The Interview
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"Please tell us a little about yourself," said the middle-aged woman in the black-and-white, pin-striped suit. She had short blonde hair, and she reminded me of the actress Judi Dench but without the British accent. She was one of a panel of five people sitting at a long table in front of me. There were three women and two men in the group, and they were interviewing me for my dream job--writer for the game show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" My name is Rachel Jamison, I love writing and trivia, and I was there because of a chance I took.

Early on a Monday morning several weeks ago, I got online. My intent was to look for ideas that might inspire my next story, such as new prompts on the writing prompt sites I visit, topics trending on Twitter, or conversations among my Facebook friends. I scanned the sites, refreshed the page once or twice while I was on each one, and scanned again. Nothing sounded good, however--until I saw an ad that read "Write for 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?' ! Click here to apply!" I was skeptical, but I knew that if I ignored it, I might never get another chance like this ever again as long as I lived. I clicked the box. I was then taken to another page, where I typed in basic personal information, such as my name, address, phone number, and email address. I carefully proofread what I had just typed, and then I clicked on the blue box at the bottom of the page that said "Submit". I never expected to get a response. A week later, however, I got a surprise. I got a letter in the mail requesting that I come to ABC Studios for an interview! This was it--the opportunity I had been waiting for all my life. Everything I had done--the trip to the nail salon, shopping for the perfect suit, and time in front of the mirror practicing my responses to the questions I expected to be asked, had all led up to this. I could not screw this up. I knew that everything--what I said, and the way that I said it--had to be perfect, or Yours Truly would not get a job offer. I paused just a moment to consider the lady's question.

She would not care that I was currently on Level 130 of Candy Crush, that I was a coffee drinker, or that I was a fan of James Patterson and music from the 1980's to the present. She would, however, be interested in finding out about my writing experience. I smiled, took a deep breath, and opened my mouth.

"I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Writing from Northwestern State University in 2004, I am currently a blogger with over 500 articles and short stories published online, I love trivia and 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?', and I would love to write for the show," I said. I watched her face, looking for some indication that I had give the answer that she was looking for, but all that I got in return was a poker face.

The next question came from one of the men in the group--a heavy-set man in his late thirties with blue eyes and a nice smile. He was wearing a long-sleeved navy blue shirt, a red and blue striped tie, and black pants. He asked me, "If you could be an animal, which animal would you be--a beaver, a sloth, or a chameleon?" I thought about that carefully, because my answer would tell them a great deal about the kind of person I was. A beaver helps his fellow beavers, a sloth is lazy, and a chameleon blends in and hides.

"I'd be a beaver," I said. "I like to be busy and helpful."

The interview continued like this with many more questions--some strange, and some ordinary--for about an hour. Then, finally, each member of the panel closed his notebook and looked up at me. I expected to be asked, "When can you start?", but instead, I heard, "Thank you so much for coming in today. We'll be in touch." I shook hands with each of the panel members, thanked them, and stepped out of the room. My interview was over, and I had not gotten a job offer. I was disappointed, but this was not the end for me.

I decided right then and there that I would use this experience to inspire more stories. I was a writer, after all, and the best stories often come from real-life experiences. I look forward to writing and publishing the story about this experience and seeing how many new readers I get--and that's my final answer.

Works Cited

Wright, Heather E. Writing Prompts. Please tell us a little about yourself. n.d. 22 March 2016.


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