Story so far- you have completed the University, you have written over 300 application letters and you have finally gotten your first interview. Read on-
You are seated in the interview room. You stare at the panel and they stare back at you. The only lady on the panel broke the ice and smiled at you. You smile back and you feel your muscles relax. You are asked to introduce yourself,
“My name is Kofi Owusu, A graduate of the University, with a Bachelors Degree in History.”
You finish your sentence, as you keep staring at the panel. The bulky man with the dark complexion raises his eyebrows and stares at you, he asks,
“Is that all? Is that all you want us to know about you?”
You are confused. What else do they want to know about you? You wish you could ask. You scratch your head, wondering what else you can add to the description, which will be relevant to the interview. You were not expecting such an easy question. Though it seems easy, you do not have the answer to it. You stare back at the panel, shifting uncomfortably in your seat. The lady again seems to sense your agitation and asks,
“Well, let’s move on. Kofi, it says on your CV, your hobbies are reading and dancing. What was the last book you read?”
“Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” You murmur without thinking. Now, you are in trouble.
Apart from the pamphlet which you picked this morning to read, you know you have not read any novel in like 10 years. You liked reading at a point in your life. Yes, Goosebumps, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and Enid Blyton’s books. But not now. You never got time to read novels in Senior High and the University. You mentioned this particular book because that was what you saw Yaa reading the other day. Yaa is one of your few female friends. The truth is that, you do not even know what kind of book it is; whether it is a novel or an anthology or what. You do not even know who Maya Angelou is.
“You read Angelou’s books? Wow! I also like her very much.” A fair man on the panel says, “Have you read her book, Gather Together in My Name?” He asked.
“No, I haven’t read it.” You answer with your eyes lowered to the floor.
“Alright, so Kofi, I haven’t read, I know why the Caged Bird Sings. Can you tell me what the story is about?” The lady asked again.
If you had your way, you would have gotten up and walked out of the interview session. You only saw that
book when Yaa was reading it. You asked her what it was about and she mumbled a few words. You do not remember what she said exactly. The only thing you remember her saying was that, it was one of her favorite books. So do you tell the panel, Maya Angelou is Yaa’s favorite author and not yours? You know you have to think fast and provide an answer.
“I read the book a few weeks ago.” You heard yourself saying. Currently, you know you are blowing your chances away. First, you could not describe yourself satisfactorily and now, this. This is gradually turning into a nightmare. “Maya Angelou is an American author and poet.” You managed to add. The lady clasped her hands and kept smiling. That encouraged you. It encouraged you to stop talking because you do not know whether what you are saying is true or not. Or it seems Yaa mentioned that to you .
“What is the most current happening in the country, on the continent and in the world?” The darkest man with the receding hair, who has been quiet throughout the interview asked. Now you can breathe. This is exactly what you read in the morning. You begin to recite with confidence, everything you read earlier this morning. The man asks for your opinion on what was happening in Russia. You keep providing the answers because you had presumed that question. Now, you can heave a sigh of relief.
There was another question on what you will bring on board when you are employed. Yes, that is another pre-meditated question. You smile and pour your heart out.
“I am very resourceful. I will………….” This portion of the interview seemed to have gone well. You enjoyed this session, providing the answers like that. And from the nods and the smiles you are getting from them, you have been successful. This is encouraging. You can sleep this evening.
“Alright, Kofi Owusu. Thank you so much. It’s been nice interviewing you. In fact, we have learnt a lot from you. You will hear from us.” The bald man on the panel said, “You will definitely hear from us.” He added.
to be continued