That was the question posed to me on several interviews. I had come expecting technical analysis or situational awareness questions. When Microsoft broke out the logic and IQ questions, it felt like a game. This was different. They wanted to know something I knew. They wanted to know how well I could explain it.

I hedged and asked for a clarification all while searching to describe something I knew well. The interviewer reiterated, now stepping up the stakes:

Teach Me Something Complicated That I Don’t Already Know

Well, software engineering was out. This person had that locked down. What else did I know? How shallow was my life that I could only barely answer this question? Was my job really the only thing I knew well?

It wasn’t. I had just finished competing in a natural bodybuilding contest. Those things are tricky, especially if you are not especially genetically gifted as such. I explained my lose fat, gain muscle plan. It worked. The interviewer was interested.

What about you? What is one thing you could teach right now?

Comments (7)

Excellent question!

How to disassemble and reassemble an M-16.
Basics of Telecommunications.
How to bandage a sucking chest wound.
How to throw a grenade.

Can I use any of these to get me to my magic number?

Why yes, yes you can. Excellent insight! This is my exact point and will be the subject of multiple future posts. For now, I’ll keep it brief.

Knowledge, information and the skill to apply correct action are at a premium in today’s economy. Not only can you use the skill sets mentioned above to find a job today, you can teach these skills to generate a lasting income going forward. Check out for a very interesting take on making money online.

how to safely follow a set of procedures which would take a parked airplane for hire through an exterior and interior inspection of essential parts, conjoling the parts to perform their expected tasks flawlessly and in harmony with the other parts creating a sum larger than the parts that result into a artistic graceful machine defying gravity and breaking free from the confines of two dimensional space and time.

It’s not really complicated. Everything essential is really broken down into manageable and meaningful chunks. The point is to split the “complicated” task into bite-sized concepts and explain it to a person in an interesting way. It really could be explain how to make chocolate chip cookies. You could start with the hand made recipe with flour, sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla extract and chocolate chips or you could start with Cindy Crawford in a skimpy bikini feeding you spoonfuls of prepackaged cookie dough. Personally, I like both. It’s all about the audience and the topic. The Microsoft geek probably would like the Cindy Crawford story better, but it is your career.

And if you do have that ability to split content up into managed, easy-to-digest pieces and present it entertainingly, you could have a great second career! One free of cubicles!

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