Money

The Interview -Part Four

“But I can negotiate now that I know the place….use cheaper means or contract someone to bring me on a discount….or I could shift and get a place this side. It depends on your budget.”

That last part made them relax. Finally their eyes returned to the documents infront of them.

Saints!

The Interview -Part One
The Interview -Part Two
The Interview -Part Three

The only lady in the room had been introduced as the Human Resource Manager. She sat on my left. Even without her looking at me, I could tell from her facial expression whether I doing well or not. The other two gentlemen weren’t so easy to read. In one of my reference stories, I had talked about a difficult client I once dealt with at work. The H.R’s face seemed to tense up as I continued with the story…until when I reached the part when I apologized to the client. At that moment, her face relaxed and I could tell she finally sighed with relief. Not once did she look at me, but I could tell how she was feeling. Most part of the story felt incriminating-until at the end when we solved the misunderstanding. “Everyone would want to have such a mother,” I concluded.

“What would you say is your greatest weakness?” asked the gentleman on my left.
“I don’t like being disappointed,” I said. Again, all eyes were on me. But the Human Resource Manager had a hint of a smile on her face. I think she liked me.

The rest of the interview was wonderful because they asked me questions in relation to what I had said. This was a lot easier. Not even once did they ask me about cars and the company. When chatting with Blake in the lounge, he had asked me for what I knew about cars. “Not much,” I had replied honestly.


Blake: Can you drive?
Me: No.
Blake: What if your interview was about personality, temperament and anything of the sort?
Me: I wish!

And that wish had been granted. As I got up to leave, they thanked me for showing up for the interview and apologized again for starting late. I said it was alright and thanked them for inviting me. Before I reached the door, I stopped.
“There is this joke I saw somewhere. Before any interview, print out all the CVs and then trash half of them, cause you don’t want to hire unlucky people”. The lady got the joke and she laughed.
“…so thank you. It’s not easy getting an interview these days”. With this, I turned to go.

Before I got to the door, the H.R asked her first question that day.
“What if we asked you start tomorrow?”
“I would,” I replied. 

She smiled at my response. I wished them a lovely day then climbed the steps down to the ground floor. At this point, I was quite pleased with myself. I knew I was likely to get the job.

I went back to the waiting area. Five minutes later, Rebecca was summoned for her interview. Sera still wore the dejected look she had when she returned from her interview. Honestly, I felt sorry for her.

Rebecca returned sooner than we expected. Blake showed up at about the same time. “How was it?” He asked expectedly. We all spoke at the same time, but his attention was on me. “They were tough,” I said half smiling. I’m sure he got the point. I didn’t want to make Sera feel worse than she already was. Just then, a lady walked up to us and asked if we would like to have lunch. I looked at the others and they were okay with it. “Yes, please. Thank you”. I replied.

As we ate, I wondered if Blake had had something to do with it. Before going in for my interview, I had mentioned several times that I was hungry because I had skipped breakfast. And now here we were, offered lunch. For the umpteenth time, I wondered if Blake was a lot more than he was putting on the table. I had a gut feeling he was one of the Managers. Boss Undercover.

Lunch was wonderful. A balanced diet. During the meal, Rebecca went on and on in an excited manner. Intentionally, I didn’t say much about my own interview- for Sera’s sake. I only talked about the salary question when Rebecca mentioned it. “Yeah, they asked me that too”. But I didn’t add much. We changed the topic and talked about other stuff. Occasionally, I tried to get Sera to say something. She was terribly quiet.

As we concluded with our lunch, the light-skinned gentleman that had been sitting at the center during the interview showed up. He had a few papers in hand that he rested on the table.
Him: How was the Interview?
Us: (chorused different replies)

He stared at Rebecca and replied agitated, “For you everything we asked you was all around you on the wall. You just had to look around”.

Rebecca looked down a bit embarrassed.

He asked us, “Did you apply using LinkedIn?” We looked at each other perplexed.

“No, we were contacted about the job by a gentleman who connects hiring employers with people looking for jobs” I answered. He paused and then added, “It’s just that all your CVs were similar. Same Highschool… It’s what LinkedIn does. Suggests people for jobs with the same qualifications”.

He paused thoughtfully for a minute. “How would any of you feel about working in Lira?”

We looked at each other. No one seemed to object. The others were quiet, so I spoke on their behalf. “Why not? We’re not married and we don’t have kids”. I should have stopped talking at that point, but I went on about ambiance and how I wasn’t so built for the city…” Basically, I ruined everything. When I was done yapping, the gentleman gathered his papers, sighed and left. His only response was, “Okay”.

After lunch, Sera, Rebecca and I thanked the cooks and went towards the gate. Our day’s task was completed. Rebecca did most of the talking. As we walked, Sera asked why my interview took so long. I told her it was because I found a comfortable topic and stuck with it. “All the questions they asked me were basically in relation to what I had said,” I answered.

Rebecca laughed, “Hah, do you know this girl? This girl can TALK! The moment she delayed, I just knew she was telling stories”.

I just laughed. “Anyway, it was a good interview. Anything is possible. If I get the job, well and good. If I don’t, it’s still fine. It would have gone to someone that needs it more than I do”.

Rebecca looked at me, “One thing I know about you is that when life hands you lemons, you make lemon juice”.

That was actually accurate. You won’t believe the lemonade I’ve made over the years!

Rebecca: At least they gave us lunch.
Me: Come on, really?!

We all laughed and later parted ways.

The End.

Disclaimer: The names that feature in this story are fictitious. They were made up to protect the identity and privacy of those involved.

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2 Comments

  1. Ayebare Patience Joy

    July 24, 2022 at 1:16 pm

    The world is surely round.
    You all went to school together and years later here you are showing up for the same job interview.

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      July 25, 2022 at 5:44 am

      Absolutely. It’s one of those things that hit me. It never occurred to me that I would ever have to compete with people I knew.

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