Job interviews can be stressful at the best of times, but when you end up being asked questions about something you know absolutely nothing about on live television in front of an audience of millions, they can be all the more challenging.
Guy Goma, a business studies graduate from Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo was accidentally interviewed live on BBC News 24 in May 2006.
Mr. Goma was mistaken for the technology expert Guy Kewney and was brought onto a BBC special to give his views on the Apple Corps v. Apple Computer legal case.
The mistake occurred as Mr. Goma waited in the main reception area of the BBC Television Centre in West London to be interviewed for the position of “Data Support Cleanser” in the Beeb’s IT department. At the same time, Guy Kewney, a well known tech expert, was also in the building preparing for a live television interview on the subject of Apple Computer’s court case with The Beatles’ record label, Apple Corps.
The producer that was sent to fetch Kewney was told that Kewney was in the main reception area. When he got there and asked the receptionist where Guy Kewney was however, she pointed to Goma.
The producer had seen a photo of Kewney but only had five minutes before the live interview was due to take place, so he approached Goma and asked him if his name was ‘Guy’.
Goma was led to the News 24 studio and BBC staffers put makeup on him before he was ushered into the television studio where he was seated in front of the cameras and wired up with a microphone.
Whilst believing the situation to be highly unusual, Mr. Goma attempted to do his best for what he believed would be his job interview.
When he was introduced by interviewer Karen Bowerman as the Internet expert Guy Kewney, Mr. Goma became visibly shocked as he finally realised that a serious misunderstanding had taken place.
Now fully aware of the fact that he was on live television, he simply played along and did his best to answer the interviewer’s questions about the Apple Corps v. Apple Computer case and its wider ramifications for the music industry.
Apart from his hilarious facial expression at the start of the interview, everything seemed fairly believable to many viewers – particularly those unfamiliar with Kewney.
In the meantime, Mr. Kewney was still in the waiting area and was himself shocked upon seeing Mr. Goma getting interviewed in his place.
The whole episode is a arguably one of the most famous ever cases of mistaken identity and Guy Goma became a minor celebrity as a result.
Have a look for yourself at the events as they unfolded on the clip below and try to recall the last time you attended a job interview that was being broadcast live on national television.
Mr. Goma unfortunately didn’t get the job in the end – which in our opinion is an absolute disgrace after such a wonderful performance!