After signing Asafetida’s release form giving her permission to miss all her classes next semester in order to gain invaluable scholarly experience working at Deutsche Bank (St Petersburg branch), and having tucked the small pearl-handled dagger with initials ‘AL’ inside my diamante handbag for safe keeping, I hurried, dear Reader, to my next meeting – chairing the selection panel for the new Teaching Assistant in Runeology.
It went so well, dear Reader, that I thought I would allow you to benefit from my considerable experience as a leader in The Modern Interview Technique.
Firstly, ensure that the applicant has been told to report to the wrong room. Make this the room in which the interview panel has foregathered, reluctantly, complaining of everything they need to have done before Christmas and how this is the last thing they need etc.
Secondly, when the applicant arrives at the due hour, glare at him/her and direct him/her to the room opposite, where Jess the School Manager is busy choosing paint swatches for the staff kitchen. Instruct Jess to escort quivering applicant back to the interview room in exactly 2 minutes.
Thirdly, when Jess does so, glare again at both Jess and shaking applicant, and say that you need another minute to prepare.*
Now, dear Reader, the interview may begin.
Remember, your task as the Modern Interviewer is to tear the mask of scholarship aside to reveal the innermost truth of the applicant’s psyche.
Ask the following questions, speaking loudly and slowly at all times:
1. Coffee cream or strawberry cream?
2. Name ten uses for a sugar cube.
3. Do you believe in ‘life after love’ (cf. Cher, 1998)?
4. If you were stuck on a raft in the middle of shark-infested seas with the members of this panel, which ones would you throw overboard first?
Do not be put off by the sound of glass breaking and the vice-chancellor’s limousine alarm going off in the car park below, dear Reader – that will just be the HR rep, undertaking a bit of attention-seeking self-defenestration.
Once your job is done, dear Reader, please join me for a mince pie or two and a sip of something palate-tingling in my rooms. I do look forward to having the pleasure of your company.
*Read through applicant’s CV for the first time.