The Lessons I’ve Learned From Job Interviews

tumblr_o7lm5dspvo1r7r778o1_1280If you ask me what I believe success is, it would be seeing the one’s I love happy and healthy. It would also be doing something I love and am passionate about, having my own house of cats and a nice succulent collection. Interviews are great experience and prepare you in becoming more fluid in answering questions, learning to talk to all kinds of people and showing your energy and experience. It also gives you an insight into where you see yourself in the long run and what area of an industry you’re interested in.

This semester I have a Drama class, and it made me realise how an interview is like a performance. Not in the sense that you’re acting, but in the sense of using the techniques of good eye contact, being authentic and expressing yourself. Many of us have had (or will have) amazing and not-so-amazing interview experiences. They all serve as great lessons and they also remind us that sometimes it’s not the right fit. Everything happens for a reason and it can also make us feel motivated to continuously self improve and persist.

Be yourself and have a good attitude. In an interview it’s best to be true to you. Be calm, professional and aware of your surroundings. Attitude is everything. Everyone would much rather work with someone with a positive attitude and a good outlook on life. People can feel if you’re staying true to yourself, or just saying words that others want to hear.

Research the company, always. When I was in my early teens, I had an interview for a retail position for a luxury jewelry brand. I only read the company info through once and didn’t expect that the questions asked would go in depth. It caused some awkward moments and from then on I always made sure to do more thorough research and take notes.

Explain your experiences clearly and unapologetically. This is your time to shine and tell them your skills, passions, what you’ve achieved and accomplished. Go for it and pitch yourself. Be confident in what you’re saying. When asked the question “Tell me about yourself”, don’t be afraid to add in a balance of your accomplishments and some life experiences.

It’s not all about the CV. A job title only says so much about a person. However, as much as your CV may show your job experiences, employers also want to see your personality, attitude towards life, the way you interact, your passion, your motivations, how you see things, your values and so on. Every company has a different work culture.

Appreciate honesty of interviewers. I get told by interviewers”You’re quite shy” or interviewers might say “We interview so many people, that we can tell who’s suitable and not suitable straight away” and my favourite one “CV is not everything”. The shy comment is tricky, because I’m definitely soft spoken, but I don’t feel I’m too shy, and at the same time when I’m being myself, my calm manner is a part of my personality.

Preparation is key. It’s normal to feel nervous, but having good preparation means that you feel confident and relaxed. Preparation also means that you care for the job and that you genuinely want to get it. The interviewer will feel that and know straight away if you truly want a position through how you express yourself, the way you answer questions and how much you know.

Rejection can make you stronger and more persistent. We would never reach our goals if we don’t experience failure of some kind. Similar to job applications, you might apply 20 jobs, but only 5 reply for an interview, and the rest is either ignored or declined. It’s important to be persistent and stay motivated.

Apply jobs you can see yourself doing. From anything to hospitality, retail to marketing, it’s realistic and better to apply for jobs you can picture yourself doing. Whether it’s waitressing or writing up excel spreadsheets for clients, it’s best to direct your path towards somewhere you can imagine really happening and feeling enjoyment from it.

The Unfolding Nature Of A Quiet Introvert

03ed9522ca5ca1efbef76ec441786843Many of us tend to show more of our personality the more we become comfortable with a person. I find that there are only a very few handful of people that have ever seen my whole personality, and understand the extent of how odd but loving I am. Truly, I think everyone is a little strange because it’s not possible for anyone to be normal, because even being too normal is a little strange. It’s funny because there are moments I can give a somewhat cold, distant impression, and others where I am smiling, approachable and warm.

It’s common in society that spending too much time alone, being thoughtful, being a quiet soul, being an introvert and having a calm demeanour are sometimes frowned upon. There is an expectation that a person should be outgoing, yet I believe that confidence and skill set is not equated to the volume of our voice. I do feel that to some extent, we live in a society that praises extroverts. I referenced the quote from Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist who said, “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”

For those who take time to open up, they do so because they feel they trust you. It can also be the person, because I find certain people can bring out bits and pieces of us. Such as, some may bring out more of our funny side or caring side. It might depend on the nature of the topic, and the conversations we engage in. I find when I get engaged in conversation of interest, I unfold more and more. Many introverts may also be thinkers, and take a pause here and there to think before they speak. Expressing oneself is often easier through art, music, writing, than it is to say the words plainly out loud. Not all the time our spoken words may fully express how we feel inside.

There are hidden layers that are slowly and gradually revealed, when it’s with the right person. For example, there are only a few people in my life who can bring out my ridiculously talkative and crazy side, because I’m willing and comfortable to let them see it. Most of the time, when I interact with people I don’t feel a connection or am not close with, there isn’t a desire to share too much. I was reading the article The Thing About Introverts That Most Extroverts Can’t Understand here, and it explains my first paragraph well.  Michaela writes:

“When I am with strangers, I generally behave in one of two ways:
1) If I have the energy, I am friendly, animated and engaging.
2) If I am feeling overwhelmed, drained or out of my element, I am more quiet and reserved

The people who meet me in scenario #1 assume that I am an extrovert, and don’t know how to react when my introverted tendencies emerge. Those who meet me in scenario #2 believe that I am shy or “have no personality”. They can’t imagine that I am confident, silly, and quite bold with the people I hold dearest. The bottom line is that most extroverts simply don’t understand that introverts behave differently in public than they do with the people they love and trust the most.”

It’s natural for many introverts to show more of their personality when they feel someone is a true friend. They want to invite the people who accept them for who they are into their life. There are those who prefer to have a few close friends, than be socialising in groups. There is this craving for deep connections and minimising energy spent on interactions that don’t go anywhere. Introverts have a lot to say, but they are particular about who they choose to say what to. Something I’m trying to improve on is small talk, even if it’s not the most interesting, it’s a good level of unfolding with a stranger, without having to commit to sharing too much.

One on one interactions are a great way to understand people, and put all my focus in getting to know someone. I also find people are more themselves when they’re alone talking to me, compared to when they’re with a group of people. However, in group situations, most of the time I tend to be the listener. Unfolding takes time, and in different environments we will unfold different things. Such as in the work place, many introverts are talented, but it may take them a little more time to open up. I find it’s easier if I’m drawn or have an instant connection with someone. In our personal lives or at school, it might be a particular person that we gradually open up to.

More articles on Introversion

The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking

What The Definition Of An Introvert Is (And Isn’t)

Introverts Are Commonly Misunderstood In Society

The Myths About Introverts That Aren’t True

Eva Green in the Violet Book Fall Issue 2016

Stella McCartney Winter Campaign 2017

SMC_WINTER17_INTERNAL_IMAGE_1026x684_BStella McCartney’s Winter 2017 campaign brings awareness of the growing issue of waste and over consumption. It is photographed by Harley Weir in the Eastern Coast of Scotland. The man-made landscapes is formed from all the waste that has been piled into these areas that causes us to question the significant affect we are placing on our environment. The campaign features models Birgit Kos, Iana Godnia and Huan Zhou who provide a distinct contrast to the bleak environment, bringing a youthful positivity and hope to the message.

“The idea we had with this campaign is to portray who we want to be and how we carry ourselves; our attitude and collective path. Our man-made constructed environments are disconnected and unaware of other life and the planet which is why there is waste.” – Stella

SMC_WINTER17_INTERNAL_IMAGE_1026x684_AThis campaign reminds us of the impact that over consumption is having on the environment and the amount of waste that is ending up in landfills, with nearly 300 million tons of plastic produced every year. It causes us to question what fabric our clothing are made of and how often are we buying clothes with the mindset of sustainability. The Winter 2017 collection features soft head-to-toe jersey tailoring in shades of honey, sand and grey creating full silhouettes rich in detail. Evening wear has sheer embroidered tulle layered with lace.

On the site it also says: We stand by our commitment to being a responsible, sustainable brand. Throughout the new collection we use innovative and recycled materials such as organic cotton, sustainably-sourced viscose, recycled nylon and cruelty-free Skin-Free-Skin. We are continually trying to lessen our impact on the environment. It is expected that plastic production will triple by 2050 when the population explodes to almost 10 billion – so it is vital that we act now. It’s good to see transparency and honesty, especially when the fashion industry has a huge impact on the environment.W17_Layout_MASTER WIP.indd

“Stella’s fashion to me is about dignity, love and a beautiful attitude to all challenges. All while feeling good and looking great and we wanted to reflect that in the concept of this campaign.” – Urs Fischer

What an incredible message to spread, especially in a consumer society where we are constantly told to buy things. Let’s be encouraged to be environmentally conscious, support businesses that have good ethics that’s turned into action, recycle what we can and wear clothing for longevity, personal style and ethical use, rather than quick disposal. We’re all responsible, and we can all make a difference together by being more conscious and taking action for gradual change.

Discover the campaign here.

The Style Culture Of Auckland And Wellington

c23ff8f75b6ab1e0480dc3017071a016In writing this, I hope it can encourage all of us to embrace our personal style. Some of these thoughts are from observations and others are from readings and how I see the two cities in terms of the style culture in what we wear.  If you’re an Aucklander or Wellingtonian, please let me know your thoughts and views on what you think of the fashion in your city. It’s a winter’s day (minus the rain) going into Auckland uni today, and you’ll see most of the students wearing jumpers, jackets, coats, jeans and sneakers, because well, the weather is chilly and it’s practical to keep warm and comfortable.

My sister sent me a snap shot today from an article here, titled class of 2017 — wellington student style, straight up, which sparked my interest to jot some notes down before my Drama class. In a previous post on my Love Hate Relationship with Auckland, I wrote: People aren’t as afraid to express their individuality in Sydney or Wellington. There is definitely quirky, stylish and funky fashion. Whereas I find in Auckland, there definitely are very stylish people, but less in the sense that people in Auckland are more judgmental and more people tend to conform.iris.jpgAlthough, after writing that I do find that there are more people embracing their personal style, but I definitely find that Auckland tends to follow more trends, especially because we have fast fashion and luxury stores everywhere. This is why it’s great to go thrift shopping because then you can develop your personal style. I guess we’re a simple city in the sense that many of us wear clothes without too much thought or importance. What are your thoughts? When I visit Wellington, I appreciate their creative vibe and the freedom of wearing what you want without giving a fudge.

There are days when I walk into Auckland city and I feel like everyone looks the same. This is difficult to explain, and I feel slightly hypocritical because I wear a lot of black. I hope that Auckland will gradually have a more diverse range of personal styles and there won’t be as much of a culture of fitting in and conforming, but a style culture of variety. I was reading the class of 2017 — auckland student style, straight up here, and took a snapshot of Gala’s answer, cos it just made me smile. Weather requirements is real in this city and I agree with how it tends to be very laid-back chilled out in terms of just wearing whatever.gala3.jpg

Photo from TheyAllHateUs | Photography by Ch’lita Collins and Imogen Wilson | Art by Oscar Murillo; ‘Untitled’, 2015 | Irving Penn; ‘Still Life with Watermelon’, 1947 | Photos from @Mirador_

The Feeling Of Being Different To Everybody Else

fe1be52cd768944508cba03bb3784dfdIt’s one of those things that many of us feel even though we’re all different. At the same time the feeling of being different is quite a personal, individual and inner feeling. I’m writing from personal experience, but would love to hear your story of why you feel different either in your everyday life or in certain situations. Previously, I wrote about how I grew up with people assuming I was mute. I wouldn’t say a word and was painfully quiet and shy. I’d be energetic and silly at home, but when it came to being surrounded by people I didn’t know well, I felt like a snail protected by my shell. The first time I opened up was when I played a snail in my primary school play.

Perhaps you were left out in school growing up because you were a quiet soul  and you didn’t put much effort in fitting in. You might prefer talking to people you know you’ll form a meaningful friendship with. Although, now that I’m a little older, it’s polite to make some small kind of conversation with people even if you know it’s not going anywhere or if you don’t feel a spark. Til today, there are moments when I’m calm and don’t feel like pretending to be energetic. I’ll read, write, study or daydream in my room where it feels safe and quiet. This is also quite a common thing for some introvert’s and HSP’s in order to unwind.

I was reading the article here, which said Being different is a source of connection and belonging. How true is that? For example, the article mentions creative people, introverts and minorities and how we are able to find true belonging with other people. Being different simply means being who we are. There is this feeling of being different for those who don’t have many friends. I’m the sort of person who only has a small few friends that I allow into my trust circle. The feeling of being different may also be because I like to spend a lot of time by myself. Reading at the library, writing at home, going to the cinema, sitting at a cafe, walking alone and so on.

Feeling like an outsider or being a lone wolf are words that may have negative connotations, but shouldn’t be. I grew up being told that I’m shy, quiet, soft spoken, very polite and the list goes on. Those are the very things I embrace now. Then there’s the thing of giving the impression of being a distant person, when you know you’re a kind and caring person at heart. Actions speak louder than words. It’s such an important saying to remember, because often us quiet souls may not talk to many people, but our actions express what’s inside. There is also the struggle of expressing oneself completely eloquently and fluidly with words that are the same in our mind.

If you’re naturally a slightly awkward person, you will also understand that feeling of not being quite what’s expected, but then also growing up learning to fully embrace who you are. The worse thing to do is to pretend to be someone you’re not, because being who you are is beautiful. Confidence doesn’t equate to being loud. I’ve always been a more one on one person, unless I’m very close to the people I’m surrounded by. I remember in kindergarten, I would play on my own and til this day, I prefer spending more time alone than with other people. If you’re quite a private person, there can also be that feeling of only opening up to certain people.

If you matured at a young age then there is that feeling of being different, because your perspective is different to those similar age with you. I’m quite an intense person, and can be serious especially on first impression and on the other hand I can seem happy and smiley on a first impression. I don’t know if this is an INFJ thing (or perhaps I’m generalising), but I can really sense when someone is being fake or pretending to be nice. There’s this desire to not interact too much with people like that, because it makes me feel superficial. If you’ve been or are going through mental health, then it can sometimes bring about the feeling of being different. You might feel anxiety for certain things, that other people would not second guess.

If you grew up being left out or leaving yourself out, you might feel a preference of letting friendships or relationships happen naturally in serendipity. Most of us may be very particular in the sense that we need to interact with someone who understand things like our sense of humour. I wrote this post last year on the difficulty of making friends as an INFJ, because it takes us time (perhaps even years) to truly open up to certain people. Remember that everyone is different. There will always be people who are trying to be the same, but even then no two people are the same. Embrace who you are, because that’s the person you’re meant to be.

Art by Kate Pugsley

Celebrating Magical Zines At Auckland Zinefest

tree_people.pngIt’s strange to think that my sister and I made dozens of these zines when we were younger, without realising it. As I walked in the Auckland Art Gallery at the different stands, it felt like being at a market, with all these wonderful zines of stories and beautiful art surrounding everyone. I got a book by Nicola titled “Where are you from?” which immediately caught my eye, because it’s one of those top questions that some people get asked on a weekly basis. The first thing I saw was the lovely clouds that you can see in the photo below. They are so cute and soft looking. I was considering getting it, but then thought about how white never goes well in staying clean, and before you know it, it might turn into a sad grey cloud.

There was a wide variety of different zine stalls from insects, feminism, eclectic portraits, comics, crafts and earrings, stickers, badges, poetry, sexuality, gender, animals, boys in bands, accessories, fashion, self love and many more. Auckland Zinefest is a non-profit community festival that celebrates and promotes DIY and self publishing in Auckland city. It’s a wonderful creative event to discover the work of many different artists and creative cookies. The Zinefest is run by volunteers who have a passion for community arts projects and zines. Zines are a great way for creative expression and sharing your own stories and experiences.

Had a blast last night with the @orientalmaidens gang! Here's to more markets!! 💖🌸🌺🌷💓

A post shared by Natalie Lim (@n.limb) on

When I saw the clay earrings made by Natalie, I asked her to save it for me while I went to get cash out. I have this strange thing for teeth, hence why I keep my braces teeth mold beside my bedside table. I am also quite a sweet tooth, so somehow they were telling me, I need to belong on your ear lobes. On the bottom left is just some of the mini zines my sister and I made from ten years ago. One of them (the colourful one) is her explanation of periods, which is quite interesting and helpful way of letting someone know that they’re not dying when they experience their period for the first time. However, my all time favourite would have to be Mushy’s Adventure by Tammy, which is the one that is slightly fading.

The Good And Bad To-Do List For You Skin

tumblr_mvx0isLEyM1rjat2yo1_1280-768x512Skincare is an important part of taking care of our body, the way we eat healthy foods, drink water and exercise. If you think back to your teenage days you might recall going through the stage of having acne. If your skin has quite a lot of blemishes, wearing makeup can slow down the process of improvement. It’s okay to wear it from time to time, but it’s good to have days where you allow your skin to breathe. Good skincare can make you feel more confident and embrace your natural beauty.

My number one tip is to emphasise how important sunscreen is, and the need to wear it everyday. After having a skin consultation today, I realised my skin is more on the oily side, which is helpful in knowing what products and what to do to help minimise acne. Makeup may be able to cover blemishes, but your skin will always be a part of you, especially when it’s the biggest organ of the human body! The environment, lifestyle, habits and food can affect our skin health.

Good to-do list for your skin

Wearing Sunscreen everyday. If there’s one item of skincare aside from cleansing and moisturising that is necessary, it is wearing sunscreen. Sunscreen should be part of your daily routine.

Drink enough water. Drinking enough water affects our body and mind. It hydrates our body and our skin will thank us for it. Drinking enough water also gets rid of the toxins inside the body.

Get your beauty sleep. We need a good amount of sleep per night, as the skin needs to repair. That’s why they call it beauty sleep, because it allows our skin to keep healthy rather than become dry and dull.

Using products that are effective for your skin type. There are ingredients in products that can be more effective than others, as well as products that are suited to certain skin types. In the past, I used a cleanser that over-dried my skin and caused redness. If you have sensitive skin, use a gentle cleanser.

Minimising long sun exposure. UV rays can cause wrinkling and sun damage. It’s important to get a certain amount of sun everyday, but try not to stay under the sun for long periods of time.

Wash your pillow case regularly. The pillowcase can collect dead skin cells, bacteria and oil. Make sure to wash it once a week or every fortnight to avoid your skin collecting the germs.

Eat a healthy and clean diet. Making sure you eat a good amount of fruits and vegetables such as Tomatoes, is beneficial for the skin. It makes sense that the healthy food you eat, will reflect on your skin.

Cleanse and moisturise. One of the most basic steps in a good skincare routine is to cleanse and moisturise the skin every day and night. Our skin can pick up dirt, dust and smoke in our everyday surroundings, which is why cleansing is so important. Moisturising keeps the skin hydrated, especially during winter when the air is dryer.

Bad to-do list for your skin

Long-term stress. When we feel stressed we frown more, which can cause stress lines. Long-term stress can also cause the skin to break out as stress increases the amount of hormones, which can cause the skin to become oilier.

Smoking and drinking alcohol. Everything in moderation, but if one smokes or drinks too much, it can have a bad effect on the skin. Alcohol can dehydrate your skin, which make it more prone to wrinkles and dryness. Smoking increases the likelihood of getting some skin cancers and leaves your skin sallow.

Over washing the face and hot water. Hot water can dehydrate the skin and cause it to have a dry texture, and over washing can cause it to be stripped away from its natural oils. Use a luke warm temperature that’s gentle for your face.

Touching your skin. It’s best to resist popping pimples because they can spread bacteria and can sometimes encourage the acne to worsen. Sometimes, when we feel irritation it’s best not to pick at the skin, as it can cause inflammation.

Talking on the phone. Our phone has bacteria and grime on it, as we tend to use our fingers to touch it constantly. When using the phone against your face, it can encourage bacteria and acne to grow.

Going to bed without removing your makeup. If you wear foundation and eye makeup, it can leave dirt and oils on your pillowcase. It’s also bad for your skin because the makeup will cause clogged pores.

Eating too many sweet foods, fast food and dairy. If you’re a sweet tooth like me, this is a tricky one, as sugar can affect the skins collagen and elasticity. Collagen affects how resistant the skin is to wrinkling.

Photography by Alexey Merkushov for Bohemian Diesel