An Unexpected Interview Question
October 2014

“An Unexpected Interview Question,” New Era, Oct. 2014, 47

An Unexpected Interview Question

Alvin A., Philippines

young man and employer

After my mission I struggled to find work. Eventually I received an interview. I knew the position would be a great opportunity, but I worried that I was not as skilled as some of the other applicants. My turn for the interview came, and I sat nervously in front of the manager. As I glanced at his table, I saw a paper with the questions he was asking applicants. My heart pounded. The questions appeared to use difficult terminology I didn’t know. If those questions were the basis of passing the interview, I would lose the job even before the interview started.

The manager grabbed the paper to ask me some “starting” questions. Suddenly he said, “Maybe I should first look at your CV [résumé].” He found my résumé and started asking about my previous work experience. When he read “full-time missionary,” he asked if I could tell him what I taught on my mission. I hadn’t expected that question at all.

I talked with him about prophets, the plan of salvation, and eternal families. His face brightened and he said, “One of these days I want you to come and meet my family.” Our discussion lasted almost an hour.

He apologized that my interview was taking so long and again grabbed the paper with the interview questions. My nervous feelings returned. He paused and then asked, “Do you have a place to stay here in Manila?” He didn’t wait for my response and said, “Well, you need to look for one. You’ll start tomorrow.”

It’s still a miracle to me that during an important job interview the focus wasn’t on my qualifications but instead on my missionary service. I’ll never forget how my serving a full-time mission helped me in my interview.