The chapter opens with job searching season starting again, and this year things are going much better for Kouta. He only made it the final interview for one company last year, and this year it’s increased to 5 companies, including his first choice, AIDA. With his experience as a host, his ability to talk in front of others has vastly improved and he knows what he’s supposed to say from looking at the person he’s talking to. Although job searching is usually painful, Kouta finds himself enjoying it.
He’s already been told he’ll have offers at two companies, but he doesn’t feel as confident about AIDA. He feels unsure how he made it so far in their process, but knows he has to do his best to not repeat last year's mistake and do well in the interview to impress everyone there. Mitsuko tells him that according to her research the final interview may be a difficult one, but cannot give him any specific details as none of the new employees will tell her. Kouta saw the same written online, but since no details were posted he thought that it might be fake.
Though he’s curious why no one wants to talk about it, he begins to prepare for his final interview. The day of the interview arrives and Kouta is really nervous, but Mitsuko sends him off with a smile telling him that if he does as they practiced it’ll be fine. Kouta leaves Mitsuko’s house and heads out into the heat towards the station.
At first he’s comforted to see other young people in suits at the station, but as he thinks about how they could also be interviewing for AIDA his sense of comraderie changes into hostility towards his perceived rivals. On the train he runs through possible questions in his head answering them flawlessly. Before getting off the train he considers contacting Megumi but doesn’t. Things aren’t going well between them, both because Megumi is busy and because she doesn’t approve of him continuing to work as a host. As a result they’ve not been talking much, though Kouta has been hesitating breaking up with her due to her relationship with his family.
Since his relationship with Megumi began to deteriorate, Meme’s been keeping her distance from him telling only their mother about her new cram school. As a result Kouta’s been paying her less attention and he’s been getting busier too. On Meme’s birthday he just left a birthday present on the table for her, but when he looked the next day it hadn’t been opened.
Kouta eventually makes it to AIDA and sees that many people have already lined up at reception. After checking in, he heads to the designated conference room and sits outside it waiting to be called. There are four others waiting like him, and Kouta notes that none of them are wearing glasses, so following Mitsuko’s advice he wears his so that he’ll stand out visually. Eventually a woman comes out and tells them to enter in the order that they’re called, and Kouta’s name is last. Once they enter, he sees that there are six men there including one he recognizes from his interview at DDL last year. The man is the youngest looking there, and like last year is wearing thick framed glasses and a wireless earbud.
Kouta remembers that Mitsuko had said that she was the one who hadn’t wanted to hire him and hopes that that means that this interview has a positive impression of him and that him being there might be in his favor. The man tells them that the interview is starting and that his name is Hachigusa. The interviewees are told to state their name and university, and Kouta notes that the others all went to better schools than he did but answers unbothered.
Next they’re asked about their strengths and weaknesses, which Kouta has already been asked at countless interviews before so he has a ready answer. He says that his strength is that he can give his all for the sake of others and that his weakness is overestimating himself. He explains that he’s had to support his single mother whose health is declining and younger sister so he’s overworked himself in the past doing multiple jobs to support them. Their follow up question about him being in university for 5 years is the same that he was asked at prior interviews too. Kouta answers that he overestimated himself and and wasn’t able to devote himself to classes, but explains that he made up for it later. Being able to talk about his short comings as if they are strengths is something he learned at Tuberose.
The following questions are also ones he’d been asked previously and is able to answer with confidence. But after that things take an unexpected turn. Another interviewee is asked why she was the vice president of the golf club in school, and after she answers that she thought it was a social sport that would help her after she graduated, the interviewer asks why she was unable to become the president. She says that there was a classmate with more experience and skill who had been better fit for it and then they asked her what exactly she had done as the vice president. The interviewee answers that the president taught technique so she was in charge of organizing the schedule, taking care of the teammates and she proactively created a good atmosphere.
Hachigusa then turns to another interviewer bringing up how his nephew was at the same school and in golf club with her. That interviewer says that he’s heard quite a bit from his nephew about her. With Hachigusa’s urging the other interviewer continues on to say that she slept around with others in the club which caused fights and as a result membership decreased. Kouta is unable to look at her but can tell she’s trying her best to keep it together. This is worse than he imagined when Mitsuko warned him about the interview.
The interviewer tells her that this information wouldn’t be a problem for the company if she had been able to respond well to something embarrassing, and tell her to sit back down. Kouta glances at her and sees that the once cheerful seeming woman looks like a marionette with after it's strings have been cut. The same thing happens with the next two candidates. First, that one of the male interviewees had shoplifted in the past, and that another spends exorbitant amounts on idols, and the next female interviewee the fact that she is a sexual minority. None of whom are able to deny or say anything when their private business are maliciously attacked.
Kouta can tell that they’re beginning to think that they don’t want to work at AIDA anymore, and Kouta also realizes the reason why none of the new employees wanted to talk about the interview process. Next is Kouta’s turn, and he feels his heart rate shoot up. They ask him what his greatest memory from university is and Kouta considers making something up but decides that from how things have gone so far, it’s better to be honest.
He says that because he was so busy with school and work he doesn’t really have any, and when they ask him about friends he says that though he had some friends he didn’t have any that he could call close friends. They question his ability to communicate and he reassures them that that isn’t an issue because he had lots of friends in high school and is used to dealing with customers from his experience working.
Hachigusa then points at him and says that he interviewed with DDL last year, and that Kouta’s people skills seem to have greatly improved since then. He asks him what his part time job is, and at the same time that Kouta begins to say that he works at a restaurant, Hachigusa asks if he works as a host.