Iam still reeling from an interview that I went to last week. Let us just say that I feel like I need a CV and personality makeover. It all started three weeks ago as I was walking in my neighbourhood for exercise. This very trim and fit fellow ran past me only to re-appear but this time running towards me after two minutes. I was taken aback when he said: “Josphat, is that you?”
The guy looked vaguely familiar, though with all the sweating it was a bit hard to tell. He said: “You don’t remember me? I am David, we were in college together.”
He sounded familiar, but I could not piece together all the details about him. Much to my dismay, David insisted on walking alongside me and sharing details of his life and also of his rans.
He spent quite a time bragging about his life, his children (he said that one of his sons studies in England) amongst other things. What really drove me up the wall was how much he talked about his running prowess, describing how many prestigious marathons he has ran and how many kilometres he logs in a week.
“Josphat, you need to run like us so you can lose the healthy tummy,” he said.
I was not impressed that someone who had just re-connected with me was taking such liberties by giving me advice on my health and lifestyle.To steer the conversation away from health, I asked him: “David, what do you do? Where do you work?”
He proceeded to recite all of his CV (which sounded impressive) as he closed it all by saying that he now works in HR for some American multinational. I was visibly impressed and said: “I really admire that company for its leadership philosophy and training opportunities.” He then asked me, “ What do you do?” I proceeded to summarise my CV and embellish a few details to make my job sound more glamorous and more useful than it is.
David sounded quite interested in what I was doing and said, “hey bro, we are actually looking for someone like you.” Now he had my interest and we proceeded to exchange contacts and make small talk though as expected, he went back to talking about running.
True to his word, David sent me a role profile which looked very interesting and like something up my alley. I was impressed with him because soon after he scheduled a psychometrics test and an interview. I had expected the interview to be before a small panel so imagine my shock when I walked in to find a panel of six, including some who were dialling in from other locations. The questions came fast and furious and at a certain point I felt overwhelmed.
The question that really floored me was one from the Business Development Manager who posed: “Why have you been so long with one company? Aren’t you ambitious?” I found the “not ambitious” line very condescending and patronising and was not sure how to respond. It took me about a minute to come up with a response.
It was therefore no surprise later when David called me back and started off with some long-winded explanation about the interview results. I knew he was trying to package the bad news of my failure to clinch the job.
But I was not entirely heartbroken when he told me that I did not make it. I thanked him for the opportunity as he promised to be on the lookout for other opportunities. He then went on speaking for another half hour about running.
It is only when I was driving home that I started processing the news from David. It seems that my staying too long in one company is not a good thing- I need to change jobs soon- but where do I go?