The tale of breakeven

Break even

Kampuni’ needed an Intern for some work. We gathered some CVs from our portal and also some referrals and finally shortlisted four for an interview. This tale is about a young lady we interviewed.


When I went to the reception to welcome her to the interview room, there were a number of people there so I called out her name….twice, no one stood up. On asking the receptionist if she had left, I was told ‘ni huyo ako na earphones (she’s the one wearing earphones)’ so I went next to her, she removed the earphones, looked at me from top to bottom and asked “you’re the one interviewing me?” In my mind I thought “oh no you didn’t!” but with a smile I said “yes, please come with me”. I waited patiently for her to fold her earphones and put them in the handbag.

In the interview room we asked our questions, I can remember her mentioning that she was a paper pusher (please don’t say this) at some company. She had just completed a degree we didn’t know much about, it was community something and said that she was forced by her parents to do it and did not like it.

Red Lipstick

Not forgetting she was wearing some deep red lipstick…it was just there…on her lips…a lot of red!

As we were closing, we asked her what salary she was expecting. “I will need Kshs. 100,000 to breakeven!” We did not see this coming. We asked her what exactly she meant by this “That is the amount I feel will sustain me for the month”

Ummm….eeerrrr…..excuse me? Say what? 100k (1,095 USD) to sustain you for a month? What exactly do you use the money for? We just let it go. We asked if she had any questions, she pointed at me and asked “what do you do here”, I answered, she went on…still pointing “and you?” “and you?” and when she was satisfied she said “Ok, I’m done”

I was confused

I was confused

What do we learn from this?

  1. While waiting for an interview, refrain from wearing earphones or using your phone. I listen to music almost all day, everyday but for these few minutes, one can resist.
  2. Red lipstick is a no-no! Minimal make up is a yes-yes!
  3. Even if you do not like the degree you studied for, do not let it be known so bluntly.
  4. When asked about your salary expectations, do your research and be realistic. (this will be covered in detail in another post)
  5. Be nice to everyone in the building, from the guard, receptionist to interviewer.

Do you think she got the job?

Till next time…Kwaheri!

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14 thoughts on “The tale of breakeven

  1. Janet says:

    Very superb and entertaining post! I don’t think she got the job. Which world does she live in?gosh!

    Regarding salary expectations, it is usually a very tricky question. We would appreciate a post on this, tuko wengi gizani.

  2. victormuto says:

    Reblogged this on From My Mind… and commented:
    with such an attitude, I don’t think I would have even continued with the interview (I easily get bored), and no way she could have gotten that job. On the salary issue, I too would love a post on that though I’ve never been asked what salary I expected in any of the interviews I attended.
    Great post, as always. Looking forward to seeing you soon (once am settled completely)

  3. Ma says:

    Was she for real?
    Looks like she had applied for a job she knew little about. I kinda like her confidence, and would give her tips on what job suits her . . . maybe front office desk or marketing?

  4. Kawira says:

    was this her first time interviewing?! funny girl! what other extremes have you met in the interview room? i’d like to read about the shy type, and what your advice would be. nice piece Sandra!

    • Njeri Mbogo says:

      Haha, I did get a story out of it and we still remember her to date 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by.

      PS: I like the emails I receive from you, they don’t feel generic 🙂

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