John Birch hated interviewing. His profession brought in the kooks. Every Tom, Dick, and Shirley thought they could take out a vampire.
Several accolades hung on the wall in John’s office, including a gold sword awarded by the president, a silver commemoration plate for their ten year anniversary, and several ‘wooden stake’ awards for service, most of them made out of plastic.
The first applicant was a guy in a pinstriped suit named Abraham Holt, and John pulled in his team lead, Hank Turco, to assist. Holt looked strong and capable, carried himself well, and gave a firm handshake.
“What makes you think you’ll be a good vampire hunter, Mr. Holt?” The open-ended questions give you more insight to the kind of person you have, so why not start early?
“There’s no vampire that can take me down,” he answered. And that fast, John stopped listening. By the cursory way Hank went down the list of questions, he did, too. All they needed was another over-confident, macho idiot to endanger the rest of the crew. When Hank stood up and gave him the old: “I’m a vampire coming at you right now—what do you do?” question, Holt stuttered something about Krav Maga.
The second applicant was a ripped Amazon in a light grey three piece named Melinda Cole, long blond hair and a head taller than John.
“How will you be a good vampire hunter, Miss Cole?” asked John.
“Whatever you have me do, I’ll bring my professionalism to the task,” she said. “It’s about understanding your limitations and advantages, then minimizing the former and exploiting the latter to the fullest.”
“How would you apply your professionalism to, say, kill a vampire in a concert hall?” asked Hank.
John chuckled to himself. This wasn’t a hypothetical. Hank took one down last September with a broken drumstick and a tuba.
“I’d try to take him by surprise and stab him through the heart with a wooden stake,” she said. “If he came at me first, I’d fight him off with a silver knife—or a sword, try to take his head off. I could try to corner him in a fireproof room, set him on fire. Maybe I could give him dis… No, that doesn’t make sense.”
Cole seemed okay, but by the end of the interview, John still didn’t feel like he’d gotten to know much about how she ticks. She hesitated far too long for the I’m-a-vampire-whattaya-do question, and her answer was stilted and technical.
“To much ‘try,’” said Hank.
“Yeah, that may be more about poor English skills than attitude, though,” said John. “Did you catch that she was Googling?”
Hank shook his head.
“She was jacked in for sure. Probably has projection implants in her eyes. She basically checked off the first couple hits on Google to tell us how to kill the bugger, so that wasn’t her natural response.”
“Nothing against Google,” said Hank.
“Of course not,” said John. “It’s extremely helpful, but not what I expect in an interview.”
The next applicant was a wiry kid named Bruce Hickey, fresh out of college, a navy blue suit that didn’t fit and a lopsided Windsor knot.
“Tell me why you’d be a good vampire hunter, Mr. Hickey,” said John.
“You would know better than me, Mr. Birch. I can tell you I want to hunt them, and I’m extremely motivated to develop whatever skills or temperaments are necessary for the job. I mean, I’ve prepared with martial arts, and I’ve studied everything I could get to understand them, but I don’t know if I’d be good at it or not.”
Hank asked the second question. “So right now—when you don’t even know how good you are—how are you going to kill one in, let’s see… a concert hall?”
“A concert hall? Oh, hell, with all the people in there, I don’t know. If I did anything directly it could wind up being a bloodbath—especially since I don’t know what I’m doing. So I’d look for a way to lure him out first thing, or maybe wait and follow him afterward.” Hickey chuckled nervously. “At that point he’d probably kill me and escape, but maybe I’d find a way.”
Hank went down the question list, and the kid bumbled through them for the most part. Then he stood up. “I’m a vampire, and I’m coming for you right now.”
Before Hank could say ‘What do you do,’ the kid tipped his chair back so it fell to the floor. He rolled back with it into a stand, pulled the commemoration plate off the wall, and grabbed a stake award, then realized it was fake and grabbed one made with real wood. Then he started toward toward Hank.
“That’s enough!” said John. “When can you start?”