He walked into the conference room and dropped his backpack between his legs, both pockets unzipped threatening to dump the tangled mess of ear buds and power cords and somewhere there was a computer and a large notebook and finally a pen. He meant for the entire mess to land in the chair but that wasn't happening.
Take your time. As if 30 minutes is all anybody ever needed.
He only stuttered through the first five or six sentences and then settled down and made eye contact. I wanted to tell him to breathe. Later on I did but I think it was lost in translation. His English is exceptional but he speaks very quickly. This has been perceived as nervousness. It's the stuttering though, that's the key. He tells me he's from Nigeria and that he's the second born identical twin on the way out the door. We are friends and his handshake is extra firm. He wants me to know that. I am pleased that he is pleased.
It is a hard thing to sit in a conference room for two and a half hours while people come in and out and talk to you and ask you questions and even with an itinerary you forget their names and functions and you have no water and no bathroom break (even if a break is offered it's hard to say yes). I blew it on the water on this one. I like to leave a bottle in the room for them because they always say no if I ask.
At the end of the day he met with my boss and I don't think my boss is intimidating but I've worked for some pretty unreasonable (please refer to any and or all posts from January - May 2012) people. This was a difficult session and I'm not sure why. He looked like he'd run a marathon when I came by at 3:30 to pick him up and walk him out. My boss isn't sure what he did wrong. My tech wasn't allowed to interview him without me this time (my tech eats candidates like scooby snacks) but by the time I got him down to reception (having made a pit stop at the men's room) he was breathing normally again.
It is a hard thing. I sat in that same conference room back in August for more than four hours I think. I had my own bottle of water and it ran out. I went to spend five minutes with the CFO and it turned into sixty. And I interview well.
I wonder what his drive home was like. I wonder what he told his wife and children. I wonder if he is hopeful or nervous or both. I wonder if he will come here and work for me one day.
I wonder if that happens if maybe he will relax.
I think he is a very hard worker and a problem solver and I think he doesn't give up. I think he might be one of those employees I'd say, 'I'd cross the desert with you'.