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22 Things only an English Major Will Understand

22 Things only an English Major Will Understand

English major is one of the most difficult fields in the area of Humanities. It has been argued that English is one of the most complicated major among the other fields. Why? You may think of the English language when you hear about this area of study. However, English studies much more than just grammar. They study everything that relates to all fields such as understanding literature, critical thinking, writing, public speaking, and even education.

English majors compose the majority of students who suffer severe caffeine addiction and severe insomnia; especially, compared to the other fields. These students are also some of the most misunderstood on campus. They are often dismissed and mocked as being nerdy or the weird group.

Here are 22 things that only English majors will understand.

1. A complete silence is much appreciated.

English majors need enough time to think about what they’re reading. They need to hear their own thoughts. They often choose to read in silence. You might see them in the library hunched over a desk full of books, or maybe even sleeping on an opened text.  They love thinking, but libraries can be so peaceful, it’s hard not to think of a little snooze.

2. Libraries and coffee shops are the best spots.

Rather than going to arcades and wasting time playing games, or partying the whole night away at a bar, English majors would rather go to libraries or coffee shops to read (and get another does of caffeine).

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3. Everything has a deeper meaning.

As an English major, they understand that every word, color, object, gesture showed from anything has a meaning. For example, “the light post turns on and off when you pass by”. For any other majors, it can be interpreted simply as it is. The light post turns on and off. That’t it. However, the English student might wonder why. They may think, when I walk by the light post must detect motion. The English Major, much like an engineer, wonders about why things happen.

4. Over-thinking is a habit.

Because of their experience with analytic linguistics, English majors tend to over-analyze behaviors of people, to the point that it becomes habitual.

5. Consider themselves as “pseudo-intellectuals.

English majors have the ability to explain things that will impress people, though they are just talking in circles and repeating what they have researched. Sometimes they talk about the most nonsense topic without letting the audience notice it is actually just gibberish. The listener thinks the English major must know what they’re talking about.

6. Handling 120% pressure is quite a norm.

Writing a 15-page analysis about their professor’s movie, hundreds of impromptu speeches, reading a 150-page literature book are quite normal for them. They are still able to make it with less time. It’s like that saying, practice makes perfect.

7. William Shakespeare and Jane Austen are their peers.

Because they delve so deeply into Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays, or Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”, the student feels like the know the actual person. Thus, they consider them their peer.

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8. Watching professors’ favorite movie is a hobby.

This is admittedly true. So, when you want to have a good grade, knowing their professor’s favorite movie is the best thing they should do. This sounds funny but it is true.

9. “Intellectual admiration” to their professors is common.

Having an intellectual professor in front of them is the best reason why they should attend that class.

10. Feeling discomfort to sell a book is usual.

Their subjects are just interconnected. So, they don’t want to sell their good old book unless they are done with university studies.

11. Sparknotes is their best friend

It’s too difficult to analyze plenty of literary works from the Medieval Ages or even in the early Renaissance Era in such a small time-frame. So, to help understanding the text in the fastest way, Sparknotes is their best help!

12. Familiarizing IPA is a must.

This includes reading a text with proper enunciation and pronunciation, with complete consideration to the pauses and stops of each sentence.

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13. Having personal or career crisis is frequent.

In the latter, they are usually in great frustration whether they wanted to be a publisher or a novelist, a playwright or a screenwriter, or any other discipline. Sometimes they realize a little late that they took this major for the understanding it provides, rather than money. English majors recieve less payment or unemployment compared to other fields.

14. Inability to understand simple stuff annoys them.

It sounds horrible, but it is true. They are dominant in some ways.

15. Know the Anglo-Saxon tradition of the English Language and World Literature.

They know that Anglo-Saxon ancestors created the English language and it’s written form. While other cultures each developed their own languages, English places an emphasis on a varied vocabulary to explain our inner emotions.

16. They panic when the library is under construction.

Well, library is their second home, so it is understandable. Where are they supposed to take a nap.

17. Being so meticulous all time.

It can be observed as arrogance, but really an English major can’t turn off their training. When they meet someone who speaks English poorly, they can’t help but comment with a correction. The same thing happens online with poor grammar in social networking sites. They expect everyone to speak on the same level, as their fellow English major.

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18. Proofreading is their job.

Whether they are paid or not, they are frequently asked to proofread writing regardless of the length.

19. Having a favorite spot in the university is a must.

They will be enraged when an undergraduate occupies these spots! This is their favorite place to think and to read their favorite book while enjoying the view they see, how dare you sit in their spot.

20. In general, they love Europe so much.

They believe that when they visit these places anywhere in Europe, they will be like their most-admired writers. The feel like they are entering a new world, like they are literally walking through history.

21. The new scent of a book is addictive.

This is one of the most observable behavior of an English major. They love the smell of a new book in the shelf.

22. Good quality of pen is required.

  1. Whenever they jot down notes, they need to see a good pen in their hand. They feel like the pen somehow inspires all these ideas. On the other hand, they get distracted or irritated when they don’t have one. A good pen is a comfort object for an English major.
  2. They may be misinterpreted, but in general, English majors are the most understanding people because they know how to weigh things before they judge. Just like when they read a poem, they cannot just say that the poem is badly written, they must first deal with the underlying meaning on it. They don’t just see on what is on the surface. English students try and look past the external, and try to appreciate what is going on internally. They are even the most romantic and the most caring among any other else! Know them and you’ll see! It mus be all the Shakespeare poetry they read.

Featured photo credit: Memphis CVB via flickr.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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