Arinola (@areenolar) learnt a very important lesson in her last interview. What weapons would you resort to in warfare?
I sat patiently as I waited for my name to be called in the middle sized multinational corporation. For one, the place looked like every young person’s dream workplace- beautiful environment, world class and friendly co-workers. What else could I possibly ask for? I could literally hear my tummy rumbling out of sheer excitement.
Co-workers? A wicked thought challenged.
Whoa. I had been day dreaming again rather than hope I fit the job profile.
“Common, you have to be serious” I nudged myself from within. I had to force my nervous body to stop perusing the obviously expensive furniture from maybe Italy or Novena.
Just then two ladies rushed out of the interviewer’s office with one of them leaving a painful imprint by nailing my leg with her 4 inches heels. “Ouch” I flinched as I watched her go through the exit. Not like I resented her attitude but a sorry would have been sufficient for the pain inflicted.
I decided to be focused, regardless of what some silly rival did. Yes anybody in the room was definitely a rival especially since an inside source had gossiped “we only need one of you”.
“Excuse me, I’m here for the interview” another lady interrupted my train of thought. I met her gaze with opened mouth. Is she really here for the same interview? Dressed like this with her boobs threatening to pop out any moment. Again she spoke, “I bet you didn’t hear that, is this venue for the interview?” I opened my mouth but no word came; instead my finger helped my tongue out by pointing at the direction of the receptionist. She smiled knowingly. Few seconds later she was sitting right next to me.
I tried not to be nice either so we both maintained straight faces.
Finally, the manager stepped out. The devil himself. He exchanged few words with the receptionist before facing us. “Last ladies standing”. He said in a rather sarcastic tone as if our fate had been decided. From what I’d learnt from the previous applicant’s faces, this man was no weakling. He knew what he was looking for.
“Follow me, ” he said as if leading us to our crucifixion ground. My rival stood up with a sheepish smile. Instead of taking a cue from her, I frowned as I anticipated what my verdict would be eventually.
He led us to the boardroom. “Oh my” I said to myself. Contrary to what I envisaged, planned or ever imagined, the room was filled with even more condescending looking faces. They could not seem to mask their disappointment with the crop of applicants they’d seen earlier.
It’s either now or never. I decided to put the strongest foot forward even though my chest was threatening to burst with nervousness. My rival took a seat right close to me. Not until then, I hadn’t realized how crazy the girl was. I actually thought she was fine, confident and smart…but attending an interview with half of your boobs open…only reminded of one of D’banj’s lyrics “I’m so endowed”.
“Give me one reason why we should give you this job” A bald headed man inquired. Startled by the tone of the voice, I stared back at the old dude. “I actually have three reasons why you should give me a chance. One because, I’m a reasonably intelligent and equally brilliant Public Relations expert, Two, because I understand the approaches and techniques that guarantee a successful campaign and thirdly, because I’m overwhelmingly passionate about working here,” I submitted as I watched their faces light up with hope at my confident, fluent delivery.
The same dude turned to my rival and asked “Lady I’d like you to explain the RACE approach to me” He smiled as he stared at her over bulging boobs. “Ooh sure. RACE is the smartest and one of the simplest approaches in Public Relations today. And it simply means research, action, communication and evaluation” She said and gave me a look as if we were in some war dance. She said as she let loose a button on a shirt to reveal the top part of the boobs. The man smiled apparently charmed with the physical response.
Big breasted bastard! I cursed inwardly even as I managed to force a fake chuckle. Thinking of my A-cups seemed to make laughter difficult. The chuckle came out sounding like that of a lost chicken in the midst of hungry cats.
“Ok” A middle aged woman uttered. “You’re Alorina, right?” I nodded and swallowed hard as she continued. “What do you have to say about the term misconceptions as it relates to Public Relations”.
I straightened as I unconsciously begged my knowledge in that regard to be merciful. “Misconception in Public relations is a quite popular phenomenon. While a misconception may not necessarily have any iota of truth in it; negligence to such notions by the brand is what I call a suicide mission. Like your company for instance, I noticed you are leaders in innovation and advertising but as far as public relations is concerned I daresay there’s a lot to be done. People have misconceptions about your brand which need to be addressed fast”
“I completely disagree with you on that” My rival interrupted without permission. “Cherish is by far the best in its category in this land. Ask anybody and they would gladly tell you…that they prefer our product to anybody’s”.
Our? Brilliant strategy. “Ok” I cleared my throat as I spoke “Let me school you before you go on. I see you’re missing a pivotal point here. Advertising is what deals with products and honestly; the fact that people prefer our product over competitions is not enough to ignore the emerging misconceptions about our dear brand. Beyond advertising the product, I believe it’s high time, we put the reputation of the brand above all else especially because the perception of our customers will either make or mar our existence sooner or later”. I submitted.
With a very confident outlook, I braced myself for whatever would come out next. And lo and behold, “Alorina, would you be willing to resume on Monday?” The woman sure sounded like the HR manager. For a while I had forgotten my name. Then my head nodded obediently even as my lips widened with a smile. I thought I had been well and truly beaten in this match!
“You two can leave now” One of the old dudes announced. As I got up to leave, the most unusual thing happened “ Emm Sarah, I’d like you to come for your letter tomorrow too” The other top managers questioned him with a disapproving look “ Sorry I forgot to tell you all, I need a PA…and I need it like yesterday” He said dismissively and strolled out. Nobody dared utter any objection whatsoever.
Ahh, the show of boobs is the beginning of what? I marveled. “You know you’re smart but I’m smarter. 10 over 10. Shikena.” She said over my shoulders.