Schools teach people to react, take tests, and show how great they are. For a posted opening, you're presenting yourself as a commodity -- a slightly shinier one, you hope. It's based on compliance.
Most analytical, geeky types got a lot of schooling. After decades of it, most people have learned that model without awareness of alternatives.
If you want to avoid challenges in life and just get a job so you can retire 50 years later with nothing remarkable in between, that strategy works.
What Ryan described -- to audition -- is standard in other fields, such as sports, acting, singing, and other active, social, emotional, expressive, performance-based (ASEEP) fields. No actor won an oscar for his or her GPA. No athlete won a championship for being president of a student club.
In ASEEP fields, your performance matters. Sadly, many in business continue to think and act on a compliance-based model. Those who start from a performance-based model find and create opportunities to excel.
I'll always remember how a client told me he met a guy running a business in a field he wanted to move into. He told me he first got to know the guy to make sure he'd like working with him. He then told him his passions and hobbies in that field, then that he had zero professional experience, and then, as he told me, "I led him to hire me."
That's leadership. The guy hired him, saying "I can teach you this field, but I can't teach getting it and you get it." (Incidentally, what he called "getting it" is what I taught him -- you can teach it, just not through a compliance-based model.) So he got paid to learn the new field. Not long after he started new initiatives in that business.
One could argue that the special ops schools (like BUDS) drills into you that you are but one of many and to be compliant (even thought BUDS itself is an audition) and that you are a commodity. Please tell me that Navy Seals avoid challenges and accomplish nothing remarkable.
Speaking of SEALs, I just wrote about them in the draft of my next book, on becoming entrepreneurial, in relation to ASEEP fields, which may be relevant to this thread, since military training trains performance:
"Entrepreneurship is as active, social, emotional, expressive, performance-based as any field. Most books and courses on entrepreneurship teach entrepreneurship appreciation, not practice. They may not hurt, but they don't necessarily develop you to genuine, authentic, free self-expression. Business literature isn't written to help you become more entrepreneurial. If all the business articles about Navy SEALs -- to pick one genre of entrepreneurship literature -- helped people perform as SEALs do, SEALs would read business literature instead of train. They train because it works."
Amazon has the preface and first chapter in the "look inside" link above the picture of it https://www.amazon.com/Leadership-Step-Become-Person-Others/..., which develops what I wrote here more.
The movie Most Likely To Succeed http://www.mltsfilm.org is about project-based learning. The books and articles by the guys behind it, Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith, are on active education and I found valuable.
Here's a post of mine with a video of Ted and the movie director: http://joshuaspodek.com/another-problem-with-traditional-edu... and links to relevant posts of mine.
Despite all of the hyperbole in tech, that's what most of us are doing. We work to provide for our family and if we get hit by a bus tomorrow, the company we work for will put out a req for an open job position and life goes on. It doesn't matter whether you are the janitor or the CEO.
Out of the billions of people in the world, a minuscule number make a long term difference.
— Man, like the animals, is meant to live together with others like himself. But the meaning of belonging to such a group is found in the comfort of silence and the companionship of solitude.
— Is that why you let me enter and taught me?
— We taught you, young man, because you already knew.
Master Kan and Kwai Chang Caine, Kung Fu, season 1, episode 11, The Praying Mantis Kills
It's like wanting to hire people to sit down and compose music, but everything in your hiring process is selecting for showmanship and stage performing instead.
the typically interview gotten through a college job fair, and a coding interview, prices human labor as a commodity
sometimes commodities sell for high prices, but in general, you'll do better if you don't compete as a commodity
this is a method for competing along a different axis
This style of interview (ahem audition) will NOT work when applying for your 1st, 2nd or even 3rd jobs. McDonalds and even Facebook need a lot of worker bees.
They need very few Performers (CEO, CFO, Chief Strategist, Head of Content and Marketing, etc. etc.)
It works only when you are no longer a commodity and have a specialization.
Its great advice that I hope to be able to use someday. Until then I will keep my head down in the trenches..and take some notes :)
It definitely seems important to understand the positive psychology aspects of this and set yourself up for success, but perhaps it's also true that the reason many people don't come into interviews with a 'pitch' is that... there is no such pitch. A lot of people _can't_ take the business somewhere new and interesting, or provide indispensable value. And they subconsciously know this. It's not that they can't _ever_ do these things, it's just that they need to acquire more expertise and build a vision.