This week I’ve decided to revisit a topic I know well: awkward smalltalk. Specifically, I am excellent at awkward smalltalk because I either refuse to engage in it (“So, what are you studying in college?” “Politics.” “Oh?” “Mm.” “Okay…”), but I also know the quickest ways to ask the most important questions. For this edition of how to use smalltalk and seemingly unimportant questions to quickly get to the heart of any matter, even if they make the answerer cringe, I focus on something I’ve been doing more and more of: job interview questions.
Now, the interview process is already generally an awkward experience. The interviewer is trying their best to find out about the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate and the candidate is doing their best to make sure the interviewer thinks they are a flawless human being. In an effort to streamline this process for the interviewer (and any candidate who is asked these questions), I bring you How to Make Awkward Smalltalk: Interview Edition.
1. So… Bacon?
Anyone who’s anyone has an ardent opinion on bacon; that smoky, salty meat is the king of a carnivore’s dreams and the bane of a vegetarian’s existence. Opening an interview with “So… Bacon?” immediately makes them take a stance and defend their position. Do they love it? Hate it? Do they think there would be peace in the Middle East if they could just eat bacon? Regardless, this question forces someone on a side and makes them tell you about their core values.
There is only one true failing answer to this question — though if someone told me they didn’t like bacon during an interview I would make them leave my office with any shred of dignity they could muster — and that is by not having an opinion. If someone can’t solidly think about and reflect on the godliest of meats, how could they ever be a good employee?
2. How would I look in a cravat?
This question is incredibly difficult to navigate for a potential employee; not only does it address their ability to balance honesty with tact, but it is also a good way to judge their tastes. If someone says you’d look “God awful!” you know they’re crazy because – let’s be honest here – that cravat would look pretty snazzy. If they say you’d look “Sooo great!” they’re a suck up, and you don’t just want another yes man.
The one way to correctly answer this question – to show tact, honesty, and good fashion sense – is to say, “I think you’d look good, but it depends on the color.” Not only do they acknowledge your good looks, but they show they can think beyond the initial problem and address other issues, like whether it would clash or not. It takes a truly exceptional candidate to weave through all the aspects of this difficult situation and come out a victor.
3. What do you find appealing about the Amish lifestyle?
Quite unlike bacon, the Amish are often overlooked, to the extent that when you mention them a person might stare off blankly for half a second and try and remember what that word means. Immediately, this means that inquiring about the Amish requires them to have a good ability to recall facts quickly. If they say, “Who?” Bzzrt! They’re out! No passy for them! Other disparaging remarks, etc.
The second benefit to this question is it requires them to stay positive, no matter their true feelings, and focus on the goodness in another group. It also shows you a candidate’s ability to BS, as they might find no redeeming qualities in the Amish lifestyle but can’t answer that or they face metaphorical career flogging. Overall, this question is the most powerful way to end an interview, as it is a strong barometer of their ability to recall facts, stay positive, and make stuff up.
Job interviews are always hard, and they are always awkward. Hopefully this guide will help you make the process a little bit easier, a little more straight forward, and a lot more awkward. Good luck.
In the immortal words of starlet and my idol Jenna Maroney, “Listen up 5s, a 10 is speaking.”
As you probably know, I’m a world-class supermodel – and if you don’t, shame! My face has appeared in Vogue, my abs have appeared in inStyle, and my elbows have appeared in SkyMall.
But I’m not just a sexy, amazingly smart, world famous man of mystery; I’m also a philanthropist — but leave your hands off my millions, I need that to buy a third yacht. No, what I offer you is worth so much more than my money; I give to you my brain thoughts.
So, listen up: do you want to be so sexy that no woman/man/thing can resist you? Do you want to project an air of confidence and unabashed fearlessness? Do you want people to swivel their heads and cower before the sight of your amazingness? Then heed the following Fashion tips, which are sure to make you the it of everyone’s dreams.
1. Always wear more colors
Some people say you shouldn’t overdo it with color: those people are nothing more than conservative school marms in disguise. Remember that color theory is just a theory. All colors look good together, always, all the time.
Being afraid of color is like being afraid of a tiger. Why would you be afraid of something so majestic? All you need to do is tame it with a simple snap of your fingers, and it is yours to do with as you please. I should know; I own five tigers.
So remember, you must always put on more colors. If you’re wearing only two colors you’re not a real human and you will never be a success.
2. You can never wear too many pairs of sunglasses
Sunglasses make you look sexy. It’s a scientific fact. Nobody wants to see the eyes of another human, because you might get lost in them, like a maze, or my house-sized walk-in closet.
The conventional way to wear sunglasses is to wear one pair at once. But who wants to be conventional? Not I, nor anyone who hopes to take the world by storm and become a fierce fashionista! So how do you spice up sunglasses, you ask with your pathetic, whining voice. Simple: wear more sunglasses. It’ll make any look as memorable and exotic as a peacock that has been set on fire.
3. Change your hair every time you leave the room
One of the keys to being remembered is to be memorable; remember that. One of the ways to do this is to create an air of anticipation around all your actions, and the quick hair change when you’re out of sight is the perfect way to do this.
Imagine you’re on a date and you have to use the little model’s room. The thing you’re on a date with will have to wait for you, and this immediately puts it in a bad mood because no one ever likes to wait. Does this mean you train your bladder to hold gallons of fluids at once? Perhaps. But the other option is to turn a problem into an opportunity to be captivating.
While you’re in there, change your hair. With a little water, a comb, some hair gel, a blow dryer, shampoo, conditioner, and a tiny gay man named Alfonzo waiting in a stall for you, you can turn your trademark faux hawk into an inverted perm with highlights in two hours flat. Your date will see your skills and your suave and forgive the short wait.
4. Food is Fashion
If you want to be truly sexy, you must remember that food is the enemy. But like any good enemy, you must keep it close to you if you want to win the battle for fame and fortune. This leaves only one option: make your food into your Fashion.
Here’s a simple outfit that’s sure to stop even the most reluctant of glamorous gourmands: create a corset for yourself out of fruit leather and a skirt out of intricately braided red vines. Use frosting to glue skittles to your exposed neck, and salmon wrapped around your feet with kelp and sticky rice will make a perfect cushioned shoe that lifts you a few inches off the ground. Use a single cinnamon dough nut as a bracelet on your right wrist, and two peeps would make excellent earrings that draw attention to your hair, where you use a mix of mousse and pins to elaborately turn an entire fried chicken dinner into an irresistible hairpiece.
5. When in doubt, go nude.
Sometimes picking the right outfit for an event is such a hassle. Ever spend 8 hours in front of a mirror debating which ascot to wear with which bowler? Everyone’s been there. That’s why my motto is, “When in doubt, go nude.” It’s the ultimate statement that you’ve been liberated from the strict social paradigm of clothes-wearing. It’s also easy, cheap, and fast.
That said, there are some limitations. First, of course you need to make sure you’re in tip-top physical form, like me, before you go nude. No one wants to see Queen Elizabeth II decide that her birthday suit is what she wants to wear to her meeting with Canadia’s prime minister, president, dictator, or whatever they have. Second, you must make sure not to overuse this outfit, just like any other article of clothing. I limit myself to one naked excursion a year, lest it become blasé.
Well, munchkins, now that I’ve given you all the advice you need to succeed in the world of high fashion, I hope you go forth and spread the Gospel of Greg. Be fierce, be strong, and always be fabulous.
Well folks, it’s coming: the end, whether you’re talking about the doom predicted Friday or the end of the year. New Years is a time for introspection and reflection, where you look at what you’ve accomplished this year and what you’d like to accomplish in the coming year, often with resolutions. It’s these next two weeks where we consider how far we were from working out three times a week like we promised ourselves we would on January 1st, 2012, and decide, “Maybe in 2013 I’ll just aim to have a smoothie every now and then..”
The way we frame a passing year isn’t just in what we did or did not achieve that we had set out to, but we also think about all the big events that occurred, intentionally or not — like, say, moving to New York (whee!). However we choose to measure a year outside the obvious passage of time, whatever units we choose, are based on our own values. In that light, I’ve decided that the only appropriate way for me to conclude 2012 is to embrace my gluttony and present my 12 best food memories of this year that is so close to closing, unlike the top button of my pants.
Generally, I try to stay away from topics about religion because it’s almost impossible to discuss anything religious without person A rolling his eyes or person B punching person A in the nose, etc. But this week I am making an exception because I am not discussing religion so much as I am discussing history. Specifically, the history of something more near and dear to my heart than many other subjects: alcohol.
Now, to call me an expert on the Christian religion would be unfair, as I know less about it than I do about lamps — and all I know about them is I love lamp — but I do know one thing; Jesus Christ, revered as a savior by over 2 billion people in the world, was the world’s first oenophile (wine lover). Continue reading
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been working for a political campaign. Unfortunately, on Tuesday my candidate lost the primary election, meaning I’m now even more unemployed than before. Yay! As you can guess, my fleeting dreams of fleeing hobodom have made me rather melancholy, because I like money.
Money is what you use to buy food. Food is what you eat. I like eating.
Bacon used to be considered a pretty boring food; everyone ate it, from toddlers to lumberjacks to disco-loving grandpas, and everyone ever to exist in the history of the world thought it was good but didn’t give it a second thought. It was simply a breakfast food that you consumed before moving on to more glamorous meals.
But then, a few years ago something happened: bacon got its groove back. Suddenly, what was the most boring of foods was the king of the food chain, because people realized, “Oh right! That cured pork belly is DELICIOUS.” Suddenly, this meat that had been relegated to breakfast and the occasional salad or sandwich became a show stealer in every meal it was a part of — and it became a part of every meal, including dessert. Hell, it even became a part of cocktails, for those of us who are bacon-loving-lushes.