The Interview -Part Three

I couldn’t even drive for the love of God. Until two weeks back, I had never searched about cars, besides, I couldn’t even afford one.

The Interview -Part One
The Interview -Part Two
The Interview -Part Four

I faced a panel of three. Two gentlemen and one lady. The room was big with a massive conference table. One gentleman sat at the center and the others on either side of him. There was distance between them due to the pandemic. They looked up at me when I entered. I remained standing until they offered me a seat. I placed my handbag and vacuum cup on the carpet beside me when I sat.

The gentleman on my right started talking. He apologized for the delay. I told them it was alright. An interview is like an exam, any inconvenience that causes delay is advantageous to the students. It means more time to prepare.

The same gentleman continued talking. He introduced himself and everyone else at the table. I listened, maintained eye contact and tried to appear pleasant. All was well until he focused on me and said, “….so, tell us about yourself”.

It was a question I had researched on. I knew exactly how to answer it. Unfortunately, words failed me at that moment.

I started with mentioning my name and a few personality traits. But I was stammering. Dear reader, I don’t stammer, ever. I don’t know what came upon me that day. The words seemed stuck in my throat. I was choking. I was having a panic attack.

“May I please take my mask off?” I asked.
They nodded and responded in the affirmative so I removed it. Talking was now easier. I did not have to struggle to be clear and audible. Regardless, I still had trouble saying what I needed to say.

“I don’t know why I’m so nervous…” I said looking shyly from one person to another.

“Would you like some water?” Inquired the gentleman on my right. I looked around but there was no water. Following his gaze, I noticed a table in the far corner opposite the entrance. “Yes, thank you,” I responded getting up to fetch the water myself. I wished to stall but it would have been quite obvious. I grabbed the first bottle Infront of me then tried opening it as I returned to my seat. To avoid eating up more time, I continued talking as I removed the seal from the bottle. Every now and then I looked up at my examiners. It comforted me that most of their attention was on my Curriculum Vitae. Eye contact can be intimidating. I took about two sips of water and abandoned the bottle entirely. I was not thirsty.

Based on my CV, they asked me a couple more questions. I talked more about myself. My academic background and mostly about my work at my current workplace.

“How much would you like to be paid?” asked the gentleman on my right.
“Anything above three hundred thousand shillings,” I replied instantly. I had already done the math.

Suddenly, they all looked up at me. No one said anything. They just starred at me motionless, their facial expressions unreadable.

“From what I spent to get here, it will cost me roughly two hundred thousand shillings a month on transport, to and fro.” Their gazes did not fade.

“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.


End of Part Three.

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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