Apparently I suck…

at taking constructive criticism

Photo from

Photo from

It’s funny, for the last two weeks I have been assisting with interviewing youth for jobs – and one of the questions we asked was: “describe a time when you were given constructive criticism, and how you responded”.  As I sat on the other side of the table, I didn’t bother to think about how I would answer this question… but, today, I figured it out.

I recently interviewed for the position I have been working in for the last 8 months (on assignment).  I felt confident – as I was praised for the work I had done thus far, I knew I had made a positive impact, and I walked out of the interview feeling relatively confident.

To my surprise, my interview was described as “vanilla, low energy, not your A game…”

<insert blank look here>

As I let the feedback settle, all I focused on was the word “vanilla”.  Urban Dictionary describes “vanilla” as unexciting, conventional, normal, boring.  Ouch – that hurt.  I felt myself getting internally defensive, thinking my work had proven my worth, what did I miss, what didn’t I say, I answered all the questions, what else were they expecting?

My response was “perhaps I’m not the best candidate for this position“, and perhaps I’m not, but by golly, I wish I taken this feedback with a little more grace.  Yes, tears are welling in my eyes, I’ve already perused other jobs, and I am accepting that this may not be where God wants me – but I wish I would have sat up tall, smiled boldly, thanked the person for the criticism and expressed my goals of improvement.

Now, on top of feeling vanilla, I feel disappointed in myself for how I reacted.

So what’s the point of this rant?   To not let words cut so deep, to take them for what they were – honest feedback – and to be grown up enough to accept them and move on.

Thanks for hearing me out.  If anyone has any tips on interviewing, staying strong & positive, accepting criticism – etc., I would love to hear them.

God is good friends.  God is good.




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