“When my interviewer saw my harp, he asked if I could play him something!”

As well as sharing a love for music with their interviewer, one of our participants shares the questions they enjoy answering and the ones they don’t.

I am used to the formality of questions now. At first, I worried about declaring my finances, but I have become accustomed to the ritual of all the questions and don’t feel so personal about it.

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I became so friendly with my first interviewer that she seemed a social asset to my otherwise dull day. We learnt a lot about each other’s families and so each year we would discuss the musical achievements of our families. It gave me a moment or so to unwind as loneliness often comes with living alone.

My new interviewer was very pleasant and very accommodating about timing the visit as I spend so much time at the gym or with hydrotherapy to stave off my increasing immobility. He came in the evening and was still cheerful. He was obviously tired, but I was touched when he saw my harp and asked if I could play him something. That was our greeting to each other.

I played a small piece and he was so grateful, I was delighted to have eased his day. We cheerfully did the questions as usual and we exchanged family news on a similar basis as with my predecessor.

The only part of the questionnaire I don’t like is when I have to enter all the same questions and answers that we have already covered. I don’t have a laptop so I found it a bit hard to fill in the answers quickly. I didn’t see the relevance of repeating what we had just done verbally.

Nervous about the maths questions

One time I had a series of maths’ problems. Although I could stop it at any time, I felt really nervous like it was exam time and felt I was going to say wrong answers all the time. I had no confidence in achieving, although I actually like maths, especially problem solving.

I like the questions on food and nutrition because I reckon I eat healthily. I don’t mind questions about mobility because I know it is getting seriously worse. I can see over the years how it is going down as well, but I am positively trying to delay the inevitable wheelchair status.

Bills are a bit of a shock each year. I was horrified to see how they had increased. Nothing I can do about that though as I am as careful as possible anyway, but it does keep me watching. That must be a good thing.

This story was submitted to the Tell us a story competition, which invited participants to tell us about their interview experience. The competition is now closed.

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