by David Gower
Builder’s Tea, three sugar please!
What are the dynamics of an interview for a job?
What might the inner voices say in the minds of the candidate and the panel?
Male Interviewer; ‘Can you tell us why you feel suited to this post?’
Candidate; ‘I feel it offers a challenge to me at this point in my career.’
Voice in Candidate’s head ‘I hate where I work now.’
Male Interviewer; ‘We are looking for a good team player. Would you describe yourself as a team person?’
Candidate; ‘I have always been a team player. Getting the job done is more important than the individual don’t you think?’
Voice in Candidate’s head ‘I hate everyone else in my existing team. They are slackers. Having to agree with them to get things done is really annoying, especially when I know my way is the right way.’
Male Interviewer; ‘Can you give me an example of your teamwork experience?’
Voice in Interviewer head ‘When will I ever get an honest candidate who does not mouth platitudes?’
Voice in Candidate’s Head. ‘Wait. Look as if you are thinking deeply and calm the panic. When have you ever worked in partnership with anyone willingly?’
Candidate’s reply to Interviewer ‘I am glad you asked me that. There are several examples – perhaps the most recent would be joint working with a multi-national supermarket new to this area? I worked with their marketing team in some depth.’
Voice in Candidate’s head ‘Well done you Bluffer. Vague enough to allow some creative fibbing if they probe and hard to tie down in the time they have available. I quite fancy the other interviewer but must not let her eyes distract me.’
Female Interviewer ‘May I ask you what you think the challenges of our post might be?’
Voice in Candidate’s Head ‘Look at those eyes? You could fall into those pools of loveliness given just a gesture. Try to focus, she asked you a question you idiot!’
Candidate ‘I’m sorry, could you repeat the question. The noises from outside distracted me for a moment?’
Female Interviewer ‘I asked what challenges you thought this post might hold.’
Voice in Candidate’s head ‘Give her an answer that makes sense. Stop having thoughts that upset the nuns.’
Candidate replies ‘Starting a new job always involves a settling in period so I can foresee that making useful links to organisations will be a target to reach quickly.’
Male Interviewer internal voice ‘How many more have we got left to see. I need a cup of tea soon.’
The interview continues in the way that interviews do. A verbal exchange somewhere between a tennis match – each party wanting to score a point – and a drama – how much fiction is acceptable in polite circles? The prize for each side being different.
For the candidate – especially one currently unemployed or unhappy in a job with bills to pay the chance to start elsewhere. To climb ever higher up the greasy pole.
The panel might find someone with skills and experience who will be cheap and keen. Qualities that the panel once had before being caught up in the machinery of the business.
We leave them to their negotiations and decisions.