekends.
Reading fantasy novels and crime thrillers. Being an avid reader I have read books that you read to impress people and the ones you are ashamed to admit. But its the crappy ones I have enjoyed the most. I have no interest in world politics or business and keep myself updated for the sake of my job.
Watching movies. Any damn movie.
Stalking celebrities on instagram.
Imagine how great i would look if I mentioned my real interests. Even they know they will be hearing a rehearsed lie, its just a way of judging who can lie in the most convincing and innovative way. Because after all that’s the most coveted quality needed for a corporate job.