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20 Amazing Things Only People Who Have Been Best Friends For A Decade Would Understand

20 Amazing Things Only People Who Have Been Best Friends For A Decade Would Understand

Several years ago, I brought the guy I was dating with me to my oldest friend’s wedding. The fact that he was more nervous about meeting her than he was about meeting my straight-laced, Italian Catholic parents speaks volumes about the depth of our friendship. After eight hours of traveling, several cups of bad airport coffee, and four packets of Biscoff cookies, my friend and I launched ourselves at each other and, foregoing formal greetings, we started talking. We didn’t stop until she and her fiancé left us at the door to our hotel room. Once inside, my boyfriend dropped his bags, turned to me, and said, “I have absolutely no idea what just happened. Can you translate?” Anyone who’s had the privilege of nurturing a friendship for more than a decade has probably enacted a scene like the one I just described and can relate to the fact that no one around you can understand the language you’re speaking because nearly every sentence you utter begins with some variation of the phrase “Do you remember that time when…?” You’ve laughed together, cried together, eaten approximately 10 million pounds of pizza, ice-cream, and Oreos together, and you’ve probably known each other since you were running around the lawn with no clothes on. Here are twenty amazing things only people who’ve been friends for at least a decade can understand.

1. You’ve developed a complex secret language

Whether code names for your sixth grade crush or naming your least favorite teachers after unlikable characters in the Harry Potter series so as to discuss them in comfortable anonymity, the ludicrous lexicon you’ve perfected for communicating with each other leaves people around you shaking their heads in bafflement. While such secret signaling lends itself well to strengthening the bonds of friendship, half the time you just want to make sure no one discovers your plot to achieve world domination. Because you were always going to conquer the world…if you could just pass Algebra.

2. You call one another’s parents Mom and Dad

This is inevitable given that you’re still trying to work out whether or not you were separated at birth and you grew up spending so many weekends at each other’s houses that you still have a spare toothbrush in the guest bathroom and a pair of Power Rangers boxers from 1995 that you’ve been meaning to remember to take home.

3. You see nothing wrong with standing in the bathroom doorway to carry on a chat while the other of you is having a pee

This is particularly true of long-time female friends.No one knows why, but somehow dissecting your latest awkward sexual encounter over bodily functions just doesn’t feel like an invasion of privacy.

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4. You’ve gone through all of your “firsts” together

Name it, you’ve been through it: first date, first training bra, first car, first “real” significant other, first hangover, first baby…but when the person you were best friends with when you lost your first tooth is still around for your first colonoscopy, it’s pretty clear neither of you is going to jump ship in this relationship any time soon.

5. You still remember the nonsense songs you sang in school, and you sing them to one another’s children

Nothing says continuity like bouncing your best friend’s newborn on your knee to the tune of “Miss Susie had a Steamboat.” Those songs are only immortable because your friendship is.

6. You remember playing dolls as if it were yesterday, so how are you holding your best friend’s first-born child?

Things like starting a family have occurred so seamlessly and so apparently overnight that you feel a little disoriented when you realize just how much time has passed, and you don’t recall how you’ve gotten here. But all that matters is that your best friend is here too.

7. You’ve had at least one serious discussion in which you can sense he/she has a conversational grenade to drop on your head, and you just take matters into your own hands and pull the pin, because you know what’s coming anyway

When I finally decided to tell one of my best friends that I was in love with him, because I’d been dragging the secret around like an extra leg, he stopped me mid-sentence, pulled me into a hug, and said gently, “I know. And I think you know I know.” “I knew you knew,” I answered, “but I didn’t want you to know I knew you knew.” Thirteen years later, he still finds this hysterical. (I’m slowly coming to see the humor in the situation. Give me another decade).

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8. You’ve been mistaken for siblings

You’ve known each other for so long that you’ve developed similar speech patterns and body language, and you might even look alike (though this might have something to do with the fact that you have a standing agreement to treat each other’s closets like the clearance rack at Express). For whatever reason, this is the highest compliment anyone can pay your friendship.

9. You’re often mistaken for significant others, or a married couple

I’ve experienced this numerous times with both my best girl friend and guy friend respectively. Like the above example, we also consider this a testament to our comfort level. Depending on our moods, my girl friend and I will sometimes neglect to correct the mistake; my guy friend and I have gotten bored with the cliché assumption that we’re a couple, but to be fair, the fact that I had a blatantly obvious crush on him in high school does lend credence to the theory.

10. You have, like married couples, a “the day we met” story

You’re lucky if you manage to tell it all the way through though, because you’re usually laughing too hysterically by the end to finish your sentences. Fortunately for you…

11. You finish each other’s sentences (and probably sandwiches too)

Under the rules of conventional conversation etiquette, this would be classified as interrupting. For you and your bff, it’s just the natural result of your brains operating on the same intellectual frequency for most of your lives.

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12. You’ve shared so many secrets that at this point, breaking up would be a liability

You just have too much classified information. Besides, someone needs to sift through your computer’s hard drive if you die and make sure the masterpiece you’ve been slaving over is posthumously published, or delete the “Big Bang Theory” fanfiction you secretly write on Saturday nights. Either way, there are some things you just don’t need falling into the wrong hands.

13. You have no problem giving each other unsolicited advice

Because, let’s face it, they know they need to hear what you have to say, even if they’re afraid to ask, so why waste precious talk time on the formalities? (Besides, your phone battery is about to die, and this is important).

14. You remember “passing notes” in class. On actual paper

21st century technology might have made cryptic communication easier when you can just text beneath your desk, but it takes the fun out of surreptitiously sliding a piece of paper across the aisle with your shoe. (And trying it again in detention after you get caught). Today’s teenagers just don’t know what they’re missing.

15. You made each other best friend mixtapes. On actual cassettes

And you still have them. You no longer have a device in your house that will play them, but that’s beside the point. Sentimental value, people.

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16. You have absolutely no boundaries. (See number 3)

You hold hands, you walk arm in arm, you undress in front of each other, you cuddle.You’ve seen one another’s bodies in various stages of development, from baby fat to body hair, so there’s no point hiding anything. Personal space? What personal space?

17. You grieve over the loss of each other’s family pets as if they were your own

When your friendship lasts longer than the life of the average dog or cat, this is unavoidable, and when you get the call from your best friend, you let them cry, and cry along with them, because you remember all the Saturday mornings when you woke up in their bed after a sleepover to the smell of bacon and the sensation of Snuggles perched serenely on your head like an absurd cat hat.

18. You can’t go public with any news without telling each other first

You’re pregnant. You got a new job. You changed your hair color. You slept with Tom Hiddleston. However miniscule or mind-blowingly awesome, if you dare as much as tweet about it before telling each other first, there will be Hell to pay.

19. You still call each other just to say “I love you.”

Because you were friends before “texting” ever entered urban slang, and nothing brightens your day like your best friend’s voice.

20. You’ve actually kept the pact you made on the playground to be best friends forever

It’s one thing to Pinky Swear in elementary school to be each other’s Bridesmaids, but when you’re actually standing on the altar beside your best friend, and you realise the guy she’s pledging her love to isn’t a Ken Doll, you realise just how far you’ve come.

Featured photo credit: PinkyYoung hipster best friends having fun posing in urban area – Concept of youth and friendship with alternative lifestyle Swear by cherylholt via Pixabay via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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