We’ve featured 13 reader questions in the past, and we’d love to do it again. This week, we’re tackling everyday shoes and what to never say during a job interview (and please share your thoughts)…
Q. I’m trying to watch less TV, so I’m looking for a great book that I can get lost in. Any ideas? — Sofía
A. Now and forevermore, whenever I’m asked for a book recommendation, I will give the same answer: Exit West. IT IS BEAUTIFUL AND BREATHTAKING. Mohsin Hamid tells the story of a young couple in a country on the brink of civil war, and they must decide what to do next. And the lines really sneak up on you. You’re reading a paragraph, minding your own business, and boom — it brings you to your knees. (I’d love to hear other people’s recommendations, too.)
Q. I love seeing cool women wearing sneakers, but everything I try on looks like I’m heading on a jog. What are good everyday sneakers? — Michelle
A. You’ve come to the right place! Sneakers are the unofficial uniform at the Cup of Jo office, and I love all the different styles. I wear Nikes. Stella wears these Fryes. Caroline wears gold old black Chucks. If you’d like a fun pop of color, these Tretorns and these Adidas are both great. Styling tip: Sneakers always pair well with jeans, but consider also trying them with a favorite dress (like this).
Q. I’m quitting my job because I didn’t like my boss, and now I’m searching for a new one. How should I explain that in interviews? — Michaela
A. Great question, and I’m so curious to hear other readers’ thoughts. I’ve interviewed 150+ candidates in my career, and, generally, my advice would be to not slam your last job (even if it was The All-Time Worst). By knocking your past employer, role or company, you may end up looking unprofessional, and the interviewer might secretly wonder what you might have done to contribute to a negative situation. Basically, it’s bad vibes. If you need to give a reason why you’re leaving a job, see if one of these feels authetnic: you feel like you learned all you could there and are looking for new challenges; you like the new company so much, you jumped at the chance to interview; or you are looking to take a step forward in your career and tackle different projects. Good luck!
Q. I’m working up the courage to invite my current crush over for a movie. What movies would you recommend for a date night? — Ashlee
A. Would you be into something scary? I love a good date-night thriller, and apparently, they can actually cheer you up. “After a scary experience, people feel less anxious, less frustrated and happier,” says sociologist and fear researcher Margee Kerr. One classic is The Shining. When Alex and I watched it years ago, I was so freaked out, I looked in all our closets and under our bed. If you’re in the mood for something lighter, a fun date-night choice could be a comedy special, like Hasan Minaj, Tig Notaro or Ali Wong. Let us know how it goes. xoxo
Thoughts? Do you have any other recommendations? Are there questions you’re mulling over these days? We’d love to hear…
P.S. More reader questions, and a weird thing about relationships.
(Photo of Ines Ybarra/Clara Rosager, via Museum Babes.)