Get a job! (But hone interview skills first)

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One of the many benefits of being a writer is that my commute is short. (I gained 7 pounds the year I got a laptop and no longer had to walk all the way to the third floor to write).

The wardrobe is also quite agreeable. “Casual every day” made it easy to get dressed in the morning.

Granted, my sense of style did suffer. As it turns out pajama pants are not like “real pants” and you shouldn’t wear them out to school and shopping and such. Who knew?

Real world work

Still, if my recent foray into the actual working world of grown-ups and offices and time clocks and such taught me anything, it is that I kind of really like having a reason to comb my hair every day.

While the rest of the world is trying desperately to embrace the Work At Home Life, I am trying valiantly to return to the land of bad coffee, beige walls and defined lunch breaks. The latter because I would greatly benefit from my lunch hour not lasting “all day.”

I also love to stay busy, hate to be bored, and am desperately seeking a reason to buy a cuter wardrobe and talk to people who are old enough to drive and vote on a regular basis. I have big dreams.

What this means is that I have recently gone on a few job interviews. Those are fun. I actually do enjoy them. Meeting new people, considering new opportunities, talking about yourself. What’s not to love?

But it’s tricky

I never know what to say at job interviews when the questions move past the basics such as skills and talents. When they go deep, I become self-conscious.

Like, seriously, are my Life Goals not supposed to be having all the laundry done AT THE SAME TIME? I’m pretty sure I bombed that one. I just knew I should have gone with World Peace and kittens.

In that vein, what do you say to “Where do you see yourself in five years?” I’m guessing that “at the lake” was not the correct answer.

Also these days, group interviews have become the norm. I understand it’s a great way to introduce your entire “team” (it’s all teamwork now) to the potential candidate in one fell swoop.

On the other hand, I think the model for this hiring practice is supposed to be a group of interviewers and one interviewee, not all the potential candidates seated around a table vying for the attention of one interviewer in a veritable feeding frenzy of ambition. Cattle calls work better for acting and modeling than office work, as a rule.

Like speed dating

The truth is that job interviews are a lot like dating. There are so many facets of professional experience, poise and pure personality to consider. You want someone who is the right “fit.” You need a person with chemistry that works with yours.

Speaking of dating, I do like the new trend of informing a candidate if they did, or did not, receive the job. Gone are the days of “don’t call us, we’ll call you.” Sure rejection letters are hard to send and even harder to receive, but it’s still nice to know your qualifications were impressive, they really enjoyed the time you spent together, and that when it comes to the fact that you won’t be seeing each other again after all, it’s not them, it’s you.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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