The Interview Panel: how not to get a job (Candidate No. 5).

Dress code. Ah, the thorny subject of the dress code. Many have spoken about dress code; many more have written about the protocols relating to tie length, luminosity of shining shoes and whether or not a waistcoat is an asset or a liability in the Interview process.

Myself, I am partial to any candidate turning up dressed in a jovial tartan waistcoat for the rigours of the interview. It means they are ready for a bit of cut and thrust with panel members and not afraid to take a bit of a slapping on their private parts when it comes to feeding back on their performance after their abortive attempt to secure gainful employment in the Firm.
But I appreciate that the rest of my colleagues on the panel are less than sympathetic to a tartan waistcoat. But between you and me, dear prospective candidate, I sometimes feel somewhat uncomfortable about some of their more extreme obsessions when it comes to an interviewee’s dress code.

Harrison for example has a disconcerting ability to obsess about the shine on candidates’ shoes. You can tell when her obsession has been triggered: she stares at the candidate’s groin and before too long her view drops down the thighs to the kneecaps; thence down the calves, finally resting on the candidates’ ankles. And then she starts to salivate. Not conspicuously at first; just a small bead of saliva forms on her lower lip: but as the interview proceeds, the bead turns into a necklace of spit, dripping slowly down his chin. “Lickspittle” she’ll mutter to herself.

At this point, if Harrison can’t see her reflection in the candidates shoes, the necklace becomes a stream; which becomes a foaming torrent; which soon is staining her own jacket and trousers. ‘Unpolished shoes.‘ she’ll spit out between gritted teeth.

At this point the game is up for the prospective candidate.  It matters not one jot whether polished shoes is a fundamental requirement for the post being advertised.  As far as Harrison is concerned, shoes that rate less than 4.8 on the Pogson Logarithmic Scale of stellar luminosity means that the prospective candidate has the moral code of a slug and should be escorted from the premises forthwith, preferably in a large box filled with lime in order to bring about a rapid and unequivocal desiccation of the offending candidate.

However, the Interview Panel as a whole-hive-mind is able to restrain its individual members’ desires for excess and is able to continue the interview, smiling and nodding with due decorum and civility.  The candidate has clearly no chance of securing this role – Harrison will have seen to that – but at least he will have given the best account of himself possible, despite having crucified himself for his inappropriate footwear.


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