Has it been a month since I last posted?!? Wowza.
If it makes you feel any better about being neglected, I’ve been very busy in that last month….
- Created and presented a lesson on plagiarism, copyright and citations to eighth graders at my practica (it went really well)
- Enjoyed our traditional Thanksgiving dinner with my best friend’s family
- Printed and filled out substitute teacher applications at 12 different local school districts
- Completed my grant application for my grant writing class, complete with virtual group feedback sessions
- Printed my business cards with Amy Rau (have I mentioned how much I LOVE those?)
- Had a conference call with my practica advisor
- Finished up my student teaching at Waterloo
- Worked on my digital portfolio
- Submitted an application for a long term library sub position (thus, placing the mailing of my other sub applications on hold for the time being)
- Baked four different kinds of Christmas cookies for the annual family cookie exchange, in quadriple batches
- Attended the annual family cookie exchange weekend
- Went Christmas shopping with Mom (complete with interview outfit shopping)
- Had my first interview for the long term library sub position
- Purchased my 2013 planner and filled in important dates (what? This is a legit happening. It takes me up to an hour to put in all the birthdays, anniversaries, appointments etc and just get my new planner “just so” for the new year)
- Worked on my final assignment for my last class ever at SU
- Scheduled haircuts, vet appointments, second interviews, visits with out of town friends and family, family Christmas gatherings, and a trip to Dickens Days (something I’ve always wanted to see)
But what I really want to share with you all today, is some interview advice. But first, a story (and like all of my stories, it will take much longer than it really needs to but, I hope you enjoy the journey and the “showmanship”).
Immediately after getting the call for the interview I went to work researching (okay, immediately I jumped up and down while fist pumping and whooping and scared my dog) but right after that I got to work researching. If interviewers expect a candidate to do their research and come to a job prepared, I feel like they must expect librarians to be uber prepared, so I went to town on the internet. I researched the school district, the school, the library program, read over a year’s worth of newsletters and more. I tracked down common interview questions, common librarian interview questions, common school librarian questions, and common “stumper” interview questions. I practiced saying my answers out loud. Even if you don’t have someone to do mock interviews with you, make sure you practice your answers out loud. I was surprised how often there was a gap between what I said and what I knew I wanted to say. Practicing out loud helped the answers come out smoother and well thought out.
I also researched the route from my house to the school, complete with alternate routes in case of traffic issues. I also researched the area so I knew where I could stop before the interview to pre-primp and freshen up before showing up at the site.
I headed the popular interview advice to “not dress like you already have the job, step it up” by purchasing a more structured, business like dress, new (sensible) heels, and borrowing a blazer from my mom.
On the day of the interview, I had a light but filling breakfast and lunch (this smoothie recipe is the best-it really does keep you full longer than traditional smoothies with out adding a bunch of ingredients that take away the light and healthy part of a fruit smoothie) and stopped at one cup of coffee to keep the jitters at bay. I packed some snack bars in my purse as well as some mints and a mini hairbrush. I drank water all morning spiked with a double dose of Bach’s Rescue Remedy, again to keep nerves and jitters at bay (it may all be in my head, but I swear that stuff really does help me calm down when I got worked up and stressed).
I left the house with well over 30 minutes wiggle room in my drive time. I found the location easily, with no traffic issues, so I drove to the local McDonald’s to buy a drink and take a few minutes in the ladies room to freshen up before I went to the school. In the ladies room, I fixed me hair, had some mints, picked some lint off my dress, and began a dog hair sweep using the mirror for the back angles. And this is when, despite all my careful planning, things began to unravel-literally.
When I turned in front of the mirror to check for dog hair on the back of my dress, I saw what I thought was a large fuzzy. I reached back to remove it, only to feel my finger poke through my dress. Ladies and gentleman, I had a hole in my dress. Right on the seam. Smack in the middle of my rear end. Not in a place on the center seam where it would lie flat most of the time, oh no. Right in the center of my rear end where it was clearly visible and every movement only made the seam pull and the hole more visible. Did I mention that my black tights were sheer so that instead of just seeing more black and disguising the hole, you could see through them to my nude colored undergarments. My nude colored undergarments that left you with the impression that you were seeing my actual rear end through the hole in the back of dress seam.
I trip through my purse emergency kit revealed that I was not only out of double sided fashion tape (why did I give that piece to that girl at the last wedding I attended, WHY?), I had somehow failed to pack my mini sewing kit in this purse when I bought it a few months ago. Swallowing the urge to PANIC, I headed back to my car for my last hope-the blazer. If the blazer covered up the hole, everything would be okay.
The blazer did not cover up the hole. In fact, it stopped right above the top of the hole, drawing even more attention to it (did I mention the blazer was bright, true red?). I considered ditching the blazer but the dress had cap sleeves which 1) I thought was too casual for a first interview/impression and 2) Seemed seasonally inappropriate considering I was also wearing tights and its December. I figured that wearing something that some might consider too casual for an interview would be the bigger mistake. Dressing less than appropriate would be seen as a conscious choice on my part while the hole, if it was noticed, would hopefully be seen as an unfortunate accident that I maybe hadn’t even noticed.
Somehow, I was still plenty early for my interview so I tried one last ditch effort to salvage the situation and restore my confidence and concentration-I asked the receptionist if she had any double sided tape for a small wardrobe issue. She did me one better and gave me a spool of thread and a needle. I would have thrown myself on the floor to kiss her feet and thank her if I wasn’t worried that small seam rip would turn into a full seam explosion and expose my entire backside to the whole office. I scurried off to the staff restroom to fix my seam (which involved taking my entire dress off in the stall so I could reach the hole). I wasn’t my best job and would possibly give way again before the day was over but at least I knew the hole was closed for time being. I re-freshened up and went back out to wait for the interview.
I’m not sure how I was able to remain calm and confident through the interview considering that 15 minutes leading up to it but, somehow I did. I credit all the other prep work I did for saving my confidence and helping me recover. In the end, the interview actually went well (I have a second one on Monday morning!) but it could have been a disaster. If I hadn’t been able to fix the hole pre-interview or if they had asked me to go on a tour of the school/library I would have been distracted by the hole/the possibility of it reopening. I think we can all agree that a distracted, nervous, unconfident interviewee is not a desirable job candidate.
Which brings me to the moral of my story/interview advice: be prepared for anything! I hadn’t considered the possibility of rips or tears that morning because it was a brand new dress and the blazer I borrowed from my mom was also new. I guarantee that I will never again leave the house for an important meeting without having: spare buttons, double sided tape, a mini lint roller, breath mints, a mini toothbrush and floss, mini hairbrush, blotting papers, on the go stain remover, a back up jacket, directions, a fully charged cell phone, the number of the person I’m meeting, a bottle of water, a small snack, and most importantly, A MINI SEWING KIT!!!!
It might seem like a lot to put in an outfit emergency kit but trust me loves-when you’re in a fast food bathroom staring at a gaping hole in your rear end seam-you’ll be thanking me.
Until next time,