A cartoon image that had me laughing out loud was an “IKEA Job Interview.” The interviewer sits behind a desk in a sparsely furnished room and points to a bunch of pieces of a disassembled chair, which lie neatly on the floor. “Please have a seat,” says the interviewer.
While this image is hilarious, if the job interview were for a mechanic or an assembler of chairs at IKEA, the scene would not be so farfetched. And in fact, it is not unusual for an interviewer to test an interviewee with a task to perform on the spot. A good interviewer might test your practical skills in an interview, or your ability to respond to criticism, by asking you to perform a task or adjust your demeanor mid-interview.
I once interviewed a young man for a social worker position at the non-profit where I worked in Brooklyn, NY. There were two of us interviewing him, and I really liked him. He answered questions well and I was considering hiring him. My frustration was that he never made eye contact with me. It seemed as if he were gazing off into space and not fully connecting with me. And I knew there was no way I would actually hire him if he couldn’t make eye contact.
I did something perhaps unconventional. I stopped the interview, told him what I was experiencing, and asked him why he wasn’t making eye contact. He gave a reasonable response that he was struggling with having two interviewers and didn’t want either of us to get all his focus. From that moment in the interview, he made full eye contact with either me or my associate.
I hired him.
Why? Because I knew beyond doubt from that interview that this man took criticism and coaching well, and could implement a suggestion quickly and effectively. He also had all the other qualifications we were looking for.
He is still working at the organization today, and is appreciated for his work ethic and great attitude, as well as for the results he produces.
So this IKEA cartoon, while humorous, might not be that far off the mark for something you might be called upon to perform on the spot in a job interview. Luckily, all the tools you need are already in your possession. You just need to be good at following directions.
November 10, 2009
First of all I am going to give some examples of People of color being stereotyped. In Bugs Bunny there is a man named Husan. Husan is clearly a man of different color. The cartoonists of Bugs Bunny make Husan seem dumb, gullible, and slow. Which is okay. But why does Husan have to be a person of color?
Second of all in Speedy Gonzalez a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Speedy and Slowpoke were people of color. They were always stealing from people.
Third of all the witch doctor in Bugs Bunny always fell for tricks. He was gullible. Again he was people of color.
Next I would like to address that men are always the heroes. In my first example that I will be sharing. I’m going to tell you about Superman.
Superman is a famous hero. But why did he have to be a guy? Why couldn’t he have become a girl? Guys don’t always have to be the heroes.
Second of all. I would like to bring in Spiderman. Spiderman, as some of you may know is my favorite hero. But I don’t like how the producers made him a guy. He could have been a girl. A girl could have been the photographer. A girl could have been looking at a guy just as easily as vise-versa.
Thirdly I’m going to talk about Popeye. Popeye is always saving Olive Oil. From Ghosts, robbers, Kings, etc. But why does Popeye have to be the one to eat Spinach I love Spinach and I’m a girl.
Lastly I would to talk about how cartoons stereotype girls. How all cartoons make girls look weak, helpless, and need to be saved.
My first example is Sleeping Beauty. Sleeping Beauty had to be awakened by a kiss. Men can be beautiful. And girls can kiss them. Guys like kisses just as much as girls.
My second example is Cinderella. Cinderella was bossed around by her stepsisters. She was poor. And again she needs to be saved. And as we see over and over Prince Charming was the one to save her, from her dreadful life.
My last and final example is Mary Jane. Mary Jane was often captured by the “bad guys”. She wasn’t that weak. Nor dumb. Neither are most girls, are we? No. But do people care? No. They still make it so that we have to be saved.
Stereotypes are all over the place. Especially in cartoons. A lot of the time in cartoons people of color are portrayed as bad. Often in cartoons the men are heroes and are strong. In cartoons where some one is being saved I always see that to be a girl.