The job interview: just like walking down the main street without clothes

It’s funny how love is overrepresented in music history, just like in poetry in general. No one is going to argue at this point how important that feeling is in our lives, but the breakdown of sentimental relationships that art has carried out, detailed to the microscopic, contrasts with the little attention paid to other experiences that they also mark us for life. The first kiss, okay, it is very cool, and it is true that it makes our hearts race, makes our brains explode and we will surely remember it until the day we die, but … What about job interviews? Do they not produce a similar alteration of our vital signs? Is it that they are not decisive for our future, to the point that they can substantially modify our biography? And how many songs do we know that analyze that traumatic trance, eh?

This unfortunate deficiency was remedied in 2011 – in the wake of the global financial crisis – the Chilean singer Francisca Valenzuela, who included her composition ‘Entrevista’ in her second album. The lyrics relate, in the first person but in masculine, the tensions, the impotence, the insecurities and the anticipated feeling of disappointment that usually accompany this type of interrogation. The protagonist arrives early for the appointment, “with polished shoes”, with “an impeccable suit” and with his best manners, “scared” and at the same time hoping that this interview will allow him to get out of “work limbo” in the found. “How do I get him to give me what I need, / a paid job with an annual bonus, / pride, a mortgage, family insurance, / a meaning to life, a new activity”, the applicant’s head boils. No great surprises can be expected from the development of the conversation, as is often the case in reality: the song scrupulously follows the cold routine of human resources. «He asks me if I have my studies completed, / if I have any degree, professional title. / Where have I worked, why have I arrived, / in these difficult times the economy is in bad shape. The narrator is constantly aware of how his interlocutor «deliberates, ponders, evaluates, examines», but the outcome is uncertain and not very encouraging: «For a while we continue and I am still uncomfortable, / it is like walking without clothes in the street principal. / Suddenly he says goodbye, says the correct phrases / and, with a crooked grin, ‘we’re going to call you’ ».

Isn’t it as universal an experience as love? Well almost. Francisca, who is the daughter of Chilean scientists and was born and lived her first thirteen years in California, has admitted that she is among the few people who have never been through a similar hardship: «I have had a job interview, but not under the conditions that I imagined in that song – he clarified in an interview with ‘Faro de Vigo’ -. I imagined it very cinematic, with a 35 or 45-year-old man who is helpless in this crisis. Highly skilled, with a family to support, but nothing to do. Mine has not been so violent, I have had the opportunity to work since I was little in what I like the most ».

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