Notes From An Interviewer


His face got so tensed that I could tell that he was trying to fight his teeth from coming out to bite my head off my neck. “Third girl in the last 2 weeks! What can I say of you? Third girl resigned from your team in a matter of 2 weeks!” Gosh. I hate it when my boss repeat something twice in a sentence. It sounds super awful.

“That I am an inspiring leader?” I tried to lighten up the atmosphere in the boss’ room. He didn’t seem convinced. “And how is that so? Let me get this straight. One left because she found her aspiration to start writing a book after her travel to Tibet, and the second?” he asked.

“Oh she uhm… found the inspiration to start her own business after a trip to Melbourne.” I shook my head. “And the third lady?” He pressed on.

“That doesn’t even count. She is my staff but to be fair, she is from the client’s side, so technically under my team with our company… I mean your company, Sir, let’s just say that I have helped two persons discovered their passions for making a living elsewhere,” I defended. “Really, I do not think I am a horrible boss. There’s movie for it starring Jennifer Anniston but no, it’s certainly not inspired by me.”

“I am not saying that you are a horrible boss but with half of your team gone in a span of few weeks, I think that’s why you are stressed out and running thin. I don’t know how you are going to do it but my dear, you have about half a dozen projects to deliver in the next few months that I expect you get it delivered beyond my expectation. Get it? 6 projects until August. (See? He repeats serious stuff like twice, all the time!) I suggest you ask Jeannie to put up some recruitment ads to get a manager and a senior executive to assist you. Ok?” “Noted, boss.” I looked straight into his eyes and was grateful that help was on the way, at least with The Boss’s immediate instruction to the HR to get me some good staff.   960589386_09bbf2e6d8 And so I found myself sitting across the board room table from some interviewees in the last one month as I got in on the whole act of recruitment like a ball of energy mass to find my replacement team members. That was the exciting part and my story would have ended lovely here had I been more in touch with the mannerism and aspirations of some of these young job seekers. Obviously I am so out of touch that there are top six types of interviewees that absolutely drive me up the wall!

  • The Blurry

I had to run to another project site at 4.15pm. I stared at the office clock and nervously saw that it was already 3.15pm. “Jeannie, that Alice girl for the 3pm interview, is she coming or not?” I asked my colleague Jeannie, the HR Manager.

“Hmmm… Let me give her a call now and get back to you shortly.”

Five minutes later, Jeannie buzzed me from the intercom and said, “Guess what? Alice said she was so busy with her work that she had completely forgotten about the interview! She was asking if she could come see you this Saturday instead?”

I thought for a while and told Jeannie, “No, tell her that I may forget about her before the end of today!” 9227922133_c862915d95

  • The ME, ME & I King

He rattled off his success like stories from the Almanac of Successful People. “I accomplished this this and that too. It was all about me, myself and I. I led my team and achieved RM1 million in that SUPER successful case. I am so good and I am even better than the next 10 candidates you are interviewing for the rest of this week.”

Once he paused from his extremely illustrious stories, I asked him, “So is there anything else you would like to add on about your successes?”

“Yes, I am the best. The greatest. Period”. I thought to myself, Wow. And I never wanted to see him again. Period. 13771862765_03a8158ece

  • The Newbie Interviewee

What drives you?” I asked.

“I want to drive a BMW.” He replied without a slight hesitation.

Holding back my crazy laughter, I clarified politely, “I mean, what are the things that motivate you in life.”

“Oh, sorry I thought you asked me what car I wanted to drive.” 4709580506_cc6f3e0762

  • The Ambitious Sweet Young Thing

“Your goal in the next year?” I looked up to meet the eyes of the sweet young thing.

“I don’t know, may be… to be somebody in the company… like achieving the position of a director of the division by the time I am 25 years old and leading my own team of staff”

“But you have just graduated and you are only 23 years old, not trying to undermine your determination but what are the steps you will be taking to reach that goal within the next 1.5 years?”

“I don’t know but I am a quick learner. It’s like a very simple school project. I will get there irregardless.” 5228373874_056282e649

  • The Floater

“Is there any particular reasons you have jumped through 4 companies in the last 1.5 years?” I asked casually.

“Oh the first company gave me such low salary, so I left it and got 150% increment in the second job. But after 3 months I was angry that the new company gave me so much more work than the first one that I moved on to the third company. This time I thought I was lucky because work load was reduced but I got a bit bored and jumped ship again to my present company.”

“And the reason for moving on now?” I was clearly amused.

“Oh, just that I am not happy. My happiness is of utmost importance. I am looking forward to joining your company to find that happiness and fulfillment that were missing from all the bad companies that I have worked for.”

“I don’t think I can give you that. Job satisfaction comes from within yourself and if you have not been able to find that from your previous and present jobs, chances are we don’t store it in here too. Thanks for your time anyway. All the best to you as you find the ultimate happiness in your next job. Send my regards to it.” 117635854_385449ffa6

  • The Economist

“ What’s your present salary?” I glanced through his CV.

“RM4000 for basic and I have another RM500 for transportation allowance.” He replied politely.

“You are asking for RM7000 now. May I know the reason for asking such a big jump in your demand for the basic salary?”

“Oh I am planning to marry my girlfriend end of this year so my father in law asked me if I could afford to take care of his precious daughter. I told him I would find a new job that can pay for both of us so that my girlfriend could just stay home and take care of the 5 kids we plan to have.”

“Wow, that’s a very big increment in your salary and a great big plan there. Is this figure negotiable?”

“I am sorry, Miss, but I need this amount to marry my dream girl,” came the incredible reply from him.

“I am sorry, but then, this is not going to be the place to get your dream pay.” I stood up to bid my farewell to him.11901612346_36ca812923 …………………………………….

Believe it or not but I did eventually find 2 replacement out of the three vacancies that I need to fill. I tell myself that good staff are hard to come by but they are made harder when all we meet are rather strange, twilight-zone, young interviewees who make me feel like I have invaded a different planet altogether. As I continue to search for my third candidate, I keep myself sane with this mantra that…

ALL THESE SHALL PASS TOO.

PHOTO CREDIT

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