Saturday, July 14, 2007

Napkin blogging

Lately, I find myself writing a lot as I sit in a cafe with my mocha. Unfortunately, the only thing I have handy to write on are napkins. I really should carry around a notebook. My pen blotches badly on napkin paper. One waiter even felt sorry for me and handed over a couple of post-it notes.
Organic soft boiled egg and mocha from La Fromagerie. Spot my blog notes!

Anyways, the search for a "j.o.b" is over... for another 3 months at least. I'm currently enjoying my last days of freedom before rejoining the rat race after 6 weeks of pure utter lazing around. I'm sure it sounds like an easy lifestyle, but don't be fooled. Contracting means you have to rely on your savings for the days you don't have a job. Even when you get a job, you still have to penny-pinch till your first payday. It _is_ stressful.

I've been thinking about my interview. It was such an odd situation. I've gone through a lot of interviews in the past. Normally, I know what to expect and how to handle it. Usually, it's a chat with the Project Manager about my experience. Occasionally, it's a technical grilling, and I'm still okay with that. Those are easy to prepare for. Thank gawd for Wikipedia ;)

This time, the interview situation was different. I was told to set aside 2 hours, and that I was to meet with 3 people, and if all went well, I'd be on the phone with a fourth person from the US. Keep in mind that this is for a contract role doing UAT! o_O The last time I was interviewed by 4 people, it was for a permanent role with Google. With my nerves building up, I decided to try some new techniques:

1. I had read an article recently about a champion poker player. She always went into a game thinking, "I will win this tournament". So I went to bed that night repeatedly thinking, "I will get this job," and woke up thinking the same thing. Throughout the day the same mantra cycled through my head. This might've worked a little too well. As I was standing at the reception desk waiting for my visitor's pass, the receptionist asked me, "Feeling confident about the interview?" I pretty much yelled back, "I AM A WINNER!" at him *lol* I think I surprised him with my confidence :P

2. Normally, I'd briefly review my resume and focus more on refreshing my tech knowledge. This time, I spent more time reviewing my resume and trying to summarise my skills out loud. I was pretty surprised that I couldn't do it. I stumbled over my words and got all mixed up with a lot of "Uhms" thrown in. So I typed out what I wanted to say, and rehearsed through it paragraph by paragraph till I could voice it smoothly. It worked! I felt pretty confident about selling myself after that exercise. I guess the usual rule of "practise makes perfect" applies here.

3. I was still a bunch of nerves. So I called up Wazzz and he dropped everything to meet me for a coffee. Thanks Wazzz, you were great! :) Sorry for being a pain. We spoke about IT, and caught up on some gossip. I just needed someone who understood IT to talk to me about it. And I needed a friend to help me chillax. After a half hour session with Wazzz, I was ready and headed off to the interview.

Whom did I meet/speak to?
- The Head of Global Learning and Education (egads!)
- The Development Lead
- The UK HR Business Lead
- The US HR Business Lead

Geezus. How did it go?

Obviously it went well, since I got the job. However, I honestly think this was the best interview results I've ever had. Half an hour after I had left the interview, I received a voicemail message as I stepped out of the tube - "We would love to have you work with us" :)


niffs said...

Congrats reenie. NOBU TIME, woohoo!

Beckster said...

Reenie you rock!

Those tips on how you prepped for your interview sounds simple but very handy. I get a bit nervous everytime I think about the fact I'm leaving a comfortable work place of 5 years and moving across the world to a new role in NY where I'll be stupid newbie instead veteran. Will definitely try some of your tips to get rid of the nerves.

Congrats on getting back onto the income-earning wagon! More foodie and clubbing posts.