I have to confess that I am a virgin; an interview virgin. I have ten years of work experience and possess a rather impressive CV, even if I say so myself. However I have never been interviewed for a job. How did I manage that? In order to answer that I have to take you back to the year 1997.
It was June 1997; I was waiting to start my first Semester at the National University of Singapore in September. My majors were English Language and European Studies. That June, I met a really cute guy from Germany. He says it was love at first sight for him. It was love at second sight for me. As you can already guess, we fell in love and spent practically the whole of his holiday in Singapore together. When he had to leave, we decided to try a long distance relationship. It was not always easy but we managed to keep the long distance relationship alive for 2 years.
In 1999 my then boyfriend decided to spend a year in Singapore studying at a private school. He could have attended the same course in Germany too but he wanted to take this opportunity to be closer to me. So we spent a whole year together; loving each other’s company. Our relationship excelled the praxis test as well.
But all good things had to come to an end. My boyfriend had to leave Singapore immediately when his student visa expired in September 2000. We couldn’t imagine going back to a long distance relationship. Although we were both still relatively young and my boyfriend never wanted to get married before he was 30, we decided to get married. We compared the spouse visa regulations in Singapore and Germany and the question, “Where to live?” was quickly answered. It was easier to get a spouse visa for me in Germany than to get one for my boyfriend in Singapore; all I had to do was get married to him. Therefore after my last examination in my final semester, I left Singapore together with my boyfriend, who was by then my fiancée, and the intention to start a new life in a totally new world.
My beginning in Germany was not as difficult as I initially thought it would be. I was heartily welcomed by my in-laws. It might sound like a cliché but through marriage I had gained a new family. Getting a marriage license was simple and I was the first Singaporean to get married in that town. I had learned German for 2 years at NUS and could understand the others. My language skill was good enough that the Registrar decided an interpreter was not necessary during the solemnisation. Nevertheless it still took some time before I was courageous enough to converse in German. I was lucky that my husband’s family and friends spoke English.
The first three months I spent at home, getting accustom to life in Germany and learning the nuances of the language by watching lots of local TV shows. During this time, I can remember being homesick only once. Eventually we all thought it would be best to get a job to further help the integration process. My mom-in-law was the Department Manager of the Accounts Payable in the daughter company of an American corporation. She offered to take me on as a temporary accounting clerk. They had a lot to do at that moment. It was seen as an interim solution until I found something more suitable to my qualifications. I always thought that accounting was boring and dry. But it was a good experience for me and a good solution for the company as I was placed in charge of the foreign suppliers because of my proficiency in English. After a year or so I was taken on as a permanent employee. In approximately 2 year cycles I moved from position to position within the same company. In the end, I had worked there for almost 10 years before quitting in order to go on a year-long round the world trip with my husband.
This brings us back to the present. Since the end of our trip, I have been looking for a new position. Now the day of my first interview is nigh. On the 16th of February, I have been invited for an interview and Assessment Centre evaluation. I am feeling pretty excited and slightly nervous. I plan to spend the time till then, preparing for the day. My biggest issue at the moment is the decision on what to wear. It is a small company specialised in selling Street wear and publishing literature on Graffiti. Based on what I have found out about them, I would love to work there. So I have to relay the impression that I am serious enough to take on the Project Manager role but young and hip enough to fit in the company environment and culture.
Regardless how it turns out, it will be my first time and will always have a special place in my mind. I would lose my virginal status after more than 3 decades. Unbelievable!