THE INTERVIEW

PART 1

As you might know, NYSC 2015 Batch B Stream 1 passed out last week Thursday.

But unlike most Corp members who did, I wasn’t eager to pass out just yet.

The thing is, I come from one of those homes where, once you’re done with university (which ends at first degree) and NYSC, that’s it, for getting any sort of allowance from my parents.

I didn’t understand why should I be eager to go and sit at home (not earning), doing nothing productive. I have flirted with the idea of learning programming, sports practitioner, professional gambling, network marketing, MMM, starting a business, even though I haven’t gotten my “Million Dollar Idea” yet.

Sunday morning, in my Ibadan home, no light, but I just woke up, sober with some kind of ginger, unlike what I’m used to having.

My laptop was 100% (that’s like 4 hours of wifi time), I just subscribed for Airtel’s N500 for 1gb data plans.

I had enough data.

I opened hotnigerianjobs.com (my favourite job site), opened linkedin to apply for jobs (for the first time ever on linkedin). I even opened some other funny job sites that I got directed to somehow.

It was serious. I had never had this much ginger before 2 of my closest friends already left ibadan the same day of passing out and started making a living already.

I’m not used to carrying last, I never carry last (Thank you, Jesus).

I applied to several companies (some I had never even heard of) from several sites, continued some pending applications, created accounts on virtually all the IOCs we know, I even applied for roles in some companies in Singapore, UK and US.

by 11:40am, I was done

side note: i had to uninstall cloudmagic (the best iPhone and Macbook email app), a few weeks back because they made it a paid app. hence, my phone, for a while had stopped receiving notifications on time from the apple mail app, unless i manually refreshed the app.

The ginger was really alive


PART 2:

At some point on Sunday evening while I was playing game (probably beating on of my friends on FIFA), I got some email notifications, the first of the 13 emails that came in was a nairabet deposit alert, the rest were normal subscription emails.

Or that’s what i thought…

I went to my room to do some personal shit, and then actually noticed the subject and sender of one of the emails; it was from a recruitment agency, the mail called for an assessment for Monday morning 10am.

I was happy, but conflicted, there was no way I could make it to lagos in time on Monday morning, plus I didn’t know which of the companies they were representing. I proceeded to draft an email, requesting for rescheduling.

They called me on Monday morning to ask if Wednesday, at the same time of the previous assessment would be good for me, I was fine with it, so they sent an email to confirm that. I thought of asking them the name of the company,

But I thought that might make me appear irresponsible to the recruiters, plus Endowed also applied for one job and he didn’t know the company till after the 1 exam and the 2nd interview.

So after almost an hour of looking through my browsing history to determine which of the companies it might be, I found out what company it was.

ICR SERVICES

ICR services is a foreign, core engineering firm that offers industrial repairs (electronics, mechanical, robotics and that kind of thing). their website is mad.

They didn’t specify what type of assessment it was going to be, I wasn’t going to not ask this time.

On Monday morning, I sent another email requesting for what type of assessment I should prepare for. they told me basically, “The assessment will be both written and oral. We will also look at the skills you possess, your conceptual competences and your ability to work with others”

In other words, there is no preparation I can do to improve my chances

THIS IS IT, THIS HAS TO BE MY JOB!!!!!


PART 3:

In my head, I’m like, “it has to be because of how mad my cv is”, that these guys were so fast in reaching out to me. I told my guys at home about my interview, they cheered me and honestly, I just wanted to meet ICR guys and kill shit.

I got to my house in ikorodu late on monday evening. It was just ayomide and I.

side note: there is really an elaborate story about how monday and tuesday went. you should really gauge this thread


PART 4:

I had my legendary suit and the rest of my attire readied for this morning. I woke up by 5am, got ready and carried a bowl of jollof rice and turkey from the fridge along with me to ketu to give Ayobami and Tayo (my brothers).

We hung out for a little bit before I proceeded to Ketu bus stop. I even trekked to the bus stop. I was really feeling fly.

Took a while for me to locate the place, but I still got there 40 minutes before time.

You know how it’s cliche for you to sweat on your way to job interviews? Turns out cliches are cliches for a reason. I threw my handkerchief away. it was that bad. I really was wondering during the short journey from Ketu to Maryland why I didn’t just take a uber.

I even made a resolution that I will never enter bus with suit again (come what may)

The office building was a 4 storey building in Mende side of Maryland. I already found it kind of odd that ICR services would be using an agency located in such a neighbourhood. My logic was, the more low-key it is, the extra thousands in salary.

It was a purely residential area, 5 minutes walking distance from a market, the building had no gate or security personnel. I even saw another guy suited up, looking lost like me downstairs.

I am not the only one???

I asked my Okada guy, before her left to point “no 1” on the street, that’s where the address I got was.

As I approached the building, I saw some guy (not the best dressed in the world), looking at me with purpose, and he asked me if I got “the text”

side note: this was crazy, this guy was wearing a “not very nice” pair of shoes and he was apparently a staff of the company. egbami!!! i didn’t panic. maybe he is an intern, yes?

I didn’t get any text.


PART 5:

Apparently, there was some code that I ought to have received to admit me in. I showed him the email exchange I had with the HR guys. he said, “go upstairs, the last floor, the door by the left and tell them I spoke to “Sukanmi”

The guy even told me the assessment is a half day event and will take 4 hours, he also asked me if I brought a pen to use. honestly, this had to have been the biggest red flag

I have been fortunate to attend interviews and assessments (including assessment centers) at a number of really big companies and I have never been asked to produce my own pen if there was a written assessment to be administered (am I meant to buy a biro at the point he asked me, if I forgot mine) I was really confused.

Anyway, I got upstairs and met the lady who was to be the receptionist. my god!! she was color blocking. in short, she didn’t look very good, she wasn’t even at the reception. THERE WAS NO RECEPTION!!!!!!

There was just the door by the left on the 4th floor and she sat at the entrance.

I had to explain how I “spoke to” Sukanmi, so where other applicants were writing some code number that looked like NYSC/CVU/2015/115908

side note: there is no side note

I wrote Sukanmi


PART 6:

I got into the room, still sweating heavily and saw plastic chairs arranged with about 8 other candidates sitting and looking timid. I took off my suit and hung it on my chair, I rolled my sleeves too. There was no AC, just a couple of dead fans

This certainly can’t be ICR. Some whack marketing firm, maybe. Probably explains why I couldn’t even find the company online when I searched the domain name from the email to try to find out what company it was. I plugged my earphones and started jamming up.

I took a minute to ask one of the other guys in the room what company he applied to. He only remembered sending his CV to an email address he randomly saw online. This guy, the same guy in suit from downstairs studied accounting. I was trying to figure out how it related before the receptionist (let’s just call her that please) came to stop our interaction with each other till the end of the assessment because it’s not allowed, even though we were just sitting idle.

Should I stay, or should I go?

Optimism bias made me stay. Maybe it’s a test? Remember the story of Abraham and Isaac (in case you were wondering, yes the test of faith story)

I stayed, I was busy reading up on Gabriel Jesus’ performance from earlier this morning, only for me to look up to the TV being on, some inspirational message.

Did I miss an instruction somewhere? has the assessment began?

I didn’t care, I have been ”inspired” enough from covenant university to do well in a test about whatever he had to say.

side note: for some reason, it still seemed to me like there was a chance this thing could just be something, so I could send it to my guys

Travi$ Scott was up next. Goosebumps.


PART 7:

It would not begin for another 25 long minutes. Around the end of each song that played, I would pause the music and try to hear if the black american inspirational speaker was talking about the job. I would only continue jamming up when I felt safe enough.

Till another not very good looking, averagely dressed woman came in with some papers in her hand. The aptitude test was actually happening. I started wondering if this was another plot twist.

I haven’t felt so much like a student since junior secondary school. Even then we had tables to write on, not bags. There were no calculators allowed. I had to ask to find out.

This lady did that “take one and pass the rest thing”. She said start before she finished distributing.

How don’t you think saying “no calculators allowed” isn’t a primary thing to say at the beginning of an aptitude test till I asked. Not like things just started being weird.

As my normal practice is, I started firing all the questions. 10 questions, 20 minutes. Too easy.

Right?

The 6th question was, “Did you read all the instructions? Yes/No”, I wrote “No” and read the instruction which seemed regular anyway (Read All The Questions Before You Start Answering).

The 10th question was “Answer no question, except questions 5,7,8,9). I felt as awkward as you’re feeling now. I cancelled the answers I wrote down already for the other questions we were instructed to not answer.

Scenes when I was submitting in 6 minutes, the facilitator told me to write down my code number and I had to tell her the “Sukanmi” story too.

This was the strangest aptitude test I had ever done in my life, considering the fact that questions 7,8,9 were questions about your dream job and how you think you can get it.

Every time I glanced to the back of the room, I would see one woman looking over us like the boss of the place. I couldn’t leave. Not just yet. I had to hear her speak.

side note: the boss woman had a very pot belly and was wearing a tight fitted caribbean skirt suit. she also had the biggest and most ridiculous beads on her neck. this was really crazy. i had the best view in the house from my first row seat.


PART 8:

Boss woman came to the front to speak to us. She started really calmly in a very strong igbo accent. BW (for short) trying to ease the tension with questions like “Who here believes in Nigeria?” I didn’t get the point too.

She threw me off guard when she said she is a licensed practicing nurse. She proceeded to say that a good percentage of us would get recruited and subtly said today like we didn’t all hear what she said.

She went further to tell us that they require certain characteristics they are looking for in the people that will be recruited today.

Yes today.

She used that characteristics line to talk for the next 1 hour.

Her voice kept getting louder till it reached equilibrium. Very loudly, she woke one sleeping guy up and chastized the guy beside me for using his phone.

She said all sort of stupid things like “As a woman your love will die if your boyfriend or husband is not buying the luxury things you want”.

She even used me as example;

“BW: What’s your name?

“Me: Wole”

“BW: her speaking to the class, Say I’m dating Wole”

That type of thing. I started recording her on my phone after that, she made too many absurd comments till she mistakenly mentioned the name of the company, the real name of the company.

ZenGroup

I took permission to use the rest room. As soon as I was approaching the toilet, I saw one guy ask the lady that just came out of the single toilet stall and asked her if she had pumped water this morning. I only went to use my phone there anyway. Tried searching for the company on nairaland and also copying and pasting the first email I received, my data exhausted before any of the pages could load. This was a very frustrating time for this to happen, I tried to run another 500 bucks for 1gb with my banking app. My money got stuck (till now), and someone started knocking the door, I had been there for more than 5 minutes and these guys had to know I can’t definitely do number 2 there.

I came out without being able to check the website, so I was just as confused as I was before I stepped out. I got back in and I was staring at her strangely for an extended period of time.

I’m sure most of you are wondering what the hell was still doing there at this point, I was already sure this was shit, I just needed to satisfy my curiosity.

Not more than 10 minutes after I came in did a slide show come up, immediately, I saw this dreaded image.

I brought out my phone and EarPods, got plugged, wore my suit, carried my bag, brought out my shades (still while standing in the front) and carefully went for the door

sidenote: To be very frank, she had some really compelling stories of how her husband died when she was 27 with a 4 month old baby girl in Abuja, a staff of NASS, she was going to be offered a job with her nursing degree and the honorable representing her region, who fortunately was from her town in house of reps. Mans wanted to sleep with her before she could get the job. She rejected and few months after got a masters scholarship that took her to UK for 11 years from 2004 till last year. She somehow got a job over there somehow after she finished school. She started working 84 hour week shifts (8–8 all week, including all Sundays in the month, except for 1 that she had to go to church) She missed her daughter too much, except she got scammed of all her savings of her time over there (17 million naira) by the hands of some guy that help Nigerians send money home for a living. It wrecked her and she got an experienced 170k a month role in some hospital and got wrongfully terminated after a few weeks (she is still in court)

I knew what it was


PART 9:

On my way out,The Receptionist asked me where I was going. I knew I wouldn’t have the balls to tell them to their faces that they haven’t done well.

I thought drinking would be a good idea, so I called one of my friends that live around the area, but he was indisposed. Things weren’t really getting better.

Imagine I had left Ibadan by 5am on Monday, an idea I seriously flirted with.

“imagine i was a nicer guy and dropped the application link, whichever it was, on one of the numerous whatsapp groups i’m in.

imagine Nero came from Warri, endowed delayed his abuja trip, favor from calabar, faith akor from kaduna.

wole only came from ibadan. he only had a funny experience with a long story to tell”

Those were my thoughts as I was trekking back towards Maryland bus stop, when I ran into Stig and Lugs driving the opposite direction. They parked to hail their guy, but it got a little awkward because they were causing traffic as we were having small talk

Lugs, just having small talk, asked if Endowed got some job he applied for (the one he didn’t know the name of the company)

They looked very happy finding their way to Maryland Mall. With the day I had, I thought of going to the mall too. But it was not going to happen. I was even more frustrated after they drove off, I don’t think they noticed my shades fall and broke when I was trying to get back on my way.

I was sweating profusely (this was really the theme of the day for the most part), I passed a couple of parked empty yellow buses, I almost got back to the traffic light. I kept waiting for a bus to stop and call Ketu-Ojota. I was there for about 10 minutes, before one man on the street noticed me and told me the parked buses are the ones that load to Ketu.

I went straight to my house in Ikorodu, took my clothes off, had a shower, soaked 1 cup of garri with better milk and cold water only, because just like plantain……


Thank you very much for being patient enough to read up till this point