I was skeptical when I opened a message inviting me for an assessment interview on Monday, as I could not recall applying to the said firm. I proceeded to check out the website attached to the message and I was impressed. They had a website and it looked authentic.
I woke up early that fateful morning and prayed for the best possible outcome. With my make up on fleek, hair well combed, I stepped out into the glorious heat that is a second nature to the state. I located the venue easily enough but I was confused as to why it looked like a guest room in Jos. I asked around and the members of the “staff” were quite polite and seemed professional but it was too soon to tell.
I was surprised to see a woman leaving the door I was just directed to. Why would someone leave an interview slated for 9a.m by 8:55a.m? The receptionist, if I may call her one was a pudgy woman, most likely in her late thirties or early forties with a complexion that was more reddish orange than fair and would rather be left to peruse her Tecno tablet. “Good morning, I was invited for an interview today at 9”, I began. She looked up from her diligent swiping and asked in a less than concerned tone, “How did you apply?” Eh, how else if not online ma. She then asked to see the text I received, told me to sign in and enter the “hall”.
The hall was a room with green and pink walls, matching green curtains, an obviously dysfunctional air conditioner and two barely rotating fans. Someone had placed a desk and a chair facing us at one end of the room, pictures of the governor and president to most likely to convince us of their legitimacy and supposed quotes by Soyinka and another figure (whose name I can’t recall) to give the room an ambience of seriousness and motivation I guess.
There were five rows of seven chairs and many of the candidates had converted their documents to hand fans. Oh dear, what have I done to myself. I sat ever so gingerly on a seat and tried to check out my competition. There were people of all ages, from fresh faced SSCE holders to men and women who could be their parents.
We were asked to turn off our phones and maintain decorum by a lady who seemed most uncomfortable in her heels. She welcomed the first speaker who practically shouted to us about having the right attitude in all things. Four people walked out before she finished her speech and we were then handed test scripts containing questions like differentiate between an employee and an entrepreneur, who is a smart worker and who is a hard worker. Another speaker came up and she was to be our interviewer. I witnessed the weirdest interview that day. She would walk up to each of us and whisper her interview questions. Right there in the room hall. Two people were asked to leave at the end of the whispered interviews and the rest of us listened for our job descriptions.
The interviewer/CEO talked for an eternity before concluding that we would essentially be the marketers who would take their firm to the next level. We would also undergo training at the cost of N15, 000. The number of people seated reduced even further. She then announced that the training was actually N5000 and she had inflated the price earlier to discourage unserious persons. The rest of us were asked to pay cash, use online banking services or use the P.O.S machine which was already plugged in and waiting. Most of us came up with excuses explaining our inabilities to pay that day and promised to do so before the week ran out. I signed out and fled with my ATM, and have since replied every interview invite via text with a NO, THANK YOU.
Featured Image by xtyzeb