"Well Mr Qaisrani, your CV is impressive. You have a good knowledge of custom software, software design and computers in general - I'm happy to put you through to the next round of interviews." Darren Good, forty-five going on sixty, stood unsteadily and offered a hand, that Khalid took and shook. Khalid had to say that he rather liked the older man, who had a kind, soft, relaxing voice, with a not-unpleasant east London vibe to it. He would however, make it his mission to never copy the awkward side-parting in the other man's hair.
"If you head across the corridor, the gentleman in the other room will give you your information pack and a USB drive with details to help prepare you for your next interview." Mr Good smiled. "You can keep the USB either way - consider it a gift."
"Thank you, thank you very much! I look forward to coming back!" Khalid smiled back, said his goodbyes,and let himself out.
In the next room was an older man, with thin, wispy grey hair and somewhat beady eyes and a mole on his forehead that was unfortunately rather distinctive. He was standing beside a non-descript wooden desk in a kidney shape, and as Khalid walked in he gave him a look that, whilst superficially friendly, was somehow unsettling.
"Here you are..." The man was placing a folder and the USB stick into a plastic bag. "One pack, one USB. Good luck!" The man looked a little nervous - perhaps just naturally awkward? Khalid thanked him, turned around and left quickly.
Eric smiled to himself. Getting the 'gig' to sort out the interview packs had been clever of him. He spent the next couple of hours continuing to hand out the packs, knowing all the while that a great plan had been set into motion.
With his heart full of pride, Khalid stopped off at a local Indian takeaway after getting back to Islington. It would be a nice treat for his wife and himself. Little Joe wasn't yet old enough to eat real food, but Khalid looked forward to introducing him to sag aloo, peswari naan and all sorts of other delectable foods. The bag with the takeaway swung in his grip, and Khalid had to fight the childish urge to almost skip home. He wasn't yet in the job - but he'd taken a great stride toward it and knew he could do it.
After they'd eaten, and after Khalid had done the washing up (Sarah had been most pleased), and after Joe was put in his cot for the night, Khalid decided to take a quick glance at the USB stick. He wasn't going to take a long look, not when it was late, but he wanted to get an idea of where the next interview was going. After clearing some space on the dining table, Khalid set up his laptop and stuck the USB stick in once it had booted up.
There were a few Word files on there, and an .exe file marked 'Induction'. Khalid shrugged to himself, double-clicked on the icon... and nothing happened. After sweeping over the Word files briefly, Khalid yawned, and then smiled. Sarah had promised him a 'reward' if he'd done well in his interview. Time for bed.