I write so I can breathe. I am constantly evolving, mindless at times, frustrating even perhaps but heck, I wouldn't change the smell of freedom that comes with writing.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

An Interview

Six years of working in Human Resources has been a time of extreme emotions and feelings. You cannot not go through some really funny but frustrating moments. Here is one about an evening when I was interviewing (with three other colleagues who did not ask a single question) pilots for an airline. I am sharing this little piece I had written later that evening. The year is 2007.

This prospective candidate has already cleared his first interview. Comments of the First Panel of interviewers grade him as Very Good, Excellent and Good (whatever happened to Fair, Average???) Alright I'm a stinker when it comes to interviews but then if one is interviewing someone who is going to take people up in the air every single day one can’t be too careful and ten times over.

He is overweight. All my illusions and previous visions of smart good looking fit pilots...sigh! He walks in, unsure and stands uncomfortably for about ten seconds before he decides he has to sit down. I have two other panel members who stare at me. I roll my eyes (cover it up real quick) and then proceed to ask him to tell us about himself. His psychology sheet is in front of me. The reflection ain't too great and he blabs to reconfirm all our fears.

How many years of flying experience do you have?
22. (I raise my eyebrows) 22 years.

When was the last time you flew an aircraft?
November 2006

What Airline do you work for?
Ah...umm...Sosoliso...you know, the airline got grounded. (We stare at him)

Isn't that when they grounded... I mean when you last flew?
Yes, but I wasn't flying the plane that crashed (Lord...would he be sitting here alive if he was?)

Can I see your log book?
He hands over a thick log, green, worn, faded along the edges
I flip open the pages. The over-writing is frequent. I look up. His flying licence has expired.

You don't fill this log everyday do you?
Umm...(he shuffles and has the how-do-you-know look)

Well? (more shuffling...I can hear his shoes squeak)
Once a week. I write it down in a piece of paper and fill it in once a week.

What if you lost it?
Ah!(he relaxes with half a smile playing on his lips) I always can go to the office, they have records. I update mine by checking theirs.

How many accidents have you been in?
(It was a general question really, like even a bike, car or fire accident .I did not say air accidents)
About two...it was not my fault...he goes on to explain why it wasn't his fault...never mind the fact that those two aircrafts never took off again.

And so it goes...for another twenty minutes

Tell us about your family?
I have eight kids...only two wives ( we are all trying very hard here to keep a straight face)...is not much...my father had eight wives and 27 children.

The three of us make noise. I clear my throat. The one on my right coughs. The one on my left finds it appropriate to sneeze.

Tell me three strong points you have that make you fit for the position applied for.
Oh yes...I have 22 years of experience and I like meeting people and I have connections with the government (which incidentally has changed because of the elections though I don't see the connection here with flying)

Tell me three of your weak points.
I don't have any. I like women (he stares at me, I burn him with one of my poker stares...more fumbling...) Its not a bad thing.

I sigh. He sees it on my face that he's lost it.
Madam, please...try me out (huh!)...I am fit for the job...I can do anything.

I raise my eyebrow. Anything?
I beg Madam...I am good.

Both my other panel members look to me for closure and indicate they won’t be able to hold the laughter anymore. By now, it’s a volcano...waiting and almost erupting.

I look up, take a deep breath...not quite knowing whether to be amused or annoyed.

Mr (so and so)...This was your second round of interview. Should you get short-listed beyond this point, you will hear from the recruiting agency that sent you. Thank you. It was good to see you.

Madam, I beg...
I stare. I smile genially (oh please please please get out now before we all crack up).

Have a good weekend I say.

He gets up, bends half a knee in curtsy (o mi gawd), stands straight, turns and walks out of the room.

Pilot! I'm picking my phone to blast the first panel of interviewers. I have five more candidates to go through...it’s six in the evening! 
- Sandy


  1. Cant help but laughing at his misery.. Some people always think that they are the best and they dint make any mistakes but the circumstances were such... Nice read :)

  2. Hahhahahaha!!!
    Omg !:D
    Sometimes such interviews provide total amusement:)