Kenyans online have shared the hilarious and embarrassing experiences they went through during job interviews.
The experiences, which, suffice to say, didn’t end with the words, “you are hired” range from physical mishaps to tongue-in-cheek moments (“did –I-just-say-that”) and bodily functions just giving in.
“Nilikua nme kula mayai boilo,” writes Joseph Kariuki. “So kuingia kwa interview tumbo ika anza kubishana (I had eaten boiled eggs before the interview. When I entered the interview room, my stomach started acting up). To cut the story shot I had to release the toxic air inside me.”
The interviewees were responding to out on a limb question by comedian Terence Creative, “Nini hiyo ulifanyiwa kwa interview hadi ukasema wacha hiyo kazi ikae (What was done unto you at a job interview that you said I’d rather pass?)”
Lizzie Jay, whose online profile says she is a midwife at Nairobi Women’s Hospital: “In the middle of interview I started lactating since I had a four month old baby..they had to cut it short..told me they will call me soon that was 2019 aky Hadi wa leo hua nangoja (to date, I am still waiting).“
The responses are a window into the subtle bullying that goes on in interviews. With about 15.9 million Kenyans unemployed (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 2020), employers know job seekers outnumber job opportunities. So, interviews for shortlisted candidates are more than just verification of academic papers. They are personality assessments, on-spot neuropsychological tests, direct observation tests, and then some.
Faith Kawira: “They asked where I see myself in the next 5 years. Nikawaambia I’ll be their manager. Hivo ndo nilianguka. Binadamu aki (I told them I’ll be their manager. That’s how I failed the interview)
Josephine Cherotich: “Wait till you meet a panel of fifteen old men and women who are there only because of the sitting allowance.. Utaboeka ushangae. Halafu unaulizwa chapters za constitution. I just smelled toxic work environment.”
Alicia Wamams: “One of the interviewers would click her mouth if I try to play around with their mind. So I asked myself, if she can click her mouth at this stage, how will they handle me if I become their fellow employee. I lost interest in that job.”
Wangui Njeri: “Nilienda after campus. Nikaulizwa so tell us something about you that is not in your CV. Nikasema I’m a joker. I wanted to mean am a fun person to be around. But Rusungu niliacha Kwa matatu za Nawasuku.”
Damning Unemployment Outlook
According to KNBS, Kenya’s unemployment rate is 10.4 per cent. The employment to population ratio is 57.7 percent, exacerbated by the Coronavirus pandemic that has since many businesses close shop, and an economy in the doldrums.
The highest proportion of the unemployed is between ages 20 and 24 (22.8 percent), and 25 and 29 (21.7 per cent). KNBS says 1,920,443 Kenyans lost their jobs last year.