I don’t know how it happened, but I was interviewing with a senior vice president (SVP) in the company where I currently work. I don’t remember what the role was, but I think it was in a significantly different part of the company.
We were sitting at a table on the third floor, near the bar. He took out his iPhone, placed it on the table, and started a timer running. Then, pointing at a man who was sitting at the other side of the large table, he asked, “What’s his name?”
I looked at the guy and didn’t recognize him. How am I supposed to answer this, I thought. The interviewer looked at the timer, and I felt the pressure of answering what seemed like an impossible question as quickly as possible. “I have lunch with a different person every, but I don’t know him,” I said, feeling defeated.
Then the SVP pointed at a guy walking out of the glass door of a meeting room, and asked, “what is the name of that senator?”
I didn’t recognize him either, but as the clock ticked, I caved and pulled up my phone to search for photos of senators. I found myself scrolling through a list of faces and names, but I couldn’t find him. Then I realized that he looked more like a certain comedian. Maybe this is a trick question, I thought. I started googling [balding comedian] and looking at the image results. Google wasn’t working properly in my dream, but I re-did the search just now and discovered that it was actually Larry David.
By this point, my potential new boss had wandered into the copier room, which is weird because we don’t have copier rooms at work. I followed him, and I was trying to convince him that my failure to answer the questions was not representative of my real capabilities.
Later on in the dream, I realized that I should have just asked the guy sitting on the other side of the table what his name was, and I also could have walked across the room and asked Larry David what his name was. I had the SVP’s cell phone number, and I contemplated texting him and telling him that I realized what I could have done but that it wasn’t obvious to me because I’m an introvert. After all, according to Susan Cain in Introverts: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, introverts make better managers and leaders.