The Job Interview


I’m quite well respected. Outside my own home, anyway. But that doesn’t mean that I simply stroll into jobs. Nor would I expect to. People entrust me with their dream kitchens. They are right to ask a few questions before hiring me.

I must tell you about one job that I didn’t land easily.

The client wanted a brand new kitchen painted and asked me to come up to her house. It was an old farmhouse that had had a very sympathetic extension put on at the rear. The extension doubled the size of the house. Most of the extension was taken up by the kitchen. It was huge. In fact, I’m not even sure ‘huge’ does it justice. It had two islands, both of which were practically in their own timezone. That’s how big this kitchen was.

As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to paint this kitchen. It was magnificent. A dream job.

But the client wasn’t going to rush into anything. A lady of good farming stock, she was cautious and nobody’s fool. The kitchen had cost a pretty penny and she was going to make sure she found the right painter for the job.

So the interrogation started. I had never had such a thorough questioning before. It was, now I think about it, exactly like a job interview. (And remember, I really wanted this job.) The client asked me about my past employment history, past kitchens, painting experience, references. The whole lot. I was actually very impressed—both with the questioning and with my ability to provide satisfactory answers.

By the end, I felt very confident.

Of course, that confidence had evaporated by the time I got behind the wheel of my car and drove away. Why do the best answers always come to you ten minutes after you’ve already replied to a question?

I needn’t have worried. I got the job.

The advantage of letting a single painter take care of such a large kitchen is that you are assured of the same finish throughout. A team of painters can work faster, but they may not all have the same skill levels, attention to detail or style. Handpainters vary. We all have our characteristics. For instance, I’m known for an almost psychotic attention to detail and an exceptionally smooth finish.

That still doesn’t get me any respect at home, mind.

For the curious: the colours used in the kitchen (pictured here) were Pavillion Grey and Pitch Blue, by Farrow & Ball.

You can see more images of this kitchen here: Monkstown kitchen.