Learn To Convey Your Strengths During the Interview

Learn To Convey Your Strengths During the Interview

There are all kinds of reasons that interviews don’t go well. Sometimes it’s as simple as you weren’t the best candidate for the position. However sometimes you were the best person for the job. You missed out because you were too nervous to present yourself in your best light. Or you weren’t able to convey just how perfect you were to the interviewer.

Let your power shine through

Let’s start with the nervous part. Most of us get nervous in competitive or stressful situations. But there are ways of tricking your body into actually feeling more confident. It’s all about creating a feeling of power and strength within yourself. You can do that with power poses. Striking a pose of power and holding it.

For example, before the interview, stand like Wonder Woman. Feet apart, hands on your hips, chin up. Take up space, breathe in and hold. You will start feeling more confident.

Or stand like a star athlete. Feet apart, arms above your head, fingers spread wide – like you just won the race of your life and hold.

Amy Cutty who has a Ted Talk online about how our body language shapes who we are talks about studies that have demonstrated the benefits of standing like a super hero. Testosterone increases significantly cortisol drops, people feel ready to take on more risks, their pain threshold his higher. They also think more abstractly and are more likely to do well in stressful situations – like job interviews.

 

Move from the general to the specific

While preparing for an interview people will often go online to research the sorts of questions they will be asked. Then they memorize the best way to answer them. The problem with that is they come off sounding rehearsed and mechanical in the interview.

 

The interviewer doesn’t want to hear the perfect answer to a question. They want to hear your answer to the question. That means read how you should answer the question then create an answer based on your experiences and qualifications.

 

Why are you perfect for the position?

You might not get asked this question specifically, but ultimately every question you are asked is working toward answering it. Think about your motivations, your strengths, your values, your personality. Bring those into every answer. Come up with examples from your life and your experiences. Make it personal. The more personal you make it the more confident you’ll sound.

 

You look confident, you sound confident. If you’re a perfect fit for the job, the interviewer will know it.

Learn To Keep The Interruptions At Bay

Learn To Keep The Interruptions At Bay

You know when you get into that flow at work, where what needs to get done pours out of your like water from a tap? You’re in the zone and focused. You and the work inhabit a bubble of time and space without interruption.

 

When was the last time you were in that bubble? With so many internal and external interruptions coming at most of us all day long, it’s probably been a while. External interruptions are things like other people calling, texting, emailing or walking up to our desk. Internal ones include the compulsive need to check social media, or have a quick peek at the headlines, or whatever it is you fill your personal distraction glass with.

 

Small interruptions lead to extended production delays

When you are in the zone you are focusing all your energies and thoughts on the task at hand. When an interruption breaks the flow it’s like taking a pair of scissors and cutting all the threads of communication pouring into your head with a single snip.

 

The time dedicated to dealing with the interruption isn’t restricted to however long it takes to death with whatever Hans came in to ask you. The bigger problem is the break of flow. All the time it takes to gather all the threads of thought back together.

 

Of course, interruptions to your flow are inevitable. There will always be matters that must be dealt with immediately. However, a great majority of the things that stop our flow aren’t urgent enough to require our immediate attention. By setting boundaries with our co-workers and ourselves we can allow ourselves to get into the flow zone more often and stay there.

 

Let your coworkers know you don’t want to be interrupted

If people don’t know you want uninterrupted work time, there is nothing stopping them from coming in and interrupting with things that can wait. So, let them know. Set all your alerts to silent. Leave an outgoing message on your phone saying you are busy and will return calls when you are free again. Same thing for emails.

 

If you have an office with a door put a do not disturb sign on it, if not put a sign on your desk. The do not disturb sign (or whatever words you use) might feel weird the first time you put it up. But you’ll get over it, especially once you see how much you’re accomplishing.

 

Stop interrupting yourself

For many of us the worst interrupter of our flow isn’t other people, it’s ourselves.  Now that you’ve got your email alerts and your phone silenced, it’s up to you to stop yourself from compulsively checking them on your own every couple of minutes. Set yourself time boundaries. Say I will work on this project for one hour. And stick to it.

 

Beyond that, close open tabs on your computer. If you can work offline do it. When the internet is two or three clicks away instead of only one it’s a little easier to stay clear of.

 

Single task

It’s impossible to get into the flow of one thing if you are trying to do more than one thing at once. Multi-tasking is the bane of productivity. Focus on what you need to get done, one thing at a time.

 

 

How to Bounce Back from a Layoff

How to Bounce Back from a Layoff

So, you’ve been laid off. Whether you saw it coming or not, the abrupt end of a job can be difficult to navigate. How should you react? Are you allowed to mourn? What does it mean for your future? If you find yourself in this situation, fear not. You’re not alone. In fact, you’re in the company of 1.5 million workers that are let go from their jobs each year.

Take a break

The first step to handle a layoff is to give yourself time to mentally process it. Before launching into a new job search, take the break as an opportunity to consider what you really want to be doing, whether it’s switching industries or pursuing a passion project. When you figure out your next move, spend time carefully updating your resume and tapping into your network to help find your next opportunity.

Check out the infographic from Turbo below for even more tips on how to bounce back from a layoff.

 

How to Bounce Back After You Get Laid Off

 

Three Pillars of Great Communication

Three Pillars of Great Communication

We have some good news for you and some bad news. What you accomplish in your career and in your personal life is determined by how well you get your message across.  If you don’t consider yourself a good communicator that  might be bad news. The good news is, you can learn strong communication skills.

A communication breakdown is the reason behind the majority of problems people face both personally and professionally. People do not say what they mean clearly enough. Or other people don’t understand the communication as intended. There are three elements to any direct fact-to-fact communication, words, tone, body language. If all three don’t match, the communication becomes muddied. Once you learn to take all three into account you’ll be able to dramatically increase your communication skills.

The Element of Words



Words only account for 7% of any message. That means, to communicate effectively you need to back up words with the proper tone and appropriate body language. People run into problems when all three don’t match. When that happens, the listener will invariably focus on the tone or the body language more heavily than the words.

Emphasis and Tone

Your emphasis and tone can completely change how a message is perceived. Sometimes you say something and it goes over way better than expected. Other times the person you’re talking to becomes offended without hearing an offensive word.  The reason for both reactions is probably tone of voice and emphasis. Throughout your communication, remember to pay close attention to your delivery. Notice how your words are being perceived throughout the interaction and revise your tone if necessary.

Body Language

Never forget the importance of non-verbal communications. You can dramatically increase the effect of your communication by leaning toward the speaker. Shift forward onto the balls of your feet. Face the person you’re speaking to directly, with strong eye contact. By ensuring your body is in line with your words you will dramatically increase the impact of what you’re saying.

Jobs You’d Rather Forget

Jobs You'd Rather Forget

A resume is a constantly evolving thing. Always being added to and subtracted from as you switch jobs, take courses, attend conferences. In general, we add the newest jobs and experiences we’ve had to our resumes and when there’s no more room, condense or remove the less significant ones altogether.

Swept under the carpet

But sometimes you come to a job you really hated and the feeling is on the mutual side. Your first instinct might be to simply try to forget that job ever happened and put it behind you. However, if you do that, there may be a significant gap on your resume. One way or another you will probably need to talk about it in your next interview.

Relevant or not relevant?

Sometimes the decision is made easy by the degree to which the job was relevant to your career. For instance, if the job you hated was in the service industry, but you plan on making a career in sales, you can just leave it off and simply say why at the interview (without ever saying anything negative about your previous employer).

However, if the job is directly related to what you’re applying for now, you have to choose. Either leave it off and hope the gap isn’t a big deal or leave it on and hope no one contacts them. In the article, Can You Leave a Really Bad Employer off Your Resume from Chron they suggest the best course of action is to actually include the job, but not use the employer as a reference.

Find positives in the experience

Did you learn any new skills during your time there? Did you have any new responsibilities? Find something positive to say about it during your interview and finish off by saying it was no longer a good fit. Don’t give in to the temptation to say something negative about a former employer. It will only serve to put you in a negative light with your prospective new one.  Focus on your achievements and your potential and that’s what the interviewer will focus on too!

Save And Spend

Save And Spend

 

Maybe you’ve got college debts to pay off. Maybe you’re debt free but are a forward looking individual preparing for financial freedom well before you hit the half century mark.

 

Wherever you fall on the personal finances continuum, if you want to save and get ahead, the first thing you need to do is create a budget.

 

Why budget?

Without a budget you really can’t accurately judge where your money is going, how much you can afford to spend on a Saturday night out, if bringing your lunch everyday is enough to get you closer to your financial goals.

 

There are lots of ways to go about creating a budget. Here are a couple of straightforward ones you could try.

 

Pre-budgeting homework

Before you can create that budget you need to have an idea of how much money you actually spend. Make a list of all your expenses, groceries, gas, monthly bills, gym membership, pet costs – everything you can think of.

 

Some of those expenses are fixed. Like your gas bill and your phone bills. There is no wiggle room. Some of your expenses are flexible, like groceries and clothes. Divide all your expenses into two columns, fixed and flexible. Now you have a concrete idea of exactly what you’re working with.

 

Subtraction budgeting

With this extremely straightforward method, all you do is add up all your monthly bills. Subtract that from your take home monthly income and see what’s left for savings. If there is nothing left or not as much as you were hoping to put away then where you can skim from that flexible column. Maybe cut back on groceries and movie nights.

 

50/20/30 budgeting

50% goes to your fixed costs. Rent, utilities, bills you see month after month go here

 

20% is allotted to financial goals. This is money that goes towards savings or towards paying back debt or towards creating an emergency fund.

 

30% is for your flexible spending. This is where the grocery money comes from, hobbies, clothes, entertainment.

 

By doing a thorough examination of how much you have coming in and where it’s currently going out it’s much easier to create a budget you feel comfortable sticking to as you work towards achieving your financial goals.