Jobs with Benefits

Its safe to say I’ve never been the outgoing, confident type which is why Interviews really scare me. Like really. All calmness I feel on a normal occasion just goes out the window and out comes Little Miss Fidget. When I go to interviews, I try my best to keep still but suddenly my hands begin to pat down that little black skirt or play with my non existent earrings.

 As for answering questions, I get tongue twisted, All. The. Time. Even on the questions I have practiced beforehand, like the common ‘tell us about yourself?’

Interviews: Death by Communication.

This week I have had to endure two interviews. One at my local shop.

I arrived in my black skirt, tights, a floral print top and pumps. I walked up confident – or as confidently as I could manage – to the till and said ‘I am hear for an interview’, unfortunately I knew the boy I said this to and I am sure he knew I was a university, so I felt a little awkward and almost like he was thinking ‘but shes at Uni, what is she doing applying for here?’

After waiting a few minutes for the owner to come out of that side door. I shook his hand and said ‘nice to meet you’. He took me into a room where I meet the store manager, who was really lovely. At this stage, I got asked six scenario based questions. One of which was ‘each week we have a product on offer, this week is the half price peanut M&Ms. I am a customer, I have just bought a basket of stuff, I come up to your till, try and sell these M&Ms to me.’ Now I have answered a similar question like this before, back in May I was interviewed for a big time photographer position and managed to (hypothetically) sell the interviewee a graduation photograph, I nailed the answer then and I (think I) nailed it today:

Me: Do you want to buy some M&Ms

Him: I don’t know, whats special about them, are they on offer?

Me: They are half price.

Him: Oh okay, I might take them

Me: Plus, they are the nice ones, they have peanuts in them.

I am so glad that the two of them laughed, because that was a spur of the moment thing. So the benefits of this job: 10% off my shopping, 2p off per litre of fuel, bonuses when targets are met and a uniform allowance. Which is really good.

The next interview was on Thursday at a homeware and fashion shop. I applied for it (actually I applied for both jobs) back in June. They are only getting around to needing staff. This is a job I wanted more than the other one because this shop is of a whole new standard. It is the Cosmopolitan of home. It is so posh. That is why I think I wouldn’t be of perfect fit for the shop…it is everything I have always wanted to be but so much of it, I am not.

However I have been working in a fashion shop on and off all summer – it is quite upmarket as well but nothing could equip me for this interview.

With my baby blue Sadiva blouse and that same black skirt on. I walked in with an updated version of my CV and was told to wait a minute. I decided to walk around the shop to familarise myself with it – and noticed that the clothes, where just, divine and they had gift sets of Reed difusers (I am a little obsessed with reed difusers!)

The manager sat me down and said the first part of the interview is a Numeracy test.

Well I may as well just walk out now. 

Passing the numerical test (say what now?), I was interviewed and asked a lot about university. I said that ‘I am taking a year out of education because I wasn’t fond of my course’, which the manager questioned, ‘why.’ I was so used not having to explain further so I felt very unprepared. ‘Well the course wasn’t narrow enough for me. It was a lot of different things and I wanted something more narrow. I am considering a more theory based course.’ We chatted for a good few minutes about my decision to leave University and if I will be returning. I assured her that if I decide to go back I will ‘let my employer know although I have no plans to return this year or intentions to apply for next year.’

Working with the homeware-fashion shop has more benefits than the other job, for example: 30% off except on furniture, it smells nicer (reed difusers!), the uniform is their fashion which is changed every three months and there is chances to work overtime. Since it is only a part-time job, the opportunity to do overtime is much appreciated. Plus, part-time means I can work the odd shifts at my current fashion shop job.

Woah, Jess slow down, here is you planning your future at this homeware-fashion shop and they haven’t even offered you the job yet!

Except they have. Today they rang and I got the job!

But suddenly, I can’t help but think about University, about Coventry and if I want to go back because I did like University and the course (well…50% of it. It is true, I think I would enjoy a more theory based course) and I did make some amazing friends. Yet, thinking about Coventry still hurts. Maybe I  just miss University – the peace, the independence, the chance to just go for a wander at 2am and end up someplace half interesting.

Summer is slowly coming to an end and just when my heart has began to heal. I can feel it beginning to break again.

Thrown in, for good measure. – Friends with Benefits movie.

I’m in over my head

When I was in Coventry and living away from home, the very thought of adapting or ‘settling’ in a new place, besides my hometown in the North Coast of Ireland very much pained me. I used to walk around that multi-cultural city in the West Midlands thinking “what am I doing here – I feel so trapped.” 

Now that I am home, I feel outgrown in this little town. I do a lot of the same stuff I did prior to boarding that Stena Line ferry to England back in September. Like going to Sainsbury’s with Mum or Coffee on Saturdays with Dad, but in doing so, I just feel like a big kid really.

Like a Cat in a Fish tank.

Yet I don’t know if I should try this moving out thing again, partly because I don’t know if it is what I want or if subconsciously I am just doing it to please my mum. The other part questions “if I ever move out again – will I feel those empty thoughts or will I somehow find strength and actually enjoy it?”

A new job as a Junior Video Editor has risen, it is a full-time, first step on the career ladder sort of gig, there is only one issue, it is in my ‘one horse town’. I guess I just thought, when I would ever go onto stepping onto the career ladder, I’d be living it up in some retro flat in some awesome city like they do in the movies…

Maybe I am ready to leave home again. I do want to return to University. I did like University, I just didn’t feel ready for it. But to go back to university I need to reapply and to reapply I need to know what to do, where to go and when to go. 

Essentially this Jr Video Editor job is a perfect start and could open a lot of doors for me so I am going to apply. It will be great experience to say the least. 

Interview Lookbook: Male

Interview: Men


How To: ‘Submit a CV of application via email.’

Two minutes ago I applied for a vacancy in Belfast that required me to ‘send a CV via email’. When you come across a job position that requires you to do this, I think it is a very simple process as opposed to filling out endless application forms – especially when your CV has all the related information.

  1. Make sure your email address is appropriate – and nothing like ‘’ or ‘’. You must come across as someone who is mature enough to take on the job. This is your first (and in some cases) only impression.
  2. Subject field – Put the vacancy reference or the job position (i.e: Application for Sales Assistant vacancy.) 
  3. Short and Sweet: when all the advertisement asks for is a CV to be emailed just write a short sentence or two saying ‘I saw your vacancy for XYZ in the XYZ and I wish to apply. I have attached my CV for your consideration and I hope to hear from you soon.’ 
  4. Dear or To – I prefer using ‘Dear’ when addressing the person, if you know their name say (for example) ‘Dear John Smith’ and at the bottom write Sincerely, (replace with your name).* If you don’t know their name say ‘To: Whom this may concern’ and close the email with Kind Regards, (your name.) 

‘Be polite, be formal, be professional – don’t EVER use text language…ever.’ – Caroline, PhD Researcher. 

Now, jazz up that CV, follow those steps and you should be fine!

What is this Malarkey?


Completely leaving University hasn’t been as straight forward as I hoped it would be. Last week I signed the ‘withdrawal forms’ knowing  a mental withdrawal didn’t exist. Following completion of a withdrawal I was due to receive an invoice for the Apple Macbook … Continue reading