The interview face.

Today I was interviewing for two posts linked to a new project we’re about to launch.

It was a productive day. We have two great workers recruited. We had some pretty good laughs along the way.

And as always, the interview process introduced us to some ‘interesting’ characters…


One guy in particular I will not forget in a hurry.

And it got me thinking… About the ‘face’ you wear in an interview. You know? The parts of you that you try to put over in an interview situation. The good-stuff.

I mean, an interview is maybe 30 or 40 minutes long. Max.

As an interviewer, you ask a few questions. You listen to some answers. Some examples. And then you decide on who to employ.

But how much can you really see about someone in an interview? Really?

I know, I know, you also read the application form… But truthfully, in an interview, you just see a tiny snippet of someone. And if they’re good at interviews, you see the ‘face’ that they want you to see. You see the good parts of them. The best parts. 

But you don’t necessarily see the real parts. 

In Japanese, there is a phrase called 建前, which literally means ‘front face’ (as opposed to private thoughts). It’s used to often describe the way that people behave like everything is fine in public, even when behind the scenes, things could be incredibly far from fine.

And I don’t think 建前 is a purely Japanese phenomenon. I think it’s a human phenomenon.

Because so often, we present a front-face instead of a real-face. An interview-face that shows off our best-shiny-new parts, as opposed to our raw-honest-and-vulnerable parts. A mask that hides what’s true.

But what I’m learning, and learning and learning, is that Jesus not only knows my deep, true thoughts and my real-open-heart… He also loves the real me. 

He doesn’t just love the shiny parts of me I polish off for an interview, He loves the mess that I closet away and hope no one sees. Because He loves me. He really does.

And I’m learning that in taking down my 建前, other people take down theirs’. I’m learning that what real people really crave is genuine relationship over perfect pretence. And I’m learning that actually, walking with the broken often means starting with your own brokenness. And testifying about the One true God who loves healing broken people into His wholeness.

It’s a beautiful challenge. And it’s a beautiful truth. 

Because I want to worship Him in spirit and truth. No mask. No face. No shame. No darkness. Just worship. In the truth of who I am, and the Truth of who He is.

Free to dance. Free to be.



3 thoughts on “The interview face.

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