Season 5 of HBO's hit show Game of Thrones wraps up this Sunday and, if you'll be so kind as to pardon the dragon influenced pun, things are really heating up. In a recent episode, two fan favorites finally....
Wait, wait wait. I'm legally obligated by the Rules of the Internet to issue a serious Spoiler Alert at this point. I will be discussing an important moment in the show, and if you are not caught up, you may want to skip ahead to my final, non-spoiler thoughts on what we learned in regards to interview style in the episode at hand. If you are caught up, or are not worried about spoiler alerts, please read on! (And these aren't huge spoiler alerts. It's not like I'm telling you that Jon Snow's mother is [redacted] and that Tyrion is actually a [redacted]. Now those would be spoiler alerts!)
As I was saying, two fan favorites, Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys "Dany" Targaryen, finally get a face-to-face meeting. The meeting is basically a job interview, albeit one with more at stake than the normal interview. Tyrion is "interviewing" to be Dany's advisor, and Dany will either "hire" him, or have his head removed from this body (there have been some, uh, disagreements between Dany's family and Tyrion's, and it's best not to get into them or this blog will become as long as one of George RR Martin's books).
Let's break down the interview:
Dany in the Position of Power
The common interview is conducted in a one-on-one setting, in the hiring manager's office. The hiring manager will usually be seated comfortably behind their desk in an ergonomic chair. Whether it is intended or not, the hiring manager is in a position of power. Dany takes this to the extreme, as her office is actually a throne room. Let's take a look:
Talk about intimidating. Dany takes the position of power to the extreme. She has taken the high ground (which is a military technique advised in Sun Tzu's The Art of War and frequently displayed in my living room by my cats when they are fighting), she is seated while Tyrion doesn't even have a stool, and there is the presence of the spear wielding guards to account for.
Tyrion Interviews the Interviewer
An interview is a two-way street. A candidate is interviewing for a job, but is also looking into if this job is the right fit for them. Tyrion is in an unfortunate position, as the alternate to getting this job is death, but he still let's it be known that this has to be the right situation for him.
Dany asks: So I should welcome you into my service...?
To which Tyrion responds: Into your service? Your Grace, we have only just met, it's too soon to know if you deserve my service.
Tyrion, an expert political advisor, has spent his last few years in service to an unappreciative kingdom. He knows his worth, and his skills, and wants to make sure that he is doing what is best for him.
Dany's Direct Approach and Tyrion's Confidence
There are a lot of creative questions that hiring managers can ask to see if a candidate is the right person for the job. Some hiring managers may choose the direct route, which Dany does in this next exchange, when she basically asks why she should hire Tyrion.
Dany: Why should I spend my time listening to you?
Tyrion: Because you cannot build a better world on your own, you have no one at your side who understands the lands you want to rule. The strenths and weaknesses of the houses that will either join or oppose you.
Dany: I will have a very large army… and very large dragons.
Tyrion: Killing and politics aren’t always the same thing.
Tyrion has done his research on Dany's position and knows how to help her. Even in the face of death, he is confident in his skills.
The Spoiler Alert Has Been Lifted
For those skipping for the sake of the spoiler alert, a quick wrap up:
1. The "hiring manager" in this instance takes a position of power in the interview, intending to intimidate. The candidate remains confident in his abilities.
2. The candidate is not only interviewing for a job, but seeing if the job is a good fit for him. He knows his worth, and wants to be in a position where his talents will be appreciated.
3. The hiring manager is direct in asking why the candidate would be a good fit for this role, and the candidate answers by showing his knowledge of her situation. He has done his research and knows how he can be an asset to the "company".
Being properly prepared for an interview is important not only in our world, but in the mythical and magical world of A Game of Thrones. In this instance, our candidate was prepared and ultimately successful, as he landed a follow-up interview (and wasn't executed). We'll break down the follow-up interview on a subsequent blog.
Want more A Game of Thrones/Hiregy insight? Check out this previous post on the leaderships styles of Westeros.