tell me about yourself

This morning I had an interview for a job I really want and know I’ll be good at. In the run-up to the interview, I had two days to get into the mindset of someone switched-on and competent. Here’s how I fared:

The day before yesterday, I got the bus to Tesco and bought, among other groceries, toilet paper. When I got home I realised that I’d forgotten the loo-paper at the till, so I walked to the corner store and bought some more toilet paper, and also a slightly unripe pear. As I was leaving the store, chomping the unwashed pear, I heard the proprietor shouting after me that I’d left the toilet paper behind! I felt ashamed.

Then, yesterday: I took the small change lying around our room and walked half an hour to the printing shop to print my CV, following Rory’s advice: bringing your CV to your interview is the done thing—the interviewer says, tell me about your experience, and you say, sliding the crisp document across the table, sure, here’s a copy of my CV. I agreed that a prop would be useful. Producing my CV at the right moment would make me seem organized—exactly the impression I want to create. On the way to the printing shop, I was thinking, ‘I could toast some muesli when I get home, but I don’t have enough pecan nuts.’ I decided to nip into Tesco and get some nuts, then go print my CV afterwards, since there was still ten minutes before the shop closed. So I bought the nuts, feeling very efficient using the self-checkout machine, dropping my coins into the slot—feeling also quite thrifty for using coins—until I realised that I’d dropped nearly all my coins into the machine, all but ten cents, and now I didn’t have enough money left for the printing! I couldn’t bear to go home and tell Rory what I’d done—he’d seemed a little worried by my loo-paper stunt the day before—so I went to the printing shop and asked the guy if I could print my CV for free. He was very nice. He said ‘sure, no problem’ and didn’t want my lousy ten cents. The page came out of the printer a little crumpled, with a crease down the middle like a fault line, but I didn’t think I could ask for another go.

So, interview day dawns. I am about to leave—I have my creased CV ready—and Rory spots a spelling mistake! I had to correct the error in black pen, but I think it looked OK—I scribbled on a bit of scrap paper first, so the ink didn’t blob (calm under pressure).


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