Quick On The Draw Gets The Job

During my working career I had very few job interviews and of those I did have most were somewhat odd. The first interview was pure happenstance. The careers advisor at my technical college was the brother of the training officer at a local die-casting company. A member of the estimating department at the company was about to emigrate to Australia and they were looking for a replacement. I happen to mention to the careers advisor that I was still looking for employment when he told me of the vacancy and he would ring his brother to arrange an interview later that day. I duly arrived at the company in the afternoon dressed in my best and only suit ready for my first ever formal interview.

Two men walked into the small reception area and introduced themselves as the chief cost estimator and his assistant. As soon as the pleasantries were over, one gentleman opened a technical drawing, laid it out on the coffee table and asked if I could describe the object depicted in the drawing? Checking the scale (it was drawn ¼ full size if I remember correctly) I quickly identified the object as a rocker box cover from a car engine and described, with much gesticulating, the details of the object.

The two men looked at each other and then, almost in unison, said; when can you start? No in-depth questioning, no asking where I wanted to be in ten years time, not even a quick ‘tell us a little about yourself’. Just a few minutes looking at a drawing and I had got the job. Nowadays interviewing staff is a chore. Too much bureaucracy, too many forms and too many people who are less than honest in their CVs.

But the story does not end there. This all happened a few days before the end of the college year and my full time employment was due to start the following week. On the Friday before my first day at work the company’s training officer took his usual bus to work but did not get off at the stop for the factory. When the vehicle arrived at the bus station the conductor went upstairs to ensure everyone had disembarked. He found the training officer slumped across a seat. He had died sometime during his journey.


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