A Most Fun Job Interview

Last week Friday I had a job interview, the first one in quite a long while. I am always excited about job interviews, I get to talk to the important people within an organization, without knowing how important they are yet, which is cool, and we converse as equals, with me hoping that I get hired. When succesful, then the organizational structure kicks in and I tip toe around them, respecting them for their important’ness. 

I love interesting questions, I love answering them and also seeing what sort of answers I can pull out, off the top of my head. It’s like some sort of game for me, a challenging game that I try to win. At times I miss, I have an embarrasing flop in answering certain questions and other times I hit the spot, making me thrust my hand side to side, doing the choreography to Beyoncés song Formation, singing 🎵I slay! I slay! I slay! 🎶

Talking about interview flops, I got shortlisted for this job in this other organisation that I dreamed of working in sometimes this year. This particular organization has a significant focus on our agriculture sector. The job requirement was a Degree in Agriculture or Agricultural Economics or Agribusiness and somehow I got through with my Economics and Finance degree. They asked me questions about agriculture, and I learned then how I hadn’t any clue about agriculture at all, even though I grew up in a farming community. I may have grown up in the farm but I don’t know how to milk a cow, ride a horse and I have never engaged in commercial farming. The interviewer asked me how many acres of land we had and I didn’t know what acres meant, well I have never taken a measuring tape and measured the entire land area and neither have I had any interest in reading my dad’s documents about the land. He asked me about the viability of an agricultural business, ignorant me, I confidently answered that I believed it was viable. Few months later I actually realize how that agricultural endeavour wouldn’t be viable, it would have failed. Thank goodness I didn’t get the job, I wouldve been bad at it and miserable in it. 

Remember few weeks ago I talked about the few good job applications that I did and the ones I was crossing my fingers for. Well I had an interview for one of them last week Friday. Oh what a relief it was, to finally get called. I had to travel to Suva for the interview. I have to travel for four hours in order to attend interviews in Suva. I hate sitting still in a bus for four hours, it’s exhausting. 

I have made the mistake a couple of times of travelling early in the morning for 4 hours, getting straight off the bus and then straight into the boardroom for the interview. Tired, my mind slows down, desperately needing rest and refuel. I remember once looking at the interviewer funny, thinking; ‘Is that a true question? Sorry, I dont know anything about your organisation. I had other pressing things to do while travelling here, like watching You Tube videos and reading BrainPickings articles – which to be honest, is more interesting than reading your companies website.’ There goes the interview and the four hour commute down the drain. 

This special job interview on the other hand was the most fun I have ever attended. I enjoyed it so much. They were very interactive as interviewers. They knew which questions to ask and how to follow that question up with another interesting question. 

Some interviewers just stick to the script that they have. Sometimes I feel that they are more nervous than me. Some interviewers blankly stare, looking and talking in a very bland way, atleast from a few that I have endured. Like seriously, I get bored sometimes. I get to imagine what the job will be like, thinking that this would be the same group of people I will work with. In these situations I fear that I would suffer from prolonged exposure to uninteresting people and end up having some sort of brain death. 

Now back to this job interview. I applied for this job basically trying out my luck. Initially, I didn’t want to become too invested, expecting to get a call back, because the Organization is a huge one, a prestigious one and the position is a very promising one too – it requires people of high calibre. I didn’t know if I would be considered and I was okay if I wasn’t. But then, hey I did get a call back and I felt so proud. 

I exclaimed to my mum, “Na they called! I am so proud that they considered me for an interview but I dont think I’ll go, I’ll just bask in the glorious feeling of being considered. It feels good.” My mum thought that I was being ridiculous, whereas I thought that it was admirable of me. She ensured that I went. And I did go. It was worth it!

I went a day in advance, so I had rested well prior to the interview. Everything was perfect. Don’t you feel that sometimes, things goes smoothly, there is a perfect flow, well that was the case in this interview. I didn’t make too much effort, it just all happened naturally. This time I did my research of the organisation in advance. The organisation is of great interest to me, the work that they do, their vision, mission and core purpose just aligns with my own. A small but significant part of my interest in life links with the work that the organization does. It was very interesting reading up on the organization. I really felt like this is where I wanna be, climbing up the career ladder, this is where I wanna spend a good portion of my work life in. 

On my way to Suva city, I stopped at Nausori town, roamed around there for a bit. My uncle, who works at the Nausori Airport – as a Pilot – was supposed to pick me up from there and take me up to Suva. Fortunately, he was still tied up (probably flying the plane off somewhere unexpectedly) at work so I had a little bit of time to roam around town. I wanted to check out the small lovely town with the iconic bridge. I checked out their second hand shop for books and I found Reading Jackie by William Kuhn selling for only $1. Its an account of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as a reader, writer and a intellectual. I can’t wait to read that one. I will read it after I finish Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. I had lunch at Nausori town, I roamed around that small town and then caught the bus back to Suva. 

So I had learned everything that I wanted to learn about the organization which left me with enough time to catch up with my relatives in Suva. My favorite Aunty, who used to be a party girl, the scandalous queen of the West, who was also my best friend, adventurous partner in crime and confidant, is now married with two kids. She is lovingly settled yet she still has that sense of fun in her and her husband is a cool man – eventhough he is a bit older than her. 

The interview was scheduled for 10.45 am. I went early because of early morning traffic and also buses in that area of Suva likes to swirl around the neighbourhood for 45 minutes before it finally flings itself off to Suva. I was not taking any risks so I went early. Suva was still the same old Suva that I left. It was great to go back and I hope to go back next year – getting back into the system of buzzing and happening city life. 

Walking into the building, I remembered how when I was still at University, passing by, on my way to school, I used to daydream of a chance to work in that building. Atleast Financial Career wise, it is the organisation that interested me along with this other organization where I had that interview flop. Inside the building, it is so amazing. It has a large work space. Everything inside is modern. Also the people working inside look so professional, so smart and intelligent in their dressing and in the way they walk about. 

As soon as I got out of the elevator on the office floor, I went straight into the washroom, freshned up for I had walked quite a considerable distance from the bus stand to the building. I was sweating. I also rehearsed in the washroom thinking it was empty, but I was was caught by surprise when a toilet flushed from a cubicle and someone came out of it. No awkwardness passed between us, I just ignored him and I continued neatly adjusting and parting my frizzy hair into place. 

I went out and sat in the cozy warm reception area – with dimmed romantic light – for a few minutes, smiling at the receptionist and asking the lovely lady whose name I remembered over the phone how many people were interviewing. Its not a very large number, so the probability of my success is okay. I had a friend who I applied with and he was also shortlisted for the interview. I checked up on him and also had to encourage him to come fast and not to be alarmed by the beautiful, competitive diversity of the other candidates also interviewing. 

Then as I am sitting there, calming myself, a lovely Itaukei woman who I later learn is the Human Resource manager peeps out of the doorway – from the inside of the work space where the boardroom was in – and asked the receptionist where the relieving panelist is and if she was coming anytime soon – all said with a big, genuine welcoming smile. She also asked me if I could just wait for a few minutes. I smiled back at her and told her that it’s okay and I hadn’t any problem with waiting. I learned from the receptionist that I was the fourth candidate to be interviewed.

Few minutes later, the HR manager lady opens the door out for me and then accompanying me into the boardroom. She warmly led me into the boardroom with a huge bright smile. And the other panelists also had their genuine warm ‘bula’ smiles on. They even stood up and shook my hands when I entered, introducing themselves. It felt so good, I felt so welcomed. When I am writing this and recalling it, I realize how special that moment was and how very warm the panelist reception to me was. They were kind and friendly. I took to them instantly. They are the people who I want to work with, they were amazing.  

The questions started with the usual first question; “Please tell us a little about yourself.” Now that question, as simple as it is, is one the most difficult questions for me to answer. Good thing was that I had rehearsed my answer to that in advance, and it started off the interview on a good note. Then the interview just led into a great deal of interesting discussions. We were laughing and we shared enthusiasms and interests. I shared an interest in Elon Musk with the main panelist, who could potentially be my supervisor if I am succesful. I enjoyed the interview so much and I had a great time.

Now, I am awaiting the result of the interview. Next process is an interview with their super intelligent and charismatic CEO. I am positive about it. I am getting invested in this. All my expectations and emotions, I am heavily investing it in. I want it so bad. I wanna cry getting it or I wanna cry if I don’t get it. This job means so much to me. I want it so bad, for so many reasons. Its perfect for me. This is it – the make it or break it. I am intentionally investing all of myself, emotionally and mentally into this. 

I feel that at times we need to take chances and throw all of our hope and effort into something. To take the great emotional risk for something, once in awhile. So now, I am crossing my fingers and waiting, hoping and praying that I go through. But heyy, if I dont get it, I might be disappointed an confused for a short while but then I’ll adjust my sail and set off again. Life goes on, eventhough at time’s we don’t know how it will do so after an ending. 

Wish me luck, I need it! I am wishing you all the best too in whatever you are hoping and praying for. We are all in this together. 


First and Foremost: Stop being dishonest with ourselves! 

“Now comes the harder part, Nick. I need total honesty from you, it wont work any other way. So tell me everything about your marriage, tell me the worst. Because if I know the worst, then I can plan for it. But if I’m surprised, we’re fuck#d. And if we’re fuck#d, you’re fuck#d.”

 ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn

It is indeed the hardest part to have to admit things – problems, weaknesses, threats, failures and defeat. It’s uncomfortable having to not only admit to other people (totally unnecessary if it is none of their business) but also having to admit to our ourselves. In the above situation before Nick can give as honest as possible to his Lawyer all the raw truth, he needs to be aware of the raw truth in the first place and acknowledge it. Choosing to be oblivious to our raw truth or being dishonest with ourselves is often the ‘easier and comfortable’ alternative – which mostly presents us a short term or immediate satisfaction yet breeding long term consequences.

Do you at times feel like you lie to yourself? Because I sure as hell do. I prefer to be more irresponsibly optimistic. I lie to myself that everything is alright and their is no need for concern. I hate the thought of wrecking my brains delving into my problems, I fear that I might become too stressed out and depressed. It’s also hard having to analyse things about myself and I am not good with another person doing it for me either. I am very laid back which could be attributed to me being a 24 year old Fijian living in the land of sand and sunshine where life  is idyllically laid back. I often find that it is easier to say “Oh I am fine,” or “Its no big deal,” or “Its not that serious at all, nothing that cant be fixed,” – without a care and a clue of how to fix it.

Reading the book ‘Gone Girl’ has taught me one thing and that is the importance of being honest with ourselves. We don’t need someone else to come and coerce the truth out of us or maybe to actually capitalize on our weak areas and use it against us. We need to take ownership of our ugly truths and use it to fix things about ourselves that we know needs fixing.

It’s totally a personal decision if you want to reword the truth, make it colourful and tasteful for other people but when it comes to telling yourself the truth – you say it as it is – in its ugliest, yuckiest true state. But it doesn’t have to be a demeaning activity where we drain out our self esteem, we should see it as a way of giving ourselves constructive criticism. Not only identifying the areas where we lack in but also thinking of solutions and creating a very strategic action plan for ourselves.

Like what Lawyer Tanner Bolt says to Nick Dunne in ‘Gone Girl’ – if we know the truth than we can plan for it. Being very honest with ourselves give us an opportunity to have a proper insight and perspective into our own flawed life. Having a good understanding of just what we are dealing with helps us to manoeuvre ourselves better around problems making sure that we have control on our life. We are also able to prepare ourselves for the worst and in countering risks. By taking full responsibility we can challenge ourselves to make some changes. We will posses a foresight that should help us to create a game plan – a game plan to play the game better.

So friends let’s stop being dishonest with ourselves. Stand up, be brave and accept your truth. No one can attain perfection but we can do little things to improve ourselves. Let’s be responsible and be honest with ourselves first and foremost. Philosopher Lao Tzu says that “Mastering yourself is power.” You got the power!! Claim your power!!

‘Elegance of the Hedgehog’ by Muriel Burbery

I finished reading ‘ The Elegance of The Hedgehog’ by Muriel Burbery this afternoon. It was a very dense yet beautiful book in its own special way. The story revolves around a high class Parisian Apartment Building; 7 Rue De Granelle, where all the rich Parisian families live. Well that’s where the 2 characters live and they observe and reflect on the world from there, the book actually documents the deep thoughts of the 2 narrator’s. The 1st narrator is the 54 year old Concierge at 7 Rue De Granelle – Renee, and the second narrator is 12 year old Paloma Jose who is contemplating suicide and is living out her last few days thinking and writing down profound thoughts about the ‘movement of the world’ in her journal.

They are both very intelligent individuals and are also both struggling, fighting some internal demons uniquely their own. They are both reclusive, they spend a lot of their time immersed in inteligent personal engagements like reading of watching culturally significant and thought provoking movies. Their tastes in literature, music, movies and other media is very refined and thus their minds compared to everybody around them is very refined and elevated. However due to their reclusive nature, nobody recognizes their elevated mind and also nobody would pay attention because they are busy with their own ‘monotonous’ lives.

Renee or Maddame Michele strugles with the very defined sense of class that exists. She is of a lower class, she accepts that she is very unattractive, she is poor, lonely and a widow. She works very hard to conceal her intelligence for fear of being judged and also coming out as suspicious by the rich residents of 7 Rue De Granelle. So throughout the book we see her accepting her fate and living through it and then some turn of events changes that for her. This is where ‘The Secret’ comes in, whatever thoughts you put out into the Universe, you end up receiving. 

Paloma Jose, the 12 year old strugles with her family. Her sister is very pretentious and irritating, she is highly dramatic with a serious case of OCD. Her father is a government minister and her mother an educated woman however complicated and depressed. She spends most of her time visiting the Psychiatrist and tending to her houseplants. She loaths them and thinks that all they do is very futile.

These 2 main narrators really had some deep thoughts and when I say deep I mean ‘ Can you keep up’ deep sort of thoughts. It’s basically them juggling and meditating on life. One event is dissected from different angles and a variety of emotions comes and goes as we do when we are deeply thinking of something. It’s basically like their journal and like how a journal is written; it’s a series of thoughts reckless thrown into paper in the natural exact order that it happens and we validate those thoughts by backing it up with words and ideas of other great thinkers, artists and leaders who’s point of view we respect and are influenced by. That’s what happened in this book and it was difficult to keep up with, at times frustrating – like I was thinking to myself, ‘ Oh just get out of your seats and run outside for awhile, it might do you some good.’

I learnt that if you feel like an island of your own  in terms of your interests areas, you should reach out and try to find others who have similar tastes as you. You can do that through Social Media. It’s always a good thing to find others who we can have very engaging and stimulating conversations with. I became more interested in reading Tolstoys – Anna Karenina after reading this book. I know how significant it is in the world of literature but I havent read it. But I have watched the movie and I loved it, I love the great underlying theme in it and I related to it. Renee talks about Levin in the book, how he was running his scythe in the wheat fields under the hot sun and his hand was strained and it ached and all that discomfort vanished after having repeated the task for awhile. For me that was significant, it highlighted that after discomfort is endured for quite awhile, we can find a little bit of peace and serenity. Or we can become as fluid and have that elegant essence of a river. Also this book renewed my love for Cats and Japan. Like I wanna learn about Japan, the culture, the places, the people, the art and the history. It brough my childhood Japan fascination back. I am also even planing on having myself a gold fish and a Bonsai tree like I always dreamed of having. 

This book shows that we should never judge people by their occupation or how they live. People can be more complicated then they seem to be. It also taugt ne that it is very important for us to hold our fort of intelligence and passion even when we are in the most unlikely of places that may seem like it’s not conducive for that sort of thinking, that passion or that interest to grow. It’s all in the mind, our life is majority of the time determined by our ‘state of mind’, so what’s very crucial is that we control, grow and preserve that state of mind. You are worth it, I am worth it, we are all worth it. 

Thanks for reading ☺