This is my 100th blog post! Can you believe it? I can’t! I challenged myself less than a year ago to start this blog. I set goals, I planned, I garnered support from family and friends, and I started blogging. One of the hardest things I did was hit that “PUBLISH” button the first time. But, I did it, and my first blog post was out there. For the whole world to see. To critique, to laugh at, to mock or potentially worst of all, to totally ignore. Thankfully, you haven’t ignored me. You’ve read what I’ve written, commented, shared, and best of all, some of you have given me ideas and material for my blog posts. For all of the above, I thank you! I appreciate you! I love that you care enough to spend your time reading what I have to share. THANK YOU!!! It truly warms my heart. A special thank you to my main blog supporting friends. Lori S., who inspired this post when I almost caused her to choke on her lunch, Lori v (little ‘v’) who is always so encouraging and willing to listen, and Mary B. who faithfully tries all my recipes and provides honest feedback.
I’ve talked to some amazing bloggers to get blogging advice. Be ‘you’ and let your readers hear your ‘voice’ is the big piece of advice I’ve received. Let your readers get to know you. Let them feel like they are your friend. Be personal and be personable.
Well, my friends, let me share with you one of the most mortifying experiences I had early my career. The worst part was I didn’t even know what I did wrong until months later. It was actually my interview. For the first real job I had after finishing University. Let me share with you the recipe that this faux pax involved. Yes Lori, I’m sharing with the world what I shared with you at lunch a few days ago. When I thought I was going to be responsible for you choking on your food because you couldn’t believe what I said at my big job interview.
1 tub of sour cream
1 packages of Lipton’s dry soup mix.
Yes, my interview involved this recipe. And detailed instructions on how to make this recipe. During my first big interview for my first big job after university. My heart is just sinking as I remember what I said during this interview.
Open the sour cream and stir it so that you mix the liquid back in and your sour cream is nice and creamy. Add your package of Lipton’s dry soup mix and stir well to mix it all in.
Put the lid on and put it into the fridge for a few hours to let the flavor mix into the sour cream.
This is a recipe all the elementary school kids in my hometown at Central Avenue Public School grew up on. It was the dip the kindergarten teacher made every day for the veggie snack she served. I lived in a small town about 5 hours north of Toronto so when I moved ‘south’ to continue my education, not everyone knew about this oh so simple dip that I loved.
Make sure you find the prettiest glass bowl you own.
Spoon your dip into the bowl carefully and add some fresh herb garnish. It adds the height they always talk about in cooking shows and just makes it look oh so pretty. Truly, it’s the pretty bowl that fools everyone into thinking you did a lot of work!
So, I was really excited to get an interview for what I thought would be my dream job in Toronto. I went to the library and researched the company at the library (yes, back in the day, that’s how we did it). I memorized facts. I memorized annual sales, number of employees, products sold etc., etc.. I bought a wonderful navy blue wool suit with a skirt. The skirt was hemmed to just the right length. Just to cover the knee. To be professional, of course! You have to look like a professional to be a professional.
So the day of my interview came. I didn’t sleep well the night before. I tossed and turned and thought I would die if I didn’t get this job. I wanted it so badly. I was so nervous.
I met Jack, the V.P. of Sales, and Patricia, the H.R. Manager. We talked. And we talked. My studying had paid off. I felt sooooo good about the questions I answered. I felt I had built rapor, established a relationship, a connection and all those things we were supposed to do. THEN came the question. Oh my, my heart is getting that heavy mortified feeling right now.
“So, what would you bring to the party?” Jack asked.
Another easy question I thought. Not what I expected. But I knew that one. And I didn’t hesitate.
“My veggie dip is to die for. Everyone loves it! And, of course I bring veggies so that there is a nice healthy tasty alternative for people to snack on.”
Yes, that’s what I proudly stated. And we discussed how I made it. And the vegetables I prefer to bring. No broccoli. No one likes it on a vegetable tray. And the need for a pretty bowl.
Just an fyi, my preferred veggies are carrots (lots, everyone loves carrots), celery, cauliflower, some radishes (for the lovely red and white color), and peppers. All on a nice platter that has room for my prettiest bowl with my favorite veggie dip.
About four months later, I was out at a meal with some friends. We discussed our past interviews and some of the questions people had been asked during their interviews. One of my friends mentioned she was asked, “What would you bring to the party?”. She was looking for feedback about what everyone thought would be the ideal answer on how to incorporate academics, job experience, skill sets, and personal attributes to answer the question. I went cold. Ummmmmmmmmm, my answer had been VEGGIE DIP! I, having come from a German speaking house, from a tiny town WAY north in Canada had never heard the phrase, “What would you bring to the party”? I didn’t know what it really meant. I didn’t know it was one of those open ended questions where you list all these things that prove how much you deserve the job. VEGGIE DIP! And I shared how to make it – in detail. And told them about needing a pretty bowl. And I was mortified beyond belief when I realized what I had done.
Then, a few days after I learned what a goof ball I was, I was having lunch with my boss. I gulped down my glass of wine (yes, we usually had wine at lunch when on a business lunch – it was back in the day), and bravely asked, “Do you remember when you asked me, during my interview, what I’d bring to the party, what my answer was?” I’m sure I blurted the question out.
He looked instantly amused and responded, “Veggie dip”.
I blurted out, “I just learned what kind of an answer you were looking for and I answered ‘veggie dip’.”. And in my nervousness I kept talking and blurted out, “Why did you hire me?”.
His answer was along the lines of it was the first honest and genuine response he had heard in two days of interviewing. It was memorable, real and sincere. And it made me memorable!
The moral of the story is, sometimes, if you don’t do the perfectly correct thing, you can still achieve your goal. You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be you and believe in yourself! And, believe you make the best veggie dip there is! And that it needs to be served in a pretty bowl.