Monday, 30 April 2012 11:01

Advice from The Princess Bride

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This week, I decided to try something different: look to a movie for job and interview tips. One of my all-time favorite movies is The Princess Bride. So, at the prompting of my sister-in-law, I've explored how the characters in this movie provide lessons about interviewing.

If you are unfamiliar with the movie, or if it's been a while since you've seen it, here's the quick plot summary:
A farm girl, Buttercup, whose childhood love, Wesley, is lost at sea after a pirate attack, will soon become the bride of the her kingdom's prince, Humperdink. However, shortly before the wedding, she is kidnapped by three men: a swordsman named Inigo, a giant named Fezzik, and a not-so-clever mastermind named Vicene. Ultimately she is rescued by her childhood love, Wesley, and she escapes marrying the less-than-noble Prince Humperdink.


What can we learn from these characters?

Wesley
"Death can't defeat true love."
Out of his love for Buttercup, Wesley defeats a master swordsman, outsmarts a mastermind, overcomes a giant's strength, and also takes on human-sized rodents, quicksand, fire pits, and death, too.
Application to job search:
Think about how you can overcome obstacles and bounce back from rejection. If you are truly passionate about the work, keep pursuing it.

Vicene
"Inconceivable"
Vicene the mastermind kidnapper lets his ego defeat him. He thinks that to be outmaneuvered is "inconceivable" because he is just so brilliant. As a result, he poisons himself.
Application to job interview:
Don't let preconceived notions or ego cloud reality. Do your research and ask questions, so that you understand each job and each company. You need to win the job by proving yourself at the interview, and not rely on any factor, like brilliance, to carry you.

Inigo
"My name is Inigo Montoya..."
Inigo has sworn revenge for his father, who was slain by a six-fingered man. After 20 years of daily sword training, Inigo ultimately defeats his father's slayer.
Application to job interview:
Practice. The more you can train, prepare, and practice, the better.

Fezzik
"Hello!"
Fezzik, the giant, carries the other kindappers up a cliff face, revives his friend Inigo from a drunken state, and finds four white horses to help his friends ride into the sunset. Along the way, he wins the hearts of his friends and the movie audience.
Application to job search:
Job searching is fundamentally about helping oneself, yet if you see opportunity to help others along the way, do so. It can pay dividends.

Humperdink
"I knew he was bluffing."
Humperdink, the prince, has every advantage, including money and powerful friends. Yet, at the end of the film, he finds himself tied to a chair, surrendering to a Wesley who can barely stand.
Application to job search:
Having powerful allies can help get you pretty far. Still, at the end of the day, it's you, your effort, and your persistence that will determine where you end up. You have to help yourself to achieve your goals.

Miracle Max
"Humperdink!!"
Miracle Max helps bring Wesley back to life, but despite his healing skills, he was fired from his job as the royal family's physician. Instead of looking for new opportunities, he becomes bitter about his past employer and shuts himself in.
Application to job search:
We all know someone who has let bitterness get in the way of future success. Whatever happened in the past, the only thing that can be done is move forward.

Read 2299 times Last modified on Monday, 11 June 2012 23:12

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