Script: Hitting the nail on the head

Script: Hitting the nail on the head

If you want to hang a picture on the wall, you need to hammer in a nail to make sure it goes in straight, you must hit it on the flat end, known as the “head”. And there we have the origins of the expression ‘to hit the nail on the head’. If you tell someone they have hit the nail on the head, you are telling them that something they have just said is absolutely right. A hotel’s HR staff discuss three candidates they have interviewed for front of house manager.

Betty: This is going to be a difficult one. All three candidates have the experience we are looking for, and interviewed well. What did you think?

Willie: I thought Mr Leung and Ms Cheung had the edge over Ms Mak. She answered all your questions well, and has experience, but I felt that there was something about her that you did not like. You didn't smile at her as much as you did the others. There was something about her that you didn't approve of!

Betty: You’ve hit the nail on the head. There was something about her …..

Willie: But on paper she was the best qualified of the three. And we both agreed her letter of application was outstanding. She had written it in her own hand- writing. It wasn't typed. You were impressed by that.

Betty: I know. But during the interview there was something about her that I just couldn't put my finger on.

Willie: And that’s very unlike you. You can usually read a person like a book.

Betty: I usually can, but with Ms Mak …….

Willie: May I tell you what I think?

Betty: Please do!

Willie: You are a stickler for appearance. And how a person presents themselves. I know you sometimes have a quiet word with people if they come to work wearing something scruffy or if they look untidy. I know what someone is wearing should nor affect the way he or she does his job, but I agree that appearance is important in a business such as ours when you are meeting the public. Our company doesn't have a dress code, but there are unofficial rules as to how we should dress at work ….. particularly front of house.

Betty: Well …… yes

Willie: Ms Mak was not smartly dressed for the interview. I don't think someone should turn up in jeans for an interview for a job like this. In fact I thought she looked quite scruffy. But she had a very strong personality. I could be wrong, but I don't think she would take kindly to being told what she was wearing was inappropriate for the job.

Betty: You’ve hit the nail on the head, Willie. I told you this was going to be a difficult one. But we must choose someone for the position today. What did you think of the other two? Any obvious strengths or weaknesses? Perhaps we should not write off Ms Mak completely. Let’s discuss the other two.


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