Last week I accompanied a corpse bride and a witch as they knocked on doors and filled their bags up with sweets in the rain.
Don’t worry – they weren’t really a corpse bride and a witch; they were my daughters! The rest is true though. I’m not really a fan of Halloween, as you will know if you have read any of my previous seasonal work, but I went along with yesterday’s charade because I was secretly garnering material for my next blog, which you are now reading.
After visiting all the bepumpkined houses in the area, we had had enough (well, I had) so we returned home.
But the fun wasn’t over! Oh no – it was now our turn to be knocked up. We removed the ‘Out Spooking’ sign and lit up the jack-o’-lantern; the game was on.
Before long we had our first tap at the door – a bashful ghost and a diffident Superman who were cute but not frightening. The shadowy figure lurking at the end of the path and urging them to ‘Speak up!’ was more intimidating than both of them combined.
Following this we had a whole spectrum of ghoulish callers, from pre-school phantoms right through to mid-teen bogeymen who had made the absolute minimum of effort and who were just in it for the sweets. But to be fair to them – why bother with anything more elaborate when a black hoodie will get the job done?
There were some impressive costumes but I’ve rarely heard so many uninspiring renditions of the phrase ‘Trick or Treat’ – and I’ve heard a few. (“Once more – with feeling!”)
After twelve packets of Haribo I was in an unusually daring mood, so I responded each time with ‘Trick!’ – but I was surprised and disappointed to discover that not a single one of our visitors had an answer ready for this. One girl performed a brief improvised dance routine, which was entertaining but not really a trick, and another boy claimed that his ‘trick’ was to make sweets appear, which made me laugh, so I allowed him extra.
My point, if you’ll allow me to get there, is that the children who had ventured onto the mean streets after dark yesterday were only partially prepared for the situation. Yes, they had dressed up, and yes, they had buckets in their hands, but they were not expecting anyone to say ‘Trick’ to them, and on the whole they weren’t very good at thinking on their feet.
In an interview situation, they would have been at a disadvantage because beyond the standard HR questions that everyone knows, you have no idea what else you might be asked. My advice to last night’s future job applicants would be to anticipate the kind of questions they might have to answer, and to do a few mock interviews before the real thing.
And to make more than the minimum effort, too. Black hoodies are NOT recommended.