Saturday, 24 December 2011

From baker to banker: I have a job!

A real job starting when I graduate next summer! A real, I have to move out and iron and hoover and pay taxes and worry about my pension kind of job, in which I have to try and use my "economic" knowledge (ha!) and do clever things (uuhhhh) kind of job! This is scary stuff. 

Like, responsibility? Woah.

So I shall try and pass on my *ahem* interview wisdom...

(skip straight to the next photo for just the bento making part)

p.s. I just showed this post to my dad in which he said 'they look kinda like monkeys'.
They are penguins. PENGUINS.


Tips when job hunting as a graduate (because you don't want to end up like that guy):

1) Apply to as many places as possible. Just don't forget to change the names of the employer in your cover letter. 

2) When you talk about extra curriculars in your interview, think of the wackiest thing possible and then they might actually remember you (I talked about my blog and how I research recipies and people follow my advice (you do, right?) and how I can do that in my job - just not on the food front unfortunately).

But try and relate it to what you've applied for, so probably not good to say you've got a diploma in bungee jumping if you're going into Risk Management.

3) Smile as much as possible, but don't giggle or laugh if it's a serious interview. You might come across a tad weird.

4) Don't waffle. Try and relate everything to the job you're applying for. Unless you're interviewing to be a radio presenter. Or a Daily Mail journalist. Or a food blogger. Like me.

5) Don't ever be negative about anything. Even if you hated your last internship/degree/school/shelf-stacker job, it was a (repeat after me) "great learning experience but just not for me". Hey? It's true right? I bet you stack your food cupboards twice the speed as you did before.

6) Make sure you've got the right clothes on. For example: "An applicant came in wearing only one shoe. She explained that the other shoe was stolen off her foot on the bus. She didn't get the job". 
Personally, I think there's only one way to avoid this inevitability. 
Wear Primark shoes.

7) If the worst comes to the worst, make a bento box to make yourself feel better. I recommend Christmas penguin ones, and oh look! How handy, I've included instructions below for you to make them :)

Good luck!

p.s. oh, oh oh! Another excellent interview story I found: 

Question: "How many iPods are sold to university students every year?"
(You're supposed to go through X number of universities, Y number of students per university etc.)
Answer: "I would call up Steve Jobs".


This box was another one from CasaBentoIt's called the 'Cube Hanahana Green' and I thought it was quite cute and Christmassy. It has two sealed compartments when the box opens up (so you can use it to store more things), and I think it's really pretty!

Christmas penguin bento

You will need:
  • Glutinous sticky rice/sushi rice
  • Nori seaweek
  • Carrot
  • Ham (I used parma ham as it has the fatty white bits)
  • Mayo/cream cheese
  • Spaghetti
  • Assorted vegetables
  • Clingfilm
  • Bento box
  • The Christmas spirit! (Optional, but highly recommended)

  1. Boil the rice, and whilst it is still warm shape into two balls and one sort of triangle for the hat), and wrap in clingfilm. Chill in the fridge.
  2. Cut a 'U' shape out of a circle of nori seaweed (about the same side as the diameter of the rice ball).
  3. Stick it on the rice, and add two small eyes. Wrap some seaweed around the back so that the whole head is covered in seaweed.
  4. Add two circles of ham as cheeks. Add a block of boiled carrot as the nose and secure it with a piece of spaghetti. Add the triangle as the hat.
  5. Wrap the Parma ham around the head, trying to position so that the white fat bits end up being the white fur for a santa hat. 
  6. Add some mayo/cream cheese for the white ball on top of the hat.
And with that, I shall wish you a very Merry Christmas, have a good 'un and I hope you get the present that you want!


  1. Congratulations and welcome to the working world! I think it's great that you were able to stand out as a candidate by talking about your blog and relating it to how you'd benefit their company.

  2. Congratulations on getting the job!! It's great that you managed to link your blog to your job applications. These penguins are seriously cute. You are the bento box queen. Wishing you and yours a very happy Christmas!

  3. Congratulations. I just realised the only difference between baker and banker is an 'n'. Merry Xmas, all the best for 2012 and also with your job

  4. Congratulations! although working may take you away from us, or not allow us to see much of you, but it's a good experienc and I wish you all the best :)

  5. Congratulations! I hope once you move and get set up you'll keep baking amazing foods and keep blogging!

  6. Congratulations on your job! The news must have been the perfect Christmas present. I love this Christmas idea - the penguins are so adorable!

  7. Congratulations on your new job:D and that is one beautiful bento you've created:)
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

  8. Hi Xinmei, congratulation on your new job. Cute bento, so adorable. Merry Christmas to you.

  9. Congrats on your job! That's wonderful! Also, I think the penguins are absolutely adorable! I've never made a bento, but I think this is a good incentive to.

  10. I'd add to that smile genuinely - people can spot a fake. And be honest and sincere, it's SO refreshing nowadays that employers eat it up! Congratulations to you!!!

  11. Congratulations of your job hun!!! You must be ecstactic.

    As for the penguins they are so cute! My cousin is obsesed with penguins she would love to find these in a bento :)

    I've also been given a big food hamper for Christmas with nori paper and sushi rice so I can finally give some of these a go! Hurrah!

    Enjoy the rest of Christmas, and your time spent as a student before the hard work starts ;)

  12. Congratulations on your new job, Xinmei! What a relief it must be to have that under your belt, though it sounds like you had the interview well under control! And I love your bento very cute and creative! And I totally got that they were penguins! Much happiness to you! : )

  13. congratulation to your new job^^ I hope you like it.

    You bento looks sooooo cute

  14. So cute! What a lovely bento.

    Best wishes for 2012!



  15. Congratulations on your job! These little penguins (they do not look like monkeys) are adorable. :) Hope you have a Happy New Year!

  16. Congratz on your new job! Well I can easily relate food with nanotechnology, we use quite a lot of food terms to explain our experimental results and procedures. like "spaghetti line samples", "copper folded like a calzone", "graphite is like a layered cake of carbon atoms"

    The bento looks so cute. Happy holidays, Xinmei! Best wishes for 2012!

  17. Hi Xinmei,
    I could tell straight away those were penguins. And very cute penguins at that. Congrats on the job! Happy New Year!

  18. I love your penguins - so cute! Happy New Year and good luck with your new job.

  19. i wish you and your family a happy new year^^

    i hope i can see further amaizing recipes :-) i love your side

  20. Happy New Year! And I am so excited for you!


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