Tag Archives: interview

Check Out My “Expert Interview” on Mint.com

As many of you know, one of my favorite budgeting tools is Mint.com – so I was a little giddy when their PR team reached out to me to include me in their “Expert Interview” series. I went to town answering questions on my networth goals, progress, ups and downs.

I’ll post the introduction to the article below, and then if you’re interested you can read the rest of the Q&A here. I am actually very proud of this Q&A because the answers really reflect the personal finance advice I would give to anyone at this point in my life!

Imagine retiring with $2 million in the bank. Now stop imagining that goal and make it a reality.

With Her Every Cent Counts, readers get all kinds of tips and encourage to start building a net worth they can be proud of. That’s not to say there isn’t a lot of hard work involved. In fact, the woman who started the site (who prefers to be anonymous) had a net worth of $250,000 by the time she was 30. She plans to grow that number to $2 million by the time she retires.

Her net worth tracker can be found on her website where readers can track her progress. This serves as an inspiration and real-life glimpse into what is possible when saving money.

To learn more about reaching your own financial goals, take a look at the helpful information in the interview [here.]

Tables Turned: Hiring Interns and Reviewing Resumes

Five years ago, I was applying to every last internship and job position that remotely sounded like something I could be good at… PR, marketing, journalism, copywriting, anything writing… and in response I heard a bunch of crickets. Luckily amongst those crickets came a loud noise, then an interview, and then a job, and more jobs. But my time applying to internships while in college, and applying to my first job post graduation was really painful, and required unyielding tenacity. It seemed no one wanted to hire a theatre major from a large private college, go figure.

Today, I find myself reviewing the cover letters of intern applicants, and I feel for them. I see all those kids writing their optimistic cover letters all wide eyed and bushy tailed. It’s terribly difficult to not ignore the applications from mid-tier schools, when you have applicants from the likes of Stanford, Berkeley and Harvard interested in your job. Also, it doesn’t help matters when your boss tells you to hire someone from Stanford, Berkeley or Harvard (or the equivalent.)

While intern applicants from top-tier schools are not necessarily better than those from other schools, one thing that’s likely true is that anyone who has worked hard enough to get into a top school is someone who will be reliable and hard working. Intelligence can be defined in many different ways, but when hiring — even after a few interviews — it’s still a crapshoot. You have better odds to pick a winner if you pick someone who knows how to go out of their way to be, well, perfect.

At the same time, I’m trying to keep an open mind (by prying my mind open and, if needed, prying my boss’s mind open) and reading all of the applicants from any school (except the “University of Phoenix.” I’m not hiring anyone who spent money on a for-profit online degree, I have to draw the line somewhere.

In any case, it feels all twisted and strange being in the hiring seat now, just five years after I was one of those bright-eyed and bushy-tailed  young hopefuls, sending out my 300th cover letter and resume, and waiting, patiently, for the phone to ring.

Off to My First Job Interview Since Being Laid Off

While I don’t like to put all of my eggs in one basket, and surely have some small freelance gigs and the unemployment to keep me going, this job is the first “real” gig that is more than just a hope, so I want to at least nail the interview. I’m tired and a little nervous. I’ll get more nervous when I get on the train and get to their corporate office in the city.

I’m not really nervous about the interview itself, just the chance that I say or do something embarrassing in the process of meeting with the four people. I’ve only been on one other serious interview before with more than one person, and that was for my last job. But that was for a 1099 contract role for 20 hours a week at the time, so it didn’t feel as huge, and it was also for a startup so it was very laid back as far as interviews go.

This, however, is going to be as corporate of an interview as the west coast gets. I’m putting on my skirt-suit that I purchased last week at Express, and likely straightening my hair soon, to look as polished as possible, while not losing myself in my clothes entirely. I’m wearing a fairly bright blue shirt, but it works with the grey suit, I hope. They’re not that corporate, it’s a smallish team of mostly engineers and a few business folks.

On top of everything, I recently found out that this job is a “W2 Contract” position which means I’d basically be in a temporary position without the benefits of full-time (no paid vacation, sick days, benefits) even though I’d be W2 so I wouldn’t have the flexibility of an independent contractor (have to work at the office 9-5:30 every week day.) It’s definitely better than being unemployed and for such a big, known company it would probably be worth it for a year or so at least — I can always take time off, I just won’t get paid for it. And if something better comes along with benefits, no one could really fault me for leaving. I think the whole W2 thing is designed so you can leave easier as well. I’m not really thinking about that much now, I’m more thinking about how I have to nail this interview. I’d at least like to have one job offer to consider and take in the next few weeks, and this is looking like the only real potential to fulfill that goal.