“Hello, Am I Hired?” Confessions of a Crappy Phone Interview

We have all been there – the crappy phone interview. You wish you would have said, “Sorry wrong number” or gotten the tone key to work as a restart button, but instead you are stuck thinking “Hello, hello. Can you just hire me or excuse me already!” Blame it on the alcohol recession. I used to have a whatever-you’ll-get-them-next-time mentality to interviewing, but now I feel like one crappy interview is as crippling as no Kit-Kat’s to a chocolate addict.

My wounds are still fresh from my crappy phone interview that occurred this past week. It was for an editorial position at a dream-job kind of company. I will not disclose their name for the small possibility that I’ll get called back for a face-to-face interview! The job description was all me, “A smart self-starter with excellent editorial skills and judgment. Experience in an online publishing environment is required. Experience working with freelance writers or independent contractors is a strong plus.” Me, me, me!

The day of the interview, I woke up early meditated, researched the company, and wrote down questions to ask after the interview. If I were a student, I would have gotten an +A for preparation. I felt confident and prepared! The phone rang and I put on my best professional voice. I was expecting the first question to be your typical, “So tell me about yourself.” Instead he asked me something that left me saying, “That’s a good question, let me think about it for a moment.” The awkward silence sent my mind on survival mode. I asked him to repeat the question to buy more time all the while experiencing premature menopausal hot flashes and intense anxiety. I stumbled through the answer and knew my nerves had gotten the best of me. Sadly, it was a domino effect after that. I tried my best to save it, but the damage was done.

I can only compare my experience to going through a long and strenuous search for the perfect guy on Match.com. You carefully pluck out all of the losers (at least the obvious ones) and manage to come up with a pool of great guys to contact. You hear back from your grade-A picks and manage to score a date with a I-can-bring-you-home-to-meet-my-crazy-family type of guy, but first you want to chat on the phone. You start thinking about great conversation starters and feeling confident about your first talk – until he calls and asks you if you’re a virgin. Okay, maybe not exactly like that. Regardless, you realize you won’t be dating this person now or ever.

However just like a bad date, a crappy interview should enlighten you. After the interview, I realized that I have the ingredients and the recipe, but I just didn’t cook the best batch that day. Trust me I’ve made some slammin’ recipes in the past. I can choose to act like a desperate chocolate addict or make mental notes and grow from it. Allow yourself to make mistakes and move on with your head held high. Even in a touch economy, there is always room for another batch!

Got a crappy interview story? Share it!



Why Latinas Should Be Pissed About The Dirty Girls Social Club  Adaptation

I remember being introduced to “The Dirty Girls Social Club” by my sister-in-law when I was an undergrad. Being an English major, I was obsessed with reading books in general, but especially novels written by Latin-American authors. Once I started reading Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez‘s novel, I was hooked. The colorful narrative features six Latina women who form close friendships after attending Boston University. Now in their late twenties, they are faced with their own personal hurdles and critical moments that test their resilience and perseverance. The strong themes of sisterhood, strength, acceptance, and inner growth inspired me to recommend the book to all of my close girlfriends from high school. For the first time, I felt like I was reading a fiction novel that mirrored my own cultural identity.

I personally admired the character who was a writer for a Boston newspaper as much as I looked up to Alisa’s brilliant career. The Mexican-American author began as a freelance writer at The Boston Globe and interned at the Village Voice. She would later publish cover stories for mainstream magazines including RedBook and Glamour. The huge success of “The Dirty Girls Social Club” led to Alisa selling the film rights in 2003. The story is now being adapted into a television series for NBC spearheaded by Ann Lopez, George Lopez’s ex-wife.

One would think that one of our own would try to develop an authentic pilot honoring the creativity and cultural context of the piece, but that just hasn’t been the case. The educated and successful characters I previously mentioned have been transformed into (in Alisa’s words),

“a story about four Latina whores in San Francisco, their white friend who is being abused by her ‘hot blooded Cuban’ husband, and their black friend who is fat-n-sassy.”

The truth is Latinas have always been stereotyped in Hollywood. From Rosie Perez’s performance in “White Men Can’t Jump” to Carmen Miranda’s fruity headpiece and “tropical” dance. These pop culture trends have continued to manifest despite a growth in Latina actresses. Why are these stereotypical messages still being reproduced in 2011? Penelope Cruz may have won an Oscar, but that doesn’t mean that Hollywood’s perception of Latinos has completely changed. It appears to be a formula that works for the masses. Popular culture has become the arena in which we struggle to know ourselves and to make ourselves known, but creating more Sofia Vergara characters leads to a one dimensional script lacking the substance that even one of Alisa’s characters carries on page.

Alisa has decided to write her own pilot, just in case Lopez’s falls through the cracks. Let’s hope that a more honest and authentic version of “The Dirty Girls Social Club” gets picked up. In honor of Alisa’s voice and our story.

Source: Jezebel


The Power Of Beauty: Getting Underneath Your Cover-Up

I was asked to write a guest blog for “The Power of Beauty” website for DermHa, a natural skincare line. Check it out below!

Ever since I was in grammar school, my mother would powder me up and add blush to my cheeks before walking to school. She would say, “This is so you won’t look so pale. Que linda. (How pretty).” I looked in the mirror and felt beautiful with my Cover Girl-covered face. There I was, a bilingual kid with an accent who wanted acceptance more than anything else in the world. If my mother told me that makeup made me look prettier-I believed her. What I was unaware of was how those early years would mark my relationship with makeup and its relation to beauty as an adult.

When I think about not wearing make-up publicly now, a voice inside of me is saying, ‘no just some under-eye concealer, mascara and lip gloss please!’ I should be able to walk around barefaced from time to time, but why don’t I feel comfortable? I don’t lack inner beauty or self-confidence. So what is the problem here? After reading a women’s magazine blog post, I sent an email out to some of my close girlfriends asking them to challenge that voice along with me and not wear makeup in public. No one wanted to join my made up makeup revolution.

As a Latina, a lot of my earliest life lessons with beauty and makeup were cultural. We take pride in looking good for ourselves and others. It is ingrained in us from the time we are able to walk, but the bigger picture is also society’s view on the ‘power of beauty’. We are living in a society that teaches little girls that looks are a part of who we are and sometimes, that looks are everything. Ad campaigns, magazines, and reality television shows don’t help the idea either.

After taking the challenge on my own, I realized that the voice or idea that we can’t be beautiful without makeup is conditioned. It runs deep and normally it takes looking in the mirror and talking to that little girl with the Cover Girl-covered face. There is nothing wrong with makeup. It sparks our creativity and makes us feel good, but when we become dependent on it, then we need to have a little makeup challenge–even if it means just going to the grocery store without anything (and I mean anything) on. I challenge you to do the same.




Blog at WordPress.com.