The author is a teacher of English and literature. He has attended several Interview sessions as an interviewer and other times interviewee.
A Phone Call From a Stranger
Have you ever attended an interview that does not go well? Well, I suppose you have. How did you feel? Anyway, after I graduated from one of the renowned universities here in my country, I was ready to work. I had gathered a lot of knowledge in the last four years of sleepless nights while at University. Burning the midnight oil was a usual thing as I did not want to be a disgrace to my family.
Now, I had earned a bachelor's degree in English and Literature. We were taking supper when I heard my mobile phone ringing. I picked up the phone and a strange voice came through.
"Hello, I'm calling to inform you that you have been shortlisted for the interview. It will be conducted at Great School Academy. Bye for now!" The man hung up the phone before I could say anything.
I was very delighted on learning that I would be attending the first-ever Interview in my life. I remembered that I had applied for the teaching post in that school the previous month. I broke the good news to my siblings and they were exhilarated too. I retired to bed earlier than usual for I needed to be full of energy the following day. After saying a short prayer, I slept.
Preparations For the Interview
Preparations For the Interview
The following day, I got up at dawn. The morning was glorious. The bulls were bellowing while goats were bleating. From far, I could hear dogs barking. In the blink of an eye, I had a shower.
As soon as I entered my room, I cad in a white shirt and black pair of trousers. I polished my American black leather shoes carefully until they shone brightly. I wore them admiring the shoelaces that were so long with shiny objects mounted on them. When I was done, I brushed my teeth while looking at my face in the mirror. I had dressed to kill. Indeed I was spick and span. I gobbled down breakfast and before one could say, Jack Robinson, I had left for the venue.
The Journey to the Venue
I followed a narrow path that led me to the main road. Birds were chirping merrily while moving from one tree to another. I quickened my steps for the time was moving very fast. I reached the bus stop and waited.
A big lorry was approaching. I flagged it down but it did not stop. Probably, the driver ignored me, or maybe, he was not allowed to carry any unauthorized persons. I was running out of patience for I knew time was against me. From what I had heard from my father who was now a retired teacher, the first people to show up for the interview would be considered. Therefore, I had to hurry. I decided to use a shortcut forgetting that shortcuts are wrong cuts. I went past a thick forest, crossed a footbridge, and trudged up a small hill. I had covered a few kilometers when I realized that I was headed in the wrong direction. A roar of a lion made my body shake. I trembled with fear. I hid in a bush. It was not until noon that I realized there was a game park nearby. I felt ashamed of myself for I had spent almost three hours hiding from nothing. I quickly stood up and ran as fast as a deer. I was somehow lucky. I came across two men who were talking in low tones. Upon reaching where they were, I greeted them.
It was after some conversation with them that I realized they were from the place I was going. They had already faced the interviewers and they were looking forward to being called if they had the qualifications for the job. No sooner had they given me the directions than I headed for the place.
A Cold Reception on Arrival
There was a beehive of activities when I set my foot on the compound of Great School Academy. People from far and wide had come to try their luck. Some people were busy moving from one office to another carrying huge files. Others were on phones leaning on their luxurious cars. I went straight to where the interviewees sat. A smartly dressed lady drew closer to me and started interrogating me. " What is your name?" "Where do you come from?" Before I could answer, someone, hit me at the back with a stick. When I turned to see what was happening, someone spat on my face. What had I done to deserve such cruelty?
It was not long before I remembered what my father had told me. " Son, there are people who will discourage you when you go there. They will use all tricks to put you off. So be careful not to overreact for you will be sent away before you are interviewed." So father knew all this? I remained calm waiting for my turn to be called.
During the Interview
When I entered the room, I found ten men and two ladies seated ready to interrogate me. One of them showed me where to sit. Hardly had I warmed my seat when the session started.
"Young man, tell us more about yourself?" I don't know whether I heard the question well for I fumbled helplessly for the words. I didn't know what to say. Then there was another question. " Tell us about your work experience." " Sir, I'm very green, fresh from University. But I can teach English and Literature comfortably." I think that was the only question I answered correctly. For the better part of the interview, I kept crying thinking that they would consider me for that. There was the last question. "Mention five professional documents that a teacher is supposed to prepare?" Here, I had answers but my memory betrayed me. I just mentioned a Record of Work Covered. The interview was over. From the look on their faces, I knew it had not gone well. It was crystal clear that I wouldn't get the job. I gathered some courage and went outside.
Outside, it was calm. The sun was soon going to rest. A dark cloud hung over the distant mountain to the far end of the eastern horizon. Most people had left and there was an unusual silence in the compound.
As I left there, I took some time to read the school motto.' Hard Work Pays.'
Truly, before you go for an interview, you need to prepare adequately. The way you dress, articulate words matter a lot during the interview. There are common questions asked during the interview. Ensure you master their answers to avoid embarrassment like the one I went through. It was a day I will never forget.
© 2020 JEREMIAH MWANIKI KILUNDA