Monday, December 5, 2011

When I Was 25, It Was A Very Good Year

What’s on an interviewer’s scoreboard? I couldn’t tell from looking at his face. I was interviewing for my dream position and had been ‘marking’ this firm for two years. I was finally ready with the required background/work experience and sent in my resume. That got me on the longest interview chain with hurdles and hurdles of never-ending nerve-wracking tests and interview stages. Apparently, the unit I was applying to was a male-dominated one, or headed by males only. My first interviewer was a senior, as they are called. He started off easy, made small talk before picking his notepad and then he put on some sort of game face, probing and penning as I supplied answers to his missiles. The interview lasted exactly forty-five minutes, we exchanged pleasantries and I took my leave and called up a friend in the area to rid the tension over drinks and a movie. The next time I would receive an email from this firm would be seventy-two hours later, informing me of my success at the second tier and inviting me to a third - an interview with a senior manager. This would be my most unnerving interview ever, and it did not help that his facial features were quite unfriendly. Going by the look on his face gave me the feeling my scores were not doing too well on his board. I risked all and broke the ice with a joke attempt. It worked, he laughed and I regained confidence until the interview delved into unfamiliar territories where I struggled to stay afloat without upsetting my external temperament. I walked out at the end feeling somewhat unsure about my performance. The waiting interval was again the usual seventy two hours, but even the Good Book states that ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick.’ 

The email finally came and yes, it was a success once again. The final hurdle would be with the firm’s senior partner. I had subscribed to newsgroups and newsletters around the Internet, had printed and copied pages of researched information I deemed relevant and gradually made a pastime of watching segments with related content on CNN, CNBC etc,. I mean, I’d been doing that for two years and this was my chance.
I arrived at the venue three hours early and got lost in some literature placed at the reception until it was time and I was called in. The interview was as basic as ABC, there were no outlandish questions, and in fifteen minutes it was over. He closed with a brain teaser which caught me off guard. Then he explained the solution to me and I replied, “Could you give me another one? I need to redeem my image here.” He laughed and said, “Oh yeah?” and pulled out another brain teaser. His facial expression read ‘pleasantly surprised’ when I gave him the correct answer and then the interview was over. I left satisfied, pleased and confident. Surely, the next incoming email would be an offer.

When that email finally came in seventy two hours, it read:

“Thank you for taking the time to discuss employment opportunities with us ... However, we will not be continuing this interviewing process with you ...”
That was what the abrupt end of six months of tests and interviews looked like. I accepted a pending job offer from a different company, lost a healthy chunk of optimism (which I thankfully did not find in appetite), kicked into quarter-life crises and numbed out for the next four months, which finally ended three days ago. It still was a very good year, regardless, even though Sinatra missed out recording his highlights at that age ... if they were any. But he ended his like vintage wine. Mazel Tov!


TheRustGeek said...

Plus side is you can check that box - been there, done that..

Perhaps the company had someone already idetified for the role?

lawwyy said...

Did ur year go as planned? №. would u plan next year, yes! We must live don't we?


I feel you! I've never had to go through such huge process of interviewing for a job though but I feel all you would have had to go through... I tell you, the experience might just be the gain for subsequent opportunities. Thank God for the one you got :)


Victor Ogbonnaya said...

Stumbled upon this blog.
Your next post should be titled: "When I am 26, it would have been a very good year."
Plan ahead,but make allowance for disappointments,set-backs and the uncontrollable in life. When I was 25, I too experienced quarter-life crisis. But after realizing that I need to adjust my target, not my aim, things looked brighter. I guess that you are like me, a person with high hopes and big goals (and perhaps talented enough to warrant those hope and goals), and when things go awry it hits too hard. I leave you this lines before I yarn too much:
"If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same... "

aeedeeaee said...

It was a good year indeedy.

There's a reason you didn't get the job, dudette. It took me three years with a shitty job to finally land my dream job (albeit outside what you know as civilization lol)

i'm glad you're back to you :)

Douglas said...

Nice...I read the title and wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I guess that's how to get a reader's attention. Worth the read I must say.
About interviews...the few I've been in, I failed woefully from the second my mouth opened - no excuses - I just suck at 'em.
Good job...worth mentioning again...worth the read!

Muse Origins said...

Wow. That must have been depressing. I know what that feels like. But good thing the year was good. All happens for a reason

Muse Origins
Muse Origins FB

CFAgbata said...

You're a very gifted writer.I like how you put your thoughts and feelings perfectly in words.Tough challenges can go a long way.I wish the best in your life !