Thursday, December 2, 2010

Act Like You Don't Deserve It

I was recently helping the career center at the University of San Francisco as a mock interviewer for college students. Working with young people is fun; if you have the chance to do so, I highly recommend it. The format was pretty basic - ask student what kind of job they want, use a video camera to record a mock with student, review interview with student, give them the recording to do with as they please.

During one of the mock interviews, I decided to push one of the students a little bit to see what would happen. I asked her why she deserved the "job" over the other students, she answered the question with a reasonable answer, and then I told her she didn't deserve it. She got pretty upset for a moment, and then I told her that no else deserves the opportunity either. I continued to explain that by letting go of any sense of entitlement, she could give herself a leg up on her Generation Y competition.

Which Question Answers Sound Better To You?


Tell me why you think you'd make a good employee in this role.

  • "I am really excited about working for a company that will train me in what they do. I'm really good at learning."
  • "I will give you 110% in whatever tasks you give me, and in return I expect you to teach me your business that that I can make you even more successful. While I'm not entitled to anything, I'll perform better if you invest in me."

  • Where do you see yourself professionally in 3 years?

  • "In 3 years I'd like to be a manager at a large corporation. I applied to this job because it looks like a path to general management. You provide training, right?"
  • "For now I'll focus on being the best at what's in front of me. 3 years is a long time from now, but I plan to have earned more responsibility that I started with. I don't see any reason I couldn't be a team lead or a manager if I execute well."

  • Why do you deserve a shot?

  • "Because I'm enthusiastic, I work hard, and I'm fun to be around."
  • "I don't, but I'm confident enough to ask for one anyway. After I make you rich, some of that is bound to come back my way."
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