Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Uncomfortable Interviewing Process

As I reminisce back to the days (which weren't that long ago) when I was going through the interview process I think about how stressful it was for me...as the interview-ee. My palms were sweaty, my cheeks were always blushed, my outfits had to be planned out to "the T," and my chest would--without hesitation--always get "blotchy" (one of the few great traits I picked up from my mom). Now that I am the Guest Service Manager at a growing hotel in downtown Greenville, I am on the other side of the table.

Keep in mind that I am a Communications major who was studying speech until the classes became tedious and lacked challenge for me. Although I truely love to write, I changed to journalism simply to get a variety of courses. I have no problem speaking in front of groups, giving presentations, or leading meetings. When in front of a group, I feel in control, that I'm perceived as a leader, and don't hesitate to let my personality shine through. I don't trip over words nor do I lack eye contact with my audience.

With this said, I have found that speaking to a large group of people vs. a one-on-one interview are POLAR OPPISTIES! We are severly short-staffed on our front desk and I have been given the responsibility to set-up and conduct interviews single-handedly. Being the naive 23-year-old that I am, I went into the first few interviews completely unprepared. For some reason I thought that the questions would just "come to me..."ha! I sat in those first interviews like I had no idea what I where I was or what I was there for! After those inexperienced interview "tactics" I decided it would be best if I have a list of questions to lead me through the conversation.

This week I have already had three interviews and have four more tommorrow. My first thought was that I was intimmidated by people who were older than me...

"Why am I being interviewed by someone who could be my daughter? Are you serious?"

My second thought was that I was threatened by other females...

"Look at her outfit...her hair...her lack of professionalism! Are you serious?"

My final thought was that I became introverted around men...

"She is pretty (or not)...but I don't take her seriously...I could be doing her job alot better! Are you serious?"

All of these thoughts are running through my head when all I should be focused on is how suitable they are for the position. It could be that when I interviewed an older man (early 40s) and I was going through my questions, he laughed with a mocking tone at each one before he answered. As if they were the most ridiculous questions he had ever heard! I was completely insulted but eventually convinced myself to look past his condescending personality and remember that I was in charge of that conversation...and you are NOT!! (needless to say he is not getting the job..take that!)

Today I interviewed a 30-year-old guy who was really laid back and very nice. He wasn't attractive but I was completely apprehensive during the whole conversation. I felt my chest get "blotchy" and I stumbled over my words as if I didn't have anything prepared. I felt bad for him because of my insecurities...I was relieved when the torture was finally over!! ha!

Maybe I am so nervous because it is a huge responsibility...or maybe because I feel that they are noticing every negative thing about me (physical and non-physical). I never thought that sitting on the other side of the table would be as nerve-racking as being the one just answering questions. Whatever it is, I am going to overcome the fear of interviewing and make it a goal of mine to turn that weakness into a strength!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"That Point"

So, I think I've hit that point in my life where it's not all play anymore. Working 9-10 hour shifts six to seven days a week and not making the "big bucks" I thought I would..can be a major dose of reality! Looking at old pictures from college posted around my apartment or online are harsh reminders of how life used to be...before I took on actual responsibilites. Those were the das..filled with classes in the morning, part-time (not-so-serious) jobs in the afternoon, and nights filled with dancing, drinking and late night Waffle House dining! However fun those days were..I remember thinking how anxious I was to get out of school and be able to support myself with a full-time job. What was I thinking!! Now, I "cherish" the taste of the 'first beer' on a social drinking night after a 10 hour work day! And if, for some (lucky) reason, I have enough money in my account to get a little 'tipsy,' I will be recovering from that night for the next few days!! Don't get me wrong...I think I would be more miserable if I were to still be consumed with the party life in my mid-to later-twenties and still living with my parents...but what (in the grown-up lifestyle the few years after graduation) replaces those days?? Is it the slighly larger paychecks that are already spent before they are deposited in my account or is the occassional surprise of coming home to having no power?? I have learned to find humor in the small things...ha! However stressful and shocking this stage of life is for me..I am working on improving everything. I have paid my last credit card off as of August and now I am working on my student loans. Building my credit is my main concern despite the harsh reminder it leaves me with of my irresponsibility over the past few years...it has taught me that "the sweet will never be as sweet without the bitter..."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

How Time Flies

After reading over my first few blogs...I can't believe how many things have changed and how quickly time flies. The summer is coming to an end and gratefully being followed by my favorite season...fall!! Autumn in the South is absolutely beautiful...the trees change, the smell in the air is refreshing and it reminds me of time well-spent with my friends and family...after every summer its amazing how quickly your priorities change. I tend to focus more on the important things in life and steer clear of the "oh-so-trendy" social life.

This summer was very strange to say the least. Nate and I took a few steps back from the relationship and went through some difficult times in the midst of that. There were a few times we almost walked away from everything, but found it more sincere to stay together and work through it. I spent alot of times with my girlfriends and found out that I can't go out and drink like I used to and be able to accomplish anything at work the next day!! On, what a few years will do...!! ha! We had some fun time...exploring Greenville, our early 20s, and how good of friends we have been over the years. And yet, after everything I am glad to see the summer end..

Nate and I have been spending more time with our families too. We have been going to church with my parents at Brookwood in Greenville. Its a huge church that is very casual but has had some great sermons. We both believe that our faith is the most important thing in our lives and when we have children they will be raised in a Christian (church-going) home. We have gone over to his parents house a few times to eat dinner and hang out with his sister, Natalie, and brother-in-law, Drew. They are expecting their first child around April and we are all so excited for them!!!

Another way Nate and I have been spending time together is just "window-shopping." If you have never done that with your 'significant other' you should...it brings up some great conversations of 'what ifs..' and 'what would you do...??' You can really find out alot about someone (even if you think you already know them...) by looking at things you could use in your future...very interesting.


About Me

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I am a 20-something young woman growing up and experiencing the things my mother warned me about...love, friendship, hard work, disappointment and success.