I rarely have crying episodes so when I do I remember every detail. It was during a panel interview in the previous year. The interview had been going on several minutes before the donor representative asked me the question: wouldn’t this be a downgrade on your part considering your professional history and experience?
I burst into tears then. A roll of tissue somehow appeared in front of me. I saw that everyone was peering at me, shocked as I was, and at odds about what to do with me.
Through the muddle in my head, I heard somebody asking, concerned: “bakit ka naiyak? Meron ba kaming nabanggit na hindi mo nagustuhan? (why are you crying? Is it something we said?)” Somebody, the manager, replied: “ang dami na nya kasing experience (she has had a lengthy experience, that’s why)”.
The truth was since the start of the interview I had been overwhelmed and conflicted by the fact that I was actually being interviewed by farmers and elementary dropouts who were asking me things beyond their understanding. At the same time, here were the very people I had been hotly defending in my time in donor organizations. I should be the one to understand, shouldn’t I? It seemed the devil had sneaked into the room eager to laugh at me soon as I made that false move. I was reconciling these in my head when the question from the donor staff flew in from my left and landed right on my face. It caught me offguard, loosening my grip on my emotions.
The job was a done deal despite the question, my outburst merely confirming I wasn’t about to run out on them. But still. When I had finally composed myself, my mouth rambled off a nonsensical response which I doubted nobody not even myself could recall.
It was the weirdest thing to have happened to me in all my interviews. Basically it’s advice for what not to do in a job interview.