Monday, January 10, 2011


I suck at interviewing. It's about the most frustrating thing in the world to be bad at something so instrumental in getting a job. I'd say that being good at interviewing is at least twice as important as being good at your job. After all, getting a job is a prerequisite for doing a good job. Anyway, I am sure there are a multitude of reasons for my poor interviewing skills, but my concern is how to get better.

All my life, I have been very good at math, and like any genuine math person, I scoffed at English skills. Every standardized test, math lifted me over the top, while my English scores brought me back to earth.

As a kid, I didn't read a lot unless I was forced to. TV was my thing and the boob tube had me transfixed. I was too lazy and impatient to exercise my imagination with a book.

When I got older, I started to read more. Opinion pieces on economics and politics were a drug. As I read, I started to notice something strange happening. Through no fault of my own, I would catch myself using words that I had never used before. Out of the blue, I would say something that I couldn't believe came out of my mouth. That used to happen before, but this time, it wasn't my foot that was the problem. Gradually, my vocabulary improved. And the more I read, the more it improved. It improved so much that on the last standardized test I took, my math skills were the weak link.

I don't think change is made in one fell swoop. Eloquent people do not wake up one day and decide to be eloquent. They evolve into eloquence. All changes are a consequence of small steps repeated over and over until they become second nature. We are wired for routine, change the routine and you change the wiring.


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