The Interview: What Is Your Level Of Submission To Authority? #ofilispeaks

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One of our OkadaBooks part-time team member’s recently started job hunting for a full time job.

She is an awesome member of the team and runs our social media page fantastically well. I occasionally check up on her to see how her job hunt is going. {Now don’t get me wrong, we would love to keep her. But we just can’t afford a full time social media manager for now.}

Anyway sometime last week she calls me up and informs me that she has put my name down as a “reference” on her recent job application. And that I should expect a call or email in a few days with regards to this.

I had completely forgotten about that when my phone rang about a week ago.

It was the company she applied to, telling me that they would like to talk to me about her application. They wanted me to answer a few questions just to ensure that I really knew her first and what my opinions about her working style/ethics was. So they start off with the usual customary questions …

“Do you know XYZ?”
“How long have you know her.”
“What does she do for your company.”
“What is the color of her hair”
The usual stuff.

After those questions, the company rep tells me that he will ask me a new style of questions for which I had to respond on a scale of 1-5. 5 being “outstanding” and 1 being “poor.” In my books, our staff member is “outstanding” in what she does, so for all the responses I planned secretly in my head to give her a “5.”

So he starts:

How would you rate her as a team member … “5” I respond
How would you rate her quality of work … “another 5” I respond again.
How would you rate her ability to work hard … “yet another 5” I say almost bored.

Things are going smoothly, I nearly pour myself a glass of “5” Alive. But this is Nigeria, things don’t just go smoothly like that. Something has to give, something has to make you spit out your FIVE alive and that’s what happened when the next question hit …

“On a scale of 1-5, rate her ability to submit to authority?”

In my head I was confused, was this some Fifty Shades of Gray BDSM shit or what?!


The question was asked as if “submitting to authority” was a positive thing like “showing up to work early.”

“I really don’t understand the question” I eventually managed to blurt out.

And then he repeated it again, as if repeating would make it clearer for me …



At this time I was getting internally angry, because the question made no sense to me … it was one of those badly scripted questions that I simply refused to answer because I could not make sense of it.

I mean how do I say that a person’s ability to submit to authority is outstanding or very good or poor,. I mean what does that even mean? But instead of saying all that, this is how I responded …

“At OkadaBooks we don’t tell people to submit to authority, we want people that can challenge authority, and push forth their own ideas in a sea of other ideas.

And personally as a leader I am not looking for team members that submit to authority … I am looking for intelligent and confident people that will challenge my or any authority for that matter without being scared. And that girl has it.

So I won’t answer your question, because I don’t honestly know how to answer it!”

2 days later, our team member call’s me up to let me know that she made it to the next level of the interview. Good for her!

My work here is done.

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twitterWords by Okechukwu Ofili of
Follow him on Twitter
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Read his crazy titled books on konga or okadabooks
Feed his children at…no wait he has no kids…. 



Words by Okechukwu Ofili of
Follow him on Twitter
Stalk him on Instagram
Read his crazy titled books on okadabooks 




6 comments on “The Interview: What Is Your Level Of Submission To Authority? #ofilispeaks

  1. Christian chinedu on said:

    Would be sounding like a broken record if I salute your intellect. I particularly appreciate the employee seeking outfit for understanding and buying the wisdom in your answer. Obviously, that answer wasn’t what they originally expected ….like the typical nija company. Thanks for enhancing her value.

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