Exercise — “Challenging”
James Frank, 25, Engineer, Single
“Your skills seem to meet the job requirements,” the stiff-suited man said. “From here, I’d like to ask some more personal questions. Get to know who you are and how you’d fit in the office.”
James shifted in his chair. By the end of the question, the white light above had become blaring and the slow rotating fan grew into a roar. He hadn’t prepared for this. Even if he had, what would he say?
The man from across the table — Quinton — leaned forward and rested his elbows on the table. “Should we start with hobbies?”
“Hobbies?” James said. “Of course.” James scratched his beard. If only there were something else in this blank room to stare at besides Quinton’s locked gaze. “I like sports. Love watching the weekend games.”
Quinton smiled. “A sports man I see. Very nice.”
“Is it?” James interjected. “I mean, is sports a big thing around here?”
“Sure. Who doesn’t love sports, right? Is there a particular sport you follow?”
Shit. He should have thought that question was coming. James rubbed his knees, removing a fine layer of moisture from his palms. He reached forward and took a sip from the steadily warming glass. The silence as he did so was unbearable. Even the constant taps of passing footsteps seemed to halt. James swallowed hard. “Well I like all sports. Rugby, soccer, cricket. Whatever’s on I’ll happily watch it.”
“Oh yeah, I get you.” Quinton responded. He leaned back into his chair. How could he be so relaxed right now? “But is there a team you support or anything?”
James once again found his fingers itching at his chin. His other hand incessantly tapped against his leg. Every inch of his body seemed to need attention as it quietly buzzed with nervous energy. “Uhhh. I could ask you the same thing. I wouldn’t want to get on the boss’s bad side before even getting the job.” James forced a chuckle.
Quinton reciprocated with an outward laugh. “I’m not much of a sports man myself, actually.”
James stiffened. He sat still, frigid in the deep hole he buried himself in. “Fair enough,” he said. “I like the Eagles.”
“Eagles? Cool,” Quinton muttered. “Now, what about travelling?”