Interview by Tara Lynn Hawk

You look right for the part, but we have concerns.
Just what, if anything, have you been doing with your life?
Are you taking any psycho-tropic meds?
Are you a “team player”?
Can you skate backwards?
Will you make coffee runs?
How do you feel about quinoa?
Are you a Marxist?
Do you feel there ever was a clear blueprint for the dictatorship of the proletariat?
But most important,
will you take the rap for the rest of us?

Tara Lynn Hawk is a San Fransisco area born artist, poet, historian, poet and general bon vivant who splits her time between London, San Francisco and the west shore of Lake Tahoe. Seeking part time wine tasting gig.



Bastard by Robert Nisbet

Interviews at Oxford, December 1959

The guide book phrase is dreaming spires, the facts
are pleasing too, the staircases and quads.
Train-loads of schoolboys shuffle in, disperse.
I’m bound for Jesus, for an interview.
Sounds pleasingly irreverent, that phrase:
“I’m bound for Jesus”. Then alas, ill-met,
here’s John the Baptist getting on the bus.

Who is this man, smile spread, grin grown so great?
He has the Bard’s Collected Works, and totes
this ammo to his holster arm, before
he fires in his first offence. Your school?

My glum, gruff Welsh response is slow:
It’s Milford Haven (‘Grammar School’ left out).
I do not ask his school. He tells me though.

His school spreads wide on England’s Southern coast.
‘Tis Beadles, Boodles? Rather good, he says.
Good little school. But so of course (he grins)
is Milford Haven. What a sizzling pratt.

And on we go. Next question. Do you ect?
Ecting? In sooth. My mind describes new views
of some foul practice known to him alone,
of buggery in Boodles, beastly boys.
And then he clarifies: In our place
we did King Lear. The monstrous grin now spreads
so far it seems to hinge half-off his head
(a large one) and he booms that he of course
was Edmund. Now, self-deprecating wit:
The Bastard Son of Gloucester. And I think,
Well yes. We read in Milford Haven too.

The bus conductor’s shout hails my release.
To Jesus. Ed’s for Queen’s. I leave him thus,
the Bastard Son of Boodles on the bus.

(Previously published in Prole Magazine)

Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet with over 200 publications in Britain, as well as a number of appearances in the USA, in magazines like San Pedro River Review, Constellations, Illya’s Honey and Clementine Unbound.


Interview Technique by Mark Mayes

Why do you want this job?
Why do you want it now?
Do you fulfil the requirements,
the person specifications?
How do you fulfil them?

What can you offer?
What would you offer?
Why should we choose you
above the other candidates?

Communication skills,
do you have them?
How good are they?
Are you flexible?
How flexible are you?
Flexible under pressure?

Do you have a sense of humour?
Humour under pressure?
Is your humour flexible?
Are you bubbly yet dynamic?

What do you understand by:
customer service,
equal opportunities,

Where do you see yourself
in five years,
in ten years, in fifteen?

Do you have time-management skills?
Can you manage time?
How much time can you manage?
What is time?

In three words,
describe your personality.
In three words,
describe your ideal job.

Is this your ideal job?
If not, why do you want this job?
Why don’t you want your ideal job?
Why aren’t you in your ideal job?

This gap
in your CV,
can you explain it?

Why have you applied?
Why do you want this job?

Mark Mayes has published poems in various magazines, including: The Interpreter’s House, Ink Sweat & Tears, Staple, The Reader, The Shop, and Fire, and has had work broadcast on BBC Radio. He has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize.