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A Short Story: How Ali Cleared a Job Interview!

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Imran is an anthropologist who researches and writes on self-improvement.

A simple Tale!

Ali went for an interview for a customer service job in the retail sector of a prominent watch company in Dubai. In truth, that job wasn't his preference as the position did not commensurate with his profile. Still, he aimed to clear the interview as a challenge to his confidence.

For two tedious days, the entire interview process happened. On the first day, he successfully passed three rounds. To the most common, but the most important question, 'Why should we hire you?' Ali answered: "Even though I am not completely from a retail background, in my previous company, to gain knowledge, growth, and flexibility, I continually took interest and learned about retail segments, especially handling escalation and customer grievances." He gave few examples to sound convincing and concluded saying: "I am confident that the learning from my previous experience along with this promising opportunity which provides a full-fledged exposure will help me do justice to the new job role."


The Human Resource manager found his answer suitable, but, then again, Ali still would be considered novice or beginner. And the job demanded more proficiency.

For the next round, the management gave him the task of visiting their stores and observing their way of working. Ali took the task sportingly and got back to the interviewers with his observations.

Ali's weakest point was his inexperience in the retail sector; nevertheless, his strength was his confidence. As homework, foremost, he quickly found out the brands the company sold. Initially, he had planned to go as a new customer. His second thoughts, however, gave him the idea to pretend to be an existing customer. To make that happen, he called up a friend and borrowed an elegant Longines watch as a favor. That temporarily made him the proud new owner of the watch. Ali chuckled at that thought.

When he reached the watch store which situated in a five-star hotel, he was astonished at the tiny size of the shop. Immediately, he understood how expensive and essential that small place would be. At the same time, he was surprised to learn that besides watches, the store also sold antics and bespoke apparel - Information not mentioned on the website. He patted his shoulder for a good start.

Without wasting time, he approached the customer service representative and placed a request to shorten the belt of the limited-edition Longines watch purchased from them. However, the representative directed Ali to go to another store for alteration.
Ali ogled the rep, kept staring, had some quick thoughts, and finally left giving a patronizing and pity smile. The representative sat puzzled for a while as he couldn't fathom what had just happened, especially the patronizing and pity smile part.

The next day in the interview, Ali not only shared his observation but also surprised the interviewers by explaining how he would have handled the situation differently.

Exuding enough confidence, Ali explained the selection committee, in his opinion, customers possessing high-end brands proudly hold the elite status, therefore they deserve excellent after-sale service. Especially by exclusive stores in five-star hotels.

Further, Ali informed, rather than directing customers to different stores, he would do the following.

  • First, he would update that alteration, maintenance, and repair requests are carried out in specific stores.
  • Then he would suggest and propose to place a request on the customer's behalf.
  • If the customer agreed, he would take the watch, give an acknowledgment receipt, inform the turn around time of collection, and check if the customer wishes to collect the item from the same store or the repair center.

Fascinated by his explanation, the selection panel appreciated and welcomed him into the company, negotiating the package.

So, what made him succeed?
Undoubtedly, his faith in himself as well as his confidence. He made sure his information was accurate, valuable, and succinct. Whatever he said had reality in it.

Was he flawless?
Well, he was transparent.

Example: He had politely refused to work in the branches of the other Emirates (cities), by providing a valid explanation that he lived with his family so could not relocate alone.

When the panel asked him to explain three 'difficult situations' he had faced in his previous jobs, Ali hesitated a little and took time to answer as he was calculating in mind which situation would closely relate to the current job requirements. But, then too, he spoke in an assuring way.

He completed the interview using sound judgment, effective communication, and immense belief in himself.

That is how Ali cleared the job interview.

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© 2019 Imran khan

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