One of my clients had an interview scheduled on Monday. I asked her what kind of help she thought she might need to come out a winner and get the job. “I don’t know,”  she said. “I know all the questions and all the answers you gave me on the website, and I’ve had a few interviews – but no success. “ (She was referring to – a particularly good resource.

“Who are you when you have an interview?” I asked.

“What  do you mean, ‘Who am I’” she echoed. “I’m me, that’s who.”

“Maybe you should think of being someone else, “ I said. “Maybe you could think of someone you admire and would do a good job on an interview, then answer the questions the way that person would.”

“You mean a role model?”  she asked.

“Exactly,” I said, and I went on to give a couple of examples.

The first one harkens back from my days as an archaeologist. One of my colleagues was planning to go into the field that week to do some survey work for a couple of engineering companies. He needed a loan to get the project off the ground, and I was asked to co-sign.  He and the banker met first, and within five minutes the floor began to rumble and shake.

“Why don’t you just stomp on my nuts while you’re at it?” my friend roared. I heard that he was charging him 3 extra points above the last time. He got the loan, paid the extra, and the banker told me I should get my friend to , “Keep his nose to the grindstone.”

My friend is the role model I used for an interview.  I had good off season. I gave two papers at two conferences and a demonstration at a meeting. I thought that I was in the governmental good books as I barged into the provincial archaeologist’s office, sat in his guest’s  chair, put my feet on his desk, and said,  “Well, you old squid-faced son of a bitch, how are you doin’?” He took a couple of draws off his pipe and said, “Get your feet off my desk.”

I couldn’t get a job for a month. (Although to my favour, the fellow was nicknamed “The Squid.” That moniker stuck with him for the rest of his career.

The second example comes some years later from my career as an employment counsellor working for the Vancouver School Board. I always had a suspicion about the belief that marijuana was a harmless drug. I noted that amongst my younger clients there was a high incidence of spousal abuse, and I believed that resulted from smoking dope. It wasn’t from the ‘high’ so much as the irritability from being ‘down.”

I dragged in a drug and alcohol counsellor from one of the drug abuse teams to speak to my team about a pot abuser’s group he was working with.

There was something professional about this person. He was working on a program that went against the grain of pot experts, and he seemed to be doing a good job, but the important thing was he was pretty good at getting jobs for me. The best part about my relationship with him was that he never knew that he was my role model.

Choose your role models wisely.

Mike Broderick is an Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he finds employment for people with physical disabilities. Part of this work means affiliation with the Vancouver Board of Trade where he is a member of the Ambassador Club, the Burnaby Board of Trade where he is a member of the Labour Task Force, the Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce where he is an active member of the 10X10 initiative, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. He also does some work as a field Archaeologist. He is also a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine, and the proprietor of The Réésuméé Doctor in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at or at

If you’re looking for a change, start with a resume makeover at competitive rates

When he is not doing all this he lives in Port Coquitlam with his partner Cecelia


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