by Tim Pate
Buster had recently graduated from college, and he was ready to make it big in the real world. He had been highly successful during his four years at school, and he knew that he had a lot to offer his future employer. After browsing through the local paper for job openings, he found a company hiring for an entry level position in his field of interest. He sent the company his resume and cover letter, and was lucky enough to be granted an interview the following week. Little did he know that he was headed straight for what would prove to be one of the most terrifying experiences of his young life…
On the morning of his interview, Buster peered through squinted eyes at his alarm clock only to find that it had never gone off. His interview was only 30 minutes away, and he had no time to shave or shower. He hastily donned the first dress shirt he found in his closet, neglected to select a tie, kicked on a pair of tennis shoes, and sprinted out the door and into his car. His hair in a state and his breath quite foul, he started the engine and raced to the interview.
Despite his hustle, Buster arrived at the company’s offices five minutes after the interview was scheduled to start. He tried to flatten the wrinkles in his shirt and to press down his unruly hair, but his efforts garnered no results. He caught the elevator to the company’s floor, all the while trying to calm his rapidly beating heart, and then stepped out to greet the receptionist.
The receptionist summoned the interviewer, a well-dressed and confident-looking woman from the HR department, who arrived with an all-too-obvious air of frustration to meet Buster. She greeted him briefly and ushered him into a conference room, where he sat and faced the woman.
The company for which Buster was interviewing was well-known in the area, so Buster had neglected to do any research the week prior to his interview. He figured he knew as much as anyone else about the company, and elected not to worry about analyzing the company thoroughly. Buster was then surprised when the interviewer started asking him about specific business practices of the company and how the company had interacted with certain clients. Buster had no way of relating to the questions that the interviewer was posing to him, so he instead blabbed about himself in an effort to demonstrate his own credibility. Like water flowing over a boulder in a river bed, Buster’s words gushed from his mouth but failed to move the interviewer.
At the end of the interview, Buster was asked if he had any questions for the interviewer. His mind still in a tizzy from the disastrous proceedings of the previous 45 minutes, Buster shook his head no and thanked the interviewer for her time. He stood up, shook her hand, and walked out of the office without saying another word. The receptionist said goodbye, but Buster ignored this nicety as well.
In his car, Buster punched the steering wheel in frustration. How had he been so foolish? Why hadn’t he taken the opportunity more seriously? He started the car and tried to forget the whole experience. This was a day he never wanted to relive. By the time he arrived back at home, he was thinking of his plans for the night, as he was sure that he could use some fun to wash the taste of the interview from his mouth.
A stack of thank-you letters lay unopened, untouched, and unused on the desk in his bedroom. He never heard from the company again…