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One Step at a Time: The Interview

one-step-at-a-time-the-interview

I survived it, yes, I pulled through; like a gazelle that escaped the jaws of the lion, I outlived the time. Victory, I am victorious, the sweat on my face were the battle scars. I turned to the mirror like a warrior admiring my scars which I wore proudly. I had survived the battle though I wasn’t sure if I had won the war, but the idea of a duet with such a giant, without been shredded into pieces was enough consolation for me.

Moments before now, I could hear my heart pounding, its heavy beats were synonymous with the rhythmic battle drums of the titans; the more it persisted, the louder it got. I felt like my heart was aligning with the marching beats, as each pounding got louder and louder as of an approaching army. “Your heart is moving out of its cavity” whispered my mind. What! That can’t be true. No way. Is my mind at its game again? Please save me the drama for today.

How it all started

How can I fully recall my today’s experience? Where should the story begin? Well it all started with a job vacancy post, to an application for the post, and then scores of correspondence to and fro, leading to the ultimate show down, an interview, yes, ‘The Interview.’

The little experience I had about interviews quickly popped up. A panel of judges, public relations officers and one or two administrative officers. Fair enough, I can find my way through.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t going to be so. It was going to be a head to head contest. With whom if I may ask? With the brain behind it all. Whaooo! My mouth was the first to desert me, it left my jaws open in shock and took off. Then my brain seemed to be blank, like it left for a holiday. “You are in for it” was my mind’s last comment while trying to negotiate an Appian way out. ‘Wait guys, where are you all going to, I thought we were together in this…remember we are one body.” This subtle plea brought back my fleeing organs and we decided to do this together.

one-step-at-a-time-the-interview

My Interviewer, the big boss heads three corporate organizations. He is a President and CEO, a Founder and Chairman, a Founder and CEO. Truly he is a boss in every right. In the time of the kings, he would have being a lord of a castle with a host of attendants. So, I prefer to call him Dominus, my lord. So immediately, I started preparations to meet my lord in 24hrs time. My only saving grace was that the interview will be virtual.

Struggling to achieve a smooth communication

The build up to the interview is a story of its own. In my travails, the only person my jocular mind could recall was my Chef friend Elizabeth. On one of those occasions when I usually do praise her exquisite dishes and tease her on how her would be in-laws would make unnecessary visits to her home just to taste her delicacies, she replied with a funny comment, “The day a woman decides to flaunt her cooking prowess, that day, all the ingredients would raise against her to shame her.” Was I trying to overrate myself I asked? No I wasn’t. It was just that the needful constituents for this interview ganged up to heighten my anxiety.

Barely 5 minutes to the start of the interview had the electricity ceased. I got up murmuring words of disappointment and foul lines targeted at the electricity distribution company as I approached the small generator to switch it on. The first attempt wasn’t successful; same with the second and the then the third. The final trial ended up with me cutting the rope from the starter. “Really”, I said, “why today of all days”? Get behind me Satan.

I turned to the big generation using the key to switch it on. ‘Relax young man, today is your day’. I returned to the set place for the interview just a minute to the allotted time, then boom, the network provider started taunting me….It was playing an on and off game. It did that for a while then became stable. The howling sound of the audio accompanied the restoration of the network; then it gradually fizzled out. Finally, I addressed my Lord, “Good afternoon Sir” I said, “Good Afternoon” he replied, and immediately in Morgan Freeman’s voice he accompanied it with, ‘Do you know we have wasted ten minutes of the time?’

one-step-at-a-time-the-interview

Rolling the Dice

If you were in my shoes what would you have said? “Yes my lord I know”, or “Yes sir, it was the fault of the network provider”, or better still “Really, are u kidding me? Trust me, I did say something, I really couldn’t let such a question pass me by. I replied “Yes lord, I know, but you should be thankful to the network provider for the opportunity they have given to us, if we had encountered them on such days they woke up on the wrong side of the bed, an hour lateness would be an understatement”.

Guess you will be keen on knowing his response to such a comment. I’m sorry to burst your bubbles, there was no response from him. Why? Because all I said was muttered in my mind. Even if I was drunk, I dare not give expression to such a thought. That was just my jocular mind at its best again.

The interview began with many questions regarding my educational background, an understanding of my aspirations, my previous work experience, and my availability for the job. My lord was soft spoken but firm, keen for details and facts, engaging and free. Nonetheless I was quite cautious of what proceeded from my lips. A wrong word, a misunderstood comment or an ambiguous statement could end this shinning opportunity. I tried to get a clearer picture of his face, to see his preying eyes, the shape of his mouth while talking and to see if I could get an ideas from his countenance. Well I couldn’t get any ideas from there. We continued, questions were rolling out. We had periods of back and forth clarification of statements and comments.

The discourse about my priestly aspiration came alive. I really did not want to discuss this because I was not aware of the faith of my Lord. However, Dominus has asked, I can’t but concede. I hoped my explanation and reasons were understood enough or maybe I compounded the dilemma. I have encountered a whole lot of people who were interested in this subject. They always do seek a concrete reason from me and my response is always, “I wasn’t told anything”. This statement is always accompanied with a feeling of suspicion. “Oh you really think I don’t want to give you details, you think I know exactly where the new born king is to be born”? So like Herod to the wise men, I do charge them: “Go and find out, when you know, come and tell me so that I too will be informed”. Unlike the wise men who found the truth; they couldn’t come back because they found no truthful answer.

one-step-at-a-time-the-interview

Level playing field

Oh goodness, I almost skipped one of the beautiful scenes in the playing field. How could I have analyzed the 2018 world cup match between Spain and Portugal without talking about the beautifully curved free kick from the play master Cristiano Ronaldo that leveled the score between the two sides.

Dominus wanted to level the sides although he was leading; so he scored a brilliant strike just as the famous 2003 Alan smith own goal in order to create a level score. Thus he gave me the opportunity to ask my own questions too. Really my Lord, do you mean it, you want me to ask you questions? If you truly want me to, you will just have to ask me a second time, that’s my own first test. Can you rephrase your question please? I communicated this to my lord telepathically and I was so pleased to see that our minds have connected well. True to my request, my Lord said a second time “do you have any questions for me?

Yes I do. First, what do you really want from me? How do you want me to fit into the scheme of things? Where you ever once in my position? How have I fared in the written tests? Were you given the opportunity to rise or you forged your way, if so, are you willing to give me and others the same opportunity? Can you say you are successful or accomplished? Have you failed in any previous endeavor or you always do have it smooth?

One step at a time

The interviewer is now the interviewed, while the recruit is now the lord. I will someday ask these questions and more, but not today, yet I can subsume all in just one. Dominus, how did you get here? Since our minds have reached that memorandum of understanding, he also gave me a summary. “One step at a time” he said. Oh my gosh, the Psalty, One step at a time, Debby Kerner and Ernie Rettino. Oh no no no, it’s Jordin sparks’. I love that song.

Hurry up and wait, so close, but so far away.

Everything that you’ve always dreamed of,

Close enough for you to taste, but you can’t touch

Just take one step at a time. There’s no need to rush.

It’s like learning to fly or falling in love.

It’s gonna happen when its suppose to happen

That we find the reason why, one step at a time.

My sojourn with the boss has truly been fruitful. I had learnt something extraordinary. And now I am taking things one at a time. This essay is my present task, I don’t want to think of what’s coming next, I just want to bask in the memories of this interview and relate it as good as it should. From today, it is one step at a time.

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