Interview Tips for Recent Graduates

A couple of weeks ago I landed a job at Morningside, an organization that helps people with disabilities find work. My first thought was, “Yes, I have a plan!” My second thought was, “Oh no I’d better get my answer to them quick or my plan could fly out the window.” Being a recent graduate is scary and one of the scariest parts of it is trying to find a job.

I once applied for a job transcribing and editing recordings of car accidents for insurance companies. I sent my resume and never heard back from them. That’s right; I could not get a job writing down car accidents. This was lucky, as I believe that Morningside will turn out to be a much better fit.

One of the most challenging aspects of job hunting is interviewing. I have composed this list of tips for experienced interviewees that I believe are helpful, but that most people don’t mention.

  • Write down a phone number to call in case you get lost. I got so lost going to my interview with Morningside that I ended up driving up the same stretch of freeway three different times.
  • Don’t sound too rehearsed. After you’ve gone over your notes a lot, you can start to sound robotic. Most people aren’t interested in hiring See-Threepio For one thing, he was always falling apart.
  • Check that your interview clothes are ready a day early. There’s nothing like discovering you have no clean underwear at 10pm the evening before your interview.
  • Try not to wonder why you were turned down too much. Nine times out of ten it’s because you didn’t have the experience. Trust me on this one.
  • Wake up a couple of hours before your interview. This way you’ll have time to do your morning routine. For me, that routine is a cup of tea and a session on my punching bag. It works wonders.

I hope this list gets you the job of your dreams, not writing down car accidents. And remember, the punching bag is also good for dealing with rejection.


Morningside: Employment Landed

Last week, I scored a job at Morningside in Olympia, WA. Morningside is an organization that helps people with disabilities find work in the community. It’s a good cause and one that’s personal for me. Morningside works on debunking negative myths about people with disabilities i.e. that they cannot perform as well on the job. When I was sixteen, I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and it has never stopped me from performing anything. I graduated high school with a 4.2 and college with a 3.83 G.P.A. I know other people with disabilities who are as smart and capable as those without. One friend, who has been diagnosed with a mental illness, was promoted the first week of her new restaurant job.

Morningside is a great organization for me. Not only because I’m passionate about the cause, but because it will teach me a lot. The job runs through AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps emphasizes professional development. I’m going to a three day introductory conference in Portland before I start. They’re putting everyone up in a hotel for a few days and it will be great. I’ve always loved staying in hotels. They’re so clean and they have free shampoo. As a college student and as a recent graduate who is almost completely broke, I take the free shampoo. My hair doesn’t need conditioner otherwise I’d take that too.

Working for Morningside won’t be all fun and games. It’s going to be challenging. There will be times when I’ll want to run around screaming with my arms over my head. But there will be times that make me smile too, so that’s okay. I’m ready to get started.

Housekeeping Tips for Recent Graduates

My mother recently took a traveling job as a nurse practitioner and I’ve been watching the house for her during the week. Since then, I’ve discovered that there are certain things that need to be done semi-regularly or there will be problems. For example, if I don’t take the compost out every night then I’ll end up with a swarm of fruit flies that look like something out of a horror movie. If I don’t let the cat in, she’ll meow and scratch at the door. I’m not actually supposed to do that last one. There’s a cat door six feet away, but she insists. To make housekeeping easier, I’ve composed this handy list of things that need to be done so I don’t forget.

  • Water the plants. It’s over eighty degrees out and if I don’t water them they will die.
  • Give the pets their medication. Some pets are high maintenance and need regular meds. We once had a cat that was on Prozac.
  • Clean the bathroom. If the bathroom isn’t clean, then it starts to smell. No one wants a bathroom that smells like the things they came in there to do.
  • Take out the garbage. After a while, it piles up and turns into a mountain. Then things start sliding off of it and it’s a pain in the neck.
  • Grocery shopping. It helps to look in the fridge before I go so I don’t get two of the same thing or miss anything important.
  • Mow the lawn. I’ve been procrastinating on this one. I told myself I’d do it last weekend, but I hung out with family instead. Then I told myself I’d do it on Monday and a friend came over.
  • Weed constantly. It’s the only way to keep the jungle from taking over. Especially in the northwest.

I hope this list is helpful both to me and to whoever’s reading this. Unless I have no audience and I’m writing into the void. If that’s the case, then I have a message for myself: Get off the computer and stop procrastinating on the lawn.