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Interviews: don't paint yourself into a corner

"What are your career aspirations?" I ask.

People give me all kinds of answers and talk me right out of giving them a chance to move to the next steps of our interview process. Savvy interviewers know how to answer this one to keep moving forward.

To the innocents, I offer this story and advice:

A little girl kept nagging her mother, "Mommy, Mommy, I want a horse."

The mother repeatedly responded with, "You know we live in an apartment in the city. We have no place to keep a horse."

The persistent little girl kept nagging. Finally, the mother asked, "Why you want a horse?"

"Oh Mommy, I just want to go fast and feel the wind in my hair."

The mother thought for a few moments. She then went out and bought her daughter a skateboard.

Reduce your aspirations to the lowest common denominator. Don't you want an ethical company; great people to work with; a feeling of accomplishment; opportunities to grow and develop in a long-term career; and to make a contribution?

Going fast and feeling the wind in your hair can come in many forms like a horse or a skateboard. With all the new or back office professions you've never heard of, can you afford to stick with your descriptions of the color, the tail, and height of a horse?

The horse might be the equivalent to video cassettes when the company is already streaming. If you insist on the horse story, you may never find your job.

Just a thought!

Good Luck! :)