Luckily, they couldn't see how much my legs were shaking because the camera only locked in on my upper body. My apartment was just so darn cold.
Just when I thought that I survived the bulk of the interview, they warned me that they were going to enter into the "hard-hitting" part of the interview.
So with a brave smile and clenched fists (which thankfully they also couldn't see), I fielded questions on raw materials export restrictions in China, told them about the three main issues that riddle U.S.- Chinese business relationship (and I'm not allowed to mention Google!), and planned a hypothetical working group on wind energy development in China.
Surprisingly, I sailed through that part (sort of). And they looked impressed that I could even come up with a coherent answer. Apparently previous interviewees couldn't even tell them what newspapers they read daily.
Then with a smile, the lady asked me,
"What are your hobbies?"
I froze. Then slowly,
"Baking and reading?"
I might as well have told them that I am a cat lady and am scared to go outside in case I have to interact with people.
And yes. I posed it as an apologetic question. And I've been asking myself that same thing all night long.
I am forced to wonder: Am I a boring person? I'm passionate about my work and I love burying myself in the library researching. But twenty years later, when I want to take a break from my job, what will I have left that I love to do?
This is when I realized this: I love writing snippets that make people laugh. I obsess about traveling. I browse recipes in my spare time. And I collect personal items from different corners of the world.
But apart from that, what makes me me? What do I have that classifies as a bona fide "hobby" that is socially acceptable as "fun" and "interesting"?
I don't know. And honestly, that scares me.