I had my first office interview today (the other interview I’ve gone to is less formal, more personal, and at a cafe). It was for a more business-natured web/IT company at Ortigas. I asked my friends and my mom for tips on what to wear, so I ended up going to the building in a white blouse I got from Bangkok, a patterned black skirt, and black open-toe heeled sandals. I wore a necklace, a rose ring, and a black watch as accessories. I wanted to wear bright orange flats with the outfit, so there’s some color that could stand out, but my mom gave me the black sandals and I knew she was leaning towards a more corporate attire, so I went with the monochrome ensemble. Since it was the first time I’m going to a “formal” interview, I didn’t know what to expect, so I felt it was better safe than sorry, I guess. (Although, given my already-colorful resume, I don’t think it would matter if I went there wearing a more colorful attire).

at least I got to keep my lavender nails.

You’d think the last time I’ll feel overdressed is in school. But no. I got to the office, and the people entering were wearing jeans, collared shirts, and casual dresses. 

I felt like if I removed my necklace, I’d look less…dressy. But my throat would have been too bare, so the necklace stayed on. I kept my blazer off as much as possible, until well, it was too cold for my to be blazer-less. (Although, I actually like blazers if only they’re treated as casual in this country. I should have worn the classy leather jacket instead, guh, just to add something strong but casual to the feminine outfit). I just felt a bit left out, or that I stood out too much. There’s this other applicant who was wearing…pants, sneakers, and a polo top. And she was a girl. Who looked like a boy.

Although, Charlie comforted me later that it’s better to dress to impress.

the HR person interviewing me was in a blouse and jeans. while I was in this. AND THE BLAZER HAD A SHINY TEXTURE!

Apparently, they’re not morning people because when they said the interview was at 10am, it meant they got to the office at 10am. :P Early bird that I was, I had to wait for a bit, although I didn’t mind.

The first thing was the technical exam. Which had no math, as I feared the night before, BUT IT HAD WRITTEN WEB CODING. XHTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript, SEO, YOU NAME IT.

I’m a good front-end developer, and I can design and code layouts, but there are just some things that I cannot, even to save my life, write on paper without the assistance of good programs like Dreamweaver, or a simple click from Google. For example, I know what @import does, because I use it on fonts for CSS3, but I have not memorized

@import url(URL_OF_FILE_HERE);

because I always used copy and paste when I get the code from Google. I guess that’s a lazy, although convenient, practice. Well, there’s always a first time to learn things. I just did not expect it. Even “Hello World” in PHP syntax I could not answer. :( Even though I coded a whole PHP/MySQL website for my thesis. I felt so stupid after the test, seriously.

Fortunately, my resume, transcript, and portfolio salvaged the whole mess. Going on JTA, despite the consequences my personal life, relationships, and emotional well-being suffered after, did me good, apparently. I had to go through a short interview with the HR person, and then another interview with the two managers: a lady, and a guy. My portfolio didn’t work on the manager’s PC, unfortunately, but I loaded specific sites for them to see, and it’s great that my work was able to interest them. Even if they’re more creative than business projects. I was showing my portfolio and it’s true — the sites just got more colorful as they became more personal. :P There was a point when the guy manager was talking to me about the company, and then he had to stop because, he said, he was getting distracted by the lady manager playing with my jQuery Apartment-Moving-In project. Because as I was showing them the sites I’ve made before, I explained how the site worked and how you moved in people, and that, “…you can also kill them.” So I guess that was the amusing part of it. :P It made me happy to know that our school projects in school could be enjoyable to some people.

Later in the afternoon, I got another text for a second interview, so I suppose I passed the written exam anyway. Which is great!

The company is more business-oriented though, so if ever I decide to work there (given I pass the second interview), I would do more business sites instead of personal or art-related ones.

If my second interview goes well, it would mean I have two job offers to choose from, and I’m not so sure what I would be leaning towards. Both of them have their pro’s and con’s. I know it’s going to be a hard decision to make, because I liked the two managers who interviewed me (the lady, especially), but I also like the job offer I have right now. I was telling Charlie and Lles that if I will ever have two options, it would feel like choosing between Ateneo and UP all over again. And I am such an indecisive person.

Anyway, today was really fun. I enjoyed my job-interview experience (really my first. I’ve never gone on an OJT because I was in Singapore for half the summer before senior year) and even had lunch with Charlie after. I was walking from the building where I had the interview to his office with a printed Google Map on my hand (because Ortigas is unfamiliar territory to me), and I felt like a tourist. EVERYWHERE I GO, I FEEL LIKE I STAND OUT IN A STUPID WAY, I DON’T KNOW. I mean, who walks in Ortigas with a freaking printed Google Map on her hand? Do other people do this? IS THAT NORMAL?

Lunch was cool though. Charlie showed me where the office people bought food, and there’s this building where there’s two floors of canteen stalls. We bought take-out from a stall that sold 2-piece chicken and rice for Php77. They had no 1-piece chicken with rice meal. Just 2-piece. It’s like they’re telling me, “NO, ONE PIECE IS NOT ENOUGH.” And then they serve you three pieces anyway, because the size of the chicken is medium, not large.

It was so surreal.

2 thoughts on “A bunch of firsts, except for feeling overdressed

  1. “I mean, who walks in Ortigas with a freaking printed Google Map on her hand? Do other people do this? IS THAT NORMAL?” -> I probably would! Or I’d be ~stealthier~ and save screencaps on my cellphone but then I’d be a target for cellphone-snatchers :))

    HAHA NEVER KO NATAPOS YUNG JQUERY APARTMENT PROJECT NA IYAN. I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU DID IT. :)) Good luck with the job(s)! <3

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