As a kid, I used to read a collection of books about Aesop's Fables where, at the end of each story, a lesson is imparted. Perhaps because of that, I tend to assess a week's progress through lessons learned.

So what lesson did I learn the past week? Well, I didn't exactly learn but I did realize that communicating is easy to learn in books but tough to practice in realtime. Sure, theorists Shannon and Weaver deduced the communication process with the all-too-simple sender-message-receiver structure but in reality, it is far too complicated than that.

Take for instance a job interview. As the sender, I put across the message of 'I am qualified for the position, hire me!' The message is pretty simple and even straightforward to a fault. As the receiver, the employer — usually represented by a stuck-up, Psychology degree-holder, Human Resource personnel — would take the message and, ideally, respond favorably.

But unless I'm the son of the company's CEO, that isn't how communication works.

In reality, an interplay of charm, wit, confidence, and (to a restrained degree) agressiveness operates in the communication process during a job interview. By interplay, I mean they complement each other. One can't stand alone and let you breeze through the interview with flying colors. Take it from the quote below from someone once famous:

You can get by on charm for about 15 minutes. After that, you'd better know something."

Oh, and patience, too. However obnoxious the interviewer is with his me-myself-and-I stories, affiliations and past achievements, patience coupled with an arduous smile and fixed eye contact (never roll your eyes) are one's best approach to consistently show interest.

And preparation. You might think your ability to carry a conversation with your buddies could easily let you find the right words to construct the right answer to any question. Wrong! Prepare a list of best answers to possible questions and practice aloud in front of a mirror the night before the interview.

Jesus! I sound like a career advisor.

Well, if don't get to nail that job I sat an interview through, I'd perhaps consider a lateral career shift, then.