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Let the Games Begin
The Best Job in the World: The Top 16 candidates were flown to Hamilton Island today. They now have 3 days of interviews and activities. Which are doing the best job of sharing their experience with the World? Find out.
Interviews Begin for 16 Top 'Best Job' Candidates
It's been nearly a month since Tourism Queensland announced the Top 15 candidates and the wild-card. Today (Sunday May 3rd) the top 16 arrived on Hamilton island, checked in at the Reef View Hotel, participated in a "swimming task", took a tour of "The Blue Pearl" (the sea-view residence in which the hired candidate will live for 6 months) and then were treated to a "Welcome Dinner" which included - among other things - skewered BBQ crocodile meat.
For the next three days, the candidates will be under a microscope, as they participate in a number of "tasks" and adventures. Part of the official selection process will involve the candidates blogging on the main site - islandreefjob.com (announcement to come soon). Some have already established blogs and are providing a great deal of information about their experience, thus far.
For a quick run down of the interview events and to see which candidates are already taking the world with them on their Hamilton Island 'Best Job' adventure ... read on ...
Interview Event Schedule for the Top 16
The top 16 candidates officially 'met' on Saturday, May 2nd, arriving in Brisbane, Australia. They held their first press conference, met the other candidates and then all went out for a casual dinner. Some arrived in Brisbane a day or two early, to give themselves time to get over jet-lag, acclimatize to the warm weather, meet up with other candidates and take in the sights.
Things really got rolling today, as they flew to Hamilton Island. Before leaving Brisbane, they went through another barrage of interviews at the Brisbane Airport. Then they flew via VirginBlue to Hamilton Island, where they were greeted by more media. After checking in at the Reef View Hotel, they participated in a "swimming task" of some sort (no one's really talked about what this entailed and - at this time - there's nothing on the official website about this event). After the task, the candidates were taken on a tour of "The Blue Pearl", which is the name of the official residence in which the successful candidate will be living. Then it was time for the "Welcome Dinner", which included lamb, prawns and crocodile meat.
The schedule for the next few days looks like this:
Monday, May 4 (Day 2)
- Fantasea Adventure Cruising to Hardy Reef
- Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef
- Seaplane flight to Hayman Island
- Luxury "Taste of Queensland" lunch
- Launch transfer back to Hamilton Island
- Afternoon media interviews
- Blogging Task
- Dinner at Romano's Restaurant
Tuesday, May 5 (Day 3)
- Ride "Voyager", a 23m catamaran, to Daydream Island
- "Meet & greet" with the local marine life
- Sailing experience
- "Voyager" transfer to Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island
- Meet w/National Park Rangers of the Great Barrier Reef
- "Voyager" transfer back to Hamilton Island
- Afternoon media interviews
- Blog Task
- Dinner at the Manta Ray Restaurant
Wednesday, May 6 (Day 4)
- Formal interviews
- When not interviewing, enjoy various activities on Hamilton Island
- Islands of the Great Barrier Reef Caretaker revealed (3PM local / 5AM UTC)
- Media Interviews
- Finale dinner and street party
Want to Follow Along? - The Best Blogs of the Top 16
For the 34,500 plus people - including myself - that didn't make it to the Top 16, the interview process on Hamilton Island is a bit of a "black hole". Sure, we know that Tourism Queensland will announce their candidate selection and that it will be broadcast across all of the media outlets. But weren't we all dreaming of making it to this interview stage? Don't we have preconceived ideas of what Hamilton Island would be like? ... what the residence in which we'd be living looked like? ... and how the interview process would play out?
Sixteen lucky people have embarked on a journey of a lifetime and are now fully steeped in this final stage. Not many of the final sixteen even had blogs, prior to their "Best Job" bids. If they didn't before, they ALL DO NOW.
But who of the bunch is doing the best job blogging their adventure? Which, if any, are "taking the World with them"? Because blogging is a primary function of the Island Caretaker position, I wanted to find out who has brought their "game face" with them.
For the first time, the candidates are all together, they're on their own, facing a real world journey, in real time and it's a really good way to judge who's up to the task!
So I hit the IslandReefJob.com, where there is a link to the blogs for all 16 applicants (on the profile page for each candidate).
What I found, surprised me. Four people haven't blogged a thing since arriving and I'm wondering, "Did they get lost or did they make it to Brisbane?" One isn't writing anything in English, which is a bummer, especially since since communicating in English is "vital" (oops). There's quite a few that have posted one entry, since arriving ... and then there are those few candidates ... the ones working at sharing their experience with the world. Those are the ones that really want to be Island Caretaker!
Have a look. I've sorted them into "Must Read", "Also Read", "Thin on Content", "Out to Lunch" and "Out for a Chinese Lunch" categories. (Note: This post is based on what was available when I looked - Sunday morning, May 3rd).
Best of the "Best Job" Blogs
Juweon Kim (South Korea) has declared, "Game On!" and done an outstanding job of providing detail about his experiences and the interview process. He's compiled, edited and posted no less than three outstanding and original videos: one of his journey, another around Brisbane and the flight to Hamilton Island. Wow! Impressive.
Ben Henry (France) has a fabulously designed blog (mind you, it looks better because I helped him fix his cross-browser breaks!). He is working hard, prolifically posting good, unique content, with lots of original and edited pictures. (No video, thus far).
Erik Rolfsen (Canada) is steadily making good updates and including lots of images. He's included a funny video of "Meiko's crazy fan" at Hamilton airport (which I think he swiped from the TQ website, but hey ... it's relevant). I enjoy his unique writing style and perspective. (Did I mention that Erik's Canadian? He's from Vancouver, which is only a short swim from our house!)
James Hill (Australia) takes some amazing photos, though I must say that I'm getting a tired of the fish-eye lens. (Yeah, yeah ... I know it's new to you, James, but please use it more sparingly! I've seen more of your forearm and distorted perspective than I wish). Still, the quality and unique content/perspective is worth it.
Best of the Top 16 Blogs Interview Thus Far
- Must Read
- Juweon (S. Korea) - (3 Aussie Entries) Current content. Good detail, plenty of photos and documentary videos.
- Ben Henry (France) - (5 Aussie Entries) Current & prolific content. Good photos. Nicely designed website.
- Erik (Canada) - (3 Aussie Entries) Current & steady coverage. Photos. Video. Often insightful writing.
- James (Australia) - (4 Aussie Entries) Current, but sporadic coverage. Great photos. Unique video. Thin on detailed text.
- Also Read
- Clarke (New Zealand) - (2 Aussie Entries) Current coverage. Insightful postings. Some photos.
- Mirjam (Germany) - (4 Aussie Entries) Day-old content. Detailed text. Photos.
- Magali (Netherlands) - (2 Aussie Entries) Day old coverage. Photos. Detailed text.
- Clare (Taiwan) - (3 Aussie Entries) Day old coverage. Photos. Basic text.
- Thin on Coverage
- Ben Southall (United Kingdom) - (1 Aussie Entry) Day old coverage. Good text detail. Pictures. Unique "Trip Tracker", allows you to see where Ben went and the geo-tagged photos.
- Greg (Singapore) - (2 Aussie Entries) Current coverage. No photos.
- George (Ireland) - (1 Aussie Entry) Day-old content. Detailed text. Photos.
- Cali (United States) - (1 Aussie Entry) Two-day old coverage. Irrelevant photos. Basic text detail.
- Out to Lunch
- Out for Chinese
- Yi (China) - Blogging in Chinese only (Hmmm ... thought English was "critical"?)