The Interview by Siddharth Kamur
The INTERVIEWER is a man in his early fifties
He is reading the newspaper at his desk Stage right
Behind him is a row of cabinets which serves as a table to keep his awards, photographs, etc.
there is an ice bucket, a glass jug of water and a few glasses
Opposite his desk is the door to the office
MAN enters, early thirties
MAN: Good Morning?
MAN: I'm here for the interview.
INT: Oh. I'm afraid there's been a mistake.
MAN: Is this the wrong office? They said come up to the 14th floor.
INT: Oh, no. this is the right office.
INT: My secretary wasn't supposed to let you in just yet.
MAN: I'm sorry. I can go back and wait outside.
INT: No, no. Please have a seat. We'll begin in a few minutes.
(MAN sits.) (PAUSE.)
INT: Just reading about the latest attack. Horrible thing. So many
MAN: I was watching the news this morning. They say the death toll
INT: My god.
MAN: That's what they're estimating. Could be false.
INT: Even the possibility What do they think they're gaining
from all this?
MAN: I don't know.
INT: They say the modern man you and I We're destroying this
country, this world. We're raping it. What exactly do they think they're
MAN: The government should just send in the army and kill them all.
INT: Is that really the solution?
MAN: They want to destroy this country, take over it. It's the only
way. Don't know why we hold back.
INT: I agree. If you tolerate violence like this, you're asking for
trouble. (Pause) Can I get you something? Tea? Coffee?
MAN: Nothing. Thank you.
INT: Are you sure? This could take a while.
MAN: Oh I
INT: No need to be so careful of what you say. The interview hasn't
begun just yet.
(Laughs.)What do you feel like drinking?
MAN: Coffee will be fine.
INT: Coffee will be fine?
INT: You don't seem sure.
MAN: No. Coffee. I'll have coffee.
INT: Are you certain?
MAN: (laughs nervously) uh yes.
INT: Because you feel like it or because it's the better one of the
two options I've given?
INT: Would you rather have something that I haven't offered?
MAN: No Sir… I'm not asking
INT: Cola? A juice?
MAN: No. I'm sorry. A tea or coffee will be fine. Really.
INT: No need to apologise. My fault entirely. Here you are extremely
eager to make a good impression on me. We've kept you waiting for a
while now. You may even be desperate for this job, what with the economy
being what it is. You probably have rent to pay. Parents to support. And I
presume that a simple tea or coffee would make this process easier for you.
MAN: No really sir. I'd be very happy to have a coffee.
INT: No. That's not good enough.(Pause.) Alright. There's no tea.
No coffee. I won't give you any options either. Now what would you like to
have? Really, truly.
MAN: Glass of water.
INT: (sighs.) I suppose that makes sense. Rehydrate the system. Fix
the dry mouth, clear your throat. No need to worry about any unwanted
indigestion or anything. But it doesn't get to the problem does it? The
nervousness, the anxiety. Maybe what you need is a bit more inappropriate?
INT: Alcohol. Tobacco. Maybe an intravenous narcotic?
MAN: What? No!
INT: I can't really procure something illegal for you, at least not
at such short notice. And the rules against smoking in this building
are rather strict I'm afraid. But maybe something from my personal
cupboard? Whiskey? Vodka?
MAN: No really. I can't.
INT: It is early in the day. But if that is what the situation calls
for we must cast aside convention. Do you drink?
MAN: Occasionally. Not very often. Never by myself. Maybe at a party.
INT: I've told you. This interview hasn't begun yet. No need to
worry about impressions. Just a yes or no will do.
MAN: Yes. I drink.
INT: Well all I have is Whiskey and Vodka. What would you prefer?
MAN: Whiskey. Thank you.
(MAN takes out glass and pours some whiskey.)
INT: Here you are.
MAN: Aren't you having
INT: No. Not before an interview. I need to be sharp, precise. But
you don't mind me. Go ahead.
(MAN sips his whiskey.)
MAN: It's very good. Thank you.
INT: There's more where that came from. But take your time. Don't
want you passing out before we even begin, eh?
MAN: No, sir.
INT: She doesn't usually take this much time. Strange. Well,
let's take a look at that resume in the meantime.
(MAN hands INTERVIEWER his resume. Int starts going through it).
INT: Very good.
MAN: Thank you.
INT: Very impressive, indeed.
MAN: Thank you.
INT: Born in June. Excellent.
INT: We're very fond of Gemini's here. They do well for us.
MAN: I don't understand.
INT: I know it sounds strange. It's all statistics. They never lie
and we appreciate the honesty. Except for one pesky Aquarian, the
accounts department is only Cancereans. And management is dominated
by the twins.
MAN: I see.
INT: And since you're applying for management, it looks quite
promising for you.
MAN: (Laughs) Well, I hope so.