All sorts of things can go wrong in a job interview, ranging from selling a drink to your mobile phone ringing - the list is endless. Few applicants, however, turn up for their interview and end up appearing live on British television. This exactly what happened to 43-year-old graduate Guy Goma when he went along to job interview at the BBC.
Mr Goma, from the Republic of the Congo, had applied for the position of Data Support Cleanser, a job which involves updating records on a database. On the day of the interview, he arrived at BBC Television Centre in good time and was told to wait in the main reception area until he was called.
At the same time, News 24 presenter Karen Browerman was preparing to interview British technology expert Guy Kewney about the verdict of the Apple versus Apple court case. This way, a high-profile case between Apple Computer and The Beatels record label Apple Corps over the rights to use the name 'Apple'. Mr Kewney was waiting to be collected for his TV appearance in another reception area. The mix-up occurred when a producer went to get the technology expert from the wrong reception area.
The producer approached Mr Goma and asked him if he was Guy. Hearing his first Name, Mr Goma said that he was and he was taken to the News 24 studios. After having make-up put on, he was seated in front of the cameras and wired with a microphone. Although Mr Goma thought all the preparations very very unusual, he prepared to do his best for what he believed would be his job interview.
A few moments later, Ms Bowerman introduced Mr Goma on live television as technology expert Guy Kewney. At first, Mr Goma became visibly shocked, but them he simply played along because he did not want to make a scene. He did his best to answer three questions about the verdict of the court case and its implication for the music industry. Meanwhile, Mr Kewney, still in the waiting area and looking up at a TV screen, was astonished to see Mr Goma being interviewing in his place.
As soon as the mistake was realized, the BBC recorded an interview with Mr Kewney for later broadcast, but it was never shown. Twenty minutes after appearing live on TV, Mr Goma attended his real job interview, which lasted for just ten minutes, but he did not get the job.
A spokesperson for the BBC said that they were looking carefully at their guest procedures and that they would take every measure to ensure that the misunderstanding didn't happen again. Mr Goma became a minor celebrity for a while, and he appeared on several TV shows.
(This material is taken from the Workbook of the “English Files” book series).
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