Rabbi Daniel Lapin
July 1, 2012
Finding a terrific job is not easy. One way to ruin your chances is by projecting over-confidence. While employers certainly want to know what you can do for them, being full of yourself will turn off most interviewers.
Understanding Joseph’s behavior will provide us with some specific strategies for interviews and meetings.
After failing to find satisfying interpretations to his two disturbing dreams, Pharaoh told them to Joseph. (Genesis 41:8 & 15)
Joseph explained how the dreams foretold seven years of economic abundance followed by seven years of famine. Astonishingly, Joseph then offers unsolicited advice. He suggests that Pharaoh hire a wise administrator (implying that he himself is the ideal candidate) to supervise the economy.
Pharaoh should have said, “Thank you, Joseph but I asked you for dream interpretation, not for advice.”
Pharaoh should have added, “Regarding your opinion of my dreams, I’ve heard many zany interpretations. Perhaps your explanation is true; if so you’ll be rewarded. Meanwhile, return to the dungeon from which we took you. If your interpretation turns out to be correct we’ll release and reward you.”
Instead, Pharaoh listens intently while Joseph speaks at length. When Joseph finishes, Scripture tells us that Pharaoh and his servants liked Joseph’s ideas. (Genesis 41:37)
I would have expected Pharaoh’s courtiers to tell their monarch, “Your Highness, it’s always better to promote from within. The people will respond more obediently if directed by an experienced Egyptian bureaucrat rather than by this arrogant Hebrew ex-convict.”
Yet they accepted Pharaoh’s appointment of Joseph. What occurred that day which persuaded Pharaoh and his court that Joseph was special?
Let’s compare these two verses: …and Pharaoh dreamed and behold he was standing upon the river. (Genesis 41:1)
And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream, behold, I was standing upon the banks of the river.” (Genesis 41:17)
Ancient Jewish wisdom reveals that God told Joseph not only what Pharaoh’s dream meant but He also told him exactly what Pharaoh had dreamed in the first place. In his dream, Pharaoh saw himself standing literally on the water of the River Nile. Fearing ridicule when recounting his dream to Joseph, Pharaoh modified it. Instead of reporting how he’d seen himself standing on water, he added the words ‘banks of’ saying, “I was standing upon the banks of the river.”
When Pharaoh uttered those words, Joseph softly murmured, “I didn’t know I would hear the words ‘banks of”.” This shocked Pharaoh greatly and he confessed before his entire court that he had not, in fact relayed the dream exactly. This proved to Pharaoh and his staff that nobody more qualified than Joseph existed.
Years later, King David revealed how God proved to the Egyptians that Joseph was chosen. Many translators struggle to make sense of Psalms 81:6. The simple meaning of the Hebrew is:
He (God) gave testimony to Joseph when he went out over the land of Egypt; “‘Banks of’ I didn’t know I would hear.”
While we can’t expect God to give us inside information before a job interview, a successful applicant does homework and arrives prepared, knowing details about the company, the position, and how to add value. Calm confidence coupled with deep knowledge makes one appear desirable, not arrogant. A candidate who shows that he possesses extensive familiarity with the company causes the interviewer to think, “Can we find another like him?” (Genesis 41:38)
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Communicating effectively means empathetically blending three elements: ‘confidence’—I am going to get this job; ‘communality’—I’ll be part of your team; and ‘reciprocity’—hiring me will be great for us both. For family and social communication, different examples of the three elements would apply. There’s no better exercise to gain this ability than probing the mysteries of Scripture.
Tanach (Hebrew Scripture) is an anthology of conversations and interactions between God and humans, between humans and humans, and between people and their souls. Ancient Jewish wisdom reveals the timeless truths behind the words. Possessing the Genesis Journeys Audio CD Set, on sale now, allows frequent access to its life-changing knowledge. It can improve your faith, family and financial life. Bless yourself and others with a new understanding of God’s word by exploring this resource right now.
© 2012 Rabbi Daniel Lapin - All Rights Reserved
Rabbi Daniel Lapin, known world-wide as America's Rabbi, is a noted rabbinic scholar, best-selling author and host of the Rabbi Daniel Lapin Show on San Francisco’s KSFO. He is one of America’s most eloquent speakers and his ability to extract life principles from the Bible and transmit them in an entertaining manner has brought countless numbers of Jews and Christians closer to their respective faiths. In 2007 Newsweek magazine included him in its list of America’s fifty most influential rabbis.
You can contact Rabbi Daniel Lapin through his website.
Web Site: www.rabbidaniellapin.com