It was time for my second interview…

I had been called for a second interview, had made a foray to Asda to buy a multitude of tops and bottoms, and had decided on an outfit.

I had been called for a second interview, had made a foray to Asda to buy a multitude of tops and bottoms, and had decided on an outfit.
 Yes, I was to wear the very smart business-like trousers teamed with a pale, soft lemon top. I had slightly miscalculated my size. I’d bought some tops which were a bit bigger than I needed. Should I go back and change them? No, I’ll probably grow into them anyway in a year or two. I would just have to roll up the sleeves a bit. I like the President Obama effect of rolling up sleeves – it makes a person look ready for action. And I wanted to look ready for action.
On the morning of the interview I was pleased when I perused myself in the mirror. But the story changed when I sat down. The smart grey trousers creased immediately. I stood up again and shook the flannel. But the creases remained. I glanced at the clock. I would have to find a different pair of trousers. I only just managed not to get into a flap. There was no way I could wear the same black trousers I’d worn for the first interview. A process of elimination – which didn’t take long – bestowed a pair of black trousers with a slight stripe. The ones with a slight stripe passed muster, thank goodness.
I put on my best coat. I’ve always been a little unsure about the good sense in wearing a very posh coat. I didn’t want to look too well off – that might suggest I didn’t need a job. On the other hand I wanted to appear presentable and confident. I kept the posh coat.
This time I was being interviewed at the company’s offices, not a flamboyant hotel. I did my old trick of arriving way too early. I walked up and down the street twice before I rang the doorbell. I was interviewed by two people. The interviewer who’d interviewed me at the posh hotel introduced me to the other interviewer. I beamed my best smile.
There’s a big dilemma when you’re being interviewed by two people. Do you direct your answer solely to the person who has asked the question, or do you also make eye contact with the other one as well to include them in the question? Turning your gaze towards the other one means you break eye contact with the original one. What are the under-the-surface potential consequences of breaking eye contact with them? Do they subconsciously mark you down on the interaction tick box? I took a risk and made sure I turned my eyes alternately to the one asking the question and the other one who wasn’t asking a question. I wanted to show that I had the social skills to make someone else feel included. I hope I was right.
After my interview, my task was to write a couple of articles. I was okay at this. It was the sort of thing I’d done for a previous employer, so I knew how to vary my vocabulary to say the same thing twice without anybody noticing. I left my second interview with aching shoulders – the posh coat is quite heavy – and a glowing hope in my heart. Would I get the job? I really wanted it. To be cont’d.

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