June 19, 2011

Job interviews and interview questions, part 1

This post is a follow up to one of the previous posts that includes this comics. And it's a great coincidence that the first question discussed in this comics is 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

One of my favorites. Hopefully not answering such questions anymore? I ended the last post with talking about plans. This is pretty much a question asking about your plans. I'm not a planner, I'm more of a dreamer. Being either is fine, as far as I am concerned. But I just don't know, and cannot know, what the world is hiding from me and is going to reveal in the course of the next 5 years. So my answer would be... 

I don't have plans, I have dreams and values. I hope that in 5 years, I'll have a job I love, a job that will challenge me and a job that will give me the satisfaction of knowing that what I am doing is helping someone in need. 

Does it matter in what position? I can work for a great NGO as a field worker, I can work for a for-profit organization that does business in developing countries and helps to improve people's lives by creating jobs, I can have my own organization... Either is fine, as long as it feels right and as long as it leads to the ultimate goal - improving the lives of others, making other people happier. 

So - where do I see myself in 5 years? I see myself putting all my knowledge, experience, skills and enthusiasm into doing what I believe in, anywhere, anyhow. Is that not good enough? How is having a specific 5-year plan better when there are things you cannot influence (or at least not that much... like getting the job you're interviewing for...)?

And that's question number 1 from my perspective. I'd love to know what your thoughts on this are, so feel free to share!

The current state of affairs

It's been a while since I posted anything but I do have a few things to say now so I'll try to update you on my situation.

Where am I right now? I still live in Pittsburgh. I still live with my friend and pay rent in baked goods, the only change on this front is that we moved and now I have three roommates and a dog. Honestly, while I know that this isn't something to put on your resume, I cannot complain and I do know that this is one of the things that I'll one day be telling my kids and grandchildren about... How grandma lived for free in the USA when she was 27 because she had friends great enough to let her stay with them... And that's pretty cool, right?

What am I doing? Working part time, volunteering, looking for the "dream job" (if those exist; and yes, that means I still haven't found one), trying to enjoy my life every day (because in the end that's all that really matters - how do you help others to make their lives better when your own life sucks?).

What are my plans? Honestly, I don't know. I don't have plans as much as I have dreams. Maybe the fact that I have dreams instead of plans is the reason why I haven't given up yet. It's not easy, but nobody said it would be. My dream is to find a job in international development, a job in the sphere that focuses on improving lives of the "less fortunate" (depending on how you define being fortunate, of course)... It doesn't really matter what position it would be (although being in the field would be awesome, I'm not going to lie), as long as I feel constantly that it's worth it and that it's really improving someone's life.

As a matter of fact, talking about plans is a good transition to the post I actually wanted to write today - a post about job interviews and interview questions. So I'll stop right here and will continue soon.

Interview questions in pictures

This is how I feel sometimes...