[Note : Just thought you might want to know how a work interview in NZ is conducted. It's not mine, hope Mahal doesn't mind. :) I know "flying colors" implies that Mahal was no less than perfect, but with the last two questions asked below, her interview probably qualifies.]
Mahal’s thoughts provided in parentheses and in the vernacular. Post-mortem of course.
MATHS, MATHS, maths. Mostly involving computations of grams and grams of precious stuff, up to the 3rd decimal place. Hear those numbers crunch. Crunch, crunch, crunch.
(Bakit bawal ang calcu? Buti na lang nagpraktis ako, pati singit ko pinapawisan.) (hope that’s still GP content, blogwise. Apologies to all if not.)
Q & A time, with the manager. She is friendly and informal. She is also Mahal’s first interview with a Kiwi. Ever.
(After cursory, initial questions.) What’s your experience with gold and precious stones been, R? I see you’re quite familiar with the four C’s of diamonds. Could you share those with me? (nasagot ko yon. Color, Clarity, Cut at syempre Carat.) Ok, ok. (small smile, but no-nonsense pa rin.)
Save your best for last, R, because the owner is here for your interview. He flew down from Auckland just to see you.
(Omg, omg. tutoo na to ‘day.)
*** *** ***
A well-dressed, well-groomed man with South Asian looks seats himself. (Mahal is not surprised, as the store is frequented by customers from that region in Asia and the shop hints of South Asian decor, tasteful of course.)
He states matter-of-factly with a polite smile, “you’re dressed smartly.”
Flying start for Mahal. For the record, she is dressed in smart pumps, flare pants, sleeveless blouse topped by blazer. Egyptian style choker (that’s the nearest term I can come up with), and for the occasion, Mahal didn’t pull punches with the gold and jewelry.
What are the types of gold, and what are their commercial names? Give me a list of precious stones you’re familiar with. What’s the gold content of those types of gold you mentioned.? Mahal enumerates the products with deadpan efficiency only barely disguising her nervousness. The interviewer, who is now obviously past the first stage of curiosity, has moved on, and has asked his branch manager to give Mahal another battery of tests.
More numbers. More computations. Curiously, no more sweating this time.
*** *** ***
15 minutes later, the owner is back with more questions.
This time it’s more probing, less on substance and product knowledge which Mahal’s already established and more on sales experience and technique. This part of the interview ends with a mock sales presentation of 18k gold necklaces which, true to form, Mahal nails with a loud BANG.
To the most important question, Mahal adlibs with seconds to spare.
Interviewer asks : I know we advertised for a part-time job, but if you were asked to apply for a full-time contract to include foreign-exchange work (the shop has a money-changer side business), would you accept?
Absolutely! I just need to wind up my work and continue token part-time with my employer,while I train my replacement. They’ve been good to me.
(Mahal has no idea where she got the answer, but it’s a job she did with flourish back home, and she did not hesitate.)
*** *** ***
So as promised, this is how the interview ended : I know you need to give your (current) boss notice, but can you start training tomorrow? And can you tell me how soon you can start? Because instead of a part-time job, I am thinking of giving you a full-time position.
Incidentally, this is how Mahal dreamed the interview would end. Doesn’t hurt to dream diba?
Congrats Mahal, and thanks everyone for reading!