Virtual Interviews; Anxiety and How to Play Dead to Stay Alive.

Today’s interview with an International Non Governmental Organization took me from looking like that in Image 1 to the look in Image 2.

This year has made many of us explore the possibilities of virtual meetings, both formal and informal. And, we have had to learn and adjust to the modalities of interaction, body language and interpretation of other non-verbal cues that come with that.

Today’s interview was the first time I’d be having a one-on-one virtual meeting.

Was I nervous?

Well, I was already dressed and ready for the interview two hours before time. You tell me.

I had rearranged my desk and seat in different directions, adjusting for light, background and comfort. The Skype app was reinstalled and unsuccessfully tested on Chekwaa. But I was sure it would give me no issues as I’d used it before avec Mon Amour.

The only other factor I had no control over was availability of power. Yes, my PC and phone were fully charged but I would have to depend on natural lighting in the moments supplied electricity became… Unsupplied.

So I waited. And trust me, waiting is hard when coupled with excitement and anxiety. But, I had to be composed and calm enough to not blubber and blunder my way through the interview.

How did I get this done?

1. I took pictures!!! ??????.
Chudy Ogobegwu had earlier sent an email about the photo competition, This is Gender, being organized by the UCL Centre for Gender and Global Health and Global Health 50/50. I edited the pictures and submitted three while waiting. I figured, if this interview did not have the desired outcome, the photo competition would be something else to look forward to.

2. I went through the application form I had earlier submitted to the organization. To have qualified for this stage, somethings I wrote and described must have been outstanding and intriguing enough for them to schedule an interview with me, out of a multitude of others. I figured, written words are cheap. They want to hear me, listen to me. See the words I had earlier written come to life in my voice, facial expressions and gesticulations. If I had written the truth, I could speak the truth.

During the Interview…

3. I put on my glasses and maintained eye contact as much as Chekwaa’s screen and Skype’s interface would allow. Unlike the culture and environment I grew up in, this interview was with someone whose culture values confidence which is readily conveyed by steady eye-contact. Not furtive upward glances (to the gods), or downward glances (to the devil to behave himself) nor backward ones (to warn your village people).

4. I used, “thank you”, “I’m sorry”, “excuse me” as much as they were required. For instance, Eva had to bark at some point and I used that opportunity to say, “Excuse me, I have a dog, sorry for the interruption”. And her response was,

“Oh, that’s fine. I have cats too and they are known to jump in front of the screen sometimes.”

Lastly, I reminded myself of why I applied to the organization in the first place. Would it go down well with me to think I lost this opportunity just because I was anxiously clumsy?


We either go hard or not at all! ?

I’d be back to give an update on the outcome of the interview. #Fingers-crossed. See you! ?

The Fundraiser is still on. I thought I’d hit ₦2.5M by the end of this week, but, ✌️

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