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interview. With a loud pop, a colorful array of string and confetti would spill out before the startled applicants. We didn't warn the other interviewers on the panel, so they were just as surprised by that first cracker. The applicants showed a wide range of responses. One guy screamed. Another guy jumped and cold sweat dripped from his face. One guy fell over backwards in his chair. The point of setting off the party crackers had been to see how nervous the candidates were. The guy who laughed out loud when the cracker exploded got the highest score. Our idea was that you couldn't do anything right if you were too nervous. "What's next?" "A securities firm. What would be a good gimmick for this company?" "Do you know anything about securities?" "Nope." "So what if we ask the applicants to ask the questions themselves? They ask the questions and we give them the answers. We know how it goes from doing all those interviews, but it's a skill, right? Being able to ask the right questions?" "That's true. Might be fun too." This interview work was fun. So were our pre-interview conferences. We kept thinking up innovative interview methods. We set off party crackers, as we had done at the advertising firm. We put a hodgepodge of props in a box and had each of job candidate select an object and do something funny with what they'd selected. We even asked some applicants to compose a personal fight song. Of course we sang them our own fight songs to spur them on. Many of the applicants clearly enjoyed our questions and activities. We couldn't help thinking that if we had been interviewed in this manner, we would have gotten jobs a long time ago. Doing these interviews, we felt for the first time that we were doing meaningful work. If you were to ask us to explain in specific terms in what way our work was meaningful, we wouldn't have had much to say. But it no longer felt like we were asleep in the locker room when the second half of the game had begun. We had been addicted to failure, and now we were in a position to console those addicted to failure. It made us happy to be someone else's shield, even if that shield happened to be made of plastic or glass. We were on our way out of our twentieth or twenty-first interview; this one for a web development firm. We interviewed so many applicants that by the time we were heading

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[korean short stories]kim junghyuk, the glass shield  
[korean short stories]kim junghyuk, the glass shield  
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