I had a job interview last Wednesday, for a position in a play-school in 104 Reykjavík. I think it went all right. First impressions are not exactly my strong point, though. I tried my very hardest not to be super-awkward and socially weird, but it's difficult when you're not drunk, isn't it? I think turning up drunk to an interview for a job working with children would be a definite mistake, though. The stress had a fairly negative impact on my Icelandic. Hopefully they understood that I was kind of nervous and wouldn't normally say that I was samstundis when I meant stundvís. At any rate I understood what they were saying to me, and they appeared to understand what I was saying to them. If I were looking for a job in England, I suppose the simple matter of communication wouldn't be an issue, but here it seems like one of the biggest challenges. Or at least quite a major complication - the actual experience of being interviewed is quite bewildering all by itself.

The sort of artificial introversion required in such an exercise makes me quite uncomfortable. It's weird to be asked to say how fantastic you are. I mean, in my head, obviously I think I'm fantastic, but I come from a self-deprecating sort of culture and find it embarrassing to say positive things about myself. Of course that's a silly attitude in a job interview situation, but it's very ingrained. Being asked to explain how your personality makes you suitable, and what relevant qualities you have, is even worse. I would say that personality is largely just a word describing how you appear in the eyes of others, meaning that you yourself are in quite a bad position to say what sort of personality you have. It's like trying to describe your own accent, it's just the baseline, something you don't really notice or think about particularly. 

Maybe having been asked these things once I will be less startled next time. Haha, don't know what I was expecting really. Nah, but I think I said some good things - I'm portraying it as much worse than it was and probably overanalysing a bit. Just have to wait and see. I have applied for lots and lots of things, can't believe I won't get something sooner or later. Working in a play-school, although admittedly not a particular ambition of mine, would be a good, steady job and most likely more entertaining than office work. I still want to become a literary translator, but I was never under the impression that that would be happening any time soon. My most pressing concern is to get a salary and a job in a play-school is probably one of the best options open to me at this stage. The good news is that there are loads of these positions advertised, so there must be a fair amount of demand. Yeah, keep positive. 

Aside from wanting a wage, being unemployed is also really boring. When your friends are at work, and the most you are likely to achieve on any given day is making a nice dinner or doing some washing, morale can slip a bit. I did make an excellent dinner yesterday, though. I attempted Icelandic plokkfiskur (sort of mush made of white fish, potatoes and oniony béchamel sauce) and it turned out really well, except that I cut my finger with the potato peeler and kept bleeding all over the rest of the food preparation.

Also, apparently somebody nominated this blog for a thing. Thanks, whoever you are. Vote for me, I suppose!


  1. Hi! I just found your blog today, and i just waned to let you know that i have read it from start to finish today, (or rather backwards from here to when you first flew out!) and REALLY enjoyed it! You write so well, its really brightened my day! Thank you! Jules (

  2. Thanks so much, that's really brightened MY day!