I arrived at the office ten minutes before our interview was to begin: my shirt was already drenched in sweat as I’d used the inner elbow of my sleeve to sop up the disturbing amount of perspiration which was pouring out of my face. I am hardly exaggerating. Far from the placid, equally distributed layer of moisture that conventionally comes to mind when imagining the act of perspiring, a complex network of tributaries carved violent valleys into my ruddy complexion. This sweat-stream trickled over the crown of my head, eventually gaining the necessary momentum to burst through hairline and eyebrow alike before cascading in torrents over the bridge of my nose. I looked liked I’d just stepped out of a pool; things were off to a good start.
As I introduced myself to the receptionist and took my seat in the lobby, I recalled the “Ace the Interview” class I’d taken the week before. Our facilitator, a wiry man about the age of fifty who was obsessed with Victoria’s bountiful hidden job market, had drilled it into the class’s collective brain that interviews are a process of elimination.
“Interviews are a process of elimination, guys, so don’t make it easy for them to eliminate you! Look in the mirror before you leave your house and ask yourself ‘would I hire this person?’ If the answer is ‘no’, make the necessary changes– it’s that friggin simple.”
I was pretty sure my hyperactive thyroid had already eliminated me from the running, a premonition which was only confirmed when the head of HR walked into the room. Endowed with consummate composure and a preternatural professionalism, “Cindy” strode across the lobby with tremendous grace in spite of her five inch heels. Evidently she’d had her teeth bleached in preparation for this round of interviews as her smile almost blinded me. After shaking my hand, she offered me a glass of water: I politely declined.