working with a pretty solid candidate with some reasonable skills. I sent him on an interview. It would be a really good job for him and it’s a wonderful company. He doesn’t do very well on the interview. He calls me to check in to see how he did and I explained to him that they’re not having him back because he didn’t interview very well. He says, “Well, if it’s God’s will.”
I hear this kind of thing at least three or four times a month. Now, I deal with a lot of candidates and it might be that three or four times a month isn’t all that great of a percentage relative to the number of candidates I work with. But it absolutely drives me stark raving NUTS when people blame their not getting a job because they interview poorly on “God’s will.”
The guy didn’t do one iota of preparatio. I gave him access to our interview tutorial, which we do for every candidate we get an interview for (it’s outstanding I might add!) and the guy doesn’t even take the course. He says he was just too busy. He doesn’t do any research on the company or the person that he was interviewing with… a VP I might add. He doesn’t sell himself and he doesn’t give the people he was interviewing with reasons why they should hire him. In short, he did a really lousy job of interviewing… really lousy!. And he’s telling me that it wasn’t “God’s will?” He then had the gall to ask me if I had another opportunity for him.
I was raised to have a very healthy fear of the Lord. I do my best to keep my prayer life up, go to Mass every Sunday and receive the sacraments as often as possible. I’m humbled, joyful and awed about my relationship with God, but, come on, are you kidding me? Forget blaming the fact that you didn’t get a job because you performed so poorly on an interview on “God’s will.” Stop it! I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. It’s absurd!
Lots of bad things happen in all of our lives. I don’t know which of it is God’s will. I guess I don’t know God that well. My non-theological sense would be that God would want the best for me and my family. When bad things happen, I ask for His graces and love to help me deal with whatever happens. But when someone doesn’t get a job because they didn’t even try very hard, it’s hard to imagine that God had anything to do with it.
If the guy had worked really hard and was trying to do well at the interview and tried real hard to do everything he could to get the job and then he didn’t, I might have more empathy for him. I might’ve even let the comment pass. But to blame God when the guy didn’t work very hard is the demeaning to, well,… even God.
There are some people who see the world this way, I guess. But it’s not reality. I believe that the only thing that God might do regarding anyone’s interviewing is to give them the graces and determination to do their best and accept the results no matter what they are.
Outside of my profession I hear people talk about “God’s will” all the time. It becomes an excuse for not doing well and psychologically lets them off the hook of responsibility. I’m reminded of the old story about the preacher who was driving through the country and stopped at farmer Brown’s house. He got out of his car to greet farmer Brown, and in the exchange, wanted to give praise to the Lord. The preacher said to the farmer, “Farmer Brown aren’t you just emotionally and spiritually moved beyond yourself to give praise to the Lord when you look around your wonderful farm here, green, lush and beautiful for as far as the eye can see?” Farmer Brown paused a minute and thoughtfully looked at the preacher and said, “Well, preacher you should’ve seen it when God had it all to himself.”
Mama used to say, “God helps those who help themselves.”
I’m not sure anybody can personally know God’s will in their own life. Maybe they can. But using it for an excuse as to why they didn’t really try to perform well on an interview or why they didn’t get a job seems mighty unfair… to God