Tuesday, February 16, 2016

BBAW - Day Two - Interviews


Day 2 Interview Day!

Well, I didn't sign up for an interview this year because I was feeling anti-social during sign-ups. But, as I soon have my first job interview after twelve years of being a stay-at-home mom, I thought I should answer some practice interview questions here.

How has book blogging been like a job?

I think the main thing is pride of work. I don't like to put anything on my blog that isn't my best work. Sometimes I rush something out and then I feel a bit bad about doing it. I wouldn't mind being able to edit some of my posts a day or two later. I guess the moral of that is to not procrastinate! If I write my posts early, I have time to think about them and revise and add as things occur to me.

Other things that make it like a job are
-- community and collaboration. Many of the best ideas of book bloggers are actually group ideas. If you're feeling stuck on something blog or book related, you can always find someone to talk it out with.
-- deadlines. Those of us that accept review copies or participate in group events tend to keep elaborate calendars and schedules.
-- sometimes you need a vacation. There's a post later this week about how to beat burnout which is interesting because we totally are given stress-free time off in a job but for some reason don't often allow ourselves to take guilt-free breaks from our blogs.

What technologies have you used in blogging?

I write posts in both Blogger (this site) and Wordpress (for The Estella Society), have a Facebook page for the blog, a Tumblr for the DWJ March event (that I need to change now that I've changed the event to March Magics), Twitter for advertising my posts and for socializing, Instagram for book love photos, and random sites like Canva for event buttons and my new header! I've learned a lot about technology through running my blog and I've become much more confident with my skills.

What is the best thing about book blogging?

It is definitely the community. There's nothing better than finding a book soulmate. And to have someone take one of your recommendations and then also love the book feels amazing. It gets even better when your friendship becomes about more than just the books. There are many true friendships that have started simply from loving the same book.

Luckily, blogging isn't exactly like a job. We can sit and write posts while we watch silly New Zealander vampire movies, pre-schedule a dozen posts and then take off on vacation without anyone knowing, or quit anytime we want and not have to start a new blog to pay the rent. Also, it's all done out of love for the books. We aren't always so lucky with jobs!

I know this has nothing to do with blogging but ...
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about returning to work after a long break?

Using my network,
K

25 comments:

  1. Blogging indeed demonstrates many important job skills. Good luck with your interview!

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  2. I agree - blogging has definitely expanded my professional skill-base. Great interview!

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    1. I keep thinking of new skills that it has honed too -- like networking! :)

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  3. I think you're doing just the right thing -- looking at what you've been doing all along and seeing how it relates to job skills. I hope you can also think about your values and passions and incorporate them into your new job. All the best in your search!

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    1. Thank you, Lory! Right now I'm just trying for one job that sounded fantastic but if I keep searching past that, I will definitely try to incorporate all of that. :)

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  4. What a fantastic idea! I'm job-hunting, too, and I realize now that I barely mention my blog in interviews. Good luck! It sounds like you're already doing it, but the job search books say to think about skills you picked up while not "working" will transfer to the workplace. I recently found this book helpful: Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It by Peggy Klaus.

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    1. Thanks for the book recommendation! Because it has been so long since I've actually worked, I definitely need to think about how to transfer my skills.

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  5. Great idea for the prompt! I'm not currently in work - SAHM - but I feel like book blogging is keeping me connected to work (although not really / not earning) for many reasons. Most of which you've mentioned here.

    The community totally makes book blogging.

    Reading With Jade

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    1. Yes. Having deadlines and expectations and people relying on you besides just family is one of the benefits of blogging!

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  6. So glad to have known you these last few years, and I hope one day to greet you in person. Good luck on your interview!!

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    1. Thank you, Amanda! I would love to greet you in person as well. I know it will happen someday! :)

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  7. Aw, Kristen, you're the best. Okay what advice would I give, let's see. I think I would say, be kind to yourself, and accept that you're going to make mistakes, and it won't be representative of some fatal flaw in you as a person. Everyone makes mistakes in new jobs, and if you've been away for a while, it can be all too easy to forget that it's not JUST YOU screwing up, it's something that happens to everyone.

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    1. That is great advice, Jenny, my dear. As I've thought about returning to work, that element of mistake-making and a fear of it has definitely crept in. Thanks for the reminder that everyone goes through this!

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  8. Book Soulmates....YES and you only find them after becoming a part of the blogging community.

    I have considered what else for the technology part but I think using twitter, instagram etc just may become overload for me.

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    1. It's tough to balance all of the different social channels these days. There are many platforms that I've never even tried because I just can't find/make the time!

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  9. Waaaaaaaaaaaait... New Zealander Vampire movies are a thing?! How did I not know this? Also, as someone who has conducted interviews, I think you're best bet is to be honest. I could always sniff out canned answers that are what you're "supposed" to say. I mean, don't tell the interviewer that you actually hate doing work or anything, but if you're not interested in, say, being a super competitive corporate climber, don't present yourself that way. Sometimes they don't actually WANT that for the position. You're awesome and if the interviewer isn't a complete banana head, you'll wow them.

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    1. What We Do in the Shadows is a vampire/werewolf spoof starring Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement, and Rhys Darby and it was hilarious! New Zealand humor is definitely my kind of humor.
      And I love the advice about honesty. The good thing is that it has been so long that I've forgotten many of the canned type of responses! I think I'm most worried about underselling myself right now. I have to remember that I'm awesome. ;)

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  10. First of all, good luck with your job interview! Advice - try to remember that you know more than you think - a SAHM learns all kinds of lessons without even realizing it. You can do it!! I found that when I returned to accounting work for a while after more than 20 years of being away. I was so afraid that I wouldn't be able to handle the 'computer' aspects. It was fine. Again, good luck!!

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    1. I'm sure it will be find but, yes, rebuilding my confidence is definitely something I have been mentally working on! Thanks!

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  11. This resonated with me more than you would know! I used to have a career after my MBA in Finance; then I took a break for raising a family - which lasted 6 years. Just got my work permit for US - and I am a little overwhelmed at the prospect of facing interviews again, and re-entering corporate world. The fact that it is my choice in the first place does nothing to calm my nerves!

    On another note - yes, there is nothing like finding a book soulmate - some of my best friendships have begun that way!

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    1. Good luck to you too! It's definitely hard because you feel like you will have to justify taking time off but, really, everyone understands because a lot of parents and especially mothers do this. We will hopefully be fine. :)

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  12. Lovely way to frame the interview day! Community is far and away the best thing about blogging. Oh, and Canva has been a great find in recent weeks :)

    Not sure it quite counts, but I went to an office for the first time after quite a few years in academia and working as a librarian, and my solution to help prepare myself was to buy a new outfit to make myself feel the part :)

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    1. The new outfit suggestion is a great one! I went and bought something today for the interview that I hope will help my confidence. Thank you for stopping by, Simon!

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  13. I always want my posts to be nice and polished, but I usually end up pushing "post" before it gets to where I want it. If I didn't I don't think I'd get anything up! I always wish a had someone to proofread and edit and give writing advice, but then I have to remind myself that I'm not getting graded or anything ;) Good luck on your interview! I'm approaching a time in my life to return to work after over 22 years, and it terrifies me! I'm trying to figure out how I can make money without leaving the house lol.

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