Job Interview After Peace Corps

Madeleine Aggeler, 126interview


The following is a transcript of an RPCV interviewing for a job at a small company in her home town.


Mr. Smith: Hello, welcome.

RPCV: Thank you so much for seeing me today.

Mr. Smith: Now, you just finished two years in the Peace Corps, correct? Can you tell me a little bit about that?

RPCV: Well, it was hot! Ha ha. No, but seriously… really hot. I sweat constantly for two straight years. I’m basically cured meat at this point. And don’t even get me started on my tummy troubles….

Mr. Smith: Um… okay. Anything else? What did you do? What did you learn?

RPCV: Well, what does “doing” even mean, you know? Is teaching “doing”? Maybe. Is watching all eleven seasons of Frasier without taking a break “doing”? Sure. Is sending Kelsey Grammer clippings of your hair “doing”? Who’s to say? So, yeah. I did things. And yeah, I “learned” things. I had to learn how to stream Netflix in Thailand so I could watch Frasier.

Mr. Smith: Well, you are certainly fond of air quotes. Okay. Maybe it’s best if we move on. What do you think makes you qualified for this job? What are your strengths?

RPCV: First of all, since being in the Peace Corps, I can work in extremely high temperatures. I mean, seriously. I could work in a furnace. I could help, for example, if the building was on fire and you needed me to run in and save precious documents, or a loved one. Maybe in that situation I could drive some sort of truck that hooks up to hydrants and pumps water onto the blaze. Or, if there was a cat in a tree who —

Mr. Smith: I’m gonna stop you there. You seem to be describing the job of firemen. You would be working in our main office building, which has central air, so… heat resistance really isn’t an issue.

RPCV: I see…. Okay, well, I am good at planning.

Mr. Smith: Great! Could you give me an example of that?

RPCV: I planned a ton of stuff in the Peace Corps. I planned all the classes I taught, a yoga class for my community, an English Camp for kids in my area….

Mr. Smith: Wow, fantastic!

RPCV: Yeah! Well, none of it happened, per se. Most of my classes were cancelled; nobody showed up to my yoga class, and my English Camp for 50 primary schoolers ended up being a camp for 100 high schoolers.

Mr. Smith: So, it sounds like none of that was planned very well.

RPCV: Yeah.

Mr. Smith: Right… So, I know this is the question every interviewee dreads but, what would you say are your weaknesses?

RPCV: Oh no, this question! Ha ha. Oh man… I guess little things, you know? I’m always late. I don’t always shower. I don’t always show up to work. I’m never prepared. I often look “disreputable,” as they say. I have a short temper. Kelsey Grammer has a “restraining order” against me. I drink at work. The usual, ha ha.

Mr. Smith: Okay…. I think I have everything I need here. Do you have any questions for me?

RPCV: Just this one. How do you like —

Mr. Smith: No! Stop! Ma’am, please put your blouse back on! That’s extremely inappropriate!

RPCV: Oh, okay, I’m really sorry. I read that wrong. I see it now. I thought we were… never mind. There weren’t a lot of options in the Peace Corps, so….

Mr. Smith: I think it’s probably best if you leave now.

RPCV: Right. Right. Thank you so much for your time. I’m gonna keep these pictures then, because I know it’s NOT that kind of interview, ha ha, right? I mean, unless you want them.

Mr. Smith: Please go.

RPCV: Okay. I look forward to hearing from you!

Mr. Smith: You will not.

RPCV: Great! Let me know.

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