When The Tables Turn

“Mr. Anderson, I’ve been expecting you.”

I honestly didn’t think it would be this soon that I’d be on the other side of the table.

It’s been less than a year and I’ve had to take up the role of co-interviewer to find an assistant for me.

It wasn’t so long ago that I was sitting in that chair. It feels strange, but I’ve been told that I’ve been playing the part very well. I swear that I am not a sadist, but at times I feel that I eat away at the candidates too. It’s been very interesting to say the least.

We’ve interviewed three people so far – one who was terribly overqualified, one horribly underqualified and the other, well let’s just say that communication isn’t her strong point. Though I could tell she was very intelligent, she was an Asian migrant who struggled to communicate efficiently. Unfortunately, communication is pretty much the whole point of our business. Otherwise, she had enough of the technical knowledge and skills to be part of the team.

I had to interview someone older than me, who decided that she wanted a career change after many years of working in a field for which she gained honors as a student. Go figure.

The last candidate was your typical graduate who had no work experience. Zip. Nada. Not even a short stint at a supermarket, or a part-time job. As you can imagine, it was quite difficult to get any useful answers out of him. We talked about his projects while he was studying, but it was a lost cause. I also felt a little bit of animosity because I’m 1) a woman, 2) East Asian, 3) almost the same age. And if anybody thinks that these things don’t matter or I’m just being sensitive probably isn’t a woman of East Asian descent who is in her 20’s.

No one likes being rejected, but I think it’s good that we were quick to let them know. Nothing is worse than stringing someone along with false hope if you have no intention of taking them in. That way, they can have a sense of closure and move on with their lives.

If I could say anything to these people, it would be to keep trying. Just because this shirt didn’t fit, doesn’t mean others won’t!

And as soon as this interviewing thing is over, I’ll be glad to go back to my seat. Or I could just flip the table.


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