Hostile questions and unsteady answers

When one enters a new place, it is difficult to take everything in all at once, and in a short space of time. Kayla's situation only allowed her a brief appraisal of the interview room- a second or two- before she was asked to close the door and take a seat at the table, opposite the panel. Even in that brief moment, however, Kayla could see that it was very smart and grand, and although small, it had the feeling of an old large courtroom.

"I'm Alex King. I'm in charge of Human Resources," the first interviewer on the left informed her. He held out his hand, and a warm smile lit up his young, solid features. Kayla of course shook it, and then the rest of the interviewers introduced themselves: next in was Nigel Luxbury, the grey-haired man she had seen earlier, who turned out to be the deputy editor; Alison Smith, the lady who had sounded like a headmistress (and who Kayla now decided looked like one too, with her weathered yet prim looking face), was the editor; and finally there was Holly Ellis, the main secretary, a young and pretty girl with long blond hair. "I'm here to make sure they keep to time, and don't get carried away," she said good-humouredly. Kayla had already said "pleased to meet you" three times by that stage, and felt like a broken record by the time she had reached Holly. But with polite introductions over, the main part of the interview started.

"We've been looking through the mock articles you sent in," began Alison Smith. "They are quite varied. Does that mean you don't have a clear idea of what area you want to specialise in as you develop your career as a journalist?" Kayla tried to keep her expression impassive, but inwardly felt horrified. What on earth was she supposed to say to THAT? Perhaps it was just a test to see if she could think on her feet. After a pause that felt like a painful eternity, she started to form an answer, silently scolding herself as she spoke for sounding so hesitant: "I... I would probably prefer to report on crime cases, but I think I am fairly flexible to whatever sort of article you would need me to write."

Alison Smith nodded and Nigel Luxbury then asked a question.  “You mention in your CV that you were a writer for your University’s newspaper; what sort of things were your articles about, and what do you think you learned from the experience?”  Kayla was glad this question was not as hostile as the first, but knew it required a clear answer that sounded confident and thought-through.  “They were usually articles on the events held by the Student’s Union, like themed balls or charity occasions.  The main thing I learned was sticking to hard deadlines; the journalism course couldn’t really teach us that, apart from giving us essays that had to be done by a certain date for a later discussion.”  Kayla was worried that they thought she did not have enough experience for the job, if all they could ask her about was a minor student newspaper.  Talking about it aloud to these people somehow made it feel a lot less impressive than she had made it sound on the form.  But everyone has to start somewhere, and if she got this job, it would be her first real start as a journalist.

The interview continued, and by the end Kayla had decided, as she left the room, that she had done more or less her best. She wasn’t sure if it had been enough; but, she had done her best.

The End

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