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Banish Job Interview Nerves

May 15, 2010

Random statement: I keep reading the title of this post as ‘British Job Interview Nerves’. That’s a post for another time. Know any Brits I can ask about their nerves? 

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Anyway miss-readings aside I’ve been to a few job interviews this year. Each one gets easier and easier and I get more and more confidant, but I’m actually a pretty shy person and the pre-interview nerves never go away. I get nervous in situations when I meet strangers who are going to judge me, but I think that’s a pretty standard reaction. So this is what I do:

Be Prepared. As every Scout worth his salt knows preperation is key. Get your outfit sorted and ironed the night before, pack your bag, print off a copy of the job ad and the resume and cover letter you applied with (ideally you’ll have saved these when you applied. Saving them with the name of the place or job description makes it easier to find again.) Have some questions written down to ask the interviewer, as well as some answers to common interview questions. Visualise the interview. See yourself being witty, charming and thoughtful. See yourself kicking interview ass!

But Not Too Prepared. Just as with exams there comes a point when studying more starts to make you feel stressed rather than cool, calm, and collected. Make sure you’ve got everything you need, think about it and write as many lists as you need to, obsess and obsess and do whatever you have to do but as soon as you feel comfortable and ready  STOP. Continuing to prepare will make you feel like the issue is too big, you’re not ready, you can’t do it etc. You can’t know exactly what they’ll ask, what they’ll be like or what sort of personality they’re looking for, all you can do is get to the point where you feel prepared and then go about your normal life. This is just an hour out of your life. Relax. It’s not such a big deal.  

Be Yourself. Seriously. You’ll have to work with these people if you’re successful, so you might as well be yourself from the beginning. Dress in a sharp, snappy, clean, neat, & appropriate version of what you’re most confidant in. Minimal skin is prob still a good rule though. Wearing something that makes you feel sassy and confidant, well, makes you behave sassy and confidant. For some peeps a three piece suit gives them sass and cojones to spare. For me it’s black blazer, cream lace skirt, black stockings, high-high heels and lashings of eye-liner. 

Be Early. Not only will you ensure that you get there in time in case something goes awry (like, I don’t know, missing a connecting bus and having to walk across an entire suburb in your new 4 inch heels) but you’ll have time to sit down, have a coffee and listen to your ass-kicking playlist. Which brings me to…

Music. Put on some brag-a-licous hip-hop, super angry metal or anything that gets you in an ass-kicking frame of mind. For me I like Brother Ali’s Bad Motherfucker, Pt II on repeat and up as high as my ears can stand. While listening to this song I was strutting down the street like I was going to smash some shit up. (Yes, I look real tough with my shiny shoes and glasses.I see you doubters doubting, I see you haters hating) I also like to mouth the words, but I will turn my head away so you wont see me do it. Ahem. The aim of this tip is to get pumped up, hyped up, psyched up, and ready to go in swinging. Use whatever you have in your ipod to get the vibe. 

Fake It. Yes, in conjunction with my advice to ‘be yourself’ I also advise faking it. Confidance that is. You’re heading into a situation where you are being judged against an unknown critera. No matter how hard you have prepared the night before, nerves are inevitable. Nervousness dulls your personality and tends to not leave a favorable impression even though everyone is bundles of nerves, sweat and sick stomachs in these types of situations. Act confident.  Fake it ’til you make it. Once you start acting a certain way, it’s usually only a short while until it becomes true!

So basically all you have to do is: be prepared, but don’t over do it, be yourself, but fake confidence, arrive early, have a coffee (or hot chocolate with whipped cream and a choc-chip cookie) and get psyched by listening to some fighting tunes. 

It works for me. My wide smile hides my shaking hands and in spite of my massive nerves, I manage to be both charming and coherent.

Or so I like to tell myself.

Have you got any interview hints, tips or stories to share?

 

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Girls In Glasses

May 6, 2010

According to Dorothy Parker ‘men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.’ That’s piffle! Everyone looks good in a great pair of frames. I think I look fab in mine so screw you Parker!

Glasses are sexy. Need proof? Hot nerds ahoy!

 

These two pics were found via girls with glasses, a holy celebration of Lisa Loeb and girls with glasses in general (but mostly Lisa Loeb). Also blue and purple hair is sexy, so is pink, hmm, coloured hair is sexy. But that’s another post.

Sarah Wilson learns to work her (dorky) quirk and half the commenters over at Yes and Yes love their glasses too (the other half are spectacle-haters, but hey, each to their own).

get it on a t-shirt

Excuse me, no, don’t argue. Listen to the little rectangle with legs. Glasses makes you sexy. PROOF.

Now I’m off to spend my free time in the library reading big books about dead people, books that were probably written by dead people (Zombie Author Apocolypse: coming soon to a cinema near you!) and living up to stereotypes. Someone’s gotta do it, right?

Are you one of the happily spectacled brethren or are a a contact-wearing glasses-hater?  Speak up!

Things To Do With An Unexpected Morning Off

April 21, 2010
we heart it
  • Get on a tram and just ride it until you get somewhere new. Then get off
  • Go visit friends at their work
  • Do the dishes and like it
  • Make rainbow food. Savoury or sweet, your call
  • Cuddle
  • Plan your free morning, then absent-mindedly run out of time
  • Take a tram to the end of the line and back again, staring out the window and have a big ol’ thinking session
  • Waste it. Guilt free

The Artist Files: Bernini

April 15, 2010

Did you know that Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the artist who created such incredible works as….

Apollo & Daphne

The Rape of Proserpina

detail of The Rape of Proserpina

The Ecstasy of St Theresa

&

Costanza Buonarelli

… The same Bernini who was able to create a sense of narrative, fluidity, movement and soft flesh in hard stone. He who was the leading sculptor of his age, and who expressed such delicacy and sensitivity in his art. Bernini had a lackey cut up Constanza Buonarelli’s face with a razor after discovering she was not only his mistress, but she was also sleeping with his brother. 

Oh, don’t worry, he attempted to kill the brother too. Twice. 

Want to read more about Bernini’s life? 

There are so many incredible stories in art history. Next up, Caravaggio! 

Things I Love: Impending Winter Edition

April 13, 2010

  • Frost
  • Sun
  • Chocolate
  • Rain, thunderstorms, all varieties of dreary weather
  • Delicious smells travel better through cold air. Such as garlic, woodsmoke and perfume
  • Misty clouds of breath
  • Mugs of tasty hotness
  • Masses of ridiculous TV
  • Frigid skin meeting toasty sheets 
  • Cold noses entering into warm environments
  • Electric blankets
  • Grey Skies
  • Heated trams
  • Bundling up in layers, layers, layers
  • Scarves up to the nostrils
  • Knowing that it doesn’t last forever

I love wintery crispy tingly weather. Whaddaya loving this week?

Lessons Learned From Passing Balloons

April 5, 2010

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Depending on the wind direction, each morning in Melbourne town you may be graced by the incredible sight of the cloud of hot air balloons that tip-toe over the city at dawn. It’s a sight that has been stopping me in my tracks, literally, for about five years now, and it never, ever gets old. I think part of the reason I am an early -riser is the hope that I’ll see them that morning. They’re a little bit of magic that floats above your everyday life and everyday chores and makes you stop as you spread your toast with peanut butter, or make your cup of tea, and appreciate the moment.

Want to know a few things this obsessive balloon watching has taught me? 

  • My city is amazing. 
  • Everybody sees the world differently 
  • Something magical is happening right now! You just need to be open to seeing it
  • Every day is individual, special and new. It’s your perceptions and actions that decide if this is true for you
  • Remember to be present, to be aware, and to look around
  • Never forget to look UP. There is so much beauty up there that gets missed: light, sunsets, clouds and other clichés, buildings, people on balconies, birds, planes full of excited and nervous people, and dancing plastic bags

Have you seen something magical today?

Office Love: 10 Great Things About Offices

March 29, 2010
I’m currently attempting a career change, but my hurdle is that bosses tend to not hire people who have absolutely no experience whatsoever. People like me. Ahem. In the pursuit of employability I have, for the last two weeks, been slipping on my favourite black heels and catching the peak hour tram (much to my irritation) for some unpaid work experience in order to learn the ins-and-outs of administration and office life. Coming, as I am, from the intense, topsy-turvy and fast-paced world of hospitality I discovered that there are so many things I love about offices, office culture and the old 9-to-5 lifestyle:
  • High heels and dressing up. Not having remnants of other people’s food on your shoes
  • Not everything is Urgent with a capital U
  • Having a desk. With drawers. Currently I haven’t taken over the drawers, they have miscellaneous cables and crap in them, but by the end of this week I anticipate them being full of lip gloss, pens and post-it notes
  • Lunch breaks. LUNCH BREAKS! A whole hour!
  • I have an inbox. With my name on it in a pretty font. I made the label and some others and it was considered a legit use of my (unpaid for) time
  • Having access to photocopiers and fax machines
  • It is acceptable to be sick and stay home. Your sick day doesn’t cause one of your work mates to work an eleven hour shift
  • Chatting is ok, expected and encouraged
  • Ability to get up and leave the room whenever I want.  I don’t have to worry that other people will have to cover me while I’m gone, I just get up and walk out of the room
  • Stationary, ordering stationary and stationary cupboards. ‘Nuff said

Bear in mind that this is two weeks in. Offices and I are still deeply entrenched in our honeymoon period. But so far it’s love and sloppy P.D.As all round.

Do you have office love and what is it you love about your workplace? What do you hate? What are some fun office hints or tips I don’t know about? Do people really gossip around the water-cooler? Induct me into your 9-to-5 world!