A suspense-filled ten minutes

The 12 of us sat on tenterhooks, some with their phones, me nervously glancing at my watch and a few others conversing in hushed tones as we waited. Two of us had held on to bits of blu-tack from earlier which we anxiously fiddled with. The three interviewers walked in. They were friendly, enquired about our break, and finally one of them said, “We’ll be calling you into these rooms individually now, and will convey the results of your morning session to you in the privacy of that room. We request everyone to enter with all your belongings. The first two names are…”

I was relieved that my name was neither of the ones called, not nearly ready to hear my fate and find out whether I had proceeded to that afternoon’s interviews. We smiled at the girl and boy who had been called them, wishing them all the best, and then sat in nervous silence once again. The tension in the room was palpable, until one of the others burst out, “Man, this feels like Roadies!” (referencing the tense elimination rounds) and everyone laughed. We began to relax a bit, only falling back into silence as the two individuals in the rooms each exited and left the hall in silence. The next two names were called, and as the pressure mounted once again I commented, “imagine they’ve just told them they got through and they have to return in an hour for their interviews.” “Or they’ve sent them downstairs to wait elsewhere for the interviews,” someone else suggested, and we were once again left waiting, wondering what news the rooms would bring for each of us. Candidates 3 and 4 exited as well, and then we waited in silence for the next names, time passing excruciatingly slowly. But they never came.

“Congratulations!” one of the interviewers exclaimed. “I’m glad to tell you that the eight of you have got through to the final interview.”

The rest of her words mattered less, as I breathed a sigh of relief. I glanced at my watch in surprise. It had been a long 10 minutes.

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