“This is hard,” Bella said aloud with a sigh as she thumbed through the stack of resumes infront of her.
As the Police Chief of MicroSociety Academy Charter School, the fourth grader was tasked with hiring a new force of PeaceKeepers to patrol the hallways of the school and uphold the laws they had all agreed upon as a school.
“A lot of these are good… and I know some of them from class and from the school play, but I wanna be fair.”
“You’re right,” Mrs. Williams said, peering over Bella’s shoulder at the papers in front of her. “You should give everyone a fair chance and not play favorites with your friends. Besides, you’ll find out who’s really perfect for the job during the interview process. Just remember what’s important to you about the job, and you’ll find the right people who fit that.”
Bella gulped as she thought back to her own interview with Mrs. Williams and how nervous she had been. She was glad that process was over. It felt a little weird now to be on the other side of it.
She continued reading through the resumes quietly, making notes and putting them into separate piles. Mrs. Williams glanced at the clock.
“Time’s up for today,” she said. “Do you have your list of people for Wednesday’s first round of interviews?”
“I… I think so,” Bella responded. “I’m just really glad we’re doing this together, ’cause I’m nervous.”
Mrs. Williams frowned for a second.
“Oh, Bella. You’ll actually be conducting the interviews by yourself. I’ll be interviewing kidsfor the warehouse jobs on Wednesday. Besides, the Police Chief has always interviewed PeaceKeeper candidates by his or herself.”
“Wait, what?” Bella cried out anxiously. “I have to do this all by myself?” She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “But… but.. I thought you were going to be with me.”
“Everything will be OK,” Mrs. Williams reassured her. “I know you’ll do great. We’ll review your interview questions together on Wednesday morning before the first group comes in.”
Tuesday at school, Bella tried hard to forget her nervousness about the next day’s interviews.
“Wow, are you really gonna do it yourself?” her friend Ollie asked. “I heard Jayden applied. Are you interviewing him? He’s like the cutest boy in all of fourth grade!”
Bella gulped again.
That night, she tossed and turned, eventually falling asleep and dreaming about the interviews.
She found herself sitting at a table, fidgeting nervously and staring at her lap.
“Aren’t you supposed to be asking me questions?” the girl across from her asked impatiently.
“Y- Yes!” Bella stammered aloud as she sat up quickly in bed. “Yes, I am.”
When Bella arrived at school on day one of interviews, Mrs. Williams was waiting as promised. “Let’s see those questions,” she said with a warm smile.
“These are wonderful, Bella! I can tell you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what’s important to you and these questions will help you find the right person.”
“But… I’m really nervous,” Bella said, staring down at her toes.
“You know who should be nervous?” Mrs. Williams asked. “The people sitting across from you, the Police Chief! They really want a job, but they have to answer your questions first. Imagine being intheir shoes!”
Bella thought back to her own interview again. “I don’t have to … I remember what it was like!”
“You’re really good at your job,” Mrs. Williams said. “Just imagine you’re interrogating someone.”
Bella’s ears perked up. She hadn’t thought about it before, but it was like an interrogation. A friendly one. Armed with a new wave of confidence, she glanced over her questions again and nodded.
“OK, I’m ready now.”
The first interview went well. So well, in fact, that Bella went over the allotted amount of time. By the third interview, she was in the groove, firing off her questions, listening intently and taking notes. All of her anxiety from the days before had evaporated. By the next week, Bella had gone through all of her notes and made her final decisions about who to hire as the next MACS PeaceKeepers.
“I heard you hired Jayden,” Ollie said. “He’s just so cute.”
Bella rolled her eyes and laughed. “He’s qualified,” Bella corrected her. “But can he keep the peace? We’ll see…”