I tweeted on Friday, after handing out my blog address, asking for your opinion on mentioning blogs in a job interview and I agreed with every answer - even though they were varied. I knew that was likely to happen - it really depends on the type of blog, the career goals and the type office.
I asked myself on the drive home when I was wracking my brain trying to remember what I wrote in Monday's post: "Would I have responded differently if it was a different type of blog?" I did, after all, mention the fashion blog and not the sadly neglected cooking blog. I definitely mentioned the type of blog a good 5 or 6 questions later, and did so with a disclosure of: "I realize it's a bit superficial, but sometimes after a day of reading 300 pages of academia, you need something to relax your brain." I have a couple friends who have great blogs about their writing projects, and by all means they should mention those in interviews (though I'm still waiting for you fashion one, Cassidy!). Those, however, seem to focus more on their "Business" than on themselves. I know there is nothing on the blog that I would regret having said, should an employer read it. However, does revealing your blog reveal too much about your personal life that your potential employer need not know?
Beyond the professional/personal balance, which will vary for every single person, there is also the reason behind mentioning it. I was trying to back up my claim that I have a good grasp of social media. It's one thing to say: "I have a Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, Triberr, Klout and a MySpace account" what does that really say beyond: "I know how to sign up for accounts, but not necessarily how to use them effectively". It certainly holds more weight to say: "I am quite familiar and have a vested interest in keeping up with new media options. I market my own blog using Facebook, Twitter and Google+, and am currently looking at the benefits and drawbacks of using Tumblr, Triberr, Klout and YouTube as additional marketing tools. Using social media, I've learned that the best way to gain exposure for your product is to have consistent, yet innovative, updates and postings and to be constantly re-evaluating your marketing practices so you are reaching as many people as possible and keep up with the changing face of social media". I would never, in a million years, mention a blog for a teaching position, a government position, or a banking position, but it's about knowing what the blog can do for you and what skills you've learned through the blog.
And finally, it really depends on the type of people that are interviewing you. It depends on what they're wearing (Pulled together outfit: yes. Wrinkled suit and messy hair: no). It depends on the tone of the interview (Stern faces judging you: no. Laughter, jokes and anecdotes: yes). And it really depends on how the company views its employees (A warm body at a desk: no. A person with interests and hobbies: yes).
At the end of the day, everyone will have their own opinion as to why they would or would not discuss their blog, and in what circumstances. And everyone is right. It depends on your comfort level with revealing your personal self in a professional setting. The one thing that gets my mind reeling at this point is the degree to which this personal intrusion on a professional setting is already happening; after all, we value our blogs because our clothes allow us to have a means of self-expression in the workplace.
(This post took a turn from its original intent of discussing how to dress for an interview in 30 degree [86 degree] weather. Rather than draw it out any longer, here is my summary:
Use one black piece to keep a professional tone. Have the structure of a blazer, but with short sleeves. Use a sleeveless shell under, and don't put on the jacket until you're about to walk through the door. While sandals are not advised, slingbacks will keep your feet cooler than pumps. Though skirts are a controversial subject, highlighting femininity, sexuality, what have you, your knee pits will thank you. Remember to add one splash of colour so they have something to distinguish you from the other drones. Oh, and as ShyBiker thoughtfully advised me, when it comes to dressing for interviews in the heat of summer, the most important thing to wear is deodorantThere you have it! I promise tomorrow I'll be less long-winded and controversial!)