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Straight on Main Street, left on Courthouse Square, right into parking lot. Check hair, teeth, lipstick, and gather interview materials. Walk around orange-taped construction barriers and read signs. Which building? I’m not from these parts. The email had said, “Come to the Second Floor” so once in the plantation-style, converted-to-another-institution foyer, up the past-elegant wooden stairs I go. A couple of skinny teenagers, a boy and a girl, scoot out of the To Kill a Mockingbird-Era courtroom, sit on the bench in the hallway and study their shoelaces. I ask a secretary, “Where is the School Board Room.” “Downstairs to the back then ask someone else.” I have plenty of time. Rule #1: not too early but never late. Turn right, then left, right and up the back stairs. Entering a darkened hallway from 50 years ago, I poke my head into one office after another and introducing myself to the first occupied chair. “Please be seated on the bench, they’ll be with you soon.” Laughter from the room creeps under the door and into my allotted time, apologies from the occupied chair. At last, the door opens, the happy candidate emerges; the door closes to murmurs then opens again. Smile standing straight, I shake hands, sit down and wait for the first question.

“Tell us about yourself.”

I am a teacher, and I love working with people.

“The job is really 8 months of sitting in front of a computer screen doing reports.”

Thank you for telling me the true nature of the position. I do not think it would make the best use of my skills. Please keep me in mind if other opportunities arise. 

I am a teacher, a writer staring at my computer screen making the best use of my skills. Clarity.

What are your most memorable job interview experiences?

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