Advice for awkward people

Dear Patrick,

I swung by the TOC last week, and I actually got a lot of interviews out of it! But I suck at talking to people. Have any interviewing advice?

Generally Regret Entering Appointments, Tensely Evading Select Technical Wringers, Enter Any Knowledge Necessary for Exact Solutions Surrounding Interviews, Some Inquiries Need Technical Explanations, Requiring Vocation, Interviews Exterminate Work Shot


Talking to people in general is tough, but interviews aren’t so bad. Just keep in mind, you’re talking about your favorite subject: yourself! Remember, the company likes you already, otherwise you wouldn’t be there. The interview is your chance to impress.

Technical questions are easy; just make sure you know your stuff beforehand. When it comes to the “situational” questions all the big companies ask, don’t sweat them. If your interviewer is at all technical, they’re rolling their eyes at all of them. You only need to worry if it’s an HR person (HR people are terrible). Just try to get on your interviewer’s good side. If they like you, you’re in.

Just like a first date, except you don’t have to pay,
Patrick Hoskins

Dear Patrick,

My addiction to the internet is getting in the way of doing my homework. I’ve tried blocking certain sites on my computer, but I always manage to give in to the addiction by finding new internet distractions. HOW CAN I MAKE IT STOP?

Sincerely, **
**Just Understand, Need Kitten Images Everyday


The internet is a dangerous place. There’s a fresh cat picture around every corner, and you think, “Just one more, it won’t take too long. I can stop whenever.” Next thing you know, it’s four in the morning and those cat pictures have just gotten weird. I’ve been there, friend.

Welcome to internet rehab. Blocking those web pages is a good start, but it’s too easy to unblock. Try editing your hosts.txt file to have “” at the end of the file. This keeps you from connecting to the site. If that’s too drastic, actually set time limits for yourself. Break your work down into smaller chunks, and after each chunk take a small break. Lastly, try getting away from your computer. You probably don’t need it for most of your work. Just print out any online notes you need and go study in the library.

Just don’t bring your smartphone with you,
Patrick Hoskins

Need advice? Send queries to advice@thetartan.org.