Sunday, November 08, 2009

The interview

This weeks prompt over at Sunday Scribblings is Interview.

The intercom rang on my desk. ‘Hi Keith’ said Julie from the outer office ‘James Thomas is here for an interview’.
I was a little surprised, after all Mr Thomas was supposed to have been here an hour ago. Rather than turn him away I asked Julie to find out the reason for his lateness. Apparently he looked at his watch, pulled a quizzical expression, looked up at the wall clock, screwed up his brow then told her our clock was an hour fast! I should point out that the rest of the population of the UK had moved their time pieces forward by one hour two days previously to come in line with British Summer time, spring forward, fall back and all that. But not our JT!

Anyway, I agreed to see him but was a little taken aback to see that the candidate was dressed in jeans, tee shirts and trainers. He also had an MP3 attached to his waist band and two speaker buttons pressed into his ears! He walked towards my desk and straightaway sat down, just as I was rising to my feet with my arm outstretched expecting a handshake. I assumed that one was not forthcoming so I began to sit down again just as he bobbed up! So, up I popped again at precisely the moment he dropped down onto the chair. I gave in.

‘Good morning James’ I said. He looked at me as if he hadn’t heard me which clearly he had not since he was still attached to his MP3 by his ears. I gestured by tapping one of my ears, he suddenly grinned, raised his eyes to the ceiling then took one of the speaker buttons out!

I should have ended it there but I decided to give him one chance to redeem himself. I thought the most appropriate question with which to start the interview was to ask him to give me 6 adjectives that summed him up. He told me he was ‘really really really really really cool’. I then asked if he considered himself to be a team player. He said he was unless other staff members got in his way!
At this point I should have suggested he leave but I was curious to know a little more about the strange young man that was sitting before me tapping his feet to the music he was listening to in one of his ears! I thought I’d ask a few leading questions.

I asked him if he would be prepared to take a drugs test if he were to be offered a job. He asked me which drugs he’d be testing! I then asked him about his approach to managing people. He told me that if they ignored his instructions he kick their asses! When asked about his creative ability he said that the answers he was giving to my questions were pretty good indicators! ‘Are you a good communicator?’ I asked. ‘Huh’ he said.

I could tell by the look on his face that he was enjoying this little contest! To be honest, so was I!

Me ‘Describe your management style. JT ‘Don’t do things yourself, get them to do it for you’
Me ‘How do you handle change? ‘JT ‘I put it in a jar by my bed
Me ‘How do you define a problem person?’ JT ‘Anybody who disagrees with me’

Just then an alarm sounded, it seemed to coming from a cell phone in his pocket. He switched it off, apologised and said that he was due somewhere else for another interview. I asked him why he’d applied for the job and he told me that he needed to so he could prove to the unemployment office that he was in fact looking for one!

Needless to say, this was one job he would not be getting!

Hands up, I admit that none of this actually happened!
The questions and answers however are all genuine ones that have been collected and logged by interviewers over many years.
I expect you are wondering how I go about setting an example. Simple, I never let anyone catch me asleep in my office!

Don't forget Carry On Tuesday this week. The new prompt is ready and waiting for you. Just click HERE!


  1. This was great! Fortunately I've never had a candidate like your fictional JT. Wonderful read :)

  2. I was hanging on every word, Keith. I was convinced you were interviewing a highly creative spirit who, in their own way, would get the job done but drive people crazy while they were at it. Then you said it was made up. I then threw MY hands up too and said, Thank GOD.

  3. Absolutely loved. Keeps his change in a jar under the bed lol. Although the person was fictional I think the ones who are not the most fitting in society are the most creative

  4. I would say in this situation that quick wittedness wasn't appreciated LOL.

    Even in a make believe interview. Yikes that would have been quite a scene

  5. If this were a real scenario and someone like JT walked in for an interview... I would definitely waste my time to ask some questions. This type of person almost makes you want to know more while knowing they aren't the right candidate to fill the position.

  6. Hilarious and really really really really really creative! I felt like I was in the room.

  7. He's so unexpected and shocking you want to know more as the reader. Well done.

  8. Unfortunately I have seen some high school students who would not have understood what was wrong with this guy LOL I loved it. I think his mp3 player is probably repeating the phrase "do you want fries with that?" over and over and over and over....



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