Four Tips for a Great Job Interview

In the past week I realized that it is so important to believe in yourself and to always have hope for a bright future.

In an attempt at doing my part to better myself and my family, I decided to leave my comfort zone and reach out to the hiring manger of a job vacancy I was interested in. The position itself was very much outside my comfort zone. Not only was it something that I don’t have experience in, but it was also a job that requires me to be extremely extroverted. However, I felt in my bones that maybe this was the step I needed to take. This was going to push me towards my best self. I would be able to develop a lot of the soft skills including relationship building, networking, negotiation and persuasion techniques. I was so surprised when I got an interview a few days after applying. I was even more surprised when I got the second interview a week later. Imagine my complete surprise when I got offered the job!

I did a lot of preparation for the interviews. I thought about the areas I was most weak in and prepared strategies to convince the interviewers that I was the best person for the job despite my inexperience in the area. I also would conduct a post-mortem analysis after every interview and sometimes even think to myself, “Will they really pick me over more qualified people?”

Well, they did. I knew that I wanted that job and I did my preparations, said a prayer and showed them my personality and my skills. Based on my experiences, here are four tips that you can use to really impress the interviewers:

  1. Do your research. Research the company that you’re interviewing with. Review the vision and mission statements, the core values and get comfortable with the products and services offered. Check the news to see what major projects the company is undertaking. Also, research the position that you are interviewing for. Look at the job advertisement and analyze the duties and responsibilities. See what the expectation is and how you can add value.
  2. Never let them see you sweat. No matter how nervous you are in the interview, always showcase confidence, pleasantness and ease.
  3. Tell me of a time… Interviewers love to ask you to recount an experience (mostly professional but sometimes personal can be used) where you displayed a particular trait that was necessary to handle a specific situation. This could be, conflict resolution tactics, relationship building tactics, customer service tactics, time management, working under pressure and tight deadlines, efficiency, accuracy, etc. Always have at least 5 experiences (preferably within the last 12 months or less) that you can readily draw on that displays all of the traits listed above and any other traits you can think of. Here’s a link to some commonly asked questions that you should be able to answer: https://www.themuse.com/advice/30-behavioral-interview-questions-you-should-be-ready-to-answer
  4. Think on your feet. Interviewers will throw curve ball questions to test your ability to react quickly under pressure without freaking out. Take a deep breath, think about what it is that they are looking for in your response and give it to them. This comes over time. Sometimes it is helpful to role play with a trusted friend. Think of questions you’ve both been asked in previous interviews and figure out what the interviewer was looking for and try to formulate the best answers.


Main Takeaway

In summary, interviewers want to know that you have the technical/functional capabilities and also the behavioral competencies that they seek. The aim is to be able to showcase both in a natural and effortless way. They don’t want a smart worker with a bad attitude and they don’t want someone who is clueless and courteous. Learning to put your best foot forward in an interview and landing that amazing job may take some practice and effort, but it will be worth It in the end.

Journey to Self-Improvement

uwi path

Hi everyone! I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I’ve been really busy with my job and making lifestyle changes to become a healthier and fitter me.

I’ve come a long way and I’m really proud of myself. I’ve lost 17lbs since the start of 2016 and I’m trying to lose an additional 5-8lbs by the end of 2017. Unfortunately I don’t have any before and after pictures because I was so uncomfortable with my weight gain that I didn’t take pictures and I didn’t even want to be seen. I’ve always been a petite girl so it was hard being looked on as “chubby” or “fatty”.

However, I’ve been fortunate to have a loving and supportive husband who would always tell me I’m beautiful and would encourage me when I started crying or felt like quitting.

George's concrete rose

 

THINGS I HAVE LEARNT

  1. The most important thing is to love yourself. You don’t have to look like a supermodel to be beautiful. You are beautiful just the way you are and you don’t need to be validated by others. I am trying to love myself more and I’m on this journey to be the best version of myself.
  2. Take care of your body, mind and spirit. Fitness and healthier eating have become a lifestyle for me. Don’t get me wrong, I will still have that slice of cheesecake and chocolate cake or ice cream but everything in moderation. I will have those treats maybe once for the week; and when I do, I have one small slice instead of half the cake. I’ve started eating vegan pizzas instead of the greasy ones and I’ve switched to vegetarian cheese instead of cheddar (because I love cheese on everything). I’ve cut down on the salty snacks too. I hardly eat cheese curls and tortilla chips. Instead I have lentil chips, quinoa chips and hummus chips. I still LOVE meat so I’m not vegan but I have adopted some of the vegan styles of eating. Aside from diet, I exercise 3-6 days a week depending on how busy my week is. I do cardio and weight training at home, sometimes I go jogging (2.5km, trying to build up to 5km) and I go hill walking once a week for increased resistance. I’ve recently decided to treat myself to the spa once a month for pedicures and massages. I’ve been trying to listen to mediation music about half hour before going to bed so that I can clear my mind to visualize my goals and then go to bed for a peaceful slumber. I’ve also been trying to read one book per month, whether self-improvement, great novels or classics.
  3. Stay positive and never give up. I have been fortunate to have my husband as support but even when you do have someone behind you, it can still get lonely at times. In these moments it is very important to visualize your goals or what you want out of life and go after it! Sometimes this can be in the form of daily affirmations. Whatever or wherever you draw your inner strength from, hold on to it.

On your journey to self improvement you will stub your toe a few times but just keep trekking. You be a source of inspiration to others and it will be beautiful.

waterfront

Denbigh

Denbigh,  one of the largest agricultural showcases in Jamaica held in May Pen,  Clarendon.  This platform is used by companys to introduce their latest products and technologies in agriculture.  It is also a huge cultural display for all the parishes in Jamaica.  

It was my first time going to Denbigh, even though I’ve lived in Jamaica all my life,  but it was worth it. I saw some of the largest organic produce and livestock that even pictures would not do justice.  There were lots of bi-products on sale as well.  Overall it was a really cool experience.  I got to learn more about the agricultural scene in Jamaica and the culture.  

Cheers to the New Year?

Most people use the new year as a time to make resolutions, to start fresh, to improve or change things in their lives. Indeed that is commendable but how long does this ‘new year craze’ last? Does it last? Or is it that we lack commitment?

I am very guilty of this. However, I’ve improved a lot in 2015. I’m not quite where I want to be in committing to goals that I set at the beginning of each new year but I know that each year I become more driven than the previous.

So….

  1. Do not make new years resolutions instead make S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) goals. This clever and useful acronym was introduced to me by my brother-in-law. I tried it in 2015 and it made me much better off than I was in prior years.
  2. Even if you get off to a late start, “better late than never“. So what if you didn’t implement your plan on January 1st? There are still 364 (well 365 in 2016) more days to start.
  3. It’s okay if you stray off course somewhere throughout the year. It happens to the best of us. The key is not to quit. If you fall, pick yourself back up and keep it moving. You can still finish the race once you don’t give up.

Cheers to the New Year!