Friday, October 30, 2009

The Shortest Job Interview Ever

How do you know that a prospective job will be engaged to you?

Before I explain this perhaps we make one step backward first and find out what causes us to look for a job. Answers to this one are always personal but in times like this when the economy is bad the most possible reason is to stop oneself from being unemployed. This happened to me 17 years ago but at the wrong timing and at the wrong place. Wrong timing, I was retrenched due to redundancy the day I came back to work after a blissful two-week wedding honeymoon. Wrong place, our company was one of the very few facing financial crisis that time. That was the moment my wife and I just stared at each other in disbelief.

So for a while I went on a sabbatical. My wife was the interim breadwinner. We moved on, I moved on and kept looking for another means to earn a living. I found one but kept on looking as I needed to prepare for a family that would get bigger soon.

A chain of events ensued. In my desire to bring back the old salary I was receiving from the company that laid me off, I accepted an offer from an overseas appointment. Being a recently married man and soon-to-be father, I knew it was a difficult decision to leave a young family for all its intents and purposes of providing a better life. Yet in a rather bizarre coincidence another door of opportunity swung open. Two weeks before I fly to the Emirates a local headhunter recommended me to a managerial position required by a leading local tile manufacturer. After briefing me up for a job interview schedule, the consultant advised me that, although a local company may not match the salary offered to me abroad, the joy of being together with the family will always remain priceless. So off I went to the interview which was on a weekend. The amusing thing was that same day on my way to the interview I dropped by the office of the overseas job liaison officer earlier and picked up my contract. I was holding the envelope with the contract inside during the interview.

A senior guy came up to the office. We shook hands and exchanged greetings. He offered me a seat and told me to make myself comfortable. He introduced his name and position as the Company Vice President with a resolute countenance of both a seasoned executive and an unrelenting patriarch. After a few light discussions on personal whereabouts, he turned his seat sideways, held my resume arms high and browsed so quickly that I presumed that was his final glance over it. Then he faced me, looked at me in the eyes again and slammed my resume on the desk. I swallowed a lump of saliva whole.

“You know, Angelo, I’m not going to beat around the bush. After reading your resume…I’m impressed!!” he announced, a remark that merges scolding and praising.

Time stood still on me that time, my mouth ajar. This time he ricocheted with a question.

“Ok, how much?”

That was the cue. And with a swift twist of the wrist I declared my worth. The rest is history.

Shortest interview ever.

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