D-Day: Job Interview

“Those who failed to prepare, should be prepared to fail” – (anonymous)

By coincidence, these words popped up on the noontime TV game show that my wife was watching yesterday, a day after my doomed job interview.

The new job adventure started out of curiosity and boredom on one good Sunday morning while we were browsing through the newspapers. The ads states “40minutes pre-qualifying assessment”. It’s from a call center agency (which later on I’ll learn that it’s actually a newly established call center).

If I remember it right, it was this year that I’ve started hearing all about this job employment. It has been the hope of most people seeking local employment, as most Filipino are still speaking fluent English than its Asian neighbors. At least for now. And just like any other things there is both the good side & bad side of it. The good: It is high paying. The bad: It is routine, and so therefore, immediately I conclude as boring.

Human as I am, the good part attracted me into it immediately. Although I know, deep inside that I’m not the type of person to handle phone calls easily, not to mention complaints from the other end of the line. That would be like challenging me to answer my own complaints over the phone. Most likely, “me” would have some long talks and argument with “myself”.

Anyway, on that sunny Sunday, I did took the 40minute assessment both over the phone & online. Proudly, I aced it. From that moment on, It felt like I’d be on my way to the call center business. A couple of days later I received a call telling me of the scheduled interview, which would be a week later.

D-day came and with my wife, we went on early to the place as instructed. This is when things would get topsy turvy.

We took the wrong way. We were supposed to take the shorter route (and with less traffic) but instead got stuck in traffic, thus missing the exit. But at this time, my spirit is still high as we still have the pleasure of time.

Next, a traffic enforcer flagged us down and he was claiming that I did a swerving violation. At this point I was praying to God to show me a sign that this job interview is still for me. Well, the enforcer was kind enough to give me a verbal warning and let us go in a jiffy.

Soon after we reached our destiny ahead of time. At least, we thought so. We were already sitting in a pizza restaurant and were waiting for our orders, when my wife asked if I’m quiet sure that we are in the right place. To confirm, I checked the notepad that I had in my portfolio & there it was. Scribbled on it was another address. Damn. I can almost remember the Amazing race desperate scenes on TV.

Once we got our orders, we had it packed to go and headed straight to the parking lot and to the right place. By this time, I was almost into giving up. And again, prayed that if it this is for me, then I should supposed to arrive on time. Good thing, there are still good people around and helped us find our way. The odds are high.

Thirty minutes ahead of the scheduled interview, we arrived at the office. I had to skip lunch and had coffee and smints instead.

My wife left me with 7 other applicants for that position (she waited & kept herself occupied in the mall). I was surprised to learn that there will be further exams prior to the interview proper. So with empty stomach but with full spirit, I took it.

The exams were actually easy. Most of it was English proficiency and a little math. The exam is timed.
The interview came and then the expected question came. “How do you deal with difficult people?”. If there was a camera inside that room, I knew, one would find me almost bursting into sweat just to answer it. It was not my forte. And I wasn’t prepared to answer it well.

There it goes. “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” That was the last line I heard, and I’ve read that whenever it is mentioned after an interview, one can expect no call at all.

Although I still have my current job with me, this event tells me everything I’ve got to know. It’s been 10 years since I’ve applied for one & got accepted, and it may have given me the false confidence that I’ll be passing this one. I was wrong. Next time, I’ll come prepared.

Driving home, I was eating the lunch that I missed while stuck on traffic. It was a Charlie Chan pasta. I was disappointed but
that not really down. Still got my job. Still got my wife.

I was humbled.


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