Banana Days Logo
Banana Days Logo
The Day an Interviewee Called Me Intimidating
A Thumbnail of Dr. Mona Minkara's image Mona Minkara - March 03, 2016
A Lewis diagram of OCH3COH in black on a yellow field.

I have never considered myself intimidating until I was called out on it.

Near the beginning of my adventure here in Minnesota, I needed to hire access assistants to help me carry out my research. The afternoon this occurred— I recall it was a Wednesday— I was excited and nervous to meet all the new interviewees. I was on the lookout for individuals that could do a great job assisting me, so I was trying hard to analyze each one.

Unfortunately, not many of the applicants were very impressive. I showed one applicant, a chemistry major, an acetic acid molecule, and they told me it was water—twice! They look nothing alike. Another applicant was convinced that working with me would be considered charity. I’m not a charity! By the time the fourth applicant came in, I was a bit discouraged– if not a bit peeved. Where were the decent applicants who could take the job seriously?

For the fourth time I introduce myself, “Hello, I’m Dr. Minkara. Please take a seat.” I repeat the same questions I have been asking all day. Now the process is slow, but something is different. The questions come, tumbling one after the other, and my hopes begin to rise! She is answering everything correctly! It’s going great! But out of nowhere, this interviewee pauses. “Can I say something?” she asks. Well my interest is piqued.

“Absolutely,” I respond, not really sure where she is going with this.

“You’re very intimidating”

I was not expecting that! I began to laugh, for nobody had ever told me I was intimidating! This girl got a second interview and works for me as a reader and assistant to this day.