The Interview: Purposeful Pretension


By Delbert H. Rhodes 

He demonstrates the proper posture, expresses with eloquence and smiles automatically. Behind his smiles loom (a) darkness to the process and it is screaming to be heard. On his side of the table swells volcanic displeasure for…

The Interview

Once more here he sits subjected to the scrutiny of some person, who and before this process, he never knew existed. Now this person, as in previous occasions, has the power to decide his potentials, to determine his livelihood.

Just look at her, Miss High and Mighty sitting sneering down at me from her velvet throne, as though she were Queen and I a pitiless serf to beg for her delicious crumbs-Witch!

These and worse thoughts sear his mind as the interviewer smilingly invades him with another question. Oh, and please don’t ask me, he inwardly protests, the infamous, “And where do you see yourself in five years!” I am over fifty and have long exceeded that asinine query by more than two damned decades!

How in hell do they find the nerve to (even) present such bullshit to people seeking employment, he ponders. Knowing all the while that truth is never the objective to the question. Rather, some prepared quote placing the company high on Olympus and at the right hand of Zeus. Dare respond by indicating some alternate personalized goal and the heavens would rain fire and brimstone. Sorry, see ya: consider employment elsewhere my friend.

This culture speaks with the infamous forked tongue regarding truth. In childhood, the socio-parental quest is scripting honesty, truth, and fairness. The world thereafter foils the plot with infusions of needs acquisition based on deceptive mechanisms. Yes, ever recall Mommy or Daddy instructing to tell the bill collector that they are not at home. In other words, adult life and social gain are many times dominated by acquisition and maintenance through lying.

The good guy finishes last is one lesson surely attained long before graduating elementary school. By college, if one ever arrives there, lying and cheating by many is the standard of operation. Doing otherwise could place one on the list of suspects. Good guys in the Hall of Academia many times are viewed as traitors. (Moreover) nowadays who knows, possibly Terrorists, and depending on one’s viewpoint even Democrats or Republicans.

His mind reeling from past experiences he pulls on his professionalism to thwart reality; and that being he would prefer this moment to be home reading writing or thinking of a good read or of a stimulating write. Today’s interview would make an exemplary write for a fascinating read. He ventures a proper and naturally, gainful response to the interviewer’s probing question.

Smiling back at her and in textbook form, he cunningly cultivates an answer. Of course, the honest response would end with his expulsion from the building, and then so long job.

You know, he thinks, I would love to, and for once in my life, tell these “headaches” what I really think of them and their inane questions. Is it not enough for me to professionally prepare cover letter and résumé and dress well, and then to drive to the interview site? (In addition) still I must impress the idiots that I am deserving of employment.

The interviewer continues with questions that assuredly were answered in the prepared documentation. Doubtless, and he realizes this mechanism is in most cases deception testing authenticity, and the interviewee’s cognition. Nonetheless, stabbing his thoughts are vivid points to render her redundancy vain. He is livid but composed.

Concurrently, the interviewee remembers and relives an interview from his past. He was then a Sheriff’s Deputy and desired to transfer to a local police department. A Psychological Review was one of the qualifying criteria.

Well, there he went with the intention of honesty, and he always told the truth, although truth most times, caused him great disservice. For his attempts to be clearly honest he was vilified by the reviewer, and then later her boss.

Because of an apparent misunderstanding or frustration, on her part, the reviewer interrupted her session and then escorted him into her boss’s office. The boss then continued the interview/interrogation, and in the presence of the reviewer. The session lasted for one hour and about fifteen minutes, for which the interviewee was later requested to sign.

Before the session ended once more, the reviewer interrupted. Taking a position to the rear of the interviewee’s chair, the reviewer and her boss whispered, and then she departed. The interviewee was soon permitted to resume the examination.

Moments before completing the examination: in strolled the boss with another test-about 625-675 more questions! The other applicants ended testing and left. Seven hours or more expired before the interviewee finalized testing, and the boss had long departed the building. The job and the day were a total loss.

Doubtless, our man had not performed well on the Psychological Test. He had never taken a test of this type and surely, the results were witness. The results notwithstanding, possibly, it was more the reviewers’ personal opinion that affected the outcome. Probably to them the interviewee was an “undesirable,” a “problem,” and in the terms of the first reviewer, “arrogant.”

Arrogance is not a crime and literally interprets as self-confidence, to be self-assured secure. Naturally, to be imbued by excessive self-love and never knowing when to be less free conversationally, one could be viewed as (negatively) arrogant.

A police officer entering any scene must have decided his/her demeanor, how to handle the situation. Self-assurance, security, and training place high on the list of properly performing one’s duties. Psychologists: no matter the expertise, and without (actual) experience as a police officer, pay (only) lip service to what is arrogance. Try hitting the streets in uniform, Mr. and Mrs. Freud, for one month or two, and then explain proper demeanor.

The interviewee pays for a second Psychological under a different psychologist, and although he strives to answer, differently than he did on the previous exam still he remains “disqualified.” Without court intervention and never having access to the testing results, one is oblivious of outcomes.

Psychological testing, and in my opinion, many times is guilty of denying otherwise suitable candidates, and is based purely on methods of “scientific speculation.” Question-answers are taken many times from situational experiences of law enforcement encounters with criminals. If one is not criminal then why determine one’s behavior by such. (In addition) for those who sneak through the cracks, well so much for Psychological Testing?

Failing to “appear” suitable on a test should never be the sole determinant of one’s abilities or capabilities.

Years later, the interviewee is subjected to psychological testing for a police department and out-of-state. The results of that test demonstrate him to be “rigid,” as later explained by the Psychologist. When interviewed by the Psychologist personally, the interviewee’s test results are viewed as inaccurate. The Psychologist explains that the man is (very) different in person.

The results of the police department’s eleven step onboard process are quite favorable. Our interviewee scores “… the highest…” in critical sections. He goes on to graduate with honors from the police academy. Additionally, of the five cadets achieving the rank of Expert Marksman, our cadet stands at number three; the cadet accomplished this feat with a broken shoulder on the gunside.

The injury fails to deter the cadet and he risks Qualifications knowing his injury would not be considered. Failing Qualifications would fail him at the academy. Out of a possible 120 points after four police combat rounds, the injured cadet scores an (actual) average of 116.

(Note: Because someone made an arithmetic error, the cadet’s shooting score was misrepresented. The score was not reported as 116. Do the math: first round, 118; 2nd round, 113; third round, 115; fourth round, 118=464. Averaging 116. The error was never questioned.)

The cadet’s academy class, class #46, ranks the highest academically of the previous three classes. The class is referred to by Corporal Willie Shaw, as an “A class.”

Personality conflicts arise everywhere. Somehow, the Doctors of Forensic Psychology, in New Jersey, failed, refrained, or refused to consider the possibility. Fortunately, police Sergeant Janet Shannon of the Shreveport Police Department (SPD), Shreveport, Louisiana, now retired, did.

Without reason for unfairness, there is or can be fair play. The reason (s) for unfairness: Well, one would have to be privy to a person’s inner thoughts, and probably to experiences.

Returning his mindset to the present interview: The (redundant) query is answered and with the utmost clarity and politeness. Privately he booms: I emailed or faxed the documents more than one or two weeks ago, obviously ‘you’ have failed to review the documentation-so what else is new!

I am sick and tired of having to play kiss-up to a lot of know-it-alls who, and simply because they (possibly) have read more than I and make more money and have ‘these’ many letters after their names, believe they have the authority to decide my fate.

The interviewer explains that she has one more question and then the interview session would end.

Thank God, he thinks, because I am about to explode from this purposeful pretension. The question is posed he answers and she obviously is pleased by his response. They rise and shake hands with bright smiles and then she explains that he would be contacted regarding her findings.

Totally pissed and wishing to ring her neck with impunity, the interviewee strolls out of her office. On the by-pass, he says good-bye to the office receptionist, and of course with textbook smile. The receptionist is a cutey and what he really desires is to obtain her home

phone number.

Overall and as he straps into his seatbelt, he craves a shower. Somehow, he feels a strong impulse to be cleansed of the dark process. Naturally: and as is expected, he would await the yea or nay for the position.

What else could he do?

Copyright © 2005 Delbert H. Rhodes

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s