Following is an account of a hell portal that I uncovered during the excruciating process of landing a decent internship. This can happen to you if you are –
1. Socially awkward. We are talking Jim Carrey’s Ace Ventura impersonations at weddings to camouflage your nervousness.
2. A devout worshipper of Chandler Bing from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. with an all-consuming love for witticisms and comebacks.
3. The possessor of a smile that is a cross between a snigger and a grunt.
Be scared. Be VERY scared. I lived to tell the tale, you might not.
So after getting an unexpected interview call for a major publishing house, I landed in its office located at the Siberian end of West Delhi. Exceptional ambience, tasteful teakwood flooring and a citrus scent emanating from an unknown source. So far, so good.
The interviewer calls me in. I enter and prop myself heavily on a chair. The room is stuffy and humid. The AC groans from neglect. But the interviewer has a pleasant face. He eyes me quizzically. Guess he isn’t well acquainted with potato faces. “Are you okay? Would you like something?” he asks, cocking his rather small head to a side.
I’m okay, that’s just my face. Could I have a box of glazed donuts and some self-esteem? I think it won’t be an appropriate reply. I go with the standard “Yes I’m fine. Thank you.”
“So I have noticed your CV is rather brief… ”
That’s because this is my first internship and I’m freshly out of high school. I couldn’t obviously add things like ‘Can write badly punctuated poetry’ or ‘Can drive a bike for 100 metres without crashing in a tree or a human’ to my achievements.
“Yes. I realise that. Umm.. Uhh…” *garbled speech*
“Never mind. How much of a team player are you?”
Oh well. I’m very argumentative and unrelenting at times. Also, I have serious homicidal tendencies that I may need to get checked.
“I get along easily with people. I believe in joint efforts that stem from mutual understanding and respect. So yes, I do think of myself as a team player”
By this time I can’t believe the word vomit gushing out of my mouth. He looks unconvinced, thanks to the creepy smile I flash every nanosecond.
“Look, I’ll cut straight to the chase. Give me a reason as to why we should hire you.”
Because my pesky relatives will hound me as soon as I enter my home. Because I need a relevant line in my CV that is just downright tragic.
“Well.. Umm… I am really passionate about things…” yada yada. Uninspired grammatically incorrect soliloquy.
“That will be all. Thank you for your time.”
Its over. But there’s a sense of freedom as I make my way out of the office. The air seems fresh. There will always be another interview, I suppose.
Until next time.