My #ImaginaryInterview Answers.
First published on LinkedIn.
In searching for a conventional job, I knew I had to address a few things about my work past.
Why I had avoided a conventional job, for instance.
But I figured it was best to be open about all of it. Put it all out there, on LinkedIn (where I was likely to be scoped out by employers).
So under the hashtag #imaginaryinterview, I set out to answer the awkward questions before they began.
This is the collection of those answers. Feel free to judge me by my answers (or add your own questions in the comments):
Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I’ve spent years specializing in content writing and social media. But I’m also a former journalist, a field I loved and was difficult for me to leave. I’m very privileged to have learned interview skills and natural SEO integration from those fields. Content systems and marketing through channels such as Pinterest also came with the territory.
Informally, I’m a baker and a long-distance walker. I also play Dungeons and Dragons, dungeon mastering a version of Midnight (a campaign originally written in the 1970s) adapting for modern combat systems.
What type of work environment do you prefer?
I prefer one where people love the work that they do. Not in an always-happy, stifle-emotions kind of way. But the kind of workplace where people really do care about productivity. I worked remotely for years because I hated how much “off time” and overall disrespect there was for other people’s time in the startup world (at least when I was around).
Work hard but make cake for Friday. That’s the kind of workplace I love.
What was your first job that you really loved?
Weirdly, it wasn’t a writing job. It was when I worked in the Biology department at the University of Oregon as a lap prep assistant. I would go to work with a checklist in hand, work independently or with partners, and had a variety of tasks day to day. I could be doing dishes for hours, helping to make seawater (we raised sea urchins), or clearing away dissected frog brains. It was a fantastic learning experience.
What are your greatest professional strengths?
My first and biggest is intellectual humility. If I don’t know something, I’ll speak up and/or research a solution.
Right alongside this is the fact that I’m utterly fearless in terms of intimidation. Years of community management and working minimum wage jobs have exposed me to the saltiest people on Earth. So even though I’m a 20-something woman with a voice like a stoned Snow White, I’m not afraid of anyone.
Finally, I’m enthusiastic. I’ll work to crack a difficult cake recipe, pour through a book in 36 hours, mainline a TV series — I’m the personification of extra when it comes to things I care about.
So we have to ask… why is your online brand horror themed, of all things?
I do genuinely love horror, so I want to show up online as a version of myself that’s authentic.
I’m more than just that, of course. I believe my content and administrative work speaks for itself. But I try to come at my online life with enthusiasm and a dose of reality. A gothic horror aesthetic achieves that just fine for me.
Cassandra Peterson (a.k.a. Elvira) also happens to be one of my career idols. She honored her own creativity every step of the way in her career, developing ideas, networking, and incorporating her past experiences every step of the way. She also worked very hard to maintain personal ownership out of everything she created. So my aesthetic also partly pays tribute to her make-things-but-get-paid spirit.
What’s something you learned through running your own business?
I learned that although I have an independent spirit, I love stability and regularity. I love it when one of my clients throws me assignments every week or even every day. I love to work hard. It’s my favorite.
What kind of job are you looking for?
At the moment, I’m looking to double down on content and content strategy. Internal communications (particularly for a large company or corporation) is my main goal.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I’ll be 33. So I see myself with absolutely no student debt (which I am on track to achieve), working toward the goals of an established company, and hopefully on my second book with a literary agent.
Plus a bunch of money in savings. Apparently we’re due for another recession.
Why is it that you want to stop running your own business? Lots of people would love to do that!
I know, and I learned so much in my time doing it. BUt this is no longer serving me. I’m a hustler by nature! But call it bad self esteem, call it personality type, call it whatever you want. But I would rather channel my energies toward working toward a common goal with other people. I’d like to work as part of a team. It’s not a bad way to be — it’s just not working for me anymore.
When was a time you went above and beyond for a client?
I had the pleasure of working as an assistant to author Nicole Blades a few years ago. “Assistant” is one of those gloriously ambivalent job titles that people sometimes take to mean “bare minimum.” For me, it meant: Graphic design, social media growth, beta reading, research, and organizing a launch party. Regrets? Nope. It was all about setting up the book (and my client) for success. And considering how long she stayed in Amazon’s top 5000 for her category, I’d say it was worth it.
Are you planning on having kids anytime soon?
First of all, that question’s illegal. But no, I’m not. Though I want to support mothers AND still pursue work-life balance.
What’s your greatest weakness?
Besides checking out waaaay too many library books at once, my greatest weak ness is being late. I hate it because I do my best to be on time, but I know how bad it can make people feel when someone is late to meet them. So I’m doing my best to set more alarms and prepared for the worst.