Judge Dogood at a Job Interview

Judge Dogood at a Job Interview

Judge Dogood sat in an active posture as he responded passively to the interview questions. The questions were mundane; maybe he had over-prepared for the interview.

“Tell us about yourself?”

“Where did you go to school?”

“Why did you study English and Literature?”

“Why did you apply for this job?”

“Why do you think you are the best candidate for this job?”

“How did you learn about the job opening?”

He had prepared well. He was in a grey suit, a royal blue starched shirt and a maroon silk tie. This was a rarity for him. He has always considered suits and especially ties a choke on creativity. He could tell he was smart by the expressions he got when he walked in. Dogood had even prepared on how to study the interviewers. As he was answering questions he would take time to study their body language and facial expressions. He had been rehearsing for a week.

Before answering each question he would pause as a way of adding thoughtfulness to his answers. There were six panelists in all; two females.

So far so good. They were nodding along to his answers, and not out of politeness, but in agreement and out of convictions. He had them and he had the job.

Dogood’s mind wandered. As he was preparing for the interview, he wondered why many interview questions are not creative. He thought of more creative interview questions:

Would you want to be a CEO of the company?

What if you were the CEO of the company?

As you prepared for this interview what dreams did you have?

His thoughts were interrupted. “From time to time disagreements arise in workplaces.” The female interviewer in a black skirt suit asked. She was the boss. “How do you deal with such difficult situations? Perhaps you could make reference to a specific situation.”

Judge Dogood smiled. This was his favourite question.  He had been waiting for this question, and he had fully prepared for it. Despite having been sitting in an upright posture, he found the need to straighten his back further.

“True, true, differences and disagreements do arise in workplaces.” He started. The panelists mirroring his adjustment in posture followed suit. Perhaps they thought they could learn and gain insights on a thorny issue for many HR departments, considering the thoughtfulness Dogood had shown in the previous responses. It is not uncommon for interviewers to learn from the interviewees.

“As a result I decided to always be prepared fully. There was this time my boss and I had a disagreement. I guess we both had it coming. It was more of a clash of ideology and working style.”

“One early morning. On a Tuesday in fact, I remember very well. She summoned me to her office.

“Without a welcome, a greeting or an offer to take a seat, she flew off the handle. She spewed innuendos, threats, and complaints,real and imagined.”

“I kept my cool for the whole duration of the rant. When she was done, she offered me a seat and asked me to plead my case.” He saw the panelists smiling.

“What she didn’t know is that I had a surprise for her. I reached into my trouser pocket and got my notebook. I do not always carry it, but I was thankful that on that morning I had it.”

Dogood reached into his pocket and got the little book. It had a well-worn red cover. Today the notebook was enjoying VIP status. It was in the breast pocket of his jacket. Its usual habitat was the left back pocket of his pair trousers, a neighbour of the wallet, which is always in the right back pocket. It was also a way of balancing his sitting posture.

“What is that?” the other female panelist in a navy blue trouser suit asked him.

“The book I have just referred to. I call it Dogood’s Little Book of Insults for Every Occasion.”

He flipped it open. The notebook was blank except for a few doodles as he waited for the interview.

“Skip the expletives like I did on that day; they are clichéd.”

“It also includes expressions like, ‘you think the sun sets on us so that rises on your….”

On a blank page in the middle. “Oh! Here are my favourite words. Like calling out the names on a honour list, he started: airhead, egghead, dunderhead, blockhead, bonehead, pinhead, meathead….”

He paused to stare at the panelists. Each had a distinct look and deeply disturbing emotional expression.

“I am not sure how my boss did it, but she was able to capture the range of emotions you collectively display.”

The chair of the panel gathered her papers and signaled to the other panelist, “we are done here.”

They stood ready to exit.

“Common guys, you don’t take jokes? My notebook is blank. I thought humour is a soft skill, a requirement for this job.”

Martin Mburu

Judge Dogood © is a fictional character created by Martin Mburu

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